Tumblebug really enjoys the opposites books by Leslie Patricelli.  We have BIG little, Yummy Yucky, and Quiet Loud. He loves to be able to point at the things he knows.  I wanted to make him more books with a personal feel.  I made a book for his classroom with photos of items in their classroom that are mostly a color.  It was a hit and I have made more copies for students that have moved to a different class.

I went through my photos and chose examples of things that are similar, but way different sizes, just like in the book BIG little.  I also took more pictures throughout the summer to add to the book.  Some examples are much better than others.

I used Photoshop to add the text to each picture but you can also use Picnik or any other photo editing software that lets you add text.  I went with the text from the book: Elephants are BIG. Mice are little.

Some of the pictures are things that are similar and some are things that go together, but they are all things Tumblebug should recognize down the road.

Once I developed all the photos I just stuck them in a cheap plastic photo album.  I used a picture of my dad and Tumblebug as the cover.  There are still empty pages, so I am going to find more BIG and little things to add.

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

Cows on Parade

This was the 9th year of our annual Strolling of the Heifers.  We have been to every one, except the year of the thunderstorm, even I am not dedicated enough for that.  It may sound like the silliest parade ever, but it sure is popular.  Our town fills up with locals and out-of-towners, all to see over 60 heifers, plus dozens of goats, mules, sheep, oxen, Highland Cows, tons of school kids, dance groups, bands, jump ropers, local businesses, non-profit groups, theater companies, and a man in a ballgown.  I love the small town-ness of it all.  I don’t mind the traffic and the crowd.  It is something that makes Brattleboro different.  I know there are places that use the slogan “Keep Blankity-blank Weird”, but non of these places have anything on us.