Disclaimer: I received two free photo blankets from Collage.com so I could share this review and giveaway with you. The thoughts and opinions below are my own.
I adore photo gifts for the holidays because (1) they’re personal, (2) people are always happy to get them, and (3) I have so many photos that I don’t even know what to do with them sometimes. In addition to being the unofficial genealogy maven of the family, I take about 30-50 photos every day (and that’s when we’re not traveling!). Most of those photos are on my cell phone so they get saved to hard drives or uploaded into my photo cloud but the vast majority are never actually printed and shared.
To get those photos out and into the hands of my family members, we’ve done photo books, photo mugs, photo puzzles, framed photos, and even a semi-disastrous creation involving wood blocks and Mod Podge. All of those have been fine, but there is a limit on how useful any of those things are and I know a lot have ended up gathering dust in a corner somewhere by the next holiday. So I was really excited when Collage.com approached me about reviewing their super soft high quality photo blankets. They gave me a chance to try out two of their styles and give one away to you!
The website is very easy to use. You just pick a style, a size, and a layout and then upload your photos. I did a mix of professional photos, scanned old photos, and cell phone photos to test out how different images showed up on the blanket and all of them came out just fine. The hardest part of the whole process was choosing which photos I wanted to put on the blankets.
For the first one, I did a 60×80 plush sherpa blanket and decorated it with a collage of Christmas photos. I put our first “family of five” photo in the middle and surrounded that one with other holiday photos including pictures from the other kids’ first Christmases, pictures from when Kyle and I were little, and a photo of us in WDW at Christmas the year we met.
Like I said, I’m really impressed with the quality of the print. I wasn’t sure how well the more detailed photos were going to show up, since most of them are cell phone photos from cell phones that are now outdated, but you’d never know that from looking at the blanket. The printed side has a lot of detail.
The reverse side is the sherpa material and it’s ridiculously soft and fluffy. Eva is obsessed. It’s not even that cold out and she’s already committed to being a sherpa burrito for the season so I probably should have just filled the blanket with photos of her and surrendered the fluffiness.
I really like both blankets, but the second one is my personal favorite and the one I’ll be snuggled in all winter. It’s HUGE – a 90×90 plush fleece blanket and I can’t tell you how soft it is. I wish I could send you all little swatches because it’s crazy.
With this blanket being so huge (HUGE!), I really wasn’t sure which photos to use. I didn’t want to just do one big photo because I was worried there wouldn’t be a good way to see it clearly even if I spread it out on our bed so I decided to do a lot of photos instead. The layout gave me the option of adding more than a hundred photos but I think I ended up doing about 70 and I just went through my photo cloud online and pulled a ton of black and white photos. The website auto-populated them (although you can move them around if you want) so once I uploaded them the blanket was finished.
I really wasn’t sure about the print quality on this one because I had lots of photos of different types and sizes being printed directly onto something fluffy (versus the smooth side of the plush sherpa blanket). When I got it, I wasn’t surprised that some of the detail was lost in the smaller photos and some of the highlights/shadows were exaggerated because I’d picked black and white but all of the photos still came out clear enough to see what they were. To give you an idea, the “blurriest” (furriest?) was this one from our wedding and it’s still pretty good.
The photos that seemed to work the best were the big portraits of the kids – the ones that didn’t have a lot going on in the background. I love how they ended up on the fleece and when I fold it I always try to put those ones on top.
As I mentioned, this blanket is really big and I thought it was going to go on our bed but I can’t stop using it so it’s been living on our couch. It’s great because it’s large enough for me to fit all of the kids under it with me for story time and they’ve loved going through and talking about each of the photos, including the ones from our wedding. There are a bunch on here that they don’t remember or hadn’t seen before and they think it’s really funny how all of the baby photos are practically interchangeable since the kids look almost identical until their first birthday.
I’ve washed this blanket twice thanks to the sticky hands that live in this house and there hasn’t been any change in the quality or the detail of the images. I can’t get over how well these are made. Now that I’ve made two, I keep thinking of the next ones I want to design. There are a ton of old family photos that I haven’t figured out how to share with everyone and I love that these are useful AND personal AND great conversation starters. Perfect for the holidays.
Collage.com has a Just Right 100% satisfaction guarantee so if you do order a blanket from them and there’s something you don’t like about it, they’ll fix it or refund your money. They also have a 60% discount on your first order – look for the banner in the top left corner on their website – and they have a lot of other photo gift options beyond blankets. You could basically do all of your holiday shopping at once, including your cards!
And, yes, I’m giving one away! Thanks, Collage.com!
Visit my Instagram account @everclevermom to see details on how you can win your choice of their photo blankets. I’m so excited for you to try the personalized softness. IT’S SO FLUFFY!!