12 Father's Day Picture Ideas to Make Dad Smile

ThinkstockPhotos 515779948 12 Father's Day Picture Ideas to Make Dad Smile

Father’s Day is just around the corner, and if you’re wracking your brain to think of the perfect gift, why not create some original wall art? You don’t need to be handy with charcoals or paints to get the job done. All you need is a decent camera – your smartphone counts! – and a little creativity to make personalized gifts for dad.

Just snap an original photo and have it printed on high-quality canvas for an heirloom-quality gift for all the fathers in your life (don’t forget grandpa, friends who are new dads, and that incredible single mom who coaches Little League!).

Not sure what sort of photo you should take for this project? Here are 12 great ideas that are sure to please fathers of all ages and interests:


1. Classic Portraits

ThinkstockPhotos 160372013 12 Father's Day Picture Ideas to Make Dad SmileYou’ll never go wrong with a great close-up of your kids, especially if they’re in the oh-so-cute baby and toddler phase. If a group shot seems daunting, a series of canvases of individual portraits works just as well, especially if they have a unifying background or color scheme.


2. Love Letters

ThinkstockPhotos 514000004 12 Father's Day Picture Ideas to Make Dad Smile

Have your kids create a handmade sign saying how much they love Dad and snap a photo of them holding it. You can make each word on a different sign so everyone has something to hold, or you can have them share. If you’re having trouble getting everyone in the photo, consider an artistic shot that shows little hands holding the sign instead of worrying about faces and bodies.


3. Shadow Puppets

ThinkstockPhotos 463608851 12 Father's Day Picture Ideas to Make Dad Smile

If your kids aren’t cooperating with smiles during your photo session, be flexible. You can create some artsy photos of them making shadow hearts with their hands on the sidewalk, or just take a photo of the shadows of their bodies instead.


4. Sign Language

ThinkstockPhotos 89839890 12 Father's Day Picture Ideas to Make Dad SmileTeach your children to say “I love you” in sign language, then snap three different photos of them making each sign. Print each photo on a separate canvas and make sure these get hung up in order to spell out the message. For just one canvas, use the combined “I love you” sign, which is displayed in one motion.


5. Lego Land

ThinkstockPhotos 538780331 12 Father's Day Picture Ideas to Make Dad Smile

Got creative kiddos? Let them build a scene of some of Dad’s favorite things out of Legos (a Lego man mowing the lawn or cheering on a favorite sports team, perhaps?). Take a photo of the scene nice and close, and you’ll have a very fun work of art to display later.


6. Throwback Decor

ThinkstockPhotos 517602974 12 Father's Day Picture Ideas to Make Dad Smile

You don’t have to take a new snapshot! Find a favorite old photo (Dad with his first car or moving into that freshman dorm room) and enlarge it on canvas to commemorate his youth.


7. Recreate a Moment

ThinkstockPhotos 487300310 12 Father's Day Picture Ideas to Make Dad SmileTake a throwback photo one step further by having your kids recreate the shot. For example, if you have a favorite photo of dad and his sisters, have your kids stand in similar outfits and poses to update the photo. This works especially well to make a set of old-meets-new canvas prints.


8. Dad’s Dad

ThinkstockPhotos 135384606 12 Father's Day Picture Ideas to Make Dad SmileMake Father’s Day doubly special by giving Dad a photo of his own father. If you have a great picture of the two of them together, you can make two canvases and give matching gifts to both Dad and Grandpa this Father’s Day.


9. Landscapes of Love?

ThinkstockPhotos 456864229 12 Father's Day Picture Ideas to Make Dad Smile

Help Dad brighten his office with a work of art that reminds him of his favorite place in the world. An existing photo of a vacation spot will work well, or you can take some artistic photos of your own backyard. Even close-ups of lush blades of grass in the lawn can be a welcome object to gaze at during the work day.


10. Wall of Fame

ThinkstockPhotos 57571490 12 Father's Day Picture Ideas to Make Dad SmileDo you have a bunch of photos with sports heroes or of Dad shaking hands with people he admires? These can make an inspiring gift and a great conversation piece for your walls.


11. Objects of Desire

ThinkstockPhotos 525956250 12 Father's Day Picture Ideas to Make Dad Smile

If the wonderful father in your life has a passion for a certain hobby, you can take photos of the equipment he uses for an artistic canvas. For example, try taking close-ups of glossy guitars, the stitching in a baseball, or of his woodworking tool at interesting angles. You can also take a series of photos of the same object at different angles for a wall-worthy set of pictures to hang.


12. Portrait Promise

ThinkstockPhotos 4794089861 12 Father's Day Picture Ideas to Make Dad SmileIf you have your heart set on a full family portrait with everyone in it, schedule a photo session and give an I.O.U. on the big day. It’s okay to wait to get it just right!


Once you snap – or dig up – the perfect photo, enlarge it and have it printed on canvas for a lasting work of art. We’re running 75% off canvas plus free shipping just for the occasion! These make perfect Father’s Day gifts and will provide a lifetime of enjoyment to remind Dad how much you love him.


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Customer Art Spotlight: Shiba Inu Pet Portraits

In honor of National Pet Month, we sat down with Cat R. of Bergen County, New Jersey. A proud “mom” to three adorable dogs, Cat tagged us on Instagram with the photo below:

ShibaInu1 Customer Art Spotlight: Shiba Inu Pet Portraits

You can see why we had to know more! Huge thanks to Cat for sharing the story behind these photogenic pups, including some Shiba Inu hijinks and tips for capturing fun pet photos of your own.


