Have It Your Way

IMG_7717_crOnce upon a time (well, back in your mom’s 1980s heyday), personalization meant a towel monogrammed with your initials or a T-shirt festooned with a blurry snapshot of the cat. But now, thanks to technology (yep, you can put a photo on anything) and the Internet, proclaiming your individuality is as easy as following the hordes. Take mega-crafts sales site Etsy.com, where sellers can do such things as insert your image into a portrait of “The Royal Tenenbaums” or spell out your sister’s name with a clothes hanger. Blame it on the Me.com Era. “Social media helps people build their brands. As a result, there’s a desire to personalize things,” says Alison Stiefel, head of e-commerce and marketing at Mark and Graham, the recently launched, put-your-initials-on-nearly-everything website from Williams-Sonoma. Here’s an A to Z of just-for-them gifts and sublime-to-strange things that scream you.

Action Figure
The same sort of facial analysis technologies that cops use to solve crimes and ID bodies helps this site turn 2-D photos of you or your BFF into eerily lifelike, 3-D mini me dolls. Choose the outfit — military camo, Barbie-like dresses — to further the effect. ($79 and up, Thatsmyface.com)

Blouse
Banana, Gap and H&M get mighty monotonous. Instead, play “Project Runway” with semi-customizable crepe blouses that let you choose colors, extra trims, lace or studs. ($88, Shopynh.com)

Chocolate
That cute chick in your office may ignore Facebook friend requests, but she’ll notice if you send her an Instagram photo printed on milk, white or dark chocolate. But is it an edible love note or a Stalkolate bar? ($12.50 and up, Cocoagraph.com)

Doormat
Guests can truly wipe their feet on you, or at least your name, initial or specialized message (“Vegans are We” with an image of Yoda!), thanks to Damn Good Doormats’ coco fiber rugs. ($40-$80, Damngooddoormats.indiemade.com)

Eye Wear
Indivijual is a specs-making company in Texas, but its design process is downright Luddite, er, Brooklynite: Send your face measurements, fill out a personality profile, and chat about colors and shapes. Then designers create you a bespoke pair. ($725, Indivijual.com)

Frameable
Keepsake Commemorate your wedding or other big day with a custom, retro-cool poster starring vintage-y Jazz Age-y couples, city-specific monuments and your names and event details. ($200 and up, Customalexander.com)

Glasses
Mark and Graham can stitch or engrave a monogram or moniker on nearly anything, including fit-for-DD (Don Draper) snifters, cocktail shakers and accessories. (Shakers, $39; glasses, $12 and up a piece, Markandgraham.com)

Hangers
OK, we aren’t telling if you buy a wedding-dress hanger custom wired-up to read “Mrs. Bieber.” But your real name, (or “Bridezilla”) would be more honest. ($15 each, Etsy.com/shop/whiskeynweddingbells)

I-Gear
Use a photo of your pet hedgehog, your initials or any number of peppy patterns to customize rubber or plastic iPhone, iPad and MacBook cases. ($40 for an iPhone case, Getuncommon.com)

Jeans
To score your own spin on Sevens/Levi’s, etc., you’ll have to suffer through measuring not only your waist and inseam, but also — gasp! — your thighs and knees. ($40 and up, Makeyourownjeans.com)

Kicks
Love Louboutins, but hate the soaring heels and price tags? Milk & Honey plays shoe fairy godmother to ordinary women, letting them DIY pumps, flats, boots and sandals by specifying an array of heel heights, straps, materials and more. ($150-$285, Milkandhoneyshoes.com)

Lasagna Dish
Make your favorite cook feel like a Top Chef (or at least a major bragger) by gifting them a personalized casserole dish. ($40, Personalcreations.com)

Minimal Maps
Florida artist Jenna Sue Diermann distills city streets down to white lines with bright backgrounds. The resulting posters look great framed; she can also do note cards and more. ($18-$100, Etsy.com/shop/jennasuemaps)

Napkins 
Dinner guests can eat their peas while watching their p’s and q’s thanks to Mark and Graham’s linen napkins. ($48 for four, Markandgraham.com)

Organizer
Eastern Market artist Erika Rubel meshes old license plates and metal and vintage images to craft wall-mounted key organizers. ($75-$375, Hadmatterart.com)

Paper Dolls
Email a photo of you and your sweetie (or you and your dog/cat/twin sons) to Charlottesville, Va., artist Jordan Grace Owens, and she’ll use card stock, metal brads and lots of pens and pencils to create moveable, frameable, slightly hipster likenesses. ($60 for two, Etsy.com/shop/jordangraceowens)

Quilt
Fabric artist and poet Kerry Larkin of Comma Workshop uses hand-stitched cursive words to tell your story or a friend’s on a quilt. ($1,075 and up, Commaworkshop.com)

Ring
More wearable — and eco-friendly — than carving your initials on an oak in Rock Creek, Aaron Ruff’s silver stump ring reveals who’s sitting in a tree with whom. ($210, Uncommongoods.com)

Skin Care
Wanna be the next Bobbi Brown or Estee Lauder? Get started by formulating your own eye creams and moisturizers from a roster of organic ingredients like argan, berry or pumpkin oil and ginkgo extract. ($50-$54, Truthartbeauty.com)

Tote
Carry veggies home from the farmers market in locavore style with a canvas tote bearing D.C.’s likeness. Many other cities are available, too. ($17, Maptote.com)

Undies
You’re less likely to misplace your lacy thongs or boyshorts in the wash when they’re ID’d with your initials or a favorite short quote in rhinestones. ($28-$32, Hankypanky.com)

Vino
Commemorate such occasions as weddings, a 21st birthday and more with wine personalized with your face, an image of your condo or a photo of your dog. ($15 and up a bottle, Personalwine.com)

Wall Sign
Show District — or state/country — pride with one of Slippin’ Southern’s shabby-cool wooden wall signs. You choose the paint hue and place; creator Gregory Morris hand-cuts your piece from weathered (yet weatherproof) board. You can even specify, say, a particular town in Tennessee or ’hood in D.C. (most $136 each, Slippinsouthern.com)

X-Ray Portrait
Whether you like gardening and grave-rubbings or Danish metal bands and dollhouses, artist Elizabeth Makowski can turn you and your hobbies into a cool portrait. ($90, Emakillustrations.com)

Yoga Mat
Let your 12 square feet of yoga floor space reflect your chakras, love for beaches or obsession with your cat, Snuffles, via a personalized foam mat made from your photo. (From $79, Yogamatic.com)

Zombie Portrait
Forget streaming “The Walking Dead:” Be, or at least look like, a zombie with a gruesome, undead-looking portrait painted by Rob Sacchetto. Singles, couples and even celebs are eligible for such a curse. (From $80, Zombieportraits.com)

By Express contributor Chelsea Huang

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