The best DIY photo books – and where to get the best deal!


Still scrambling for the perfect gift idea?

Why not consider a photo book? Photo books combine memories and a gift into one thoughtful package!

These meaningful pieces are the modern iteration of photo albums. But, instead of placing the picture carefully on a sticky piece of cardstock behind some glossy plastic that might end up ruining the picture, photo books are high quality, bound books that look just like real books, and you can select a variety of designs and colors to match the recipient’s taste – or yours!

Consumer Reports tested four sources for photo books — Blurb, Shutterfly, Snapfish, and Walmart, and prices ranged from $26.07 – $72.76. But, there are tons of other sites that offer photo book production!

In addition to the four photo book sources Consumer Reports tested, here are some tips for pulling together a great photo book.

Read more: Putting the brakes on excessive gift giving

Tips for creating a great photo book

  • Allow yourself time: Give yourself plenty of time to find the right pictures.
  • Organize your pictures: You can do this chronologically, by geographic location, or by family members.
  • Be choosy: Make sure to use pictures that aren’t blurry and flatter the people in them.
  • Include variety: Be sure to include horizontals, verticals and portraits, as well as panoramas. There are also types of photos you’ll want to incorporate such as formals, candids, action shots, group portraits, and selfies; landscapes and still lifes.

How to get the best deal

DIY photobooks

There are many sites offering very low-cost photo books – just be sure to check the reviews to ensure you’re getting a high quality product.

In time for Christmas?

Most photobooks can take up to 7 days to print, and another 7-10 days to ship. Since we are so close to Christmas, here are several sources that offer same day printing!

Bonus tip: is offering rush orders you can get in time for Christmas if you order by December 21 at 7 p.m. ET.

Read more: The worst gifts you could buy someone this Christmas 

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