Here’s an Incredibly Simple Way to Make a Unique Personalized Gift for Anyone – Even Your Dog!

Unique personalized gift for your dog

Have you ever received a gift that is totally unique to you?

Or perhaps the gift actually had your name on it?

You have? And how did it make you feel?

Special.  That the giver had really thought about the present and how much they valued your relationship.

I think most people would feel like this and you know what – these days it’s really simple to do. Just imagine how your customers would feel if you made a unique personalized gift just for them?

You don’t need any special artistic skills, nor do you need a warehouse filled with blank table mats to print your designs on..

It wasn’t that long ago that Davina and I ran a personalized chocolate wrapper business.

We had a lot of fun coming up with ideas to personalize the wrapper and people loved seeing their names on chocolate. And quality control of the product was great too!

We no longer market that business however there are some similarities to what we do now and I thought it would be fun to show you just how easy and quick it is to create something personal and of value for your friends or customers.

The 2 simple things you will need

Free software to create your design – I’m going to use ipiccy as this is one of the software programmes that we teach on – but you use your own favourite.

A website that enables you to personalize a product easily, that’s affordable and posts your personalized product direct to yours or your customer’s home. I’m going to use Zazzle to do this.

PUBLIC WARNING! Creating your product will take about 10 minutes.

But set aside a bit of time for this because I know you’re going to get sidetracked with all the fabulous possibilities that you can make from the Zazzle site 😉

I digress..

Step 1 – Choose the object to personalize

Go to the Zazzle website and choose the object that you want to personalize. Just click on the ‘big ‘Create’ button at the top and explore the various departments.

I’m going to select a classic white mug.

If you are reading this and live outside the USA (as I am), then scroll down to the bottom of the page and you’ll find an option for Zazzle Worldwide. Choose your country and you’ll then be able to see the prices in your currency.

Oh, and whilst we’re at it – here’s a link to their Shipping costs and Returns policy.

Step 2 – use the correct dimensions

The ideal dimensions of the image for completely wrapping the image around the mug are 1732 by 650 pixels.

I’ve got those dimensions from looking at the complete guide to product sizes at this link on Zazzle’s website  – clicking on the Mugs category and selecting the full wrap option.

So now I want to create an image to put on the mug. To do this, I’m going over to ipiccy to create the design. (If you’re not feeling hugely confident about creating a design from scratch on ipiccy, you might like to take a look at our graphics training programme where we teach ipiccy and give ongoing personal support).

Step 3 – Create the design for the Mug

>> Open up ipiccy  and click on the yellow button – ‘Start Editing’

>> Create new Blend – see Screenshot #1 below.

Create a new Blend in ipiccy







>> Put in your dimensions – 1732 (W) by 650 (H) and press Create. (NB. You will need to adjust your dimensions if you don’t want to wrap the image completely around the mug.

>> Over to the left, click on background, then Colour Overlay and then choose the colour you want for the background by dragging the little circle over the colour palette box.

>> Click on Sticker button (see Screenshot #2) and scroll to the bottom.
You’re looking for Facial Hair option.

Click on Sticker in ipiccy






>> Click on the moustache of your choice and one will pop upon the coloured background to the right.

>> Resize the moustache by grabbing hold of the image’s corners and pulling.

>> To move the image, make sure you have it selected and then drag the image to where you want it.

>> To duplicate (on Windows), right click on the original moustache, a menu of options appears and click on duplicate.

>> To create spots, click on the Sticker button (again) then select Geometric (the top option), and then click on a circle.

>> Resize the circle before you duplicate it. Copy as many circles as you want.

>> Still in the Geometric option, select a square. Drag the corners out and place at the bottom of the image so that you have a black border on the bottom, where you’re going to put text on the mug. (You could do this now in ipiccy, but I’m going to take you through how to do this in Zazzle).

>> When you are happy with the design, click ‘Done’ – the button is on the top right hand side.

>> Now save the image – see Screenshot #3 below- as a JPG and 100% quality to your computer.

Saving your work in ipiccy



NB. You can also upload a photo into ipiccy and then embellish it with whatever you want and then save this.

So that’s your design created – it wasn’t difficult was it? Excellent stuff – maybe time for a glass of wine while you admire your handiwork?

Step 4 – Placing your design on the Mug

Now go over to Zazzle

I’m going to show you the next step in a video, which you can find below.



Have you ever received a unique personalized gift – either as a friend or as a customer?

Please let us know what it was in the comments below – enquiring minds are curious 🙂
We know there are some fabulous ideas around.

Oh, and here’s a unique personalized gift just for your wee doggie!

Dog Bowl

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About The Author

Caroline Jones

I'm Caroline and I look to help small business owners create their own graphics by writing tutorials and tips on graphics editing software. I live in Wales , love Tartan and Coffee Ice Cream. You can read more about me here

  • brett

    thanks for this! I’ve always wondered- especially because I LOVE personalized items.

    • Hi Brett – hope you can use it for a present as it’s pretty simple to do.

  • Robin Strohmaier

    What a fantastic tutorial and idea, Caroline! I have used Cafe Press in the past, but will definitely try your method. Thank you for sharing this! You do ROCK!!

    • Hi Robin – why thank you. It is a simple idea that anyone can have a go at and get good results.

  • Lisa Mallis

    Usually I use for my personalized gifts. HOWEVER, this is a far better option! I love how each time I read your blog, I’m able to up my game one level (or in this case . . . a couple of levels!) You rock!!!!

    • Aww Lisa – that is such a nice thing to say. Vistaprint is good, but I think Zazzle has taken the idea much further and seriously, this doesn’t take long to do and there’s plenty of inspiration for simple designs.

  • Margaret Heisworkingitout Reed

    I absolutely love this….I am gonna run over to the site as soon as I get to my computer. I created an mug design last night and ordered from another company for myself…they had a great sale going on. I love mugs…my son was in the army and every where he went I asked him to bring me a mug. I did not just collect them I actually use them. But after a while they get chipped up…especially if you forget to tuck them away after use and someone else gets a whole of them. Thanks for the great post.

    • It’s a pleasure Margaret. Will you take a photo of what you do so we can all see? I can post it on our Facebook wall . Pretty please?

  • Deanna Heiliger

    This is so cute and so easy…thank you! Everyone loves a personalized gift, it shows you really took time and thought!

    • Hi Deanna – you’re right! Everyone *does* love a personalized gift. It makes people feel important.