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Photo Board Book Tutorial

Andrea Sanchez

When we were planning our trip to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival I really wanted D to enjoy himself as well. I always want to make sure he is exposed to new experiences in ways that are fun but, more importantly, meaningful to him.

I read a post quite a while back about taping pictures into old board books and thought that might be a fun idea. He has a huge collection of board books but none were in enough disrepair for me to consider taping over them and to be quite honest, I couldn't imagine how nice that would really look, with illustrations peeking out below (there was an incident with a dog, a diaper, and poop on a board book, but no way was I keeping that one)

What I found was Pint Size Productions, a board book maker and publisher out of New York. While they do make and sell custom board books where you can upload photos and text to their site, I wasn't super excited with the $25/book price tag. However, at $6 a pop, blank board books are right up my alley. Besides, my whole point with the book was to make the trip and memories meaningful, so why not just make it ourselves?

photo board book.png

What you need:

  • Blank board book (ours is the 6"x6" version)
  • Photographs (7 pictures for our 6 paged book and cover)
  • Modge podge ($1 in the Target Dollar Spot!)
  • Paint brushes
  • Stickers: letters, farm animals, etc. (whatever goes with the theme of your book)
  • Markers: Permanent markers work the best, just require a bit of supervision

1: Trim the photos and determine your order

I trimmed all the photos to fit within the width of the book. While I did have them all printed on 4"x6" size, I wanted to make sure none would hang off the sides. 

I also spent a couple minutes letting D decide which order he wanted them in ("What did we see first? What will come next?"). 

2: Glue/seal the photos

Paint an X in Modge Podge across the back and stick it to your cover. Coat the cover liberally making sure to cover clear to the edges. I did the cover page on my own (D is 2 after all). While you could always just glue or tape the photos in, I'd at least Modge Podge the cover to make it last longer. This took me less than a minute and was completely dry within a half hour. 

For the inside pages we simply glued them in using a glue stick. I had considered sealing all the photos but didn't want this project to take an entire week.

3: Jazz it up!

We used the letter stickers I had for the text which we kept very simple. You could also hand write it in or type up your text and print it out. D decorated each page with tape and stickers. 

He's a minimalist.

He's a minimalist.

4: Read!

Your book is ready to be read!

I ripped the a as I was putting the title on. Keeping it real here people. 

I ripped the a as I was putting the title on. Keeping it real here people. 

The whole purpose behind this activity was for D to make connections to his experiences in a meaningful way. This helps build vocabulary and develop schema (how we think about and organize our world). Because he was there as each picture was taken, we are able to carry on great conversations about the animals we saw ("Remember when we saw the Lincoln Longwool? Did you touch her fleece? It was so curly!"). 

I'm very happy I found Pint Size Productions! I love making books with my students but for younger kids, something sturdier is in order. I ordered a few books and have some more projects planned to help D create some new additions to his library!

Let me know if you try this project. I'd love to see your finished books! Share them on instagram or twitter with #KnittinLittle.

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