Create a School Year Photo Book in 5 Simple Steps

Now that school’s out, it’s time to do a little archiving of school-year memories. Yearbooks are great for remembering the collective experience, but a photo book that organizes all the detritus of the year—from photos and artwork to report cards, science projects, and awards—makes every memory personal. A school year photo book is a tidy way to keep the highlights of the grade your child just completed in one place. Not only will it be incredible to be able to look back on a mini time capsule of life as a fifth grader, for example, the process of creating a photo book gets you started on sifting through all the “stuff,” and lets you recycle boxes and boxes of memorabilia guilt-free. First Grade Memories

*We used the School Days Yearbook theme above

1. Photos & Portraits If you have pictures from the first day of school, begin your book here. And if you have a photograph of the last day of school, place it at the end. Bookending your project with these landmark photographs makes it clear that this book is all about your child—and frames the roughly chronological format for the rest of the book. Next, add all your favorite photographs that illustrate the year, laying them out more or less chronologically throughout the book.

2. Art & Objects Once you’ve got your key photographs in place, go back through your book and add pics of sculptures, presentation posters, dioramas, or any other three-dimensional creations from the year. The bonus here is that you feel great knowing they’ve been recorded for posterity, but you can scrap the original works for the sake of keeping your home storage needs within reason.

Showcase Your Artwork

*We used elements from our Back to School theme above

3. Report Cards & Papers If your child came home with any papers or report cards that he or she was particularly proud of, scan them and include jpegs in your photo book. If it’s a paper, you might just include the title and first paragraph along with the grade at the top. You can also look for handwritten notes by the teacher to scan and include in your book as custom stickers.

4. Doodles & Notes Notebooks are among the items in any household with school-age children that are hard to get rid of simply because they represent so many hours of involvement. And yet it’s rare that anyone ever refers back to the contents of notebooks after the school year is out. Do yourself a favor and flip through the notebook with your child once, clipping a sample of what note-taking looked like at this age, plus fun doodles, lists, or other musings that appear throughout. Scan them as jpegs and add them to your book!

5. Lists & Laughs To complete your time-capsule photo book from the school year, have your child come up with a few categories that represent his or her interests both inside and outside of school. Some ideas: favorite shows, songs, bands, styles, games, pastimes, sports heros, celebrities, classmate nicknames, worst moments, best moments, and dreams for the future. Simply choose a text-based layout and drop your lists of favorites right into your photo book. You can always refer to our previous entry on photo book list layouts for ideas and tips!

List of Favorite Things

*We used the School Days Yearbook theme above

Completing a school year photo book will help you streamline surfaces and shelves, letting you get on with summer fun. And when the new school year starts, you’ll be organized and ready to take on a whole new set of memories—and start accumulating content for the next school-year-in-review photo book!

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