We’re thrilled to announce that Mixbook has three brand-new beautiful baby photo book designs that are completely hip and beyond adorable: Chalkboard Baby (in pink or blue), Simple Baby (in pink or blue), Scrapbook Storybook (in pink or blue), and Woodland Baby. Each one has plenty of space to add photos that illustrate milestones, capture precious fingers and toes, honor special time with different family members, catalog a photo series, and add dimension with meaningful captions.

Here are four ideas of ways to plan ahead to create your custom baby photo book if you have the time or desire to impose a unifying factor beyond the great Mixbook photo book design. If not, just skip right to “on the other hand” below, and start that baby photo book now!

New Baby Photo Books

One a Week
Take one photo each week or each month using the same plain background. Use your baby photo book to document the subtle changes over the course of a year. Place a single unifying object like a favorite lovey within the frame of the picture for size reference. It’s fun watching the lovey get more “loved” as time passes.

Baby Photo Book Ideas

Creative Captions
Ask your friends and family members to write creative captions for the photos you plan to put in your photo book. Add each caption in quotes with the author’s name next to the picture. It’s a fun way include family and friends near and far in the process of your baby changing over time. It’s cool to see all the captions side-by-side now, and it’s really fun in the future to look back at the ways people interpreted your baby’s moods and expressions when he or she was so little. You might be surprised to learn that some early interpretations were crazy accurate!

Baby Photo BooksBaby Photo Book Ideas

Silly Meme
Intersperse photos of your baby dressed up for the holidays. Change the dress-up theme each season, or go with one meme like a decorated headband for each holiday. To create custom headbands simply have fun with cut felt, ribbons, decorations, elastic bands and a glue gun (for the headband not your baby). Just make sure you’re keeping a close eye during the photo shoot, since most babies tend to confuse headpieces for food.

Baby Photo Book Ideas

One Color
If you have a favorite color, or if your baby looks particularly fetching in a certain hue, try doing all your photography for the book over the course of a year with baby wearing clothing in a specific color scheme. A full year of baby dressed in nothing but white Onesies or pink leggings is ridiculously adorable.

Baby Photo Book Ideas

On the other hand…
If the idea of planning ahead to create a theme makes you spiral into either unhinged hilarity or torrents of tears, take a deep breath. Here’s what really matters:

You’re baby is perfect, that’s a fact. So it’s easy to get stuck in the mindset that a photo book about your baby has to be perfect to match. But, take it from us: the pictures don’t have to be perfect. The chronology doesn’t have to be perfect. The lighting doesn’t have to be perfect. And the wardrobe doesn’t have to be perfect. Just choose a perfect Mixbook baby book theme, and make it happen.

baby photo books

Time sometimes drags when you have a little baby, but before you know it, time does something bizarre and your kids are halfway grown up. So make the baby books early and often so you have them and they have them for life.

Happy Mixbooking! Happy Baby Photo Book–Making!

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If you’ve had a big adventure in your life and haven’t yet made a photo book or photo album to remember it by, start making a plan to get it done now. Here’s how I managed to (finally) complete a book to document my family’s three months in London. The impetus was somewhat counterintuitive…

Life is always busy, but in the past few weeks some external factors arose that suddenly added another layer of complexity and stress to our family. Nothing unmanageable, but still – yet another thing. I thought to myself: wow, if I couldn’t get my photo book project done before, how am I going to do it now?

Photo Book Ideas

Well, it turns out, that added life element made me realize that there will never be an absolutely ideal time to sit down and hammer out a project like this one, so I might as well attack it now.

And while I don’t wish insomnia on anyone, I did get a nice jump-start one morning when I inexplicably and irrevocably awoke at 4am. By 6 am when my kids woke up, I had sifted through thousands of pictures in iPhoto and selected a little over a thousand that I actually wanted to use in my book.

Travel Photo Book Ideas

Since I was creating a book about a specific block of time, I started by selecting all the photos within that timeframe and creating a folder labeled as that event. I then simply had to delete photos from that folder that I didn’t want to remember forever. There were also a handful of photos that sneaked into my iPhoto library sent to me by others while we were abroad, so those were deleted too.

My goal for this book was to have it forever as a way to transport myself (ourselves) back to that time in our lives. While I was definitely interested in a book that looked beautiful, I wasn’t worried if a few photos were slightly blurry or if my kid had his finger up his nose in one of them. I simply wanted to document the days there, flaws and all. Because I included lots of less-than-perfect photos in a series, I chose to use a really simple template – White Portfolio – to avoid adding to the clutter of my enormous number of pictures.

