Once upon a time I was a scrapbooker; A pretty serious one, at that. I would save everything from movie stubs to dinner receipts. I’d head over to Michael’s and pick out coordinating paper and stickers to decorate my pages, and in the end they were beautiful.
So why did I decide to scrap the scrapbooks? For lots of reasons, actually:
1. They’re big/bulky and don’t fit nicely together on a bookshelf.
2. You’re limited in the number of photos you can include.
3. Too messy- between the stickers, paper, scissors, tape, and pictures, I needed my entire dining room table to have enough space to work.
4. I wanted to have a book for each year, but was never able to accomplish that with scrapbooks.
5. They’re expensive- The scrapbook itself usually rings in around $20. By the time you buy everything else you need, you spend well over $100.
For all of those reasons and more, I decided to move into the 21st century and work online. I chose to use Blurb. I’ve been using the BookSmart program from Blurb for the last 2.5 years and I love it! Although, if you’re interested, there’s also a newer version out now called BookWright.
Some tips to help you get started:
Save Photos To Your Computer- Of course when you’re making a yearbook, the first thing you need to do is get your photos organized. You’ll have to upload them to your computer, and if you really want to make things easier on yourself, you can organize them into albums by month. Then when you’re ready to work on your book, you can just click the album you’ll be working on and all the photos from that month will be right there for you!
Take Things Slow- I highly recommend working on your book one month at a time. I usually sit down for an hour or two at the beginning of a month and complete the pages for the previous month. The last thing you want to do is try to bang out a whole book in one shot. It’ll be way too overwhelming and you’ll want to punch a hole in your computer. Seriously. Don’t do it.
Be Consistent- There are SO many layouts to choose from, and each of them can be customized, so the options are virtually endless. However, your book will look more professional if you stick to no more than 10 layouts throughout. You should also stick to the same font/size as well.
Avoid Page Numbers- Depending on the layouts you choose, some will show the page numbers and others won’t. Since you’re trying to be consistent, ^^^ you should just avoid page numbers all together. Who really needs them on a photo book anyway?!
Include Dates- When I’m looking back through my yearbooks, one thing I love is that I know the exact date certain events took place. For instance, getting a positive pregnancy test. If I hadn’t recorded that date in my book, I never would have remembered it.
Pay Attention to the Purple Areas- When you’re working in BookSmart, you have the option to use the guidelines or to turn them off. Use them!! That’s the only way you’ll be able to make sure no one gets decapitated when your book goes to print. The guidelines make this easy. Just make sure everyone’s beautiful face is out of the purple areas and you’ll be golden.
Here are some samples of pages from my books. Keep in mind these are from two different yearbooks, so there are more layouts shown than I typically use.
If you want your yearbook to look similar to mine, here’s all the specific, down-and-dirty, info.
Book size– Standard Portrait (8″ x 10″)
Cover– Image Wrap- I HIGHLY recommend this type of cover! See how I made that bold and used capital letters and everything?! That’s because it’s super important; Not only does it protect your book, but it makes it look much more professional.
I like to put a heading on each page- size 14, bold
Beneath the heading I put the date- size 10, bold
Then anything else I type is size 9, not bold
Text Color– I always use black or white. After I arrange my photos, I choose the color that’s easier to see.
Horizontal Text Arrangement– Justified
I like to start my yearbook with a “Big Events” page.
I like to end it with my “From the mouths of babes…” page. Whenever my kids say something really cute or funny I type it in the notes section of my phone along with the date, so I can add it to the yearbook later.
I think that’s everything you need to know, but if you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email or comment down below!! I’m happy to help!
Now go get started! I’ve made two yearbooks so far, and my only regret is that I didn’t start sooner.
Note- Blurb did not sponsor this post and these opinions are my own 🙂