Since February is Valentine’s month, it is a great time to show someone just how much you appreciate them. Instead of rushing out to buy the usual gifts this holiday, like a bottle of wine, chocolates, balloons, or cards, why not find a new way to celebrate the month?

You can give something to your Valentine any time during the month. This can be anyone close to you: your romantic partner, best friend, sibling, teammate, work buddy, or parent. Or, you could decide to have multiple Valentine’s this year and do something special for everyone you know. But, who has the time to do that?

Let’s just focus on that special someone who steals your heart every time they give you a hug. One of the most romantic things you can do for someone you care deeply about, is create a photo gift. This can be a DIY project or one you have made.

Gabriel Flores Romero on Flickr

Here are 20 ideas for giving photos as a gift:

  1. Framed print

You can have photos enlarged in a variety of sizes, and there are lots of websites where you can have that done. Some are rectangular (full frame) and some sizes crop part of the image out, such as the popular square images used on Instagram. Some frames cover a small portion of the image.
2.  Canvas prints

Canvas is extremely popular right now, because it gives a rich look and texture to your photograph. Especially black and white images look good in canvas. Larger prints also look amazing in canvas.

3.  Metal print

Metal prints are all the rage now, because it is something new being offered by photo labs. The images are printed on aluminum and have a smooth, glistening finish and they are irresistible.

4.  Enlargement

Regular enlargements are still printed all the time by photo labs. You can usually get a glossy finish or a matte finish, depending on how much reflection you prefer.

Ahmed Sinan on Flickr

5.  Photo mural

Murals are a way to transform you home decor, because you use an entire wall for the display. They come in a variety of materials and some are made like removable wallpaper, so it doesn’t have to be permanent.

6.  Wall gallery

A gallery wall is a great way to display multiple images in a creative way. Depending on the room decor, you can display many of images together that look attractive.

7.  DIY frame

Use your imagination on this one, because the sky’s the limit. Some people make frames out of old wood, or they hot glue buttons, other objects and jewels to the edges. One idea is to keep it simple by using mini clothespins to attach the images.

8.  Scrapbook

A photo album or scrapbook is a classic way to tell a story with pictures. You can be as creative as you want and use various papers and designs to showcase your photos. You can get ideas from you local craft store.

9.  Photo locket

You could have a photo locket made, as an old-fashioned gift for your loved one. These are usually custom made by jewelers.

Alan Antiporda on Flickr

10.  Mouse pad

Any digital image can be printed onto a custom mousepad, and most labs offer this service. You can order them online.

11.  Cell Phone case

Here is a personal and popular way to give a photo as a gift. Check online for sites that make these.

12.  Magnet

Magnets can be made in various sizes and are handy to stick on the refrigerator, school locker, or any metal object.

13.  Calendar

Consider making a calendar if you have so many images, that you can’t pick one. You can have them made small or in larger standard sizes, using various kinds of software, some of which can be found online for free.

14.  Photo book

Ideas for photo books can include places you’ve been, weddings, honeymoons, birthdays or other special occasions. They can be printed as hardcover or softcover books. Some people create photo books as a way to document each year they spend together.

15.  Keychain or pendant

A keychain is a simple way to remind the person you care every day. These can be ordered at print shops, or you can make your own.

16.  T-Shirt

T-Shirts are a fun item you can have made that are a large display of your favorite photo. Most local print shops offer the service, or order them online at many websites.

Bill Harrison on Flickr

17.  Pillows and blankets

These are a very personal items that make unusual gifts. Do a Google search for photo gifts to find retailers that make them.

18.  Photo collage

Some photo editing software, such as Picassa provides an option for you to create a photo collage of your images. You can use just a few images, or multiple ones for a special effect.  A collage can then be printed in various sizes at a photo lab.

19.  Online album

An online album has the advantage of being accessible for any number of people, and this works well for special event photos, such as a wedding or party. There are tons of web and phone applications that let you create albums. You can specify in the settings if you want your album to be viewable by only one person or groups of people.

20.  Slideshow with music

When you create a slideshow that includes both music and words, it requires specialized software, but the effect can be dazzling and very personal. Prices vary for the software according to whether you want to do it on an amateur level or pro level of expertise.

Make your Valentine’s Day celebration special this year by creating a unique and personal gift out of photos of you and your loved one. It is never too late to tell someone ‘I love you’ by giving them a photo keepsake that they can treasure forever.

Featured photo credit: Carlos ZGZ on Flickr via flickr.com

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