Easy Canvas Prints (ECP): What an incredible photo! Be honest – how long did it take you to get this shot?

Cat: Thank you very much! Honestly, it only took 10 to 15 minutes. But I probably took around 20 photos to get one or two that I really liked.

Kai (the cream dog) is the best at posing for photos. He’s very food motivated and will stay still and look at the camera because he knows that results in yummy noms! Sayuri (the red dog) and Remy (the black and tan dog) are easily distracted and will sit/stand where I want them to, but they won’t always look at the camera.


ECP: Tell us more about these adorable pups. And are they always this well behaved?

Cat: All three of them are Shiba Inus. Sayuri is the oldest at 10 years old, Remy will turn 10 this September, and Kai is 8. We’ve had Sayuri and Kai since they were 8-week-old puppies; we got them from a breeder. Remy just recently joined our family last October, due to unfortunate circumstances. We were happy to welcome him into our home and he has been a great addition.

image4 Customer Art Spotlight: Shiba Inu Pet Portraits

Sayuri is female and her name means “small lily” in Japanese. Since Shibas are a Japanese breed, I thought a Japanese name would suit her. She is the boss of the three.

image3 Customer Art Spotlight: Shiba Inu Pet Portraits
Kai is short for Kaieteur which is the name of the tallest single drop waterfall in Guyana, where my husband is from.

BrownDog Customer Art Spotlight: Shiba Inu Pet Portraits

Remy arrived already named but it suits him very well. I like to call him “Remy the Roomba” since he’s so quick to pick up food that falls on the floor. Sayuri’s nickname is “Princess Sayuri” and Kai’s is “Kai-Kun.” I love the movie Elf, and I used to joke around and call them my “cotton headed ninny-muggins.” Now I call them all my “mini-muggins” for short.

They all have such unique personalities and can be very mischievous. Kai absolutely loves coffee and has stolen many cups off of the coffee table! He’ll wait for you to leave the room and then he’ll steal it and pop the lid off to enjoy the contents! He also loves to sleep under the blankets at night. He will paw at my arm or face in the middle of the night to get me to wake up and lift the covers so he can get under.

Sayuri loves attention and will whine at you to pet her. She’ll shove her head right into your hand, and she won’t stop until you give in and scratch her head. Remy used to visit when he was a puppy, and one day when I returned from an outing my couch was destroyed. It was a cloth couch and it was shredded–there was fluff everywhere! He’s not as destructive anymore, but he still likes to nibble blankets.


ECP: How did you become such an amazing photographer? Give us some tips!

Cat: Thank you so much! I’m not really an amazing photographer…I just have cute Shibas that make the pictures awesome.

DogsFlowers Customer Art Spotlight: Shiba Inu Pet Portraits

The main reason I’m able to get some decent photos of them is they all know the “stay” command. Sayuri and Kai learned it when they were puppies, and I taught Remy when he joined us. If you teach your dog the verbal command and hand signal for “stay” it will be much easier to get them to pose for photos.


ECP: How are these prints displayed in your home?

Cat: They are hanging on a wall above our mail table. I want to get more and fill the entire wall, but so far the wall is only half-filled:

image1 Customer Art Spotlight: Shiba Inu Pet Portraits

I joke with my husband that other families have walls filled with photos of their children while we have a wall dedicated to our dogs. I wouldn’t have it any other way, though. These dogs are my family simple smile Customer Art Spotlight: Shiba Inu Pet Portraits

Ready to put your own furry friends on canvas? We’re offering 75% off plus free shipping to our blog readers, get started here.

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The Top 20 Graduation Photo Ideas for 2016

ThinkstockPhotos 4875479031 The Top 20 Graduation Photo Ideas for 2016

With diploma season in full swing, now is the time to narrow down your graduation photo ideas. Whether you or your loved one is graduating from college, high school, or even kindergarten, all are once in a lifetime events to remember. So charge the camera, pop some champagne (or sparkling cider!), and try out these 20 creative picture ideas for the Class of 2016.


Sign of the Times

ThinkstockPhotos 462036559 The Top 20 Graduation Photo Ideas for 2016

1. Incorporating signage into your graduation portraits is a fun way to convey feelings of relief, excitement, and everything in between. You can order signs online, make them by hand, or just use a chalkboard to display your message of choice. A few ideas:

  • “Done,” “I Did It,” or “I’m Out of Here!”
  • “Next Stop…Graduate School”
  • “The Tassel Was Worth the Hassle”
  • “Thanks, Mom and Dad”
  • “Class of 2016″

2. Lie on the ground next to a large cutout of a thought bubble that has a graduation message, school memory, or your plan for the future written inside.

3. String together letters or numbers for a banner to hang between trees, hold over your head, or attach to archways and pose beneath.

4. Hold a college acceptance letter or printed diploma in front of you while wearing your cap and gown. Focus on the paper so that it is easy to read, with your blurred outline in the background.

5. Kick back in a casual pose with your feet propped up showing “2016” written on the bottom of a new pair of shoes. You can also hang your tassel from a pair of high heels.


All in The Family

ThinkstockPhotos 496647177 The Top 20 Graduation Photo Ideas for 2016
6. Education is not a solo journey, but a family affair. If you have kids, why not include them in your graduation portraits? While holding an “I Did It” sign, your child can hold an “I Helped” sign next to you.

