Are you looking for a gift that breaks away from the rest of the pack when it comes to originality? These Grommets can be customized to make each one a unique creation. Which customized gifts will you give?
Kiki & Polly portraits bridge digital photography and classic portraiture. Artist and mom Lisa Golightly, works from your favorite digital photo, and incorporates the actual face of your child (or anyone) into a pre-existing or custom design of your choosing, so nothing is left to chance. The photo portion is printed using archival quality ink, and the painted portion is done in acrylics. The end result is equal parts quirky, charming, and beautiful—and sure to become a family keepsake. ($20 and up) Buy Kiki & Polly customized portraits from digital photographs here.
Design Your Own Camcorder
The designable versions of the Flip camcorder (Flip Mino and Flip Mino HD) let you customize your Flip with any image you want, making it not just a high-quality camcorder, but a unique personal statement. (Or choose one of their cool “Flip for Good” designs; for every fifteen of those they sell, they give one to charity.) It’s pretty, but can it perform? Absolutely; with all styles you get 60 minutes of recording time. Even at this compact size, the screen feels generous, and the flip-out USB arm means you can always plug it right into your computer with no cords required. ($225.00 and up) Buy the Flip mini digital camcorder here.
Quick and Easy Memory Makers. Animoto.com is a cool website that lets you create your own photo videos set to the music of your choosing. Imagine pictures of the kids set to your family’s favorite hits, or snapshots of good friends over the years with memorable tunes playing in the background. Just upload your photos and music, insert text, and arrange it all the way you want it. (This part is so fun, even kids will beg to help!) In a matter of minutes you can have something that looks TV-worthy. (Free and up) Learn how to make your own video slideshow with Animoto.com here.
Mixed With Love. Trying to cook up a perfect breakfast for the special someone in your life? MixMyGranola will throw together a custom, all-natural, 16-ounce blend according to your specifications that lets him know you remember he hates raisins, loves Craisins, and adores all things chocolate! Just go to the site, choose a granola or muesli base, and layer in all your loved one’s favorite things. It’s that simple. ($4.99 and up) Buy MixMyGranola custom granola mix here.
You Are What You Eat. You Bar allows you to build your own energy bar on their website. You choose from ingredients in 8 different categories like nuts and seeds, fruit and grains. A panel with nutrition facts is available as you design the bar, so you can evaluate carbs, fat, calories, protein and sugars before you buy. As the orders come in, Ava, Anthony and their eight “You Bar’istas” weigh and mix the requested ingredients, mold the bars and seal them in packages. They print computer-generated labels stating the bars’ names and nutritional facts. ($37 and up) Buy the You Bar custom protein or energy bar here.
Pocket Photo Albums In A Flash. ZoomAlbums are the professional-looking, pocket-sized albums you create yourself, at home, that will have everyone asking where you got them. Each kit includes the Creator Software CD, which lets you simply drag and drop the photos you’d like to use, and enough supplies to create three albums. The patented photo pages work with your regular ink jet printer; simply print twelve photos on a single sheet, fold along the score lines, and remove the adhesive backing as directed to assemble the finished product. ($35.95) Buy Zoom Album, the bound, mini, photo album here.
Give Your Walls Something To Talk About. Three years ago, company founder and mom Anne Gearon moved from Australia to Chicago. Pushing a stroller through the city with a new camera in tow, Anne fell in love with the quirky type she saw everywhere. Slowly, she built an image bank of Chicago typography. What to do with all of the lovely letters? Anne started by making a name collage for her son’s birthday. Her friends were wowed, and in response, Anne started a company she calls rum sum sum, designing all kinds of things with type — artwork, magnets, and even clothing. One hot item: adorable individualized T shirts. ($7.50 and up) Buy Rum Sum Sum's personalized photo art here.
Step Up To A DIY Sandal
Tia’s Freestyle Sandals incorporate a simple, unique, and versatile design that lets you swap out sandal tops and tie them up in different ways to create your own personalized style. The bases are genuine all leather, and the tops are made from lovely, colorful vintage silk saris. Each gorgeous Tia sandal top is a limited edition style that can be worn in a variety of ways, so you can gift a unique footwear style that’s nearly one of a kind. ($59 and up) Buy Tia's freestyle sandals here.
Moving Stationery. This year, you can design your own beautiful photo holiday cards—easily—and send something truly unique, conveying authentic feeling and personality. Happy AND distinctive. Marmalade Ink, run by two graphic artists, makes it easy for you to express yourself in your own pictures and words. Marmalade Ink offers printing on both sides of their lovely 100 lb. reforested paper stock. ($2.75 and up) Buy Marmalad Ink custom holiday cards and birth announcements here.
Parisian Charm. LilyMe is all about understated charm. Instead of a heavy link bracelet, LilyMe’s jewelry is mounted on a thin satin cord (you choose the color) with unexpectedly cool slipknots. The charms themselves are simple and chic. You can personalize a disc or heart, or choose from funky butterfly, flower, clover and peace designs. The effect is a hip, casual look that still has all the personality of vintage charm jewelry but none of the clunkiness. ($30 and up) Buy LilyMe French silver charm bracelets and jewelry here.
Wear Your Child's Art. Everyone can have a handcrafted, one-of-a-kind piece based upon their own beloved child’s imagination thanks to KiDoodles. The possibilities are nearly limitless: simply submit your child’s drawing (any size, any medium, actual paper or a scan); choose from 14k gold or silver; select the product (earrings, pendant, pin, or tie tac); and in just a few weeks you’ll have your custom jewelry delivered in a gift box, ready for giving. (Please allow extra time around the holidays.) ($55.00 and up) Buy KiDoodles jewelry from kid's art here.
It's Sew Easy. Fashion Playtes is an interactive clothing design website that’s perfect for girls ages 6 to 12 who have a creative flair and love fashion. In a few simple steps, young designers pick garments, select sizes and choose colors. Then comes the really fun part: embellishing the tops, skirts, dresses or jackets they’ve selected. (Free and up!) Learn more about Fashion Playtes studio where tween girls can design their own clothes here.
When it’s time for a little kid to make a big change, from a new sibling to a new school, the Change Is Strange series of personalized books from mother-daughter team Penny Asher and Ricki Booker is a welcome resource. Throughout the series, the graphics make the books even more special. The wildly colorful illustrations provide a busy backdrop for the good advice and gentle reassurances — just like in life. ($29.95 and up) Buy Change is Strange's personalized books to help kids adjust to change here.
Self-Publishing For The Sippy-Cup Set. Tikatok is a free online community where kids under thirteen can write, illustrate, publish, and print their own books. Young authors create and save works using StorySparks interactive templates. (There’s no extra software to download.) Tikatok lets kids store works-in-progress in a private account and allows them to share stories with the community in a safe, parent-moderated environment. Kids’ identities are even protected with their own nom de plume!. ($25.00 and up) Learn more about Tikatok book publishing website for kids here.
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