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Next week, my little girl – the one who I vividly remember holding in my arms for the first time like it was only days ago – completes her second year of preschool. (Next year is Pre-K, and then kindergarten. I mean, what? The cliche about kids growing up in a blink is real you guys.) I have watched her grow in more ways than I could attempt to put into words since she entered that classroom last September. I am deeply proud of and impressed by her desire to learn and to work and play hard, her ability to make friends and spread kindness, her bountiful creativity, and her unique talents. I mean, every parent thinks her/his kids are brilliant and incredible, so I’ll just stop talking her up right here – but really, she is amazing. And I wanted to do something special for her for an end-of-schoolyear gift that would show her just how proud I am of her.
One of my favorite things about her teachers this year is how focused they’ve been on nurturing creativity in their students. Almost every school day, Essley comes home with an art project she made. Because I am who I am, I have kept every single one of them. If it was acceptable, I might even cover every wall in our house with them, to be honest. But instead, they rotate as a gallery displayed on our refrigerator, and when each piece’s time is up, it is moved to a tub where I store all of them. Last month, Essley wanted to look through her artwork from the school year, so we went through the tub together. She told stories about each piece and when/how she created it and made sure to tell me exactly which ones were her favorites. And that got me to thinking… What if I turned her favorite school art projects from the year into practical gifts to give her to celebrate the end of the school year and all of her achievements? I mean, what a cool way to allow her (and us!) to enjoy her artwork in a practical way, and to create tangible memories of a wonderful school year. My husband loved the idea too, so I took photos of a few pieces, opened the Snapfish website, and got to work.
There are so many options of beautiful gifts to create at Snapfish, so it took me a while to narrow down items I knew she’d love: a Custom Throw Pillow for her bedroom (which we just finished redoing in March), a Hardcover Journal where she could create more drawings and masterpieces throughout the summer, and a two Photo Coffee Mugs she could use for drinking water and juice while I have my morning coffee – one of our favorite things to do together each day. (Bonus: her daddy and I can use them too.) I love using Snapfish for projects like this because their personalization aspect is unique, and can quickly turn photos (that you can easily import from your DSLR, phone, computer, Facebook, Instagram, or Google photos) into a wonderful keepsakes. I also love (of course) that their gifts and decor items are budget-friendly but high quality.
For each keepsake I created, I use different options available for personalization on the left sidebar of the Snapfish‘s site. For Photos, I quickly uploaded the photos I’d taken from my computer. Then I chose a Layout (there are options for single or multiple photos). After that, I played around the with Design and Background variations. There are lots of pre-designed themed templates which are all really cute and make projects so easy to create (I’ve used them in the past), but I ended up designing more from scratch by putting together different individual options. I also played around quite a bit with the Text and the different fonts, colors, and sizes, and put her name and the year on each keepsake. (There are also hundreds of Embellishment options, including a special school section!) The process from start to finish for all four gifts took less than an hour (and would have taken even less had I not been so indecisive), and the items arrived quickly and looking even more beautiful in person.
I was originally going to give Essley her gifts on the last day of school, but that is already going to be such an exciting day for her that I decided to give them to her a little early. (Okay, so I was also being impatient and couldn’t wait.) She was thrilled. I mean, thrilled. She jumped up and down and hugged her special personalized submarine pillow for a good ten minutes (and slept with it that night). She screamed “thank you!” repeatedly for the mugs made with her handprints artwork and night sky artwork, and immediately filled them both with water. And she got right to work drawing in her special fox and ice-cream cone journal, creating new memories for summer break. I’m not saying I cried watching her enjoy these truly special gifts, but I’m not saying I didn’t either. It was a pretty magical way to say congratulations to my little lady, and goodbye to school year full of tremendous growth.
If you have a little one and want to create truly unique keepsakes, it is so easy to take some of their artwork from the school year and make truly beautiful gifts from it on Snapfish! I will absolutely be doing it for future years as well. Snapfish also offers hundreds of cool graduation gifts. The possibilities are endless, guys. And bonus: here is a coupon code you can use for 40% off everything on their site, now through June 30, 2018: YAYGRAD Woohoo!
Essley Morgan, you are such a light. I’m so proud of you and all you accomplished this year. It makes my heart swell to see you enjoy your special gifts so much. I can’t wait to rock this summertime with you, my girl!