I absolutely adore photographs. My walls are covered with galleries of pictures – whether they date back to when my parents and grandparents were young or when my siblings and I were growing up.
Not to mention, Ash’s childhood pictures which are just amazing. And, I simply adore looking back at pictures of our sweet son. It’s funny how quickly kids change.
Whether it’s a look back on one’s life in pictures or a little memory book of a fun day trip, DIY photo books are simply the sweetest gifts.
They spread love and laughter, bringing back all those happy memories that are forgotten in the day-to-day.
My sisters share my love for photos, and we love making themed photo books. In addition to the photos, we choose some kind of theme with funny, silly, or relevant sayings that accompany the pictures.
They are so unique and such a hit, as they turn out amazing!
Check out our four favorites – a book of commonly-used sayings, quotations from various countries of travel, a Seinfeld-themed book, and special occasion books. Then, see how you can easily make a DIY photo book for the ones you love.
60 Photos, 60 Catchphrases
The first photo book my sisters and I made was a scrapbook style album for our mom’s 60th birthday. Over the years, our mom has coined so many catchphrases, so we used these sayings in the photo book gift. 🙂
She always says “I’ll let you get going” but keeps talking. When passing a hay truck, she always asks if we made a wish. When seeing something that reminds her of her parents – our nanny and poppy who have passed- she always says, “You know who would have loved this…”
And growing up, there was the saying I used to dread. At the end of the weekend or a vacation from school, she would always say in a bummed out tone, “Back to reality.” Boy did that snap us right back…
So, my sisters and I brainstormed all of the the phrases we could (this involved a few phone calls and visits to jog our memories) and picked our favorite 60 phrases.
Then, we went through all of the photos – past and present – and matched the phrases with relevant pictures. This was especially entertaining. Looking through piles and albums of old photos was a blast – and we were cracking up matching photos with mom’s sayings.
We found one of mom cleaning the dishes for “The kitchen is closed,” a picture with all of us standing with our coats on for “I’ll let you get going,” an old first day of school picture for “Back to reality,” a picture of us playing in the hay for “Did you make a wish,” and many more.
Then, we put the pictures in chronological order, so it was like a real photo album, telling the story of the past 60 years.
As far as design, we made this book like a scrapbook, printing the pictures and gluing them down.
We even printed each saying in a unique font. For example, the school pictures had a font made of pencils and the “Ok ty <3” text message was written in a typewritten font.
I love how much character that fonts add, so this definitely made for a nice touch.
4 Countries, 40 Years of Marriage
With my in-law’s 40th anniversary coming up, my sister-in-law and I decided to make mom and dad a photo book too. Ash and his family have had the unique experience of living in four countries. Each of these places had their own sayings, dialects, and cliches.
Ash, his sister, and I picked out sayings that were common to those countries. Then, we paired them with pictures of his family at that time. I absolutely love the way this turned out!
The sayings were so funny to hear. I mean Ash talking in a Jamaican accent alone was cracking me up.
The book started in Guyana, referring to spicy curry and roti.
Here are a few from Jamaica – Ash loves the picture on the right. He’s climbing a fallen tree after a huge hurricane hit.
The book went all the way to present day in New York. I just adore the wedding picture of my sister-in-law and father-in-law with the phrase, “Anything can happen in a New York minute.” So beautiful and true 🙂
We included photos with all the grandchildren and phrases like “hold your horses” and “pretty darn quick” that are unique to the United States.
The book turned out so cute – and was such a beautiful montage of all the experiences and memories of the past 40 years in four countries.
Seinfeld Quotes Paired with Pictures
With my sister turning 30, we planned a surprise party that was Seinfeld-themed. When discussing how to make it special, my mom said, “Why not make her one of those nice books?”
So, we did exactly that.
We ran with the Seinfeld theme, using dozens of hilarious quotes from the television show and pairing them with pictures of Bridget over the years. It turned out awesome.
We started the photos chronologically, beginning with a baby picture of her and our Nanny, quoting the Seinfeld episode from The Hamptons.
The next photo is one of my favorites. We were at a family get together and someone took this candid shot of us. After all these years, we finally found the perfect Seinfeld quote to go with it.
And, of course, we had to include “close-talker.”
We tried to limit the quotes and photos to 30 in honor of 30 years. Yet, with all of the funny Seinfeld quotes and pictures we had collected, 30 was a drop in the bucket. It ended up being much longer.
Special Occasion Books
As a thank you to grandparents or friends going on a day trip or vacation, I love making a cute book of the pictures we took.
We recently went on a trip to a train museum and petting zoo, and it was a really perfect day. To thank my parents, we made them a little memory book with our favorite pictures from the day. They LOVED it.
There weren’t any fancy quotes in this one – just some cute designs and fun pictures.
Tips for Making DIY Photo Books
You can make your DIY books either digitally or scrap book style.
I find digitally to be a little faster. It takes a little bit of time to arrange layouts, but it’s fun to pick layouts and embellishments. And, my time is much better spent creating something cool rather than on my newsfeed 🙂
I like using Walgreens for photo books. You can use same-day pickup on some items (check which items for your local store before starting your book). The hardcover ones tend to be better quality when you have them sent to your home instead of same-day. Yet, if you are running short on time, same-day pick up is a great option.
If you are working on the project with someone else, like a sister or friend who doesn’t live close, you can both log in to work on the book before printing.
Also, definitely search google for a Walgreen’s coupon code. They always run deals, so you will do well with the price.
You can also make the book scrapbook style. Albums can be ordered on Amazon or picked up at a craft store with a coupon. We made my mom’s photo book this way, and it was nice because each of my three sisters and me had a role.
One of my sisters printed the photos with her 4×6 photo printers. (It’s awesome!! We always have her printing pictures for us 🙂 ) One of us bought the stickers, album, and embellishments, one of us printed all the quotes in cool fonts, and another sister put everything together.
To keep everything organized, as far as quotes and pictures, we used Google docs. You can easily share this with others. So, we made a simple spreadsheet of quotes and then wrote a description of picture we planned to use. This kept everything organized and sequenced properly.
Ideas for DIY Photo Books
As far as themes for the sayings or quotations, you can be as creative as you want. Think about your recipient’s life and interests, and I’m sure something great will come to mind.
Photo books also make a great gift for father’s day and mother’s day. You could pair photos of your kids with funny things they say (I should make this for Ash!). It doesn’t have to be a grandiose book – a collection of 10-20 photographs will turn out wonderfully.
With today’s technology and everything being digital, it’s hard to find time to organize and print photo albums. Dropboxes and clouds (wherever they are) are filled with hundreds of pictures that aren’t looked at often.
This is exactly why I love making photo albums for others as gifts. And, exactly why these gifts are adored so much.
DIY photo book gifts are simply awesome presents to give. Not only will your recipients love the collection of pictures, but they’ll just adore the cute or funny sayings you included too. My mom, sister, and in-laws absolutely LOVED the photo books.
So much, that my sister is already asking for an addendum with more Seinfeld quotes and pictures 🙂
I can’t tell you how many laughs the Seinfeld book got – or how much my mom chuckles looking back at her photos and her sayings.
And who couldn’t use more laughter and love in their life?