In this digital age, we have our hard drives and phones filled with photos. And we have things the kids save from important events, which clutter up our houses and get lost. So why not collect these things and put them together into a cool keepsake book, which makes an awesome teacher gift, as well as a great memory book for your child!
The example here is a class 'yearbook' presented to the teacher at the end of the school year, but this project would also be great as a keepsake for summer camps, or any other time you have a bunch of kids and photos that you'd like to remember.
First, collect your photos. For this class yearbook project, I asked all the other parents to send photos they had taken throughout the year, as well as the ones I had snapped.
Another thing to collect is physical mementos – ribbons from Field Day, or stubs from a museum trip, or art projects, or pressed flowers from a community garden, that sort of thing. (Physical mementos can be either photographed or scanned, or for a really fun look, take them down to your FedEx Office® store and color copy a collection of them to letter sized paper.)
This is all much easier if you plan ahead from the beginning. You can snap your own photos, and save mementos, to make it super easy to compile at the end of the time.
Creating the Shell for Your Book
For this project, the goal was to have a class book that we would give to the teacher, and also to give parents the ability to print & save their own version. To make this easy, I used a word processing program to compile the book. Create a new document and set the margins to approximately 1/4" all the way around. Each page of your book will be created as an image file (e.g. jpeg), and inserted into the page. Larger images should automatically resize down to fit within your margins.
Putting Together Photo pages
For the photos, I grouped them into logical events, then used a graphics program to layout each page of photos into an 8 ½ " x 11" size collage. If you don't have a good graphics program, there are plenty of tools out there that will help you create collages of your photos. Try searching online for 'photo collage' for examples of free programs you can download or online. Save your collages as jpegs so you can insert them into your document. If you have a graphics program, you can add text as well. Otherwise you'll need to add your text in the word processing program.
You can be as fancy as you like for the pages. For my example, I spent a little time adding a background and some fun graphics to the cover, but the interior pages are just photo collages on a white background. After you create your photo pages, insert each image file into your document (word processing file) and add text if needed.
Putting it Together
If you decide to have it printed at the store, have the staff at FedEx Office print a color copy of your book. Pick a cover and a back (I used a clear plastic cover and a black back on mine), and have it spiral bound. A spiral bound 10-page book is a cost effective, memorable idea to show your teacher appreciation. You now have a sturdy and personalized keepsake book!
Nancy Dorsner is a web designer and blogger. Her blog, Dabbled – Experiments in Art, Craft & Food, is all about trying something new and being creative, and specializes in upcycling & recycling craft ideas. FedEx Office is compensating Nancy to share her ideas for creative projects on the Out of Office blog.