Creative DIY Gift: Custom Photo Book

Creative DIY Gift: Custom Photo Book

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I know that Jessica already mentioned this in her guest post Home, Honeymoon and Anniversary, but photo books are awesome.  Personally, I can now say that I am years behind in both scrapbooking and photobooks.  The photo up there is of the back cover of my book…  My shoes are awesome.  My spouse hates them.  (Sorry about the poor quality  picture of the book – a lot of that is glare.)

The first one that I ever made was of my wedding.  I still intend to do scrapbooked ones for our parents and for us, but I wanted to do something for the grandmas as well.  Well, once I actually got around to making the photobook for them, I decided that I definitely needed a copy for myself.  Plus, I thought I should get them for the parents, seeing as it was just a case of spending money at that point, all the work was done!  Then my brother wanted to know if he could have one, because he’d seen the whole lot of them at my parent’s house.  They must be awesome… see how two books turned into six, just like that?!

I’ll admit, it took me awhile to get the photos together, but part of that was because it was my wedding photos… there was more than 1500 to choose from!  To get my butt in gear, I invited a friend over who is scrapbooking obsessed, to help me get my head around this adventure.  Below, I’ll share how we tackled them:

Step 1: Decide what “categories” or “ideas/thoughts” you want to include in your book.  Some examples that I had were Bride’s group getting ready, Groom’s group getting ready, My family, Spouse’s family, Ceremony, Speeches, Details I DIY’d, Dance, Party-Time, Glamour Shots and Guests.

Step 2: On your computer, make a set of folders with your category names.  Then go copy and paste the images you like into these folders.  Eventually you can see which categories are over or under populated.  Decide if you really want eighty pages of ring and flower close ups or not.  This also gives you a chance to realize that you haven’t included any photos of Great Aunt Betty, so you should probably find one.

Step 3: Parse or beef up your categories and then decide what order to present them.  For example, I started and ended our album with what I called “glamour shots” of the two of us.

Step 4: Go to Blurb.com and get their photo designer software.  Next, go to town!  Add photos by folder to ensure you include all of the ones you want.  Plus, right now, Blurb has a sale on throughout October!  Simply use FALL15OFFBOOK to get 15% off your order.

How to make this into an awesome gift, you ask?  Well, if you’re looking for a wedding shower gift and just so happen to have already attended the bachelor or bachelorette party, you could do one of that night’o’fun!  If you are close friends with the couple or one member, you could compile a book of memories to give them.  Does the couple want a guest book?  Offer to design one using photos of them!  Or, if you have a fair bit of time, you could offer to make a book once they have their wedding photos or honeymoon photos back.

For Mother’s Day, I told my Mom that I would make her a Blurb book with the images from my parent’s trip to Norway, Sweden and Ireland this year.  (Yes, I am aware that it is well past Mother’s Day… I told you I had a backlog!)

Best of all, Budget for Health is offering a FREE giveaway of $25 toward a Blurb book right now!  Check it out, it is open until October 18, 2012.

13 thoughts on “Creative DIY Gift: Custom Photo Book”

  1. Jessica @ Budget for

    I love my wedding photo book! It's been two years since our wedding but it still gets so much attention since it sits out on one of our side tables. New visitors always end up browsing through it when they come over. My sister-in-law made one when she had a baby….I'm planning on doing this as well down the road!

  2. Photo books are great! I like to order a few when I get the girls' photos done by a photographer. I've tucked away one for each girl and then given them to grandparents… and if they're cheap enough I get a few for aunts, too.

  3. We are pretty bad at scrapbooking so I don't think we will manage to motivate ourselves towards photobooking! I still have empty scrapbooks with wads of photos that are on the "todo" list…

    1. … I hear ya! Stack of photos from first year & Europe? check! :-S The photobooks are actually a lot faster, especially if you're not as swamped as wedding photos make you!

  4. love the pic on your scrap book!!
    I still haven't printed out our wedding photos, just a couple for the "guest book frame" and for Bob's dad and my grandma

  5. Perfect content for me atm! I'm working on getting all our pictures organized…it's a mess! And I'm so far behind! I've tried to make these before by just winging it and skipping the organizing steps, but I've failed. I'll have to do the idea per page thing and THEN start my work!

    1. It was so very, very helpful to have my friend come over and tell me how to do the organizing! I'm glad it's going to help someone else, as well.
      I have the same problem with photos from a 3 month trip… I tried to just start and I never did finish.

  6. Frickin' love photo books, and hells ya I'm gonna do a guestbook/photobook for my wedding. And then another photobook for my wedding photos. I'm definitely gonna look into Blurb since they have a sale. Thanks for the mention!

    1. Anytime! I was really happy with my experience using them and with the book :-) They have sales a lot, you should definitely wait until you find a good one before you order.

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