Saturday, December 27

DIY Custom Photo Storybook

We tried to really stick to our four gift categories for the boys this year (you can read more about that here) and one area we had a lot of fun with was "something to read." We made a custom storybook! We spent a day at the end of summer taking pictures of the boys at a local park and had them printed in an 8x8 Shutterfly book.

We went with the story "going on a bear hunt" because the pictures would be pretty simple and there were plenty of "scenes" in the park like going over a bridge, across a stream, etc. For each area we started with a picture checking out the obstacle.

Then a picture going across.

Then a picture running away after they find the bear! This one at the cave is my favorite. Big Brother really got into it at this point.

We made sure that all the pictures of the hunt had the boys going from left to right, then all the picture of them running from the bear go from right to left. We used Photoshop to make the pages 8x8" and add text to the bottom of each page. We printed a couple sample pages on our home printer to make sure the font size would be readable.

And the bear? My sister drew a few bears for us to photoshop into the running pages. Like this one:

Once all our pages were put together we loaded them into an 8x8 book on the shutterfly website. We used the "modern white" style for our book. The page designs didn't matter for us since we used the full-page photos we made in photoshop, but this style gave us the tan binding. (You could also use a different page layout to do a picture at the top and type the words into a text box, instead of making whole pages in Photoshop.)

We used a cute "behind the scenes" photo for the cover page, complete with a bear. When Big Brother saw this page he was like "THERE'S A BEAR!!!"

The first few pages show us reaching, then crossing each of our five obstacles - tall grass, a bridge, a forest, a river, and a cave.

Then there is a page of the boys running back across each obstacle away from a fuzzy little bear.

And all the back home, up the stairs, and into bed. With the last page very appropriately saying "We are never going on a bear hunt again!" Which is how we all felt by the end. You can tell by all the tears.

We're already coming up with ideas for a book next year! What a fun way to watch how they grow over the years. Here are a few more favorite pics from our day at the park.

King of the rock. "It's the biggest rock I ever saw!"

I kind of regret not using this for the Christmas card this year....

Have you ever made a storybook with pictures of your kids? Some of the ideas we've thrown around for next year are a treasure hunt, something with dinosaurs, or something with pirates. What would you do? We need ideas!