Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Personalized Baby Books

I did it! I actually found time (albeit in 10 minute increments spread out over a week) to finish one of the projects I was working on. Considering the scarcity of free time in our household these days, that's a feat certainly deserving of boasting. And of course... as is typically the case, I got a bit carried away. I started with one idea, and once that was complete, I moved on to an even better one (I'm just in love with the second book listed below!).

The Look Book
The majority of moms have at least a few picture books with a common formula. A page of kid-friendly pictures (balls, rubber ducks, apples, etc) and large-print letters below it that name the item (or color, or shape). I had already been toying with the idea to make Brayden a picture book full of his family's faces (since we're spread out across the country, I figured it could be helpful for his developing memory!). When I received some codes for free Shutterfly books, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to do so.

I stuck to a pretty basic format and layout for the pages, but took the chance to design my own cover in PhotoShop. Since Shutterfly doesn't have as much freedom as I'd like for their layouts, I just created an image in PhotoShop and chose a Shutterfly layout that let me use a single picture for the whole cover.

Bryaden's "Look Book" Cover. I decided not to put his name on it, since I will probably use it again with future kids.
Page 1
Each page had a picture of someone with his or her name below.
And of course, I couldn't forget our four-legged family members!

Brayden's ABC Book
But of course, I didn't stop there. I decided to then make him a personalized ABC book (again, using another common "A is for..." formula). This book came out great! I filled it with pictures of Brayden and chose words that were somehow meaningful to him. Each word was accompanied by a short rhyme I wrote. So for example, "I is for INCH WORM because you try with your might... to wiggle and squirm across your crib every night."

It was a lot of fun to put together. I got to go through all my pictures of the little guy and use some of those great creative skills of mine to write clever rhymes. It also let me reflect on some of the things that are meaningful to Brayden (even at such a young age!). And again, I used PhotoShop to make both the front and back covers.

"The Brayden ABC Book" Cover
Page 1
A is for ACTIVE, B is for BATH TIME...
J is for the JOKES Daddy tells (which Brayden will certainly grow weary of after he hears them for the hundredth time...)
Q is for QUIET (...there's no more of that here) and R is for READING.
Back Cover
The Anniversary Book
I actually had a third code for Shutterfly (can you believe it??). I had already been planning to make my wonderful husband an "anniversary book" of sorts and just applied the code to the one I had been putting together. From the time we started dating, in October, we'll have been together for TEN YEARS (wow!). His book was way more in depth than Brayden's. Instead of just the cover, each of the pages were made in PhotoShop so I could do something really cool.

Each page has the year of our togetherness (with the actual year itself next to it). I then put a bunch of fun memories in a neat format (including where we were living, funny quotes, jobs, etc.). I alternated between five brightly colored solid backgrounds (using two of each). The corresponding page has picture(s) of us from that year. It was pretty fun going through our pictures again... especially the ones from Italy, Germany, Aruba and all the other trips we've taken over the years.

Because I know my audience so well, I also accompanied the pictures with a lyric from Dave Matthews Band (my hubby's absolute favorite musician) that I thought epitomized our relationship that year. The last page in the book is a series of pictures of us through the years with one of my favorite DMB lyrics (from "Best of What's Around"). Also a lot of fun to put together... but a lot of work, too!

Anniversary Book Cover
Title Page
Year 1: 2003 (Dating)
Year 4: 2006 (Married!)
Year 9: 2011 (Last Year... So much fun!)
End Page (Pictures through the years)
I still have several other projects in the works, but I don't expect those to be finished for a while. The problem - as always - is that as soon as I finish one thing, I come up with ideas for six new projects!


  1. I just want you all to know. She doesn't make me comment. I do it because I am awesome (and because every 5th comment gets me cookies :) ).

    I don't know what to say this time, but I was really in the mood for cookies.


  2. Great work! I love the choice of various fonts/sizes for the text. Nice bright colors, too. Can't wait to see all of them. Be sure to bring at least one on your trip. You can stash it in your diaper bag or purse. Looking forward to seeing all of you!
    - Kassandra

  3. Krystin, What a fun blog you have! Love the book idea, I am going to make one for my nephew who lives in Utah for his 2nd Birthday! Can't believe how big your little guy is! He is so cute!