Photo Book Ideas

Once I narrowed my photos down, I began the process of uploading them to the Mixbook editor. Now, the Mixbook editor is typically amazingly fast, but when you’re uploading that many pictures – and each one is between 4 and 6 MBs – it’s going to take some time. I learned the hard way that when my computer went to sleep, it stalled the upload process. So I went into my System Preferences and temporarily changed the Energy Saver settings so that my machine would never go into sleep mode. Bingo! When I woke up the next morning, all my photos were in place and ready to populate my book.

I started by using the AutoMix feature, which automatically places your photographs into appropriate templates. The results were impressive, but I ultimately felt quite controlling about how I illustrated our many adventures. I ended up going through page by page, checking each photograph’s placement to make sure it was displayed the way I wanted it to be. I also learned something about my personal aesthetic: apparently I like photos displayed only at right angles! Funny thing, but I did find that I went with those layouts. Had I not used the AutoMix feature, however, I think I may have stuck to the same layouts over and over again, so the auto-selected layouts gave me lots of ideas for alternative ways to showcase my photos, which was great!

Big Photo Book Project Ideas

Once I had all my photos placed, I went back and put really simple captions in. Where there were text boxes included in the layout, I used those. And where there weren’t text boxes, I added them. I started writing little stories about the events, but ultimately decided I wanted it to be a bit more minimalist – to let the images speak for themselves. I chose to include place names, plus a word or two that would be sure to jog a memory.

I just received the email in my in-box today saying my project has shipped! I can’t tell you how gratifying that feels. I ordered one copy to start so I can make an adjustment to future copies if I need to. I can’t wait to see the looks on my children’s faces when they flip through and see themselves featured in a book so large (over 100 pages!) They are going to be over the moon now – and thrilled to have a copy of the book for the rest of their lives. And I can honestly say that the project took me less than four hours total. A small investment in a lifetime of happy memories.

Photo Book Project Ideas

Your turn! Go sift through your photos and choose a Mixbook template. Once you do those two things, you’ll be able to chip away at the process – and it really will be done before you know it.

Happy Mixbooking!

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Flowers are nice and all, but they don’t stand the test of time the way true love does. So this year – along with the bouquet of (fleetingly) beautiful roses – gift something with a longer life. Something that represents your love: lasting, helpful, smile-inducing and attractive. Here’s our list of top Valentine’s Day gift ideas designed to make friends, family and soul mates feel loved all year long…

Love Notes
If one doesn’t have ruby-red note cards, how is one supposed to write love notes? We’re just saying…. Sometimes it’s all about giving someone the right tools. Customize Mixbook’s Calligraphed Name note cards in red for a gift that will keep on giving.

Valentine's Day Gifts

Love Nest
If you’re lovebirds who have recently feathered your nest together, Mixbook’s pink and red Love-Joy address labels personalized with your shared address make the perfect gift. Tuck them into a gift basket filled with other housewarming items (like a custom Mixbook about the big move!).

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

Book of Love
Create a personalized photo book that chronicles the love in your life, whether that means a flurry of romantic photos or a series of hugs, kisses and hamming it up with kids, cousins and the family Labradoodle. Mixbook’s new Krafty Valentine photo book theme is perfect for love portraits of all kinds.

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

Love List
Whether it’s a book about your better half or one about your mom and dad (or son and daughter!), sometimes the easiest way to express affection is by making a love list! Mixbook’s 10 Reasons Why I Love You photo book template lets you count the reasons you love anyone, and choose photographic evidence for each entry.

Valentine's Day Gifts

Love Calendar
It’s only February! A calendar is still a great gift – especially if your special someone(s) need more love in their life. Customize your calendar with sweet photos, then add little love notes on random days for the rest of the year.

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

Love Coupons
What’s better than having an I-O-U in your back pocket for when you need a little extra affection? Create a custom coupon book that promises random acts of love and kindness whenever they’re needed. Mixbook’s Valentine Coupons book lets you tailor your vouchers to each person in your life, from kids to best friends and life-partners.

Valentine's Day Gift IdeasValentine's Day Gifts

Happy Valentine’s Day! Happy gifting!