7. Pose in your new cap and gown while holding your first kindergarten, elementary school, or middle school graduation portrait.

8. Show the family legacy of education by posing with pictures of your parents and grandparents graduating from their high school or college.

9. Include your parents jumping for joy next to you in your cap and gown. Better yet, add a sign bearing a funny message about no longer having to pay your tuition.


Sparkle and Pop

ThinkstockPhotos 462099167 The Top 20 Graduation Photo Ideas for 2016

10. Hold a handful of glitter or confetti in your hand and blow it out toward the camera. School colors or graduation shapes are available at most party or craft stores.

11. Pose with sparklers and try writing your name or your graduation year at night. While this requires slightly more advanced photography skills, it makes for a dynamic photo.

12. Take an up-close picture of your face while blowing a bubble with gum. Add text to your photo, using the bubble as a zero in “2016” for a fun graduation portrait.


Get a Little Artsy

ThinkstockPhotos 483424647 The Top 20 Graduation Photo Ideas for 2016
13. Create silhouettes by holding up banner letters to spell “G-R-A-D” or “2-0-1-6″ over your head while in your cap and gown. Not feeling crafty? Just hold your diploma in one hand and use the other to toss your cap in the air. ?Sundown is the perfect time for silhouette photography.

14. Decorate the top of your cap and pin it to the back of your head, then walk away from the camera to showcase the design. This one is great to try with a group of friends.

15. Stand next to a pile of books that is taller than you or on top of a smaller stack. You can also go to the library and pose next to books from your major or favorite subject.

16. Write “2016” on your sports ball of choice. Wear one heel or dress shoe with your graduation outfit, and one sports shoe resting on the ball.


Just the Beginning

ThinkstockPhotos 478988880 The Top 20 Graduation Photo Ideas for 2016
17. For some, graduation is not the end, but just the next step in the education journey. Track your progress by posing next to a checklist with your recent accomplishment plus future steps waiting to be checked off. For example:

“Bachelor’s Degree” (Checked Off)
“Master’s Degree” (Not Checked)
“Medical Degree” (Not Checked)
“Dr. Smith” (Not Checked)
“On My Way,” “Halfway There,” etc.

18. To highlight college majors or career goals, pose with props like school supplies for teachers or a stethoscope for doctors. Graduates with undecided plans can pose with question mark cutouts for a little mystery!

19. Write positive messages like “My Future Starts Here” with chalk on the road, wooden letters in the grass, or sand on the beach. Stand or sit by your message and have a friend take photos from above.

20. Sling your cap and gown over your shoulder and walk away from the camera. Wave goodbye, kick up your heels, or hold a sign facing the camera with a farewell message.

Keep these ideas in mind come graduation day and you’re sure to end up with some photos you love. In honor of all the grads out there, we’re running 76% off canvas prints plus free shipping so you can celebrate this huge accomplishment for years to come. Get started here, and don’t forget the many people that helped get you to the stage! Say thanks with a photo gift from your special day.

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8 Personalized Mother’s Day Gifts You Can Make Yourself

Remember the radiant smile and leaky eyes a homemade Mother’s Day gift evoked when you were young and inspired by love? A woman can only receive so many cookbooks, mixed spring bouquets, and eau de toilette sprays in her life and still feign gracious astonishment. Chances are good that the maternal figure in your life will still find great delight in a handmade gift from you.

So step outside the retail box this year, and channel your still-alive-and-kicking creative and adoring inner child into these eight handcrafted and very personalized Mother’s Day gifts.

1) DIY Pallet Wood Sign Map with Hearts

WoodenSign1 8 Personalized Mothers Day Gifts You Can Make Yourself

Image Credit: Craftaholics Anonymous, craftaholicsanonymous.com

This is the perfect personalized Mother’s Day gift idea sure to bring many a tear to the woman whose children are spread out across the United States.

All you need is a pre-made pallet wood sign, stain, white craft paint, red felt, a USA stencil, and your glue gun to provide Mom with a 24/7 visual reminder of how many people all across the country are “hearting” her every day. Bonus: The sign is easy to ship! Travel on over to Craftaholics Anonymous for the step-by-step tutorial.

2) Monogram a Pillow

Monogram Pillow 8 Personalized Mothers Day Gifts You Can Make Yourself

Image Credit: House on the Way, houseontheway.com

There’s a stately elegance and gracious charm to a monogrammed item that appeals to the Southern Belle in (almost) every woman. If the mother in your life “identifies” with that archetype, she’ll flip for this stencil-on-burlap monogrammed pillow.

Grab a bottle of fabric paint in the bold color of your choice, adhesive stencils, and some fabulous fabric. Monogram-loving Leslie has all the info you need to give Mom a serious case of the vapors over at House on the Way.

3) Kindness Love Note Puzzles for Kids

Love Note Puzzle 8 Personalized Mothers Day Gifts You Can Make Yourself

Image Credit: Toddler Approved, toddlerapproved.com

Scissors, crayons, construction paper, and envelopes are all you need to share this heartwarming project with your young ones. Write sweet notes of affection on paper in the shape of your choice, cut them into pieces, stuff them into an envelope, and seal with a kiss. Everyone sits down on Mother’s Day morning and puts the pieces of their kind words back together.

One of the more simple homemade gift ideas for Mother’s Day, but it has the potential to smooth ruffled feathers between siblings. The activity can also be a fun community-building exercise at a child’s party or in a classroom to fire up team spirit and encourage compassionate self-expression. Toddler Approved has the darling action photos and tutorial.

4) Mother’s Day Tribute Shadow Box

Tribute Box 8 Personalized Mothers Day Gifts You Can Make Yourself

Image Credit: Crafts Unleashed, blog.consumercrafts.com

Want to memorialize a deceased family member or pay loving homage to a very special still-living one? This gorgeous, intricate shadowbox provides a three-dimensional flower garden in full bloom that showcases a favorite photo–or even a collage of several images–in a handmade masterpiece.

You’ll need some special tools and supplies and more than an ounce of patience to pull this one off, but the end result is a delicious piece of Mother’s Day eye candy. Fortunately, guest blogger Shirley, aka OkieLadyBug, does a great job of walking you through her project step-by-step with clear close-up photos. Visit Crafts Unleashed for the tutorial.

5) Handprint Wooden Spoon Butterflies

Wooden Spoons1 8 Personalized Mothers Day Gifts You Can Make Yourself

Image Credit: Glued to My Crafts, gluedtomycraftsblog.com/

Not only are these whimsical flying creatures adorable and easy to assemble, they provide a touching way to document how small your child’s hands once were if you stash them away before too much rough puppet play takes its toll.

Painted wooden craft spoons embellished with googly eyes, glitter, and rhinestones look great dancing in flight on the fridge or flittering from doorways. Flutter over to Glued to My Crafts for the instructions.

6) Mother’s Day Locket

Locket 8 Personalized Mothers Day Gifts You Can Make Yourself

Image Credit: One Artsy Mama, oneartsymama.com

Scrambling for a last-minute Mother’s Day gift? Got 10 minutes? Mix one creative child with a glass locket, card stock, and colored markers, and you’ve got a treasured keepsake that Grandma will probably never remove from her neck.

Start a self-gifting tradition and commission your kids to honor you with a new drawing every year so that you end up with an entire collection to match your mood and outfit du jour. Check out the beyond-easy tutorial at One Artsy Mama.

7) Garden Stepping Stones For Mother’s Day

SteppingStones1 8 Personalized Mothers Day Gifts You Can Make Yourself

Image Credit: The Idea Room, idearoom.net

Looking for super easy, super fast, super inexpensive, and super cute? Look no further. Head to your nearest home and garden store for a small bag of cement and a bunch of those round plastic flower pot liner trays.

Give each child their own stone to decorate with hand and foot prints, and ask them to etch their names with a popsicle stick. Embellish the stepping stones with seashells, glass beads, porcelain jewels, marbles, or pottery and china shards. No rules–just a very customized and long-lasting path through the garden that answers the question: “Were the kids ever really that small?” Step on over to The Idea Room for the easy tutorial.

8) Custom Canvas Prints

MothersDayCanvasFINAL 8 Personalized Mothers Day Gifts You Can Make Yourself

Okay, this one isn’t 100% DIY, but you’re still a big part of the process! Pick your favorite moment with Mom and design a photo to canvas print in minutes. Not sure which photo she’ll like best? Go with a gift card instead, or browse these seven creative canvas ideas for a little inspiration.

We’re offering our readers 78% off canvas prints through 5/9/2016, so get started today! If you’re ordering too late to receive by Mother’s Day, place an order and just print out a copy of the photo on your usual printer. Add a cute note to build some anticipation for what’s to come, and voila! She has something to look forward to even after the big day.

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12 Fabulously Fresh DIY Ideas for Your Spring Home Decor

Need a place to channel all that pent up winter blues and blahs energy that has you bursting with creative inspiration? We’ve gathered together a dozen of our favorite DIY spring home decor projects that provide a big and bright return on your investment, costing very little time and money. Ready, set, create!

MasonCraft 12 Fabulously Fresh DIY Ideas for Your Spring Home Decor

Image Credit: Mason Jar Crafts Love, masonjarcraftslove.com

1) Painted daisy Mason jars require only a few small bottles of acrylic and high-gloss paint, clear spray finish, a brush, and some sandpaper to transform into garden fresh Mason jar vases or writing utensil holders.


Jelly Bean Tree 12 Fabulously Fresh DIY Ideas for Your Spring Home Decor

Image Credit: Crafty Sisters, craftysisters-nc.blogspot.com

2) Jelly bean trees make a whimsical alternative to fresh flowers when growing out of your painted Mason jars. Gather up some fruit tree branches from your yard or purchase willow branches from a craft store and grab your glue gun. Check out the jelly bean topiaries for more adorable spring decorations.


Bird Feeder 12 Fabulously Fresh DIY Ideas for Your Spring Home Decor

Image Credit: Country Living, countryliving.com

3) A dinnerware bird feeder helps your hungry little feathered friends replenish their nutritional reserves as they build those nests and prepare to procreate. Score some melamine serving pieces from your local thrift store or eBay, add a piece of copper pipe and some rope, and voila! You’re a hero to the neighborhood wildlife.


Ping pong ball pendant 12 Fabulously Fresh DIY Ideas for Your Spring Home Decor

Image Credit: Poppytalk, poppytalk.com

4) Get your game on with this ping-pong ball pendant. About 180 balls, your favorite spray paint colors, and a lamp shade are all you need to whip up this playful piece of eye candy.


