Friday, October 17, 2014

How to Make Photo Memorybooks for Free

Back when I had Hadley (my oldest), I started scrapbooking. This eventually turned into digital scrapbooking and then after seeing a few photobooks that my sister made, I decided that that was how I wanted to document our photos and memories.

I've used a couple different photobook companies, and the one I prefer is Shutterfly. They have a lot of templates and you can really personalize your pages quite easily.

To get them for free, all you need to do is go to the Shutterfly homepage and sign up for their promotional offers that they send you via email. The deals they send are pretty good, sometimes 50% off photobooks, and occasionally they even offer a free photobook (you just have to pay shipping.) The free books are usually for the 8x8 sized books, so that is the size that I make all of mine.

After making them for a few years, I have figured out a process for making them that works for me:

1. Decide what your photobook is going to be about - I do one for each year of each child's life (at least that's my plan for now) so if I'm making one for Hadley when she was 6 years old, I know that the pictures I'll need will be from Dec 2011-Dec 2012.

2. Decide how many pages you want your book to be. If you are getting a book with a free coupon code with Shutterfly, only 20 pages are free. Each additional page is $1. For this reason, all my books are only 20 pages.

3. Write out what you want to have on each page.This is how I did Hadley's last book that I made. I always have a title page and then the last page is just a collage with pictures that didn't make it in the "scrapped" pages, but that I still wanted to document. I try to go chronologically through the year, starting with their birthday, but sometimes I have to fudge things to match up the single paged topics.

4. Look through all your pictures for that timeframe/topic and write out the file names of the ones you want under each topic heading. The underlined dates are the folder name, and then the numbers listed are each picture that I want in the book (not all the pictures make the final cut).

5. Go to Shutterfly and sign in or create an account. Choose the photobook and layout that you want. Some layouts cost more, so make sure yours does not (unless you want to pay a little more.)

6. Upload the pictures you want, using your handy paper as a guide.

7. Go page by page selecting the pictures you want for that page and then changing the format and styles until you are satisfied with the final result. I like to add a short written part to document things a little more.

8. Save your book and wait until you get an email with a free photobook coupon code. (Or order it right away because your too impatient and are willing to pay $30...)

*you will still need to pay shipping when you use a free coupon code, but it's not much. Shipping to Canada is $8.

Our kids LOVE looking through these books and I love that all those cute pictures aren't just hiding away in the computer.

Here are two that my sister made to give you some more ideas. One she made with pictures from one of our family reunions. The other was from a mom/sister trip that we made. She included journal entries along with the pictures.

There are other companies that offer great deals on the books too. A month ago, I got an email from snapfish for a buy 1 get 2 free photobook deal. So look around and just sign up for the promotion emails and be patient!

No comments: