One of the things I like to do each year for the grandparents is to create a year-in-review scrapbook, using my favorite scrapbook pages from the past year. Since I’ve already got the pages created and saved for myself, it really is just a matter of choosing my favorites and creating a book and sending it to print!
I frequently use MyPicTales to create my bound books. They are the most affordable out there, and they offer a variety of sizes and cover options. I like MyPicTales because I can upload my scrapbook layouts and have them printed with a full bleed rather than using photos and assembling them into a predefined layout. MyPicTales also offers the ability to create a custom cover for your books, which is a really nice option. (I’m not compensated by MPT in any way, shape, or form… I just like their product offerings!!)
When I create these year-in-review books, I make sure to include a layout from each month of the year, and I usually try to pick a layout that is one of my favorites – a layout with a bit of a wow factor to it – if at all possible. That way, the book is really highlighting the best images and layouts. Since photobooks are a minimum of 20 pages, some months will have more than one layout, and that’s perfectly fine with me. Some months like October lend themselves to more than one layout. (Pumpkin picking AND Halloween!) I also like to do a single year-in-review page… one that shows a photo from each month on a single page. Also, because these are gift book to grandparents, I have them done in 8x8 size instead of my traditional 12x12. And quite honestly, these layouts look better at 8x8 size. Because I’m printing them at a smaller size then what they are created at, I don’t have to do anything special to resize them. If I wanted to get super picky, I could resample them to the smaller size, and it’s easy enough to do… but for this purpose, there was no need to do that.
Since I was running short on time to get them ordered (and they didn’t actually arrive until AFTER Christmas), I didn’t want to take the time to design a custom cover, so I chose to do a chocolate brown linen cover instead. Then, I took some stamps and acrylic paint and did a handmade custom cover for them. Technically, you could use craft/pigment ink to stamp on the fabric, but the color would not be so vivid, and I’d worry it wouldn’t really hold up as long as the paint will. To stamp with paint, I just used a small foam brush and brushed the paint right onto the stamp. Worked like a charm. Cleanup is a little bit of a pain, but it’s worth it.
This is what the pages on the inside look like. My only regret as that some of my pages had ‘stuff’ too close to the margin that got sorta sucked into the binding. It’s not a huge deal, but something I’ll try to be more aware of next time I create a book like this.
I tend to be a nonchronological scrapper, so it doesn’t always make sense for me to have my layouts printed as bound books, but every once in awhile it makes sense for a project to be printed this way. It’s nice to see a completed project, too, rather than stacks of individual pages that need to be reorganized/reshuffled whenever I need to insert something. I don’t scrap chronologically, but I put them in albums chronologically. Because they are loose pages, I can swap them around. When they are bound in a book, they are there for good. In some cases the thought of committing them permanently doesn’t sit well with my preferred scrap style… but sometimes, it’s just the thing I need to do to create a specific book. I definitely plan to create more books in the future!