Vintage Screen Door 12 Fabulously Fresh DIY Ideas for Your Spring Home Decor

Image Credit: Country Living, countryliving.com

5) Replace a pantry or laundry room door with an ornate and brightly colored vintage screen door. You create a more open and spacious vibe between rooms for the cost of a small can of paint. Instant country charm.


Vintage Wallpaper Tree 12 Fabulously Fresh DIY Ideas for Your Spring Home Decor

Image Credit: Sweet Paul, sweetpaulmag.com

6) Plant a wallpaper (family) tree in the kids’ bedroom or playroom with four or more different vintage wallpaper patterns glued right onto the wall. Leave enough space in between the branches and leaves to insert personalized canvas prints of the multi-generational family and beloved pets. Take a cue from the tutorial, and hang a birdhouse on the trunk for even more dimensionality.


Wine Rack 12 Fabulously Fresh DIY Ideas for Your Spring Home Decor

Image Credit: Shanty 2 Chic, shanty-2-chic.com

7) Rack your favorite warm weather wines in this super easy and sleek Shanty Chic model that can be yours for approximately $15 in materials. Wooden boards, screws, hex bolts, and wood glue are your only investments, besides the great wine.

Another rustic option is this very cool upcycled milk crate wine rack. Scour your flea markets or do a quick search on eBay for a heavy vintage crate with galvanized metal racks inside. Hang it on your wall with some matching brackets and fill ‘er up.


Window Photo Displays 12 Fabulously Fresh DIY Ideas for Your Spring Home Decor

Image Credit: Cottage Instincts, cottageinstincts.blogspot.com/

8) Display treasured family photos in old windows — what a natural showcase for your favorite headshots of the kids and pets. Stain or paint them, sanding optional. Attach the window frames to the wall with command hooks, and run some painted letters down the middle to lend bold emphasis.

Option 2: Forego the glass and insert custom canvas prints of your favorite family photos for dramatic dimensionality.


Baby Jar Flower Holders 12 Fabulously Fresh DIY Ideas for Your Spring Home Decor

Image Credit: Make Life Lovely, makelifelovely.com

9) Use an old piece of distressed wood to act as the backdrop for upcycled baby food jars. Attach the jars to the wood with clamps, add two hooks, and hang indoors or outdoors.

There are so many fun ways to use these jars. Fill them with flower and plant cuttings until they root well enough to transfer into pots. Geraniums are a natural choice. Fill the jars with soil and start your organic veggies from seeds. Move the plaque outside and fill the jars with tea candles for some barbecue or fire pit mood lighting.


Pallet Plant Stand 12 Fabulously Fresh DIY Ideas for Your Spring Home Decor

Image Credit: Southern House Restoration, athomewithkelsey.com

10) Create a pallet plant stand for your porch or deck in seconds. You can usually find pallets of this size (39.75″ x 48″) hanging around at stores like Lowe’s, Ace Hardware, or Home Depot. Fill it with abundant potted flowers for a visitor-welcoming spring decor theme, and when autumn is imminent, swap flowers out for pumpkins, gourds, and decorative corn.


Botanical dresser 12 Fabulously Fresh DIY Ideas for Your Spring Home Decor

Image Credit: Country Living, countryliving.com

11) Decoupage an old dresser with botanicals, and instantly reinvigorate a tired room or dated piece of furniture. Paper photocopies of your favorite floral fabric are glued on and then sealed. An instant upgrade.


Canvas Display 12 Fabulously Fresh DIY Ideas for Your Spring Home Decor

12) Design a deconstructed spring art gallery wall any place in your home that needs an infusion of new life and happy, smiling family faces. Use canvas prints showing off last year’s vegetable garden successes, the summer vacation to the beach or Yellowstone, and four-legged family members doing what they do best–cracking everyone up.


Ready to spring into DIY action? Your phone and computer are probably overflowing with photos perfect for some of these inspiring projects. Turn the people and things you’re most passionate about into custom works of canvas art that enhance your home’s spring decor. We’re offering 85% off to our readers through May 2nd, 2016, so get started now!

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7 Mother’s Day Canvas Ideas for the Perfect Gift

ECP 20160407 Callout 7 Mothers Day Canvas Ideas for the Perfect Gift

With Mother’s Day on the horizon, are you looking for a unique gift that will beat out last year’s fresh flower delivery? How about something that will last longer than those buds?

Turn it all around by honoring the women in your life with a personalized Mother’s Day gift. This year, Mother’s Day is all about the canvas and what you put on it. And if one of these seven ideas sparks your interest, act quickly! We’re offering 80% off + free shipping to our blog readers through April 28th (get started here).

1. The Nursery Series
Moms with infants and toddlers will love this photo display depicting baby’s life from conception to now. Start with a canvas print of the baby bump and end with a fun picture from the last birthday party or family event. Fill the wall space in between with canvas images of the first newborn picture, first time sitting up, or any other special moment that is sure to make mom (or even grandma!) smile.

2. The Family Wall Display
There is no limit to how much this group will grow, but you can get it going with a few well-placed Mother’s Day photo gifts. Start with a larger image of the whole family together. Next, begin filling the space underneath with pictures of people in the family photo. They can be single shots, well-meaning selfies, or just the kids on their own being goofy.

Over time, say once every Mother’s Day, you can add another picture to create a canvas timeline for her family that will go on for generations.

