Friday, April 17, 2015

Photobook Fun!

I. Love. Pictures.  I also have a bit of an addiction to photo books.  I think they are totally awesome – they look great, and are a fun, creative way to display your pictures.  Rather than my usual step-by-step DIY, this is going to be more of a tip-guide to designing, creating, and ordering a photo book.

Cost: this is pretty dependent on many different factors.  Books can cost anywhere from about $10 - $40, including shipping (they can get even more expensive; but, I’ve never paid more than $30).
Time: again, this is totally dependent on how much time you want to spend on it.  I have created books that taken me weeks of working to finish, and I have created books in a few hours.

What are some photo-book-making websites?
                Three that I have used are:,, and  I use Snapfish and Shutterfly to make traditional photo books (although there are other websites, too!).  And I use Print Studio for a cool, mini, magnetic photo book.

What is this “cool, mini, magnetic photo book?”
                A “cool, mini, magnetic photo book” is so cool because it goes on your fridge.  It’s a tiny photo book that holds 24 photos (one per page).  Each page measures a bit less than 1.7 inch by 1.5 inchThese books come in packs of three, although you can choose to have different pictures in each book.  , The pack of three costs $17, including shipping.  At less than $6 per book, these make great gifts for family members!  Sadly, there aren’t very many customizable options.

The reminder of the information in this article will be about “traditional” photo books

What about a “traditional” photo book?
                A “traditional” photo book is one that’s more of a book – you can include text, change the background, and place word art and other fun icons on the pages.  The pictures in this article are all from my “traditional” photo books.

Each website has it's own page layouts to help you get started.  Or, you can make your own!

What factors determine costs?
                Factors that determine costs vary wildly.
                Size:  There are all sorts of different photo book sizes.  A classic book
                Pages:  Most standard photo books come with 20 pages automatically, with additional pages costing about $1.30 for one page (Shutterfly) and about $2 for two pages (Snapfish).  The price of extra pages varies slightly with the size of your book.
an example of a page with many pictures
                Cover: Hardcover books are more expensive than softcover books (by about $10).  But, in my opinion this cost completely worth it, as I think that hardcover books look much nicer than softcover books.
                Sales:  Both photo book sites offer deals and coupons for their books throughout the year.  I will often make a photo book and then wait for a good deal before I buy it.  Shutterfly often offers 40% off deals.  Snapfish often offers 50% off or three-for-the-price-of-one deal on their photo books.  Occasionally you can get a free photo book offer.  Shipping runs about $8-10, depending on the size of your book.

How do you actually make a photo book?
1.       Choose a theme for your book.  Some ideas include vacations, summer break, a semester at Thiel, and a year in review.
2.       Choose photos for your book.  You’ll likely want between three-five pictures per page.  You might also want few pages of one or two pictures and/or a few pages of six or more pictures.  You can make a photo book with 40 pictures, or with 80 pictures.  It’s up to you!
3.       Upload your pictures.  There will be a “My photos” button towards the top on each of the websites.  After clicking that, there will be an option to upload new pictures.
4.       Now, you can begin making your photo book.  You will be able to choose the size photo book that you want to make.  Each website then has a tutorial about how to use the different options on that website.  If you would like some page ideas, Google “photo book ideas,” and then go to pictures.  There will be many different ideas!
You can write stories about the pictures to make your book look more like a book, if you want.

Icons can help your pages look more fun!

Use icons to help theme your pages.
If you are interested in making a photo book, and have never used Shutterfly before, I can send you a coupon for a free 8x8 photo book (It will cost about $8 with shipping; but, that is a really good price.).  If you are interested, send me an e-mail at  The offer is good until the end of June; so, you will have plenty of time to make a book.

These photo book sites aren't just for photo books.  You can also make cards, photo mugs, and lots of other gifts!  I've posted one of the cards that I have made below.

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