Looking for a gift idea for your spouse this Valentine’s Day? The traditional gift of chocolates and dinner is nice but I think it’s part of why so many people want to avoid the holiday—it just seems boring and expected. Put some meaning into your Valentine surprise with these photo gift ideas.

the giving of love is education

Capture The Year In Memories

Put together a collage of photos from the most recent year you’ve been together, and include photos from trips, with friends, family, and all your favorites. Use iPhoto, Picassa or one of the many other programs to make the collage look nice and not overly cluttered.

Save the collage as a .jpg or .png picture file and print it at Costco as a 16×20 print for about $6 (or wherever else you like). You will need a frame unless you choose to print it on posterboard for about $15 (no frame needed)

This is a fabulous gift to put together every year and hang in a special place in your house. Note—you may want an extra copy of the picture to take to work too! This photo gift is a great memento of your life together that you could see and enjoy every day, filled with the moments that make you both happy.

I’ve been putting one of these together as a gift for my husband for 5 years now, and it’s just about time to make the 6th. We enjoy it and the kids do too. The photos are hung on the walls beside the staircase so we pass them often, and the first year I gave the gift to him we both purchased extras to keep at work as well.

Give Your Spouse a Pick-Me-Up

Sometimes we could use a great memory to bring us out of a funk, and this photo gift aims to provide just that spark. Match photos to a phrase or emotion that would make your spouse happy, so when your spouse is feeling down he/she can bring out the photos and pick one based on the emotion or phrase that interests them.

The photo should be of you: either of the two of you together, or possibly a few of your whole family.  Sometimes all we need to improve our day is a great memory to focus on, and photos do a wonderful job of making that memory real to us again.

The great part of this gift is that it can be used again and again. I was inspired to use photos for this gift idea as they are very visual and say a lot without the need for words. Several years ago, I put together a jar of love quotes written on small pieces of paper for my husband—he keeps it next to his computer, and chose to put a picture of me inside the jar. He still reads the quotes in the jar to this day as a pick-me-up whenever it’s needed.

How to create this photo gift:

  1. Choose 10 or more phrases, emotions or such that you want to use for this gift. Suggestions are: love, lust, joy, wonder, happiness, inspiration, and unique phrases between the two of you.
  2. Pick out 10 or more pictures: 1 that represents or evokes the feeling of each of the phrases or emotions.
  3. Next, print the pictures on photo paper in a small size, such as 2″ x 2″ . I would suggest putting all the photos on 1 page using collage software or in a word doc and then printing to avoid printing a whole sheet of paper for each separate photo.
  4. Fold the paper into quarters.
  5. Write the name of the appropriate phrase or emotion with a sharpie.
  6. Place the photos in a nice box or jar. Add pretty wrapping if you like.

*You could do this with larger prints and envelopes as well.

Have a Photo Re-created

Amazing things can be done with photos these days, so consider choosing a photo that your spouse loves and having it made into a painting. You can have this done for $5 on Fiverr.com. Use a high-quality photo, and when you receive the final product, use it to create a larger print that you can frame and use as a photo gift.

These gift options will bring more love and happiness to your Valentine’s Day celebration, as a thoughtful gift is so much better than the last box of chocolates on the shelf, picked up on the way home. These ideas can each be put together within an hour or so, and will be enjoyed for years to come.

SEE ALSO: 10 Valentine Ideas You May Not Have Thought of

Featured photo credit: Two children going in spring green field via Shutterstock

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