Color photo book

This is my first tutorial.  Please go easy on me.

My son is in a Early Head Start classroom that serves children 6 weeks to 3 years.  He has 3 awesome teachers.  His teacher has made several photo books for the kids this year: each of kid in a different hat, the cars they come to school in, etc.  I decided I wanted to make one for them, too.  Then I thought it would make a great tutorial for the one other crafter who reads my blog.


  • digital photos of single, or mostly one, color items
  • colored printer paper
  • adhesive
  • laminator, I bought it just for this project!
  • hole punch, single or 3-hole
  • binder rings
  • collage making software, I used Shape Collage, but you could do it in Photoshop or even a word processor

I took pictures of items all over my son’s classroom.  Toys, furniture, bags…
Then I cropped the pictures, in Photoshop, down to just the object size, but left the background.  **They are only squares here because they are thumbnail images.**

Next I added them by color to Shape College and played around until I liked it.  Shape Collage was really easy to figure out how to use and once I paid for registration I could export .psd files that I could play with in PhotoShop.  I was able to move, rotate, and resize the pictures in the collage.  I could also add the color name in Photoshop.  I chose a fun, but easy to read font and added a black stroke.  **In PhotoShop Elements you must add a style (drop shadow, outer glow, etc…) and then turn it off and turn on stroke.**

When I was done editing them I saved them as photo size jpgs and printed them through my favorite big box store.

I decided I wanted the book to be bigger than a photo.  The laminating sleeves I bought fit 5″ x 7″ paper so I trimmed colored paper to that size and used adhesive tabs to glue the pictures on.  **I left a little more room at the top for hole punching.**

Then I got to bust out my new laminator.  It was pretty cool.  I centered the pages in the laminating sleeve and sent it through the machine.  It came out really hot, but was stiff and sealed just right.

I punched 2 holes in the top and then stuck binder rings though them.  And then didn’t take any pictures of the book.

So far, the kids are fighting over it, so I am glad I printed a second copy of the pictures.

Lessons learned:

  • tell people what you are doing so they don’t think you are taking creepy pictures of the kids
  • objects don’t always photograph in their true color
  • make your shape collage 4″ by 6″ not 5.5″ x 8.5″ so the sides don’t get cut off when you print the pictures (I started with a different idea)
  • toddlers are very concrete -they expect books to open on the left, not the top, on the other hand, this shows they are learning concepts of print
  • kids love books about things they see every day

2 thoughts on “Color photo book

  1. Pingback: BIG little book | Lady in a Small Town

  2. I was trying to pull up my website, mistyped and your fun post came up. I love what you created! At first I though you may be a Heritage Makers Consultant. How fun! I have three little ones (4,2 & 1) and am always looking for fun ideas to make for them. Oh, you may want to check and see what things you can create with your photos and have published in projects that last forever (yes a sales pitch, After seeing your work, I couldn’t resist because I think you’d love it). Feel free to pass on the website to whomever you wish!

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