There’s nothing quite like a homemade gift for Christmas (perhaps now more than ever, with a seemingly endless array of consumer options.) Our favorites include food, poetry, and of course any type of handmade art. This year we partnered with our friends at Shutterfly to create a fun set of botanical gifts all printed with our own original artwork. We adore how these gifts turned out, and even better, the process of creating them was incredibly fun.
First, we commissioned a set of botanical watercolors from our mutli-talented media director, Kelly Colchin. She whipped us up a few green ferns, a ladybug and a butterfly in no time. We used a home office scanner to scan in each of her illustrations individually and then saved the files as jpegs.
Next, I took the jpegs and used photo-editing tools to create a “repeat” — that’s a tile-able pattern, like one strip of wallpaper. I used this handy tutorial to learn how to create the pattern. Once I had defined the repeat, I was able to create custom jpeg files to use with Shutterfly’s incredible “upload your own design” products. I started with an 18 x 24″ printable pillow, then I created a jpeg with one large fern to use with a 16 x 16″ square printable pillow. The pillows were soft and the colors incredibly rich when they arrived. We were delighted with the quality and couldn’t wait to see what else we could create with Shutterfly.
Kelly’s artwork worked especially well for our custom “tabletop collection.” I used my repeating pattern with Shutterfly’s 90 x 14″ tabletop runner, then used Kelly’s individual fern illustrations for four of the printable 10 x 10″ plates. We couldn’t help but think about all the different tabletop themes we could possibly create using different artwork for our future photoshoots.
I used Kelly’s darling ladybug illustrations to create another repeating pattern, then used that with one of Shutterfly’s 12 x 9″ serving trays. For the larger tray, I used our repeating botanical fern print. The trays are the perfect size for holding gift wrap supplies or serving holiday cocktails.
Finally, I uploaded a few of Kelly’s original watercolors to use with Shutterfly’s frosted glass ornaments. We used the butterfly for the circle glass ornament, the orange ladybug for the hexagon ornament, and the red ladybug for the square ornament. The ornaments each came in a lovely silk bag, and are a nice heavy quality. We were thinking that a custom pen and ink drawing or maybe even a high contrast black and white photo would look especially good on one of these!
I had so much fun working on this project that after it was done I ended up creating a few more printable gifts on Shutterfly for my own friends and family this year. The site is easy to use, and with an iPhone full of photos from my travels and family, the possibilities were truly endless.
Thanks Shutterfly, for helping us whip up some killer homemade gifts this year!
photographed by jessica attie