3. The Photo Collage
Who says you have to fill a canvas with just one photo? Sort through all the pictures you’ve taken over the years and make a collage gift on canvas. It might be a remembrance of someone special that is gone or a celebration that has real meaning for her. How about a collage showing a child from birth to graduation? Play around with the layout until you find something that works.

Use digital images with editing software to create your collage. Or, cut out printed photos, lay them down on a colorful background, and take a picture of the grouping.

4. Make Some Art
There is no rule that says Mother’s Day canvas ideas have to be about family photos. You can use this opportunity to let the photographer in you shine. Go out and explore your city to snap some photos, or create an interesting still life grouping.

You can even assemble small objects like buttons or coins into a heart, or your mom’s initials, and take a picture. Children’s artwork can be an especially fun addition to mom’s walls; just scan their latest creation to make a personal canvas print.

5. Put It Into Words
Maybe art is not really your thing, so use your words instead. Create an image that speaks to her with a favorite quote or a word cloud. Get creative by rotating the sentences to create an abstract piece of canvas art using nothing but text.

How about one letter per canvas to spell out your mom’s name, or a sign that says something eclectic like “Mangia!” for the kitchen?

6. Recreate the Family Vacation
Remember that really great vacation you all took as a family? Maybe it was that time you all went to the Grand Canyon, or to Disneyland. Find an image that will stir that memory, and put it on canvas to enjoy again and again.

You can take it one step further and make a whole series of photos. Order a large canvas print of the family in front of the hotel you stayed in, and then surround it with smaller images that tell a story about the trip. Every time she looks at that grouping of pictures, she will be reminded of that one amazing vacation.

7. Make a Memory…Again
Up the nostalgia factor with a Mother’s Day photo gift that reminds mom of a magical moment from her past. It might be a picture of her parents on their wedding day, or the day she graduated college. Take (or find) a picture of her childhood home, or of her closest friends. The goal here is to choose a photo that will make her smile and sigh every time she walks past it!

The beauty of working with canvas is flexibility. This Mother’s Day, use your imagination to create canvas gifts that mom will love. We’re offering 80% + free shipping just for the occasion, get started here and let us know what she thinks!

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What to Wear for Family Pictures: 10 Outfit Do’s & Don’ts

ThinkstockPhotos 460518719 What to Wear for Family Pictures: 10 Outfit Dos & Donts

Family photo shoots can be quite exciting; they mark the passing of another year, and can help document the growth of your children. But when family photo time rolls around you will be facing a few important decisions. One being: what should everyone wear?

Some would argue that coordinating outfits is just as important as finding the right photographer, so don’t wait until the last minute! Just follow these tips and plan your outfits ahead of time for a smooth, drama-free photo day.

1. Don’t Match—Coordinate

While matching was definitely a “thing” in the past, it is (thankfully) no longer considered a best practice. We all have the requisite white t-shirt and blue jeans picture, but now there are more stylish options to consider. Pick a color scheme and then mix and match colors so that everyone is coordinated—but keep it at that.

2. Do Choose Comfortable Options

Especially with kids, it’s tempting to pile on cute jackets, tutus, boots, and hats. While these accessories can be adorable and fun for you, they’re not always the most comfortable for the child. And as we all know, an uncomfortable child can result in a miserable photo shoot.

Keep your environment in mind as well. A tutu may sound like a great idea, but if you use it on a windy November day, you may have a cold little girl. For these more adventurous outfits, just be sure to have a backup plan in mind.

3. Don’t Be Overly Seasonal

Since you want to have your pictures up all year long, resist the urge to be overly seasonal. This may mean skipping reindeer ears, Santa hats, costumes, and bunny ears—even when taking holiday pictures. Trust us, come Spring you will be glad you did.

4. Do Keep the Photo Location in Mind

When brainstorming outfit ideas, think about the location of your photo shoot. Are you going to be on the beach? In a garden? Near a barn? You can use the setting to guide your outfit choices. For example, softer colors are great for shoots near water, while deep, warm colors are best in rustic or foliage heavy environments.

5. Don’t Get Overwhelmed—Start With a Single Piece

If you’re not sure what color to use for your family photo outfits, try to find a single piece you love and build the rest of the outfits around it. For example, Mom could wear a green dress and then select complementary pieces for other family members. Blue for her daughter and husband, green for her son.

6. Do Consider Your Existing Home Decor

Yes, it may sound a bit silly to match your clothing to your home decor, but this tip is all about staying consistent with your personal style. After all, you want to display your pictures for a long period of time, right? Consider whether you are normally drawn to neutral colors, or to bolder tones. Even a small adjustment can help ensure your photographs blend in seamlessly with the rest of your home decor.

7. Don’t Overdo It With Patterns

Do you love a certain sweater or scarf? You know—the one with loud dots and stripes? There’s definitely a time and a place for such pieces, but your family portrait is probably not one of them. A little patterning and texture is okay, but too much can be a distraction.

8. Do Plan Ahead

We can’t emphasize this enough. To ensure you have plenty of time to assemble your best family picture outfits, plan in advance. Also, make sure that everyone tries on their outfit beforehand, so you’re not surprised by any forgotten stains or changes in fit. Having several options for each person may be beneficial as well—especially if you have an extremely opinionated five-year-old.

