For the last 8 years, I have used the Shutterfly program to create our family yearbooks. It is rare that I print photos out anymore and these yearbooks are a great way to compile all of our memories and favorite photos each year. They also make great Christmas gifts for grandparents! Over the years I have tweaked my process and wanted to share some tips with you on how to create a fun family yearbook before the holidays.
Creating a Yearbook Through Shutterfly | Tips
First, my go-to photo book size is 8×8 and it has 20 pages. I like the compact size of the 8×8, it is not too big, not too small, but just right!
Create Yearbook Album On Your Phone
We all use our phones to capture 95% of our family photos. Create an album in your phone for the specific year and begin saving your favorite photos. I like to scroll back to January of the year and begin selecting my favorite pictures until I get up to the present day. This will start the process of narrowing down all of the great pictures you may want to add to the book.
Download the Shutterfly App
Download the Shutterfly app. I used the app for the first time last year and it was a game-changer! I downloaded my entire filtered album for the year in a matter of minutes. Once the photos are downloaded on the app, you can easily access them on your desktop and start creating your yearbook.
Once you choose your style of the yearbook, Shutterfly will ask if you want your photos to auto-populate in the book. I recommend manually adding your pictures so that you can put them in the proper place.
Think About Your Book Layout
Determine how you want to tell the story for the year. When I first began creating our yearbooks I would go month by month and share what happened. Inevitably, I had some months that were kind of bare and other months that were packed with pictures. I now think about the year in categories and create the pages based on these buckets.
Beginning Filling with Photos
I create this as our personal yearbook and also as a gift it to the grandparents at Christmas. I am mindful of including all extended family members and not just a shrine to my kiddos (although it is easy to do this!). It is really fun to see our nieces and nephews grow up over the years.
When choosing photos, remember to keep it candid, because these will be flipped through for years to come. I love including the candid moments that will bring back memories of everyday activities over the years.
Shutterfly Yearbook Example Pages
Here are a few examples of the pages that go into all of my books…
While I tend to pack in lots of photos inside the cover, for the front and back, I like to keep it simple with one photo of the family or kids.
Dedicated Page for Each Child
I like to do a full-page spread (2 pages next to each other) for each of my kiddos. I look for the pictures that best describe their personalities at their age and any activities they were really into. This is a place where I like to share any big milestones or funny anecdotes about them from the year.
Did they have a really funny phrase they began repeating? Were they super into a certain TV show? Write it all down so you can remember for years to come!
2020 was a very different year and I wanted to capture some of the changes we made during quarantine. Like all families, we did what we could to make the best of our situation with quarantine and the pandemic.
Every summer we spend time at a lake with each of our families. I snap tons of photos of our on these trips and they each get a full-page spread in the yearbook.
Inevitably there will always be random leftover photos that don’t really fit the pages you created but you really want to include them! On the last page of our yearbook, I use the 16 square photo layout and add in any photo that I want from the year.
Other Ideas for Yearbook Pages
- Child & their highlights of the year
- Celebrations – holidays
- Quarantine life
- Masking Up – activities wearing masks
- Parents page
- Summer fun
- Birthdays – you can do a full page for one party or add in a picture for all of the birthdays you celebrated
- Friends page
- Kids “getting along” page
- Core family page
- Pet’s page
This 2-page spread is focused on our family and some of our favorite memories.
Customizing Each Page
I change the layout page by page, depending on how many photos I have for that specific event. I usually avoid using the full page spread layouts because I don’t always love images that are split on the center crease of the page.
Backgrounds & Embellishments
Remember that you can edit these pages any way you want. I will change the background color based on the season or my child’s favorite color. I also choose my own embellishments when I want to give a little extra flair.
If you click advanced editing, you can move the text boxes and image boxes around the page to create your own custom page layout.
If you are totally stumped on how to design a page that you want, check out the idea pages tab. You can choose their layout or gather ideas and create your own that is similar to their idea page.
When you are ready to purchase your yearbooks, check for discount codes! I can always find a discount code on the homepage or with a simple google search, especially around the holidays. I hope this project inspires you to start making family yearbooks of your own!
Looking for more holiday gift ideas? Check out the dollhouse I thrifted and upcycled for my daughter last Christmas!