10 DIY ideas for crafts, recipes, gifts, decorations, and memorable family fun
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The joy of the holidays goes beyond one day of presents and dinner. It is an entire season to revel in the joy of togetherness. It’s a chance for you to redefine giving beyond the usual and expected. HP can help you craft new holiday traditions with homemade gifts, cards, and mementos that are inexpensive and meaningful.
Download free Handmade Holidays book
Get DIY gift ideas, family photo tips, recipes, crafting tutorials, and everything else you need to create a memorable holiday season.
Want even more easy ideas for handmade holiday gifts and decorations? Download our 17-page Handmade Holidays book filled with tips and how-tos.
1. Tips for taking family photos
Time for the annual family portrait? Keep the focus on your family by using a simple, solid-color background.
Gone are the days when a family portrait meant dressing up the whole clan in stiff, uncomfortable clothing and sitting at the photographer's studio.
Here are some tips for taking family photos that let your family shine:
- Photograph your family against a solid-color background. This could be a brightly colored wall, or an expanse of grass or sky.
- Dress in clothes that are in the same color palette—but are not exactly the same.
Get more tips for taking better family photos and portraits.
2. The gift of a framed photo
A framed photograph will become a visual centerpiece in your home and be treasured for generations.
It's a simple and timeless gift: A wonderful photo, framed and ready to display and enjoy. And you can print lab-quality photos—quickly—right in your own home whenever you want.
Use HP ink and photo paper for fade resistant pictures that last for generations.1 If you are printing several copies of a photo print, you can save up to 20% on ink and paper when you purchase ink and photo paper together in HP Photo Value Packs.2
If you’re planning on framing your photos, consider paper with a matte finish to help reduce the glare that sometimes reflects off a frame's glass.
Find helpful tips and creative ideas to frame and display your photo prints.
3. Photo cards
Forget another trip to the store! Making your own photo greeting card is a great way to show your creativity—and stay connected with loved ones—without spending a lot of time or money.
It’s inexpensive and easy to make your own photo cards at home. And it’s fast—you can make a bunch of cards in one afternoon.
To get started, choose a free photo card template from the HP Creative Studio. There are dozens of designs. Just upload your photos and prepare to print.
Be sure to have supplies at hand. There are paper options for every size card, like 5" x 7" HP Holiday Photo Card Paper—which includes photo greeting card paper and envelopes in one convenient package!
Ready to get started? Get free shipping, delivered next business day, on all ink, toner, and paper when you buy from the HP Home & Home Office online store!
4. Make a family newsletter
Newsletter templates make it easy. Just add photos and text and you’re ready to print copies or send the newsletter electronically.
Yes, you can make a family newsletter that people will look forward to receiving!
It starts with great photos. Let the photos drive the text by creating small stories to go with each image.
Don’t try to detail everything that has happened in your household. What would your friends or distant family members most like to hear about?
If you’re printing many copies of your newsletter, you can save up to 40% on your printing with Original HP XL Ink cartridges.3
Get more tips for creating a family newsletter as well as free newsletter templates from the HP Creative Studio.
5. Create a photo calendar
Find some favorite photos and put them into a photo calendar! It makes a heartfelt and inexpensive gift.
Don’t limit your calendar to recent photos. The HP Scanjet G4050 photo scanner lets you scan up to four 4" x 6" photos at a time. That will make quick work of those boxes of photos in the back of your closet.
Give a unique gift to friends and family this holiday that they can enjoy year-round. Collect seasonal images from the past year and populate in corresponding months for the upcoming year.
This is also a great time to take out those boxes of photos in the back of your closet. Do some of them look a little worn? There are simple photo restoration tricks that can make your old photos shine again.
- Gather photos of your family from previous holidays.
- Create a calendar documenting the family's history.
Many scanners, like the HP Scanjet G4050 photo scanner, let you scan up to four 4" x 6" photographs at a time.
This will be a popular gift, so buy your ink in bulk. You can save up to 10% with HP ink multipacks.3
6. Share memories instantly
HP ePrint—now print from your smartphone or tablet from virtually anywhere.4
Why wait until after the holidays to share your favorite seasonal memories? With HP ePrint you can print from your smartphone or tablet from virtually anywhere.4
HP ePrint is a free mobile printing technology that allows you to print to any HP ePrint-enabled printer (like your mother’s printer) using an e-mail-enabled device (like your smartphone). Send photos to friends and family far away. Or ePrint your family’s annual newsletter.
If you’ll be making a New Year’s resolution to share more photos with family and friends, consider getting them an ePrint-enabled HP e-All-in-One printer.
Find an ePrint-enabled printer in the HP Photosmart e-All-in-One buying guide.
7. Decorations and ornaments
When printing things like this ornament, try using thicker paper like HP Brochure and Flyer Paper—it will make your decorations more durable.
