Fun Websites to Create Homemade Digital Gifts

Innovative Web sites are being developed each year-fascinating, fun, easy-to-use technology that lets you produce your own creative stuff. I love discovering cool Web sites. I put on my “grandparent glasses” and ask, “How can this site be useful to me and other grandparents?” The creative juices start flowing, and I think how exciting it would be to create something for my grandkids to enjoy.

Here’s an economical idea for your holiday gifts. How about making something unique for your family using your digital photos? Wouldn’t you agree that homemade gifts are more enjoyable to create than buying store-bought gifts? And your family and grandchildren will cherish them.

ElfYourself [http://www.elfyourself.com/] from OfficeMax is a whimsical online program that allows you to create a fun video of your grandkids dancing-as elves! Just upload the photos you want to use, adjust them to fit (size, rotation, etc.), and select a dance from the ready-to-use choices. It produces a video you can share for free, or download for $4.99.

MadeUpMemories [http://www.madeupmemories.com/] lets you create customized video stories with your grandchild as the main character. Just paste your grandchild’s face on any video. Share it with your friends and relatives. Save it to your computer. It’s free.

Smilebox [http://grandparentstlc.com/blog/go/GMsmileboxHoliday/] is a fun and engaging service that connects you with family and friends using your photos and videos. You can create animated scrapbooks, photo books, slideshows, postcards and e-cards for any occasion, and email them to anyone.

Scrapblog [http://grandparentstlc.com/blog/go/GMscrapblog/] is a delightful way to share and print your photos. With Scrapblog you can create beautiful, one-of-a-kind digital scrapbooks, and share them with your friends and family. You can start with a theme, using dozens of beautiful layouts with backgrounds, stickers and images created by leading designers. Optionally, you can order high-quality books and other printed products.

Photo sharing sites are a convenient way to upload and store your photos online. Sites like Picasa [http://picasa.google.com/], Kodak Gallery [http://grandparentstlc.com/blog/go/GMkodakgallery/], SnapFish [http://grandparentstlc.com/blog/go/GMsnapfish/] and ShutterFly [http://grandparentstlc.com/blog/go/GMshutterfly/] include free photo editing tools. Instantly share your pictures online.

You choose who can view them. Most sites offer permanent storage free of charge, but some require a fee or minimal annual purchase. (Check their terms of service.) If you like, you can turn your pictures into high-quality prints, personalized gifts, photo books, greeting cards or postcards.

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