Great Gift Ideas from the Blurberati: Part 1

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Sure, you’ve thought about making a book as a gift for someone you love.  Well, we’re here to say go for it. Ask anyone who has ever done it and they’ll tell you that any book you make and give will be, without fail, a huge hit.  So jump in. Forget about perfection. Just focus on creativity. We’re not kidding when we say Best. Gift. Ever.

Here with their stories on books made, gifted, and loved are the Blurberati:


The book: A year in the life of my daughter Zadie

The occasion: “Our families live elsewhere, so each year since Zadie was born, I’ve made a book with the best photos of her laid out month by month. It’s a permanent, meaningful way to share her experiences – and helps us get those digital images off the hard drive and into an artifact of our lives that our daughter can share with her own children one day.”

The reaction: “It’s the best gift ever: Seriously, what can compete with 400+ images of your granddaughter in a beautiful, professional-quality book?”

Chad’s top bookmaking tip(s):

  • Make it more than just a photo album with a title page, some fun quotes, or thoughts about the year. Break a long book into chapters to mark the passage of time.
  • Sample a color from your image with the Bookify eyedropper tool, then use it as a background color to unite a spread.
  • Create a modern, elegant book with just one or two simple layouts. Then it’s easy to flow your photos in by date, and reposition them as you go.


The book: A 330-page photo book

The occasion: My father’s 70th birthday

The reaction: “The entire family alternated between tears and hysterical laughter as we went through it together page by page at his party. It’s been on his coffee table for the past three years, and Dad still gets a lump in his throat when he looks at it.”

The unexpected bonus: “I read it with my kids – it’s part of them learning more about their grandparents and our family history.”

Pete’s top bookmaking tip: “Get started early so you can enjoy the bookmaking process without rushing – and think about making the book when you’re taking photos of an event.”


The book: A family recipe book

The occasion: “There are plenty of amazing cooks in my husband’s family, and I wanted to celebrate their talents. I asked the whole family to email me a few favorite recipes and compiled them.”

The reaction: “Everyone loved it – I think they were pleasantly surprised at the great quality and all the photos, too.”

The unexpected bonus: “The book was such a hit among the family that it ended up on the Blurb Bookstore Best Sellers list for a while!”

Jen’s top bookmaking tip: “Have all your recipes and pictures organized by category before you start. I tried to collect photos of as many of the recipes as possible beforehand from family members – and spent a weekend cooking a lot of the recipes just to take a photo.”

We’ve got lots more Blurberati books and tips to share with you. Check back every Monday over the next few weeks for the latest, and start thinking about your own gift books. If you need help, sign up for one of our free bookmaking webinars. We have a whole series going on throughout the holiday season. Check out the schedule. Choose a time that works for you and let us walk you through the steps so you can get your book started – and finished – in time for giving.

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  1. I actually did a book for our 3rd anniversary with my boyfriend – it was my first Blurb book. He received it yesterday and was so overwhelmed with it! He saw it online, but he says that it looks way better in person. I just wanted to let you know! I’m so thrilled it turned out so good and made him happy. I’m already thinking to do some nice notebooks for my friends this Xmas. Thank you Blurb!

      November 9, 2010 – 2:10 pm   Permalink
  2. I love the cover on ” A year in the life of my daughter Zadie”. Is it easy to do something like that with the Blurb software or this was a personal achievement?
    Hope you can answer my question!

      November 12, 2010 – 10:34 am   Permalink
  3. Hi F3LIXP,
    Sure. It is easy to make that cover using either BookSmart. Just choose the cover layout where the image “bleeds” all they way to the edge. Add your image then add the text. The text will then be at the top of the page. Just align the text to the bottom (using the text edit toolbar) and increase the font size until it is nice and big.

    Make sure to choose a cover image where the text will be legible. A dark image for white text or a light image for dark text.
    cheers, chad

    By Chad
      November 12, 2010 – 3:17 pm   Permalink
  4. I wanted to make a book as a present for an old friend on her 50th birthday.

    I collected pictures from our student days together and was disappointed to find that after some 30 years the quality of most of them was really poor, I guess that as students we had gone for the cheapest developing we could get.

    At first I decided not to bother, but then a colleague said that he thought that the recipient probably wouldn’t care about the quality of the pictures as long as the memories were good.

    Well, I went ahead and made the book and he was absolutely right. She loved the personal touch and recognised the love that had gone into it.. There were tears and laughs and lots of reminising late into the night and she said it was just the best gift ever.

    So my advice is simply – go for it.

    By Ermie
      November 28, 2010 – 6:11 am   Permalink
  5. I think creating your own book would be challenging but so much fun- and what a great gift. Need to put it on my to do list.

      April 9, 2013 – 3:31 pm   Permalink

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