I have always loved giving photos as gifts for everything from Father’s Day to birthdays. Really, what’s better having the luck to capture a perfect moment, then having someone special enough to share it with. So I am crushing on Pictli, a service with a smart new photo framing app. As in, not a photo app — but a photo framing app.


Related: 21 cool display ideas for smartphone photos beyond just framing them.

The Pictli app is so so easy, it has to have been made by fellow parents with a million photos of their kids clogging up our phones. It’s made for iOS but you can work off their website as well.

You just pick your photo from your camera roll, Instagram or Facebook, then browse their frame gallery to see how it would look in all different kinds of frames. The frames start at just $15 then top out at $25 (plus $5 shipping) so it’s not like archival framing, but it’s wildly affordable for a favorite snapshot. Then you enter your recipient’s address, a gift note if you like and in no time you have a super thoughtful gift on the way.

I ordered mine on a Tuesday and it arrived just three days later, nicely boxed and beautifully gift wrapped in tissue paper and raffia. I found it to be an impressive little presentation.

Pictli photo framing app automatically sends giftwrapped, framed photos starting at just $20. Perfect for Father's Day!

Now there are a few limitations. There are only a few frame sizes available through Pictli right now, all of which are on the smaller side. That’s probably to keep shipping costs down, but it also makes sense if you think about the print quality of most smartphone shots. Speaking of which, most photo gift or printing services offer a preview of the print quality, or a warning if your pixel dimensions are too small for your selected size. I wish that Pictli had that kind of alert, because the photo I received was mildly pixelated; not enough to ruin the picture, but I did notice that it wasn’t a perfectly crisp print job.

I suggest looking at your photo (especially Instagram photos) on a large screen and checking the file size and pixel dimensions to be sure that it will come out as you expect. Because the service is good enough that this wouldn’t stop me from using it again.

If you can get on it right now, Pictli is a great option for a last minute, home run Father’s Day gift this year. Perhaps a photo from the last big family get together for a grandfather, or the classic shot of Daddy and the baby sleeping on the couch for a new dad. The fact that you don’t have to run around getting it framed yourself doesn’t make it any less special.

Download the Pictli app for iOS in the app store or if you’re an Android user, work online at Pictli, and send some memories out this Father’s Day. Hurry! Order by Monday, June 15 to make delivery in time for his big day and save 20% through the end of June with code JW1506.
Thanks to the company for sending us a frame to let us try the service.