I have been having a blast making photo collage blankets! A collage blanket can be a true gift from the heart for almost any occasion: birthday, baby gift, graduation, Mother's Day, Father's Day, graduation, wedding, anniversary, and so many more! The technology on many sites makes what was once a rather daunting, laborious task, very easy. Collage.com has been my go-to site for uploading photos, designing, editing, and personalizing blanket gifts. I find the site very user-friendly. It has become one of my favorite creative playgrounds!
*Disclosure Statement: This is not a sponsored post. There are other sites for creating collage blankets. Collage.com is a site that I have used and have found to be very user-friendly. The blanket quality and prints have been of a high quality. I would like to share my experience in using this site with all of you.
I just finished this blanket for my great-nephew, Isaac. I wanted this blanket to be a way to introduce "the family" to Isaac. Our family is spread out from Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. Like many families, it is very rare when we are all able to gather in one place and spend time together. I wanted Isaac to have some photos to associate names and stories of our family. With that in mind, I started downloading photos to my computer to create a collage blanket.
Isaac, Meet Some of Your Family...
I wanted to feature our family in this blanket. I hope that my niece will wrap young Isaac in the blanket and periodically “introduce” us to her precious little guy.
I envision it as a family story blanket. My niece might begin the story by pointing to the photo of my dad. “Here is your Great-Grandpa Hanig. He could talk like Donald Duck and often called your Mommy, me, “Charlie,” when I was a little girl. I would respond with 'I'm not Charle!' Then we would both laugh, and then, he might call me George!”
...and so Our Story Goes...
A collage blanket can be a wonderful way tell a story, celebrate those you love, or send a virtual hug. I love being able to make and give personal gifts. Photo collage gifts have become my new favorite gifts to make.
It isn't necessary for me to do a tutorial on "How to Make a Collage Blanket on Collage.com". The site is very easy to use and one is guided through each step. The site offers a plethora of choices. I like that! I'd like to highlight the choices and share some insights.
• Smooth Fleece
• Woven Image
• Cozy Fleece
• Plush Sherpa
• Baby 30×40
• Throw 50×60
• Queen 60×80
Upload Photos: This was so easy! Here's screenshot of the icon "Photos".
Design Templates: There are over 50 templates to choose from, or one can create a custom design. The plan for Isaac’s blanket is called Sweet Dreams. One collage blanket can contain 1 to 30 or more photos. The design template will suggest the optimal number of photos.
Backgrounds: The categories are: Pattern Builder, Solid Colors, Textured, Soft, Nostalgic, Vintage, Geometric, Family, Romantic, Holiday, Patterns. Within each group, there are oodles of choices. I chose the matching background for the back side of Isaac”s blanket from “Soft">"Starry Nights.”
There are so many choices of backgrounds and designs and layouts. Here are some screenshots of backgrounds I "auditioned" of a custom designed collage blanket.
Above is a screenshot of the background menu and 1 possible background choice . It is as easy as a click or two to "audition" backgrounds. You can try out as many as you like. I found contrast is the key to selecting backgournds that make the photos pop. I originally had selected a cute, handprint, kid background for the collage above. When I saw it, I realized it was much too, busy and the light colors didn't do anything to accentuate the photos.
I had so much fun playing with the backgrounds. It was helpful to take a screenshot of my favorites, or save each design as a separate project. Then, I could compare them and make my choice. Now, onto the text selections!
Text: There is a great selection of fonts. Text can be added to almost any blanket. You have the option of personalizing blankets with your own sentiments.
More: Don’t forget to click on the “More” button. It gives you the option to add borders to your photos and create shapes.
After I chose my design and uploaded my photos, I had the option to edit the images. All I had to do was double click a photo, and the edit tools appear at the bottom of the screen. My favorite tool was the crop tool. By clicking on it, I could crop my photo to include faces and eliminate extraneous background. People are what I wanted to highlight in my collage, and close-ups are the best way to go. After I got the “close-up” of the photo, I simply clicked “Done,” and my edited photo went back into the collage.
The site also allowed me to move photos from one spot to another in the collage. This was a very nice feature. (I did tell you how much I enjoy having choices, didn’t I?”)
Isaac’s blanket is a “Welcome to the family. We love you to the moon and back. Now, we’d like to introduce ourselves” blanket. It will be a Christmas gift.
Isaac’s blanket wasn’t my first photo collage blanket. My first photo collage blanket was a “Hugs!” blanket. A dear friend of mine and former school colleague received a daunting health diagnosis. Her school family wanted to do something special for her as she prepared to continue medical treatments. I suggested we do a photo collage blanket filled with photos and memories of all of us. The idea was to wrap her in one big “HUG!” from everyone.
Another good friend proposed the idea to interested parties, and we collected photos via emails and texts. We had enough images to create a front and back photo blanket. Thus was born, our “Hugs!” blanket for Linda. This was a larger blanket. One thing I learned from doing this blanket: Photos will appear larger on your blanket than on your screen. After all, your computer screen is relatively small compared to the dimensions of the blanket. The blanket turned out very well, and Linda had no problem seeing us!
Linda loved the beach and spending time there with her family. This "beachy" image in backgrounds was the perfect back drop for all of our photos. I found it in "Backgrounds" > "Textured" > "Sun Drenched". The comfort "Hugs" blanket was a big hit with Linda and her family. We were so happy to be able to do something to bring a smile to her face. Believe me, there's a whole lot of love and many wonderful memories in this blanket!
Some of the original photos were too dark. The "Edit" tool was very helpful for adjusting the sharpness and lightness/darkness of many of the photos. It was easy to enhance these using the "Edit" tool in the Photo Menu. Once again, all I had to do was click on a photo>"Edit" and the following screen appeared. I was able to adjust the the sharpness, light, and apply filters.
If you are looking for that perfect gift--something unique--something personal--consider creating a collage blanket. Technology makes it quite simple and rewarding to do. A collage blanket can be a wonderful way tell a story, celebrate those you love, or send a virtual hug.