Friday, October 21, 2011

Mini-Book: BEACH

I wanted to make a really simple little book from our trip and I wanted it finished the week we came back. Sound unlikely?  Well, I did it!  It was fun and came together soooo quickly!  Now I have a casual little booklet that the kids are enjoying looking at and I've carried around to a couple of people to show about our trip.

How could it possibly be fast, you ask?  Especially since we came back with over 500 pictures (from two cameras) and I loved lots of them!  I really did have to simplify in order to make the goal of a quick mini book practical.

Here are a few things I used to make it happen:
  1. Since I usually spend some time during the trip itself enjoying looking at my photos, I put that time to work and started choosing favorites during the trip.  That way after we got home I could finish narrowing down pretty quickly.  I chose 54 pictures to print so I obviously didn't narrow that much!  Since the book design is so simple, having that many pictures wasn't a problem.
  2. I cropped all of my pictures in portrait (up and down).  This was my first instinct, but then because there were a few that wouldn't work that way I rethought and rethought it before I came back around to it again.  The whole book would have been even faster if I had just accepted this idea to start with.  Luckily, in the struggle I found a couple of helpful things to do to make it easier.  I hope to post soon with more about that.  But however it is managed, having all the pics in the same orientation made the book come together very quickly.
  3. I wrote the story right on the pictures before I even printed them.  I used Picasa (a free program from Google) but lots of programs have a text tool.  I chose a cute font and added all my text in white over the darkest corner of the photo.  I only wrote on 23 of the photos, since a lot of them were just fun pics of the kids playing.  I included a couple of stories - like Sammy's fear of the sand - by using brief comments over a couple of photos (see below). 
  4. I printed the photos with a white border to add a double-matted look with a single matting. I love my Costco's print lab - cheap, fast and good quality (not all Costco's calibrate their printers as often... you'll have to check out yours) and the white border doesn't add to the $.13/print cost.
  5. I used nothing but plain black cardstock and a ribbon for the book.  I cut 8.5x11" cardstock into 5.5x6.5 pieces, getting two out of each sheet.  I scored each sheet just short of 1" from the edge, glued photos front and back, punched two holes and tied the whole lot together with a ribbon.  It took less than an hour, with interruptions from Sammy, to put it together. 
Didn't it turn out pretty?  One thing, though, it isn't the most robust.  It's just cardstock so it won't last forever.  I could easily make it tougher by adding some chipboard covers but I'm ok with it as it is - it's fun and most of all, it's DONE!


  1. I have seen it in person and it is just amazing! I don't know what's more impressive - the book, or how quickly you got it done!

  2. This mini book is simple but very beautiful. The beach theme depicted the fun side of the photos.