9. Don’t Feature Characters
You may have a little one who loves Frozen or Iron Man, but that does not mean characters have a place in your family photo shoot. To prevent a tantrum, bring along the crown or mask for a couple silly photos at the end.

10. Do Create a Timeless Photo

Styles and fashions come and go, but there are plenty of ways to create timeless family photos. The key is to avoid what’s trending and aim for a classic look, one that won’t automatically date your photos. This same principle applies to hairstyles and makeup—try to avoid anything too flashy.

Finding the right family photo outfits takes time, but the end product is well worth the extra effort. With just a few tips and tricks, you can create beautiful photos to pass down from generation to generation. Better yet, put them on canvas for a beautiful, high-quality finish.

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5 St. Patrick’s Day Decorations You Can Make with the Kids

With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, you may be searching for some fun, festive ways to get your kids involved. Making crafts is a tried and true favorite of boys and girls of all ages, and you will get the added benefit of spending some quality time with your little leprechauns.

The following mom, dad, and kid approved crafts will leave you with some fantastic green garb and decor.

St. Patrick’s Day Banner

ShamrockBanner 5 St. Patricks Day Decorations You Can Make with the Kids

Image Credit: A Pumpkin & A Princess, apumpkinandaprincess.com

If you’re looking to make just one green addition to your March home decor, we recommend this eye-catching homemade banner. There is a bit of cutting and hot glue involved, but it’s well worth the extra effort. Once complete, hang your new banner above the living room door, fireplace, snack table, or wherever strikes your fancy! Full instructions available at A Pumpkin & A Princess.

Shamrock Window Craft

ShamrockWindowCraft 5 St. Patricks Day Decorations You Can Make with the Kids

Image Credit: Hands On As We Grow, handsonaswegrow.com

This is an easy craft project, ideal for toddlers. Once the project is complete, you’ll have a fancy, green piece of decor to proudly display in your window. Aside from the basics like scissors and tape, head to the craft store for some contact paper, crinkle green grass, tissue paper, and plenty of glitter. Read full instructions at Hands On As We Grow.

3D Shamrock Frame

ShamrockPicture 5 St. Patricks Day Decorations You Can Make with the Kids

Image Credit: Craftaholics Anonymous, craftaholicsanonymous.net

This simple craft is great for you, and your kids. The inexpensive materials combined with a quick assembly make this project ideal for group crafting or last-minute additions to your home decor. Get the details over at Craftaholics Anonymous.

Clover Sun Catchers

CloverWindow 5 St. Patricks Day Decorations You Can Make with the Kids

Image Credit: Pink Stripey Socks, pinkstripeysocks.com

This craft packs two fun activities into one: hunting for clovers, and creating naturally green sun catchers. Just be sure to budget a full extra day for your leaves to dry and flatten – it will make crafting your sun catcher significantly easier. For the full effect, hang the finished product on a window or glass door that receives plenty of sunlight. Get the full scoop over at Pink Stripey Socks.

Tissue Paper Shamrock

TissueShamrock 5 St. Patricks Day Decorations You Can Make with the Kids

Image Credit: Crafts By Amanda, craftsbyamanda.com

This tissue paper clover is just what you need to complete your St.Patrick’s Day decorations – and it only requires four materials! Add a festive ribbon or green yarn to hang the clover for all to enjoy. Full instruction available at Crafts By Amanda.

We hope you have a wonderful time crafting with the kids. Let us know how your decorations turn out!

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The Beginner’s Guide to Panoramic Photography

In an era not too long ago, you would need specialized equipment like a fisheye lens and a fair amount of technical experience to capture panoramic photos. Thanks to the DSLR-quality cameras that are built into most of today’s modern smartphones like the Apple iPhone, however, all of this has changed. Now, it’s possible to take stunning panoramic images whenever and wherever you’d like – provided you know exactly what you’re doing for the best results, of course. If you have dreams of showing off those great panoramic photos to all of your friends and family members, you’re going to want to keep a few key things in mind.

What is Panoramic Photography?

SkylinePanoramic The Beginners Guide to Panoramic Photography
Before you can understand how to take great panoramic photos, you must first understand a little bit more about the very specific medium you’ll be working with. Simply put, panoramic photography (also referred to as 360 photography and wide-angle photography) is a technique that captures images horizontally in a format that is much wider than your average picture.

It’s similar in concept to a widescreen movie you might watch on TV – a “full screen” movie would take up your TV’s full view, but a “widescreen” movie would have black bars on the top and bottom that would cause the image to take a much more pronounced, rectangular shape. Panoramic photography is the same idea, only in the world of still photography and not full motion film or video.

Tips and Tricks for Taking Great Panoramic Photos

SunsetPhotographer The Beginners Guide to Panoramic Photography

One of the most important tools that you can have at your side when experimenting with 360 photography isn’t necessarily a $2,000 camera, but an incredibly steady hand. Many consumer-grade cameras (as well as smartphones) essentially “create” a panoramic photo by taking multiple images and piecing them together to form one large one. When you move your iPhone from left to right, the phone’s camera is actually capturing images to match your field of view, piecing them together later.

The issue is that if you don’t have a steady hand, the sections of the picture where one image meets the next will appear blurry or otherwise distorted. Always try to keep your hand from shaking while taking a panoramic photo or, to make things easier, invest in a tripod or similar type of solution.

The next thing you’ll want to do when taking a panoramic photo involves turning off all of the default settings of your camera and adjusting based on the environment you actually find yourself in. This is especially true if you’re taking photos outdoors for a number of reasons.

