7 Of The Most Thoughtful Christmas Present Ideas

7 Of The Most Thoughtful Christmas Present Ideas

It may seem like you have plenty of time, but the lead up to Christmas always seems to speed up and, before you know it, it’s just around the corner. In our haste, we usually end up buying our loved ones the same things for Christmas every year. And when you’re trying to come up with a more thoughtful Christmas present idea than a pair of socks for Dad, all the usual suspects come to mind; photo frames, jewellery, or monogrammed accessories.

But why not get something out-of-the-box this year? Something that doesn’t toe the line between creative and cliched? The ideal Christmas present idea is thoughtful and personal, yet will still enhance or improve someone’s life. That might be a gift to brighten up their room or provide a useful function in their day-to-day life. Unfortunately, not many Xmas gift ideas tick all of these boxes without breaking the bank.

Thoughtful Christmas present ideas

Luckily, we’ve come up with some top Christmas present ideas that also happen to be affordable, so you can surprise and delight your loved ones with personalised gifts to make them smile. We’ve got Xmas gift ideas for everybody.

1. Photo cushions

Photo gifts are a thoughtful and personal Christmas present idea to surprise your loved ones with. And, if they provide a useful function in the home, even better! Photo cushions, or photo pillows, can be personalised with any image you choose. There are a range of ideas you can incorporate into your photo cushions, from the obvious photos of friends or family, or their pets, to more creative options.

The best part is, you can choose any image you want for your photo cushion. Try to think about the person’s existing home décor or personal style, and aim to create their photo cushion accordingly. Generally, photo cushions can be quite detailed, so ideally, they should be styled with plain-coloured cushions to achieve balanced and help them make a statement in your home. Consider what your loved one likes. You could use themes such as:

  • The beach; with images of the sea, sand, or the water
  • Their favourite holiday destination, or a trip you took; whether that was on an island, in the mountains, or to a picturesque winery
  • A favourite colour scheme or a unique pattern; that might be candy-coloured clouds, modern graphic prints, or a cherry blossom print
  • Animals; think about their favourite animal and try experimenting with either an image of that animal, whether it’s a frog, butterflies, or a print, such as a funky giraffe print, snake print, or zebra stripes

There are countless options to choose from. Photo cushions are small, so you can really unleash your creativity and come up with all manner of wild designs that look almost like mini-artworks to adorn your loved one’s couch or bed with.

deer photo cushion

2. Canvas prints

Like photo cushions, canvas prints are the perfect gift and are incredibly versatile. They can make a huge difference to a blank wall, especially large canvas prints. Canvas will suit any home style; classic or contemporary and everything in between, as long as there’s enough wall space!

Our high-quality wrapped canvas prints can be personalised with any image you choose, whether that’s a personal photo of family and friends, a family portrait, a photo of a favourite destination, or favourite pets.

Alternatively, you could choose from our wide range of wall art options. Choose from our range of over 25 million images, or select your own unique image to upload.

For more canvas print ideas, check out our article on large canvas wall art here.

canvas prints wedding

3. Canvas collages

A thoughtful canvas collage can show your loved ones that you really care about them, yet they’re not difficult to create using our easy-to-use templates.

A collage is generally tied together with a theme. Popular themes our customers use are:

  • Wedding; a compilation of wedding images. These might include images of the happy couple or may include guests dancing, images of the rings and the wedding dress
  • Baby; a baby-themed collage this could be a compilation of different images of a baby; close-ups, images of the baby’s feet, hands or eyes, or a parent holding the baby’s hand
  • Locations; such as the beach, forest, park, or a holiday location

Choose whichever theme you like; we have a range of canvas collage styles to choose from. Choose from one of our themed photo collages, create your own, or you can even create collages in various shapes, such as love heart or paw print shapes. 

Preparing Gifts Together On Valentines Day - Canvas Collage

4. Photo mugs

If you’re looking for cheap Xmas gifts, photo mugs are a great affordable, personalised Christmas present idea, perfect for a smaller stocking filler. These are a great idea for those who are glued to their coffee mugs or spend a lot of time at work.

A nice photo mug can create a touch of familiarity at work, or serve as a creative reminder of fond memories or a favourite pet.

For something a little different, you could even try one of our Magic Mugs. These mugs are coloured solid black, but, when they are filled with hot water, they reveal an image underneath. The image will fade when the mug goes cool again. You can personalise the mug with whatever image you like underneath. 

photo mug

5. Photo blocks

For another affordable Christmas gift idea, photo blocks are another great option. They make a stylish and sophisticated way to display your photos on bookshelves, floating shelving, desks, or bedside tables.

Photo blocks are smaller, so the images used on them need to stand out. We recommend using strong, bright and clear images.

Our photo blocks can be personalised in a range of sizes, finishes, and colours.

Mother's Day Gift Ideas - Photo Blocks

6. Photo books

The days of printing out masses of photos to add to photo albums are over. Rather than photo albums, photo books are an easy way to display and share your favourite images and can make a fabulous addition to a coffee table, or to display on a shelf.

Our photo books are affordable and can be a valuable way of displaying images. At Canvas Factory, we have a range of themed photo books, such as:

  • Wedding Photo Books
  • Family Photo Books
  • Baby Photo Books
  • Travel Photo Books

Or, if you prefer, design your own book! You can customise your design how you like for a fully personalised Christmas present idea.

Mother's Day Gift Ideas - Family Photobook

7. Metal prints

For that “extra” friend, we’d suggest something a little more glamorous and sophisticated. Metal prints are a great Christmas present idea, featuring a high-shine, high-definition finish which has a gallery-style look, suitable for both modern or classic-style homes.

Our aluminium prints have a long list of benefits, such as being;

  • Highly-durable
  • Weather-proof and water-resistant
  • Suitable for outdoors
  • Lightweight; easy for moving around
  • Fade-resistant for decades, even in sun and outside
  • A hard, scratch-resistant surface, perfect for kid’s rooms, the bathroom, kitchen, or high-traffic areas in the home like corridors

You can select an image from our range of over 25 million images, or use an image of your own; the choice is yours! 

metal prints Christmas present idea

Tips for creating amazing Canvas Factory photo gifts

  • Ensure the image you upload is high-quality. You can check our guidelines here to ensure your image fits our file specifications, and check here to ensure you have chosen a suitable image which is strong and bright
  • Choose a vibrant image, as these will turn out best
  • The best images for metal prints are black and white images or highly-vibrant images. Images with lots of fine detail will also look great on our metal prints, whereas canvas will give a less sharp look that mimics the look of a real painting
  • When creating your photo cushions, remember that the corners of the cushion will curve, so ensure all the important features of the image, such as faces, are in the centre of the design, or they may look slightly pinched

Can’t decide which photo gift to get? Get a gift voucher for your loved ones so they can get whatever they want. Choose from a range of different value amounts. Otherwise, browse our range of Christmas gifts online here.


Megan is Canvas Factory's resident Social & Content Manager, and has worked with countless other homewares and interior design businesses over the years. It goes without saying that she also has a passion for decorating her own home!

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