This fun DIY personalized love book for Valentines was made in collaboration with Mixbook, my favorite place to print photo-books.
UPDATE: It looks like Mixbook doesn’t offer their mini flatlays anymore. I still LOVE printing photos at Mixbook but if you’re looking for smaller books for toddlers, I recommend going with Artifact Uprising’s baby board books.
Growing up, Valentines was up there just behind Christmas and way ahead of Thanksgiving for favorite holiday.
Each February the 14th we had a special family dinner and my mom set each of our places with a small themed gift. Usually we’d get an item of red clothing, but something it was something more sentimental.
Last year I threw my first family Valentine’s dinner and it is the most fun tradition! There aren’t expectations so there isn’t a lot of pressure and Lincoln thought it was magical (you can see pictures of ours here).
I gave the kids each a red item of clothing last year but this time they’re getting something meaningful I’m super excited about.
PERSONALIZED LOVE BOOK FOR VALENTINES DAY
Last fall we moved closer to my family, but for the first two and a half years of having kids we were so far away that Lincoln and Adelaide knew grandparents, aunts, and uncles by pictures and facetime dates.
I had the idea for a personalized Love Book back then, something filled with pictures of all the people that love them. Initially I wanted it to be a gallery wall in the nursery where we could point out faces together during the day but a personalized love book seemed something a toddler would enjoy flipping through and holding onto.
I printed ours with Mixbook, my favorite place to print photobooks since I discovered them last year. The print quality is great – the only time I’ve ever thought my photographs looked better in a book than on my computer screen.
Mixbook recently released a new mini 6″ square flatlay book which is perfect for little hands (but the quality is still top notch and I love that the books lay flat when open).
The mini flatlays start at $29.95 but I can always find a great discount on the Mixbook site.
To put the books together I reminded myself that “Done is better than perfect” and spent about an hour going through images to print and put the two books together. The kids got a sneak peek of them while I was snapping these photos but they’re back in my office now to be wrapped up for Valentines day and then pulled out again anytime they need a reminder about all the people who love them.
A few tips for putting together your own “personalized Love Book”:
- Set a timer. It’s easy to let this whole process drag out for weeks but decide how long you want to spend putting this together and then stick to it.
- Make a list of people you want to include. I included my immediate family, Ben’s immediate family, grandparents, a few close family friends, and then some local friends (in part because I happened to have some cute pictures of them on hand :).
- Keep it simple. Mixbook has lots of great designs on their site so save yourself time and just add your images to one of their templates. For these small books, you could also keep it simple with just one image per page (this is what I did for almost all of the books).
- Pick your pictures. You can either pick images of just the people on your list or you can try and find pictures of your child and those people together. I opted for the latter (for almost all of them) but if you don’t have pictures of your sister alone with one of your kids, just include her picture.
- Consider adding text. You can put the loved ones name on the page or a phrase like “Grandma loves you” or “Grandma loves me” on each page. I kept mine blank because “done is better than perfect” but I love the idea of these being able to read like a picture book.
- Gather memories. If you have time, ask each family member or friend to send over something they love about your child or favorite memory with your child. How fun would it be to read through all those happy memories together the next time your toddler is having a hard day?
- Choose your size. We have both tiny and HUGE photo books from Mixbook and I love them all. For these I really do love the mini flatlays because each individual page is a lot thicker so I’m less worried about Adelaide ripping it while she flips through the pages.
And then enjoy your personalized Love Book! If you make one of these, will you send me a picture of it? I’d love to see how you put yours together!