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Creative keepsakes: Unique gifts with a personal touch

TODAY style editor Bobbie Thomas shares creative, personalized gift ideas that are sure to be cherished for years to come.
/ Source: TODAY contributor

With the holiday season in full swing, many of us are searching for unique presents with a personal touch to give our loved ones. Trends are always changing and tastes vary, so why not consider custom pieces when it comes to gift giving this year? TODAY style editor and’s Bobbie Thomas shares special, sentimental suggestions for everyone on your list.

Light Affection
A picture is worth a thousand words, so imagine what you can convey with a custom photo lamp or nightlight. Light Affections will take your favorite photos and turn them into one-of-a-kind carved pieces that illuminate from behind to add an extra glow to your memory. Let someone you love light up their home or workspace with a gift that preserves a special picture. ($44.95 and up;

Many important people in my life have shared bits of wisdom with me over the years, and I’m always on the lookout for new ways to preserve these cherished quotes and sayings. Shapeways Lightpoems are candle holders sculpted from your favorite quotes, song lyrics, poems or even family names. A stylish gift option, you can give to a friend or family member to help them commemorate a saying they find meaningful. Shapeways also offers personalized napkin rings, jewelry, accessories and art. ($65 and up;

A fun idea for mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle (or anyone who has a special little one in their life) — Dreamsakes can turn a child’s artwork into an array of personalized gifts, including charms for charm bracelets, tote bags, T-shirts, coffee mugs, mouse pads and more. Simply send them the original artwork, and using specially calibrated scanners to preserve the colors and nuances (everything from macaroni to pipe cleaners to each piece of glitter in all its glory), they will create high-resolution, museum-quality images for printing on a number of products. A great way to keep a kid’s art intact and give a thoughtful gift someone will enjoy for years. (

Formia Design
Another way to give a stylish work of art that can be kept close all day long is with a key chain keepsake. Formia Design will take your child’s drawing and turn it into a special, titanium replica you can carry with your keys. Durable and distinctive, the doodle will live on long after the crayon has faded and paper has worn through. They also offers custom jewelry pieces. ($79 and up;

Blazing Needles
You can’t go wrong giving a soft, cozy gift during the cold weather holidays. But why not add a personal touch to make the piece stand out? Blazing Needles, a seller on, creates hand-loomed scarves and will knit any name, phrase or meaningful words into the fabric, creating a thoughtful token to keep your friends and family warm this season. ($50,

Personal creations
Last but not least, you could remind your favorite couple to “Always Kiss Goodnight” with personalized pillowcases, or a family to “Live, Laugh, Love” with a custom canvas. can personalize pajamas and more to help make your present, well, personal. ($19.99 & up,