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Mixbook has a brand new crop of great cards for the love-liest holiday of the year. On the off chance that you’ve refused to leave your bedroom during the series of polar vortexes we’ve had – or you live in one of few un-bitter places in the Northern hemisphere – you know it’s not actually lovely outside. It’s cold, dark, wet, unrelenting and somewhat depressing in most of the country, so pretty much everyone could use a bright red invitation in their mailbox as a sweet respite to the rest of their day. And while there are plenty of one-to-one customizable Valentine’s Day cards to choose from, we’re big fans of sending love letters far and wide and with great abandon. Here are our favorite ideas for taking creative photographs to use in your custom Valentine’s this year… followed by the best of the brand-new cards!

Sweet Offering
Snap a shot of your child holding his or her hand out toward the camera, then tape a lollipop right on the card to give out to school friends and family members.

Valentine's Day Cards
*Image from the Modchik.com

Kisses, Cheap!
Snap a shot of your baby covered in red-lipstick-kisses holding a chalkboard sign that says “kisses 25¢” and upload it into one Mixbook’s new Valentine’s Day cards.

Valentines Day Photo Ideas*Heart Full of Love Card

Photo Booth
Create a photo booth for your kids, complete with Valentine’s Day–themed wrapping paper as a backdrop. Have plenty of props on hand like heart-shaped sunglasses, Steve Martin–inspired arrow-through-the-head contraptions, hand-written messages, red lipstick, heart-shaped lollipops, red silly string, etc. Then let your kids have a little fun with props while you snap photos. If your kids are shy in front of the camera like mine are, tell them they can get as wild and messy as they want as long as they stay inside the designated “booth” (and nobody gets hurt J).

Valentine's Day Photobooth*Our Valentine Confetti card and photo from AtoZebraCelebrations

Nature Love
Snap photos of your kids drawing hearts in the sand or creating heart shapes in the grass out of natural, found objects like stones, moss, sticks or pinecones.

Air Kisses
Snap a photo of your children or of you and your loved ones blowing on hands. Then use Mixbook heart stickers to create the look of blowing hearts.

Valentine's Day Photo IdeasGold Glitter Hearts Card

I Heart Graffiti
Have your kids go to town with Valentine’s Day graffiti in chalk on your driveway. Snap pictures of them giggling while they get creative with love-inspired art.

Valentine's Day card ideas*Rainbow Love

Love/War Games
If your kids love bow and arrows like mine do, snap photos of them with their toy archery sets, then superimpose images of hearts later. They’ll be none the wiser that they were part of your little love game – and you’ll be pleased that you still play love games J.

Light Me Up
Snap slow exposure photos of your kids playing with poi or glow sticks in the dark, then use a caption like “you’re the light of my life” or “you light me up!”

Photo Ideas for Valentine's Day Cards*Pink Patterns card and photo from PBS.com

Red Herring
Take photos of your kids (or pets!) in disguise and use the caption: “You have a ‘secret’ admirer – you’ll never guess who!”

Valentine's Day Card Photo Ideas*Loving Owl

Happy Mixbooking! Happy Valentine’s Day card sending!

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Pin to Win Wedding Contest

Introducing Mixbook’s Wedding Contest- Pin to Win a $200 gift card:

Pin to Win Wedding Contest

WHAT CAN YOU WIN?

One grand prize winner will receive a $200 Mixbook gift card and four additional winners will each receive a $75 Mixbook gift card.

HOW TO ENTER?

1. Repin our contest pin.
2. Visit Mixbook.com and pin your favorite Mixbook wedding cards/invitations, photo book, and and calendar themes to your Pinterest board. (*Note: you do not have to pin your personal projects).
How to Pin

3. Post the URL of your pin as a comment on this blog post or our contest pin.

*BONUS ENTRIES:
You can enter ten (10) additional times by pinning up to 11 of your favorite Mixbook designs and submitting those URL’s as a comment on our contest pin or below! (*You can include all 11 entries in one comment.)

CONTEST ENDS THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2014 AT 11:59 PM PST.

**No purchase necessary to win. Contest begins on 1/27/14 at 12:01AM PST and ends 2/20/14 at 11:59 PM PST. Winners will be selected at random and notified no later than February 28th, 2014 by 11:59PM PST. Winners will be notified through Pinterest or email and will have 48 hours to claim their prize. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Pinterest. By entering, you understand that you are providing your information to Mixbook.com and not to Pinterest.

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