Homemade Christmas: Day 1

Let’s start out with one of the more basic homemade Christmas gifts. This does not require a sewing machine, a paintbrush, or a glue gun, but it’s one of the best “homemade” types of gifts you can make, in my opinion.

Each year I make Philip a photobook of the previous year, and here is this years book:

[I make each photo book for the previous year since I usually get it printed in October and want to make sure that Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Anniversary, and New Years photos are included]

I have tried several different photobook printers and have been the most happy with Shutterfly because it’s very quick (once your book is complete, it is printed, shipped, and at your door within a few days), it’s cheap (signing up is free, the books themselves are about $30, but I am constantly getting emails about 20% off or free shipping, so I’ve never paid that much), and the quality is very good (any blurry pictures in the book are my fault cause I took a bad photo).

Since I make these every year, this is now a gift that Philip always looks forward to. I don’t care that he knows it’s coming because he doesn’t know which photos I’ve taken, or what funny captions I’m going to include. I’ve never been very good at scrapbooking, so this is my version of it and I love how they’re all uniform year by year, and thin and sleek-looking on the bookshelf. I can’t wait until there are 20 of them all lined up next to each other. The only downside is that I’ve yet to find a way to print the year on the book spine. I would love if it said “2008” in small silver letters on the spine of the book. Any suggestions on that?

And that concludes day one of Homemade Christmas. See you back tomorrow for Philip’s VERY favorite gift he got this year.


  1. Packrat says:

    Wonderful idea. More and more people seem to be doing this.

    Happy, Happy New Year!

  2. Emily says:

    Love this. The "dated" look that scrapbooks get after a few years is a big reason I stopped doing it. I prefer a clean, streamlined look like this. Although it's a bummer you can't print on the spine! I wonder if you could get it done at one of those places that prints names on scriptures? Haha, just a thought!

  3. Camille says:

    Kathy has a couple of books that have the year and title printed on the spine – I don't remember what company she used, but next time you see her… 🙂

  4. Miriam says:

    I've about decided I'll just have to get a silver pen to mark the year on the spine. Didn't know you were doing this too!

  5. Rachel says:

    That's such a fun idea! I wish I had thought of this and started it sooner. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Mary says:

    When I made my wedding book with shutterfly, there was an option to add text to the spine, so long as you get one of the printed wraparound photo covers. I don't think it's an option with the leather, etc. ones. Mine says our wedding date as well as "Mary & Opie Tie the Knot" or something to that effect.

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