Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Picaboo Yearbooks {Review}


Are you looking for something great to commemorate the end of your school year?  Would you like to be able to highlight each student, field trips, great memories from your year all in one place?  Then Picaboo Yearbooks may be just what you are looking for.

Picaboo Yearbooks asked the Schoolhouse Review crew to create our own personal yearbooks for our homeschools using their wonderful softcover 20 page yearbook.  These 8.5 x 11 yearbooks can be designed in any way you chose.  You can add in photos throughout and captions or text to go along with it.


Picaboo Yearbooks can be created for an entire school, a co-op, a sports or other team, or just an individual homeschool family.  The options are endless.  Color schemes and pre-designed photo pages make the creation process even easier but creating your own idea is just as simple.

For this review, I chose not to create a "yearbook" but instead chose to create a family-book for our family's life together, since we are a blended family.  I thought the uniqueness of our family called for a unique album to share about each member of our special family.  With seven children, it did not take long to fill up the pages.


Each page of our family-book yearbook is unique to our family, from the cover to the last page.  I chose a photo of the Angel Oak as our cover because it is a place we have recently visited together.  The branches of the tree wrap beautifully around our cover making it memorable and drawing attention to our book even while on the shelf.

Our book begins with an introduction to our home.  We call the property we live on The Hill and it has been in our family for decades, passed through generations of ancestors.  Featured in this section are our large pond and important elements of the logging history of our family.  These elements are extremely special to us.

Featured on the next two pages is an introduction to our family.  Here I discussed how we are blended and introduced some of our favorite things.  These pages are filled with photos of our family together.

The next eleven pages feature each member of our family from Mom and Dad to the kids, Grandma and even our pets.  Every family member got their own page, uniquely created with elements of things that interest and are unique to them.  For instance, my step-daughter, Debi's page has a background of turtles swimming since turtles are her favorite animal.  Her page also features a sand turtle that she created on a trip to the park a little over a year ago.  


To finish out the book, there are six more pages sharing images and important events from within our family.  I designed each page from scratch except for using pre-designed photo inserts provided by the Picaboo company in the design process.  Every single page is unique and different within the book.

Through the Picaboo Yearbook designer I was able to add in colored backgrounds to represent my children's favorite colors or choose a background in prints like cow print for my youngest daughter.  I was also easily able to add in my own personal images for each child on each of their pages.  I simply uploaded the photos and put them into place.

It was also very easy to move around the photo inserts and reposition or size photo boxes to fit my needs.  Some pre-designed elements needed to be tweaked to better fit my images.  By selecting the corners and dragging or pulling, I was able to make them work best for me.

Text was very easy to insert into each page too.  The pre-designed pages came pre-equipped with areas to include any writing that I may have needed.  I found myself deleted many pre-included text boxes and adding in others where I felt the text fit my pages best.  There were tons of fonts to choose from.  I was able to change font colors too but I chose to keep my lettering all the same color to bring together the books design.
I did edit all of my text boxes to have a see-through background in a complementary color for the page it was included on.  This was done simply by choosing a color using a digital dropper to select a color I liked from the page.  I then adjusted the opacity of the box background to make it blend into the page while making the writing stand out.


It took me two days to fully create my family-book yearbook.  One day was spent choosing my pages topics, adding backgrounds and selecting pre-designed photo pages.  The second day I spent adding in loads of photos, tweaking pages to fit each family member and adding in text.

It literally took me around 20 hours over a two day period from beginning to end to create this original yearbook for our family.  It was well worth the work as contained within the twenty pages of this book are memories that will stick with our family for life, unique and special only to us.

The cover of our family-book is soft.  It's made of a sturdy cardboard and I chose glossy print for the image.  The inside pages are made to be sturdy too.  The texture is hard to rip but the images are clear.

Many hands have touched our family-book yearbook since it arrived leaving goo and prints on it already.  These have easily been wiped clean using a mildly damp cloth without causing damage in the process.  Needless to say our family book is well-loved.


You can order a Picaboo Yearbook to fit your family or even your co-op through picabooyearbooks.com!  The softcover 20 page 8.5 x 11 yearbook that I received costs $8.95 plus shipping.  You can add extra pages for a small fee.  It is possible to include as many images as you'd like too.  My book contains close to 100 personal images of our family.



To learn more or order your own Picaboo Yearbook, visit picabooyearbooks.com!


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