Best Gift Hack Ever: Personalized Gifts For The Artistically Challenged

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We all have that friend.

You know, the one who somehow manages to one-up your gifts every year with handmade creations that even Lauren Conrad would be jealous of. Suddenly the gift card you got them to Starbucks doesn’t even seem worthy of gifting.

You want to give your friends and family something special this year, something personalized and unique, but you lack all artistic abilities and have a list of Pinterest fails longer than the Declaration of Independence.

Never fear, Shutterfly is here.

Wait, you mean Shutterfly like the site you make baby calendars and holiday cards on?


Well yes, you can still do those things on Shutterfly, but what you probably didn’t know is you can create SO much more. Like custom pillows, coffee mugs, journals – you name it. Okay so now you may be thinking…

My friends love me, but none of them want a coffee mug with my face on it.

Wrong again.

Who wouldn’t want your face on a coffee mug?! But that’s not the point we’re getting at. Shutterfly has a super cool feature called the Art Library which is basically a hub filled with gorgeous photos, patterns and designs that you can pick and choose from, edit and use to customize items. And they have hundreds of images to choose from.

Don’t believe me?

Check out these items we created for every friend on our Christmas list this year utilizing the Art Library.

Shutterfly floral bedding the Lala

For the nap queen

For the friend who spends more time in her bed than anywhere else, considers putting jeans on as “dressing up” and has successfully finished off a whole season of Nashville in one sitting. Help them make their favorite spot an oasis with custom pillows and a cozy fleece throw.

We mixed a bunch of floral print (and a pineapple print) pillows together and paired them with a floral throw to create a girly boho look. We found all the prints in the Art Library which made designing and ordering the items a breeze.

Don’t you just want to snuggle up with a cup of tea now?

Shutterfly bedding collage 1

Shutterfly floral bedding art library the Lala

Shutterfly Bedding the Lala


Shutterfly portable phone charge the lala

For the girl whose phone is always dying

“Sorry I didn’t text back – my phone died again!”

Ah, poor battery life. It happens to us all. And we all have that friend whose phone always seems to be dead when you need to get in touch with them.

The customizable phone chargers were one of the coolest items we came across. We found a commercial-free use marble pattern online we uploaded to Shutterfly to create our custom charger and are pretty obsessed with how it turned out.

The chargers also come with a cord that works on iPhone 4s and 5s, as well as anything with a mini USB port.

Shutterfly portable charger the Lala

Shutterfly cell phone charger the lala

Shutterfly portable cell phone charger the Lala


Shutterfly floral journal the Lala

For the future Carrie Bradshaw

Jotting down your thoughts feels so much better when it’s in a cute journal, are we right? These journals are perfect for your English major pal, aspiring columnist or diehard diary keeper.

We chose some dark and romantic floral photographs from the Art Library to customize our journal.

Shutterfly journal collage

Shutterfly custom floral print journal the Lala



Shutterfly custom plate the Lala

For the girl with more necklaces than a charming charlie

Our first impression of the customizable plates was “cute, but not really for college students” until we thought outside of the box. A gorgeous plate is perfect for displaying your favorite pieces of statement jewelry that are just too pretty to keep stored away.

We chose a light blue art deco print from the Art Library for our plate that pairs nicely with loads of gold and rhinestone jewelry. Bonus: using a plate to display your favorite gems will keep them from getting tangled up and ending up with one big jewelry blob.

Shutterfly custom designed plate the Lala

Shutterfly plate the Lala

Shutterfly plate art library the Lala


Shutterfly customizable coffee mug the Lala

For the girl who refuses to form sentences before her morning cup of coffee

Here’s to the coffee addicts who never say no to another mug to add to their prized collection.

We uploaded our own design to Shutterfly that we created in Photoshop that included a hand drawn unicorn. It doesn’t get more personalized than that.

Shutterfly custom coffee mug the lala

Shutterfly unicorn coffee mug the Lala

Shutterfly mug the Lala


Shutterfly luggage tag art library the Lala

For the continent hopper

She’s surfing in Australia one day, feeding baby elephants in Thailand the next – and we’d be lying if we said we weren’t totally envious of her globetrotting lifestyle.

So what’s a girl to get a friend who’s seen it all? A customized luggage tag she’s never seen before.

We created this one-of-a-kind beauty using one of the pre-designed images in the quotes section of the Shutterfly Art Library. But no one has to know you didn’t create this brilliant image all by yourself. It can be our little secret.

This also make great stocking stuffers and at $7.99 a pop, they’re perfect for the college-girl’s tight budget.

Shutterfly luggage tag the Lala

Shutterfly custom luggage tags the Lala


Happy gifting!

Best Gift Hack Ever: Personalized Gifts For The Artistically Challenged

Molly Longest

Co-founder, Creative Director Her heart belongs to: leather jackets, live music, Moscow Mules and getting that perfect picture Her guilty pleasures: frequenting the taco truck down the street a minimum of two times a week and talking to strangers' dogs in Central Park

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