Consider the example of the autofocus on a DSLR camera, or even on your iPhone’s built-in camera. As you move the camera to capture the desired subjects of the 360 photography, you will probably have various objects entering and exiting the foreground of the image at all times. If you left the autofocus on, the camera would automatically rack focus at multiple parts of the image – causing certain elements to look blurry when they shouldn’t. Turning off the default settings can lead to a higher quality end result.

Finally, never forget that panoramic photos are exactly that – photos. You’re not dealing with video, so anything that is in the frame that moves will likely lead to blurry areas that are best left avoided. If you’re trying to take a panorama of a city street, you might want to wait until traffic dies down or you’ll end up with a lot of blurry spots in your photo that used to be cars. On the other hand, this may be the exact look that you’re going for – leaving certain moving elements in your photos can be a great way to experiment and wind up with something cool, albeit a bit abstract. It all depends on exactly what image you see in your head and how to best capture it on film (or on the SD memory card in your camera, depending on your situation).

How to Print Panoramic Photos

ECP 20160301 BlogPhoto 1 The Beginners Guide to Panoramic Photography
Once you’ve successfully utilized these tips and have finally captured the panoramic masterpiece of your dreams, your next logical step involves taking your image out of the digital world and bringing it into reality: creating panoramic photo prints to call your own.

The important thing to keep in mind here is that because you’re dealing with a frame shape (or “aspect ratio”) that is significantly wider than your average photo, something like photo paper probably isn’t the best option for preserving the natural spectacle of your image for years to come. Printing on canvas is a great way to really do your image justice and selecting the 12-inch x 36-inch size will work exceptionally well in most cases. If 12 x 36 isn’t quite working for the image you’ve captured, however, don’t worry – custom sizes are available for your panoramic photo prints – just select that option at the bottom of the tool:

EasyCavnasDesigner The Beginners Guide to Panoramic Photography

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8 Canvas Collage Ideas That Will Transform Your Walls

ECP FBAds 20150402 JerrysHouse 1 8 Canvas Collage Ideas That Will Transform Your Walls

If you are fortunate enough to have a spare wall in your home, now is the perfect time to fill that wall with personal works of art that inspire and delight. These creative wall displays will have friends and family wondering where you came up with such wonderful ideas!

1. Create a Family Tree
Literally. Paint or draw a tree on your wall and then fill the branches with family portraits. Make sure to include photos of family members from all generations that are captured on canvas and beautifully framed. This one literally becomes a work of art within a work of art, with a finished product that is both beautiful and memorable.

2. Create a Wall Collage of Family Members
If you’re not up for painting a tree on your wall, consider surrounding a large family portrait with smaller canvas portraits of individual family members. Take it a step further with a few larger canvas portraits of past generations to showcase connections and growth over time.

3. Create a Canvas Growth Chart
This is a lovely idea for any long hallways in your home. Start small with canvas prints of the toddler years. Mark the wall at each age and line up the bottom of your print with that mark. If the hallway isn’t quite long enough to fit them all, consider doubling back with taller portraits positioned above those initial prints. Over the years, you’ll find that the new chart is a great way to highlight your child and celebrate growth.

4. Family Service Photographs (Military, Police, Fire, Medical, etc.)
For families that have a strong tradition in a certain field of service, it can be important to recognize that tradition with canvas prints of those currently serving as well as those who have served before. Arrange portraits in chronological order or in a hierarchal order as you see fit. The new display will show the devotion and sacrifice of your loved ones — service that deserves to be honored and celebrated.

5. Wall of Milestones
Everyone has milestones and special memories throughout their lives. One of the first for many families is a wedding day. Events like the birth of a child, religious ceremonies, the first day of school, and graduations all provide canvas-worthy moments to grow your display.

6. Establish a Pet Parade
For many of us, pets are important members of our family, providing years of service and companionship. From playing at the lake to lounging on the couch, highlight photos that showcase your pet’s full range of personality. And don’t forget to include photos with their favorite people as well!

7. Passionate Pursuits
Create your own canvas wall art sets by taking photos of subjects you are passionate about. This collage could encompass a wide range of themes — it really all boils down to your own inner passions. Take some time to think through what truly brings you joy.

A few ideas to get you started:

  • Sunsets
  • Sailboats
  • Wild Horses
  • Architecture
  • Snowscapes
  • Cityscapes
  • Rivers
  • Old Barns
  • Autumn Leaves
  • Puppies at Play
  • Playgrounds

Anything that strikes your interest can be transformed from a photograph into art. For example, some people seek out crumbling castles, defunct amusement parks, abandoned malls, and other unique sites to photograph and record.

8. Favorite Family Vacation
Planning a once in a lifetime vacation? Or maybe you just got back from one? Take your favorite travel photos and create a wall display that will remind you of your vacation for years to come. It doesn’t matter if it’s a quick beach trip or you’ve flown over to kiss the blarney stone in Ireland. A picture is worth a thousand words, and canvas protects that image for a lifetime — not to mention it gives you a great way to share these beautiful memories with others.

Now is the perfect time to get started on a wall display of your own! You don’t have to look very hard or very far to find creative canvas wall collage ideas. Your phone and computer are likely filled with photos perfect for a mini gallery of your own. It’s all about turning the people and things you’re most passionate about into custom works of art.

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