The HP Creative Studio has an array of holiday decorations—everything from 3D ornaments to dreidel boxes to tree toppers.
Choose a sturdy paper like HP Brochure and Flyer Paper for your tree toppers, ornaments, and decorations.
You can also make simple decorations at home using everyday objects and inexpensive paper. Paper garlands and paper chains are so quick and simple. And they are a great way to use up leftover wrapping paper. A perfect project for the kids!
Download our Handmade Holidays book for a complete how-to guide to making paper garlands and other eco-friendly paper decorations.
8. HP Print Apps
It’s not too early to get the kids thinking about letters to Santa. Make this year special with free letter templates from the Dear Santa Print App, available on HP ePrint-enabled printers.
HP e-All-in-Ones offer free apps—HP Print Apps—that give you access to select Web content like movie tickets, news, maps, creative projects, recipes, and photo-sharing sites. All from your printer’s touchscreen, PC free!5
Here are three holiday print apps to explore:
- The Happy Hanukkah Print App provides printable recipe cards and coordinating gift wrap—along with a make-your-own paper dreidel.
- The Dear Santa Print App includes holiday-themed stationery for you and the kids to pen your own letter to the big guy in red.
- The Little Leaf Print App tells the story of a little leaf that learns about Christmas in the spring and is determined to experience the holiday.
9. Recipes and food gifts
Chocolate truffles made with three ingredients? Bypass the PC and use the MyRecipes.com app on select HP Photosmart e-All-in-Ones to find recipes like this from Real Simple and other publications.
Need an easy, make-ahead appetizer for your holiday feast? You’ll discover hundreds of recipes from Cooking Light, Sunset, Real Simple, and other popular publications on the MyRecipes.com Print App—available on select HP Photosmart e-All-in-One printers.
Three-ingredient chocolate truffles from Real Simple are great for gifts and parties. Make a big batch in advance to serve at your next party, or package in gift boxes or tissue paper tied with ribbon to use as hostess gifts.
For a special touch, add a personalized recipe card from the HP Creative Studio.
10. Preserving holiday memories
With plenty of old-fashioned charm, the Victorian Christmas scrapbook kit is ideal for creating a lasting memory of your family’s holiday time together.
Scrapbooking allows you to transform holiday photos into unique memorabilia that can be treasured for years to come.
The Victorian Christmas scrapbook kit includes pages, backgrounds, borders, and photo corners. All you need to do is add photos and a bit of text.
A great paper for scrapbooks is HP Advanced Photo Paper. It’s sturdy, glossy, and even water-resistant, so you can handle, stack, and pass scrapbook pages around without worrying about smudges and fingerprints. And it comes in large 13" x 19" sheets, too.
Get more tips for printing scrapbook pages.
Stock up on supplies and save
HP Brochure Paper
- Strong, durable paper for better handling
- Outstanding print quality and exceptional reliability
- Get free next-business-day shipping on ink, toner, and paper orders with no minimum at HP Home & Home Office online store.
Original HP Ink
- Save up to 40% on your printing with Original HP XL Ink cartridges 3
- Recycling HP ink cartridges is easy and free with HP Planet Partners Program 6
- 1 Display-permanence rating by Wilhelm Imaging Research Inc., or HP Image Permanence lab. Details: www.hp.com/go/printpermanence.
- 2 Compared with purchasing ink and photo paper separately.
- 3 Compared with single, standard HP ink cartridges. Based on average retail pricing, actual prices may vary.
- 4 Requires an Internet connection to HP web-enabled printer and HP ePrint account registration (for a list of eligible printers, supported documents and image types and other HP ePrint details, see www.hp.com/go/eprintcenter). Mobile devices require Internet connection and email capability. May require wireless access point. Separately purchased data plans or usage fees may apply. Print times and connection speeds may vary.
- 5 Requires a wireless access point and an Internet connection to the printer. Services may require registration. App availability varies by country, language, and agreements. For details, visit hp.com/go/eprintcenter.
- 6 Program availability varies. HP printing supplies return and recycling is currently available in more than 49 countries, territories and regions in Asia, Europe and North and South America through the HP Planet Partners Program. For more information visit HP.com/recycle.
- 7 Measured using ISO/IEC 24734, excludes first set of test documents. For more information see http://www.hp.com/go/printerclaims. Exact speed varies depending on the system configuration, software application, driver, and document complexity.
In this article:
- Download the holiday book ›
- 1. Take a family photo ›
- 2. Frame a photo ›
- 3. Photo cards ›
- 4. Family newsletters ›
- 5. Photo calendars ›
- 6. Share photos instantly ›
- 7. Decorations and ornaments ›
- 8. HP Print Apps ›
- 9. Recipes and food gifts ›
- 10. Preserving holiday memories ›
- Stock up on supplies and save ›