How to Create a Personalised Family Yearbook

by | Aug 20, 2020 | How To, Inspiration, Tips and Tricks

If you’re anything like us, you probably have hundreds if not thousands of photos of your kids and family members stored digitally on your:

  • Phones
  • Tablets
  • Computers/Laptops
  • External Hard disk 
  • Cloud storage (like iCloud, google drive, dropbox…)
  • Social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc…) 

Despite having taken all these photos, how many of you actually have printed copies to show for it?

Have a quick glance around your home. Do you have any photos of recent trips, fun outings or family photos from the last big reunion hanging around? Or are your framed prints and desktop displays so old that you’re actually missing one or two kids (no shade to you guys – it happens!) 

If you’re looking for ways to finally make use of all those photos, this is the perfect blog for you. In today’s blog, we’re going to be talking about how to create personalised family yearbooks – perfect for all kinds of families! We’re going to be showing you a few different examples of how you can go about with this project; so read on to find out more!

What is a Family Yearbook?

Let’s start with the basics. A family yearbook is a photo book that captures everything your family has experienced over the period of one year. It can feature texts, images or a mix both. Besides creating a family yearbook for your immediate family as a group,  you can also choose to create a yearbook for individual members of your family. If you’re feeling industrious or want something a bit more robust, you can even choose to create a family yearbook that includes members of your extended family as well.

PRO TIP: If you’re wondering what kind of book to use when creating a personalised family yearbook, we highly recommend the 8” x 11” Imagewrap Hardcover Photo Book.

The contents of a family yearbook usually include things like highlights of the year. These highlights can be from individual perspectives (ex: eldest child graduated high school, dad’s retirement, mom’s promotions) or it can be highlights of the family as a group (ex: New baby, trips overseas, family reunions). 

Besides the photos themselves, adding a short caption or blurbs to describe the moment can also help you better capture your family’s essence and history for that one year into the book. 

PRO TIP: You can choose to experiment with the inside content paper material of your photo book to give your personalised family yearbook more texture and dimension.

Choosing Your Theme

To ensure that the contents of your personalised family yearbook is cohesive and blends well, be sure to pick a theme. A theme can help you create focused pages and can also help you distinguish one yearbook from the other. This is especially useful if you’re planning to make this (creating a family photo book) an annual tradition.

What’s important is to keep in mind what kind of tone you want your family yearbook to have. Do you want it to be fun and lighthearted? Quirky and eclectic? Or do you want it to be more serious and sentimental? 

PRO TIP: Once you’ve figured out what kind of tone you want your personalised family yearbook to carry, picking a theme becomes much easier.

Themes to Try

If you’re having trouble deciding on what themes to use for your personalised family yearbook, here are a few that you could try: 

The Classic Yearbook Theme

Take inspiration from the old yearbooks you used to get in high school and incorporate some of the more interesting elements into your own personalised family yearbook. Add a ‘Message from the editor’ page to give your readers some context about the book or give a summary of what happened to the family in that particular year.

Additionally, you can also sort your family members by age, add categories like ‘vacation pictures’, ‘family reunions’, or ‘birthdays’. To make it feel even more like a ‘yearbook’, you can also have a spread dedicated to each member of your family through the year (1 photo for each month) to see how much they’ve changed! 

PRO TIP: If you opt for a writable content paper like the Premium Textured Fine Art paper you can even include a blank ‘autograph’ page so that your family members can write down a message about the year in their own handwriting! 

The  Floral Theme

Little blurbs like ‘You grow, girl!’ and ‘I’m rooting for you!’ are just some of the plant and growth-related puns that you can include in a personalised family yearbook that uses a floral theme. What’s so great about this theme is that it fits both a sentimental tone as well as one that is more lighthearted and fun. Utilising design elements such as floral patterns, geometrical shapes and earthy colours to showcase the growth of your family over the year is a simple yet timeless way to go about designing your personalised family yearbook.

