It’s getting easier and easier to stay in touch with friends and family with technology like video calls on our phones, but it’s still hard raising kids when your family lives far away. We are lucky that our family comes to visit often, and that we all have smartphones so we can video chat with the grandparents. But still, it’s not quite the same as living close enough to see them once a week. AJ has been asking for her grandparents lately (and for the doggies that live at my parents’ house!) so I made her a simple DIY family photo book so that she can see her family any time she wants. She loves it!
She loves to pull out the book and flip through all of the photos; she points to someone, looks up at me, and waits for me to tell her who it is. And she’s starting to remember the names herself at this point! It’s also great because we can teach her about family, words like “aunt” and “uncle”, and she can start to recognize names and faces for the family members she doesn’t get to see as often.
If you have family that lives far away, this DIY family photo book is such a simple way to keep your kids connected to their family, no matter how far away they are. It only takes about half an hour to put together and will keep them entertained for a long time!
DIY Family Photo Book
- Time to set up: 30 minutes
- Time it kept the toddler busy: 30 minutes at a time, for months and months!
- printer (I printed my photos at home on my Epson WF-3520, but you can also get your photos printed at a drugstore if you’d prefer)
- large paper trimmer
- laminator (I really love my basic Scotch laminator; inexpensive, but does the job!)
- 8.5×11 laminating pouches
- hole punch
- glue stick
- printer paper
- two key rings
I made a quick video to show you just how easy this project is! But if you prefer written instructions, they are below the video.
Start by gathering photos of family and friends you want to include in the book. I sent a text telling everyone what I was making and asked for photos, and most people sent me photos back within a day or two. For the slackers who didn’t send a photo, I just grabbed one off of their Facebook profile. 🙂
I put the photos into a Word document with two photos per page, then printed them out on my printer. I just used plain paper; since they’re going to be laminated anyway, you don’t really need fancy photo paper or anything like that. Whether you print your photos at home or have them printed at a drugstore, make sure all of the photos are the same size.
I also typed up a list of names and printed that out on plain paper. Make sure to leave some white space between each name so you can cut them out!
Use a paper trimmer to cut out the photos and names.
Using a glue stick, attach the names to the corresponding photos. You only need a tiny bit of glue; the laminator will hold everything together in the finished book, but you want to make sure nothing moves around as it goes through the laminator.
Since I printed out two photos per page, I was able to laminate two photos together, side by side, in a single pouch. Get your photos inside the laminator pouches while the laminator is warming up, then run each pouch through the laminator to seal the pouches.
Use a paper trimmer to cut the two photos apart. I left a little extra room to the left of the photo so that I could punch holes through the clear laminate rather than through the photos themselves.
Use a hole punch to punch two holes into the laminate to the left of each photo. Make sure that the holes in each photo line up with the holes in every other photo so that you can bind them all together into a book. You can measure the holes and mark them with a sharpie for each photo, or you can just eyeball the first one, then hold that one on top of the second one and punch through both to make sure the holes are lined up.
Stack the photos on top of each other, and slide them onto the keyrings to hold them all together.
And you’re done!
Hand the DIY family photo book to your baby and let them enjoy learning the names and faces of all of your family and friends!
AJ’s favorite page is the one with a photo of all three dogs that live at my parents’ house, but she loves looking at the photos of all the people as well.
And I love that she “gets to know” her family, even though some of them live very far away!
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