My daughter is a prolific artist. We are presented with handfuls of paper at the end of each day, usually covered in pictures of cats; cat pirates, cats having tea parties, cats in hospital, once we even got a cat in prison! I adore these pictures but I just don’t have the space to file these piles of paper away, so I decided to make a photo book of them. That way I can enjoy her drawings and store them away neatly.
It was really easy to do, if you want to make one too follow these steps:
Scanning

I started off by scanning all the pictures into my computer, labelling them carefully with the date, so that once I had collected enough I’d know which order to put them in. Make sure you scan them as .jpg not .jp2 (as my scanner automatically did) or you’ll spend a lot of time converting them.
cats on the Olympic podium (and a bit of Mondrian)
Remove the ‘paper’

Scanning the pictures can leave the white background a bit dull and grey as you can see the paper they were drawn on and sometimes whatever was on the other side of the paper shows through. To get rid of these you will need to open each picture in some photo editing software. It doesn’t have to be an expensive one, whatever you use to manage your digital photos will probably do this. I used iPhoto.

First slide the brightness settings up, until the background appears white and any blotching from the back of the paper disappears. This will lighten the drawing itself, to bring it back slide up the contrast settings.

Even if the background isn’t white, it really helps to slide up the contrast a bit anyway, it just gives it a boost.
bottom left – a cat meets an elephant
Upload to Snapfish
I’ve tried this on a couple of sites, and I had a few problems uploading pictures on the other sites, so I would recommend Snapfish. The problem is that the sites are set up for photographs which have lots of detail and therefore a large file size. Scanned line drawings are not big, even if they are good quality and many were rejected for being poor quality on other sites. Snapfish seemed to deal with them just fine.
I included some photos of my daughter painting (in this case her face!)

Follow the simple instructions to create your book

 

Its pretty intuitive how to make your book on the site, and there is an instruction video you can watch. As you will be loading in pictures that aren’t a standard photograph size I would remove all “page layout” boxes then drag each picture directly onto the page. That way you won’t have to resize all the boxes to get the whole picture in. There are guidelines to help line up the pictures, but because they aren’t going to be a standard size sometimes they just won’t line up nicely. If this happens I found it helped to put the pictures in at an angle, there is a control at the top of each picture to tilt them. I found it really useful to be able to label some pictures – especially the earlier ones when its not so obvious what they are supposed to be.Most of the pictures you can see here started out life as A4 pages and they look great shrunk down to fit several on a page. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you need to make the pictures as close to the original size to work – you’ll end up spending a fortune and have a very thick book – which kinds of defeats the point of doing this!

 

Our book covers 3 years of selected artworks and came in at a very reasonable £34.86 (I selected an 8×8 book at £24.99, then added more pages to bring it up to 40 pages).

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