A clever way to separate each family member’s section or different occasions (while still ensuring the book remains cohesive) is by using similar floral backgrounds in a different colour for each person or event. 

Shapes Theme

If you’re not a fan of organic elements like flowers or plants, you can try to use ‘shapes’ as a theme to deliver your messages. As we all know, different shapes can project a different message based on what they symbolise. For example, a circular picture box (or a ring of photos), can symbolise ‘the circle of life’ or the ‘circle of love/support/trust’ in the family. 

Shapes like squares often symbolise structure, stability, and a strong foundation. It’s a shape a lot of people trust in – so if you want your personalised family yearbook to help ground people and give off a dependable vibe, square layouts and picture boxes are the way to go.

Triangular shapes – depending on their size and positions can represent many things. For example, they can represent moving forward or looking towards the future (if the point is pointing right), going backwards or a ‘blast from the past’ (if the point is pointing left), or even stability and power – like a strong family bond (if the point is pointing upwards). Alternatively, triangles can also be used to break from the traditional, square design. They can be put together in countless ways to create all sorts of dynamic designs – making them quite versatile!

Sorting Suggestion

Before you even begin to put together your personalised family yearbook, be sure to sort out your photos first. This will make it easier for you to put together different sections of your family yearbook and overall help you keep organized. Some of the ways you can sort out your photos are:

  • By month in calendar year order (Jan, Feb, March, etc…)
  • By day in order from January to December (Jan 1, Jan 2, Jan 3…)
  • By week in calendar year order (January – Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4…)
  • By season in calendar year order (Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall)
  • By family member from youngest to oldest (or oldest to youngest)
  • By type of activity or event – in alphabetical order (birthday, camping trip, graduation, weddings…)

Section Suggestion

Depending on which way you choose to sort your photos, here are some suggestions on how you can separate those moments into individual sections to make up your personalised family yearbooks

  • Title page – this can be as simple as just a singular group photo with your family name or as detailed as a mini bio-data of each member of the family – inclusive of photos, names, ages, and birth dates.
  • Table of Contents – so that readers can quickly get to the page they want
  • Dedication or Memorial Page – the reason why you chose to create a yearbook or just a page to honour family members who are no longer with you.

     

  • Individual Accomplishments – a few pages dedicated to highlighting what each family member was proud of that year. Could be things like learning a recipe, winning a competition, getting a promotion or completing a project.

     

  • Group Memories – which is basically a section for events and holidays that every member of the family participated in – like weddings, Chinese New Year, Hari Raya, Deepavali and so on.

     

  • List of Highlights – for those everyday moments that don’t quite fit but still made an impact – like a memorable trip, contest participation, house renovation, room re-styling and so on.

PRO TIP: Having all these different sections will help improve the flow of your personalised family yearbook and give it a more organised feel. 

Other stuff to include

Just because your personalised family yearbook is technically a photo book doesn’t mean that you can’t include images of items other than your family. Go all out and scan printed or handwritten documents as JPEG files or take pictures of them to add into your yearbook. Some of the documents could include things like:

  • Certificates and awards
  • Ticket stubs from various transportation and attractions
  • Recipes cards
  • Holiday wish lists or lists of gifts received
  • Letters and postcards
  • School assignments and report cards
  • Travel brochure and itineraries 
  • Old photos (like baby photos or photos of your parents/grandparents wedding).

PRO TIP: If you don’t have a scanner or a DSLR Camera, you can try downloading and using Google’s PhotoScan app instead.


While we can conclude that creating a personalised family yearbook will definitely require time and organisation, it’s not too terribly difficult (especially with the help of Pixajoy and the many free designer templates). Plus, you can’t say the results aren’t worth it. Consider it a labour of love! You can choose to either work on the book a little at a time over the course of a year or collect all the materials you would need in one folder and make the book at the end of the year. Either way, the most important thing is to keep your materials – such as notes, photos and captions well organise. You’ll be ready to print in no time! 

If you’re interested in other types of personalised photo goods, feel free to visit our website to check out some more cool stuff! 

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