OUR BEST CHEAP GIFT IDEA

Joy used to like making fake magazine covers with photos of relatives and friends. It would be something like “Wood Cutters Monthly,” with a picture of one of her nephews standing with one foot on a log. It was fun and limited only by your imagination in creating new and unlikely magazines.

Unfortunately, we can no longer find which photo editing program allowed her to do this and after a hundred other programs have gone by, we can’t even remember the name of it. So we found a couple substitutes.

One is “YourCover.com,” a web site that charges for what we used to do for free, but so it goes. . You can print it out yourself and use some rubber cement to mount it on a piece of cardboard, or for $45 they’ll print it out and frame it.

The magazine covers look very realistic. The “Oh Baby” cover, starring your baby looked especially nice. They also have holiday, anniversary, birthday, graduation and many other themes, with 60 suggestions for personalized headlines. You can do a back cover too, and it might be fun to put more photos in between to make a photo book. Or you could paste a front cover on a cardboard box and fill it with cookies.

We did a web search on services that will take your picture and make it into the cover of a real magazine and we found MagaFake.com. MagaFake lets you put your picture onto a totally realistic looking cover of TIME Magazine, Rolling Stone, Vogue and many others. We’re trying to figure out if this is legal. If it’s not used for any commercial purpose, maybe it is.

The cover we created came out greeting card size, but we used Alien Skin’s “BlowUp” utility to make it 8×10 inches. We then moved that into Ulead’s Photo Impact our most used photo editing program, and added text. Other photo editing programs could also have done the trick. MagaFake is free, but of course printing, mounting and framing are all up to you.

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