Getting your images onto stuff

Many local copy shops, retail shops, and Web sites enable you to add photos to T-shirts, mugs, buttons, tote bags, ties, mousepads, plates, and even cakes and lollipops! If you can think of it, they can put a photo on it. You can even do a lot of this stuff yourself, as described in the following sections.

T-shirts

Buy plain white T-shirts at your local discount department store or plain aprons and tote bags at your neighborhood craft or fabric store. Then buy special transfer paper at your office supply or computer store. Print your photos on the transfer paper, iron the print onto the fabric, and you've got yourself a personalized gift for very little cash outlay.

I've known a couple of really ambitious people who transferred photos onto patches of fabric and created gorgeous memory quilts. What grandparent wouldn't love a quilt with photos of their children and grandchildren? If you're not crafty, maybe you could trade your photographic skills with someone who can sew?

Posters

You can get poster-size prints at some copy shops and service bureaus. Call and talk to a knowledgeable rep at your copy shop or service bureau so you know exactly how you need to prep your file. Here are a few questions to ask:

ii What file format and resolution should the file be? i What size prints do you offer?

ii Do you provide mounting and lamination services? Many service bureaus offer great-looking oversized prints that they then mount on foam core or a sturdier material called gator board. These service bureaus also can laminate prints to protect them from scratches and UV rays. The edges of these posters are finished and clean, and the print is ready to hang on the wall.

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