handmade gifts: photo books

I guess photo books may not technically be “handmade”… but I still put them in that category. Photo books make great gifts for all occasions. My mom has made a couple in recent years that my boys just love to look at.

First up: Spiral Bound pages measuring 9″ by 12″

My mom printed 4″ by 6″ prints locally and then arranged them on pieces of construction paper. After laminating each page, she got them spiral bound at a local print shop. I love the little letters she wrote on the front to the boys – each boy got his own book. All the photos are from our trip to visit them in December 2009.

Next up: Spiral Bound pages measuring 5″ by 7″

This photo book took a little more planning. Mom wanted it to read as a story book. She chose the photos she wanted and then wrote captions for each one. I typed up the captions in Photoshop and printed them as 5″ by 7″ photo prints. Then Mom put all the pages in order and stuck theĀ  photos back to back before laminating them. After everything was in order she had them spiral bound at a local print shop.

Last up: Perfect Bound 7″ Photo Books

For Christmas 2010, I made photo books for the grandparents. This first one was for Chris’ parents. I ordered theirs by special events in 2010 so it was more or less chronological.

I made this one for my folks. To mix things up, I combined the photos by theme – all our art project pics together, all our story time photos together, etc.

In all the photo book making, I learned a few things:
1. Choose a couple of page layouts and stick to them. If you choose more than that, your book will not feel cohesive. Only use one font. Only use one color (maybe tw0). Your book will look more professional and you will not have to choose between 70+ layouts every time you start a new page.

2. If the photo book is a gift, make sure you print a copy for yourself to keep.

3. Make really great captions. Include all names, locations, dates and everything else you want to remember. Even if it feel repetitive to keep writing the same names over and over, your grandkids will thank you in the years ahead.

Happy photo book making!

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1 comment to handmade gifts: photo books

  • MelissaPete

    I made an ABC book for each of our Grandparents. They are in 5×7 three ring binders, but now that the grandparents are gone, the books are too bulky to keep. I think I will scan them and make a digital book. Thank you for the ideas that keep me thinking!

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