Unique holiday gift ideas from Blurb

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Feel like getting a bit more radical with your holiday gifts? Want to venture into new bookmaking territory? Here are some gift book ideas straight from the creative minds of the Blurberati:

  1. Give ’em pet books. Know someone with dogs, cats, hamsters, snakes, or sea monkeys? Take a bunch of pictures of the pets and make a surprise 7X7 book.
  2. Give ’em action figure books. Take life-size close-up pics of kids’ action figures and make a comic book with captions. Barbies and troll dolls are acceptable substitutes.
  3. Give ’em a long-distance romance book. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, indeed. Make a photo book of the 3,000+ screengrabs from the year you and your significant other spent apart. Feature video chats, IMs, and email. Yes, even the cheeky ones.
  4. Give ’em a family portrait book. Does your family wear matching sweaters for every holiday group photo? (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) Collect your family portraits from the last few decades, scan them, and make a book.
  5. Give ’em an analog Flickr book. Your mom loves to see the photos you take, but she’s a Luddite with a slower than slow dial-up connection and never looks at your Flickr page. Work that Flickr Slurper to turn your photos into something she’d be more likely to look at.
  6. Give ’em a tribute book. Ask a bunch of friends to send in a few photos and a story about another friend. Give it to the friend as a gift. This is also a great gift for birthdays, bachelor/ette parties, going-away parties, etc. Tip: Use Blurb’s new Community Book feature to easily get the photos from friends.
  7. Give ’em a thank-you book. Got a nanny, teacher, or dog sitter you want to thank? Make them a thank-you book from you, your kids, or even the dog. Instead of a note, up the wow-factor and say thanks in a book.
  8. Give ’em a history book. Find your family’s photo collection – dig deep, use the way back machine if you have to because you want this to span generations. Scan, document, and bookify it. Combine everyone’s memories and intersperse the stories along with the pictures. Bet this one will make somebody cry. With happiness, of course.
  9. Give ’em a book of love. Tell someone else’s love story, declare your own crush, or remind your significant other you can still be a love machine. All you need are the right photos and some witty prose – whip it all into a book and keep romance alive.
  10. Give ’em an ABC book. Every baby needs an alphabet book. Each spread could have one letter and one illustration or photo on it. For instance: “V is for Vancouver, where your mom grew up” with a drawing or photo of Vancouver on the opposite page.
  11. Give ’em a stuffed animal book. Your three-year-old niece is obsessed with her stuffed animals. And she has 18 of them. (Five of which are named after you.) Take a picture of each one and make a book about them, complete with notes “written” from each plushie. Cute overload? You bet, but she’ll love it.
  12. Give ’em a calendar book. Take a bunch of pictures and design your own monthly calendar layout. Then, make an 8×10 softcover book, but design it so it’s displayed spine up. Make it exactly 20 pages, use a punch hole at the middle open-edge of the book, break the spine and hang it up. (Caution: We haven’t tested this one yet, but it seems like it would work. If you go for it, let us know. We might want to feature it in this blog.)

These ideas go beyond our tried and true suggestions like journals, poetry books, family cookbooks, and travel photo books. (All of which make excellent gifts!) We’d love some more ideas, so post them if you got ’em. ‘Tis the season and all…

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  1. These are all great ideas but it would be so much more visually stimulating and inspirational if you would feature more actual books that people make so we can get ideas for layouts and be motivated to start!

      November 7, 2007 – 8:14 am   Permalink
  2. Hi Maryam – One thing you can do to see tons of books and get loads of ideas is to browse the Blurb Bookstore and look at previews. That’s where we get a lot of our inspiration, for sure. -Allison

      November 7, 2007 – 10:33 am   Permalink
  3. I like the idea of the calendar book, but couldn’t you actually do the test so that your customers don’t have to waste their money doing it? Thanks for the ideas.

    By Andrea
      November 14, 2007 – 7:32 pm   Permalink
  4. Hi Andrea. At Blurb, we’re focused on delivering the best books possible. Here in the blog, we like to occasionally offer unique ideas for taking books even farther. We honestly can’t keep up with all the great ideas Blurbarians come up with, but we like to highlight them when we can. So, the wall calendar idea is just that – an idea, an inspiration, and whatever you want it to be. And you never know, if we hear this idea again and again from a lot of folks, we just might make it into a template or two. We’re certainly seeing folks make a lot of datebooks, so the whole calendar space is heating up. Take care. -Allison

      November 15, 2007 – 10:34 am   Permalink
  5. Hi,
    I apologize, but my English is so bad, so I will continue in French; I hope you have a translator near you.

    Je viens de réaliser mon premier livre Blurb, et je l\’attends avec impatience.
    J\’ai eu beaucoup de plaisir à le construire, mais la plupart de vos agencements (layouts) ne me convenaient pas, et j\’ai du créer chaque page sous Photoshop.
    Pourquoi ne donnez-vous pas la possibilité de créer des agencements totalement libres, comme par exemple le logicielphotoOrangeFR ?
    Vous pourrez trouver quelques exemples dans le livre que je viens de vous commander [sic].
    J\’espère que vous tiendrez compte de cette suggestion, et je suis sûr que beaucoup de blurbarians sauront en profiter.

    Bien cordialement
    Didier SCHMIDT

    By Didier, in Paris - France
      November 18, 2007 – 1:42 am   Permalink
  6. Bonjour, Didier. Thank you for the suggestion and, trust us, you are not alone in your request.

    Bien cordialement,

      November 19, 2007 – 11:14 am   Permalink

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