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February 23, 2013

Creating a Family Story Book Using Flip-Pal and Shutterfly

Olive Tree Genealogy Blog: Creating a Family History Story Book
Yesterday Volume 2 of my McGinnis Family Story Books arrived from Shutterfly. I'm really pleased with how it turned out!

First I used my amazing Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner to scan the family photos I wanted to use in my book. I like using the Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner because I can sit on my sofa and watch television while I"m scanning the photographs!

After transferring the scanned photos to my computer (easy with the memory card and USB adaptor that comes with the scanner!) I organized them into a directory on my laptop Then I uploaded them to Shutterfly. I created a different size book this time.  Usually I go with the 8x8 books because they are small, easy to pick up and glance through and I just like the look of them. But this time I went with the 8 1/2 x 11 and I'm really glad I chose that size.

Olive Tree Genealogy Blog: Creating a Family History Story Book
The 8 1/2 x 11 allowed me to insert a census image that was legible but had room around the edges for the page background. I could have added a border around those images or embellished the page with a "sticker" but I like the larger images to be simple and plain.

You can read how I organized my book at Creating Memory Books on Shutterfly  It's important to plan the layout of your book before starting. Decide on how you want to organize the pages and photos - by person? Chronologically? You can always switch pages around once you've created pages in Shutterfly but you need a plan to begin.

Think about how many pages you want. I create mine to be between 20 and 25 pages. If it is going to be bigger, I break the book into separate volumes. As an example, my Story Books on my McGinnis family are in 4 volumes, one for each generation starting with my father. The smaller the book, the more manageable to create and the more likely your recipients will be to pick it up and skim through it. Anything larger than 25 pages is, for me, overwhelming to create and I believe would be too much for most people to want to glance through.

Olive Tree Genealogy Blog: Creating a Family History Story Book
Shutterfly allows me to create photo pages, or text pages or a combination of both. It's easy to quickly pick a layout for each page using their layout options. So if you want to place two photos and one text box on a page, for example, you choose from their options for 2 photos plus text.

Then by using the "customize" feature found on each page you can resize and rearrange the photo and text boxes. You can add more text boxes if you want. Then you can change the background by choosing from their options for whatever theme you are using.

Olive Tree Genealogy Blog: Creating a Family History Story Book
In this volume of the McGinnis family story, I added scans of newspaper clippings from a family double wedding. I am lucky enough to have the actual wedding invitation so I added that to the page along with photos of the church and of the happy couples. Using my Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner this section took less than 10 minutes to scan and upload.

In the end the book is a lovely coffee table book resembling a scrapbook. But it has enough genealogical information and documents to give family members a taste of what I have found on the family. It also allows me to share the wonderful family photos, documents and newspaper clippings in my possession.

I can hardly wait to start on my next family story book project! 

11 comments:

  1. What a great idea. I have made family history scrapbooks and hard backed files full of my findings. But this idea is lovely to make a more simple but eye catching complication of the family history.
    I will be having a go now myself :-)
    Thanks for sharing.
    Louise
    Echoes Of Our Past

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  2. I love the book!

    Betty

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  3. Lorine,

    What a beautiful book! Your article gives me inspiration to try creating some books of my own family.

    Diane

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  4. Louise - glad you like it! You it it on the head - I wanted a simple eye-catching book to grab my family's attention!

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  5. Thanks Betty, it gets easier with every one you create

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  6. Diane - thank you. It is super easy with my beloved Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner and I'm getting used to Shutterfly interface so each book goes faster

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  7. Great tips Lorine. I've used Blurb and Snapfish but it seems Shutterfly might offer more varied options within one book.

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  8. Hi Pauleen - I've used Blurb but I prefer Shutterfly themes and backgrounds for photos and documents.

    I've never tried Snapfish. Might have to check it out :-)

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  9. You have inspired me. Thanks!

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  10. Hi! This is a wonderful post. I have a photobook template that I downloaded from Photoworks before Shutterfly bought them. I like the clean and simple pages that you have created! I like the clean, minimalist look and you've given me some additional inspiration.

    Thank you so much for sharing.

    Wendy

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  11. Lorine, do you remember what background for the pages that you selected on Shutterfly? I want a neutral, 'old' look and the samples of yours that you showed is perfect but I can't find that in the Shutterfly collection. Thanks for the inspiration, Donna

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