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Monday, June 24, 2013

DIY Yearbook!

We had an amazing year this year and I wanted my little Rosalinda to have something to remind her of all the wonderful things we did and people we spent time with this year.

This project had a lot of headaches, but I'm hoping it is because I was newbie and not because it is the nature of the product.

When I decided to do a showcase, I figured it would help to have a theme to help inspire the invite and yearbook.  I played with the idea of peacocks, owls, monsters, stars, dots, and a lot more.  I found an invite using monster graphics on walgreens.com or walmart.com, which was my original plan.  I wanted to be able to order nice quality, but economical invites that I could hand and mail out.  Yeah, didn't happen.  I couldn't change the "birthday" wording and couldn't find any other pre-made invites that would work.

So I ended up making my own and ordering them as photos from Walgreens.com.  It took two orders due to their network resizing it and cutting off part of the invite, but we finally got it done.

I made this invite in Microsoft Publisher, saved it as a jpg, and loaded it into my walgreens.com account.
Sticking with this theme I went to work on her yearbook, about six weeks before the showcase.  I made it all in publisher.  Originally I looked at picture books, like Walgreens and Shutterfly, but for the number of pages that I wanted, I couldn't find anything in my budget.  

I finally printed it out on my Epson printer (which did take A LOT of ink because I wanted it to be high quality) front and back on cardstock.  I decided to take it to our local education store to be laminated and bound, but that was a fiasco.  Their laminater completely ruined my pages and the laminate didn't stick to the page, creating huge bubbles.  The bubbles made the images and words almost impossible to make out.  It wasn't good. :(  However, the owner of the educational supply store is amazing!  She had me send her the files and she printed them herself, so that I didn't have to pay another $20 in ink, took it to an office supply store and had it laminated in really think laminate and bound.  I didn't pay a cent!  She took great care of us!

Here are my pages, so you can see how I organized it all.

Table of Contents
All the places we did school this year: library, in a tent, on the porch swing, in a hospital waiting room,
and other fun places!
My family was listed as the faculty...I could've added other people as well that had contributed, but I thought it would mean more to my daughter if it was her family only.
I've decided that even though we home educate, I'm still going to try and do a September school photo.  I know you could get packages as low as $6 at Walmart's Studio...so even if I had to go somewhere else and had to track down some coupons, I think I could budget for a single pose on a traditional blue background.  The picture I used for Fourth Grade is Rosalinda's first day of school photo.  One of our traditions is to buy a new pair of pjs for the first day of school, rather than an outfit. :)
Had to get some favorites so she can see how cool/dorky she was when she was 10, lol.  :)
These were some of Rosalinda's best buds.  One of them doesn't live in the same state, but I had the others sign their pages.
Our sweet pup Jules, kitty Twinkles, and a special project of mine.
Last December I did our own version of Elf on the Shelf with a polar bear named Snowflake.
Rosalinda got a package in the mail with Snowflake and a request from the Inuit Teacher's Association.  They had been overrun with cubs and didn't have enough teachers to instruct them all.  So Rosalinda was asked to teach mischievous Snowflake about the true meaning of Christmas.  We had a lot of fun with it. ;)

We do a lot at our public library!  We have three branches that take turns hosting, tween, teen, and family events.

This is the awesome educational supply store that ultimately helped me get the yearbook made!

These pages were set aside for people to sign.  This same "paper" was on the back of the cover and the very back of the book to provide extra space for signing.  I asked for people to sign anywhere they wanted EXCEPT for the front cover.

Total Cost: $28

I did have to buy extra ink because I wanted a colorful yearbook, used cardstock I had on hand (printing front and back) and I didn't have to pay for the lamination and binding.  

My original idea would have cost me less than $7 to laminate and bind.

What I Would Or Would Not Do Next Time
  • Do a border and not a full color background on each page
  • More signature pages (some people had trouble finding enough space to say all that they wanted to say)
  • Possibly look at formatting it to fit a photo book and keep my eyes open for coupons...that way it gets a hard cover and everything prints directly on glossy paper and I don't have to worry about laminating
  • Because of the order of events leading to the final publishing of this book, the signature pages were laminated before being signed.  From my research everything I found said that sharpies is the best to use, but I'm finding that they still will rub off weeks after, so I'm trying to figure out what to do to preserve the wishes for years to come.
    • If I laminate, I may leave those pages unlaminated and add them later.  That way I can still have it bound and available to view at the showcase.  
    • Or leave it all unlaminated...undecided at this point.  
    • This is what makes the photo books seem like a good idea.
Overall, I was pleased with it and am planning on doing one each year moving forward! :)


  1. Wow! LOVE this! It's a perfect way to wrap up the year! Awesome job!

    1. Thank you! Do you have any end-of-year traditions you'd like to share?

  2. I loved it to mom !!!!! I hope you do it next year too,oh and this coming up year please bake sweets to have during and after the school year???

    1. Lol, so Miss Rosalinda obviously had possession of my laptop!