Australia, here I come! I really want to thank two people who were especially helpful in getting me there. A cute hostess gift is definitely called for, but I have the added challenge of packing light…I’m only taking a carry-on suitcase for this 4 week trip. Eeek! What in the world can I pack as a hostess gift that will be light and still fit in limited luggage space?
A photo gift might be the perfect modern hostess gift. After all, we’re mostly too busy to print our own visual memories these days, but we all seem to post them for all the world to see online. How amazing would it be if someone printed them for you?
I’ve got two great hostess gift ideas for you, one for the DIY expert, and one for the expert shopper.
First up, a cute clip frame is ideal for a couple of reasons. It’s light, has no glass to break in transit, works in almost any decor, and is easily switched out over time. I scored these little cuties at Michaels stores on clearance for just $1.50, which is less than what it would cost to make them from scratch. They could easily be DIY-ed with a piece of beadboard, an old-fashioned binder clip screwed to the front, and a some bent wire or a simple dowel rod on the back. If I wanted to change the look, they could easily be repainted. It weighs just 4 ounces, easily stowed in my luggage. What I love most is that the recipient can easily slip in a new picture, keeping the memories fresh. Skip to the bottom to see the steps to create a personalized photo gift.
If you are a better shopper than painter, this great 9-peice photo display set from Wayfair is beyond cute. It is made of plastic (so no glass to break in transit), and has a cute stamp/travel theme. Slipping a fresh picture in from the top takes just a moment. It’s a bit heavier than the first option, but if you have the room, go for it.
Once you have the perfect display frame for your hostess, it’s time to stalk them on Facebook. Assuming you are friends, you should be able to head to their feed and find some of their great memories. Events, travels, children and pets make great subjects. I’m also using the logo of my friend’s new business, The PreParent Project. So proud of her! You are the thoughtful friend who is printing out their favorite pictures. You know they are your host’s favorite pictures because, after all, they posted them. How easy and cute is that? (This set comes with 3 of each size shown below.)
I recommend printing gift photos out at a professional lab for the highest quality. First check your local small business, then consider a large chain with a dedicated lab like Walgreens, or a mail-order source if you have the time. Photos tend not to be very good when they are printed at home. You can really see the difference between a print from home (left), and one printed at a lab (right).
Need the steps on how to print off photos from Facebook?
- Go to your friend’s Facebook page.
- On the left side of her page, scroll down to see the photos she’s posted.
- Click on photos, and click on the right edge of the photo to advance to the next one.
- When you find a photo that would work as your hostess gift, click Options, then Download.
- Repeat until you have enough photos to fill your frames.
- If your hostess is a business, be sure to visit her business page. Printing off her company logo or favorite mantra can be endearingly personal.
- If you know her from other social channels, such as Twitter or Instagram, check there, too.
- Take note of where your photo is being saved on your computer, because you’ll need to find it again.
- Edit the photos on your computer, if you think you can improve upon them (crop, lighten, straighten).
- Browse to your favorite photo provider. Upload those photos in the sizes you’ll need to complete your project.
Once you have enough printed photos to complete your project, fill your frames and wrap your gift. I pack a gift bag, tissue, and baker’s twine. It doesn’t take much space when packed flat, and still makes a pretty presentation once you arrive at your destination.
In the end, this is all I’ll be taking, and it all packs flat for carefree travel. I like to throw in a pack of Made In USA Jelly Bellys. Who knows if they have those Down Under? Once I give the gifts away, there will be more room for souvenirs!
Steps for DIY Clip Frames as a Photo Hostess Gift:
Print an inspiring word onto regular copy paper. I used Freestyle Scrip at 118 pt font.
Gently but firmly, trace over the lettering with a ball point pen on top of your clip frame.
Press just hard enough to see a very faint imprint of the word into the wood.
Trace over your imprint with a Sharpie pen. I used Metallic Bronze for this project.
You can personalize the gift even further with a message on the back in Sharpie pen.
Display a favorite photo just by clipping it in.
Can’t decide on a favorite photo? A clip frame lets you rotate them or change them frequently.
Light, easy, flexible, personalized.