Capture the joy and excitement of your family's past year by creating a photo book, or yearbook, of recent memories. Include all the good and bad experiences each member or the group had along with notes to help keep the memories alive.
Family Yearbook Theme Selection
Choosing a theme for your yearbook can help you create focused pages that blend well together and make one cohesive keepsake. Using a different theme for each year helps distinguish one yearbook from another if you plan to make this an annual tradition. Decide whether you want the tone of the book to be more lighthearted and fun or more serious and sentimental, then pick a theme.
Tree or Garden
Use design elements to show growth. Add one leaf to the top of each page that has a letter on it spelling out your family's last name by the end of the book. Similar floral backgrounds, but different colors, would work for each family member; you could even feature a tree on each page but have it resemble the season of the events in the photos.
Use a circle of love theme where all the pictures on a page are displayed in a circular pattern with text in the middle. You could also use triangles throughout the book, as they are the strongest shape, just as family bonds are strong.
High School Yearbook
Take inspiration from classic school yearbooks and sort family members by age or add in typical sections like family superlatives, sports teams, and "extracurriculars" like vacations. You could even have a signature page for everyone.
Themes like "family rewind" or "behind the scenes" are fun when you include design elements like film strip graphics with smaller pictures on them or put each person's individual picture on a star background.
Creative families can show how their family is a masterpiece by adding frames around photographs. Also include original artwork from family members as the background for each page.
Play on Words From Last Name
Take your last name literally in the design. For example, the Shields family could use sword and shield theme by adding the family coat of arms to each page.
Family Game Night
Celebrate teamwork and fun by formatting each page to resemble a classic board or card game. Add individual headshots to playing cards or create a board game path by aligning photos in rows that wind down the page.
Gather all the photos you want to include then choose a layout based around those images.
The book will make more sense and be easier to search if you choose a sorting method.
- By month in calendar year order
- By day in order from January to December
- By week in calendar year order
- By family member from youngest to oldest
- By type of activity or event, like birthdays or vacations, in alphabetical order
Ideas For Layout
Make your pictures the focal point and caption each one with pertinent information about the image such as date and location, personal quotes, or short anecdotes. Add the year to the spine of the book or label each with a volume number.
Based on your sorting method, choose which sections you'll separate images into.
- Title page with all your family info, such as address and ages
- Table of Contents, so family members can quickly get to the page they want
- Dedication or Memorial Page, with an explanation behind it
- Individual Accomplishments, highlighting what each family member is proud of that year
- Group Memories, which are events and holidays everyone took part in like weddings and Christmas
- List of Highlights, such as a memorable trip or even a kitchen remodel
Try to make one unique page that could appear each year if you make yearbooks regularly.
- Take a family photo in the same location year after year making sure each person in is the same spot. Make it more amusing by requiring everyone to wear exactly the same outfit.
- Create a family search and find by filling a page with tiny photos and including a list of images readers need to find.
- Make "My Favorite Things" pages where each family member includes images of their favorite toys, books, music, places, etc. Include only the page title so future generations will have fun guessing which family member created each page.
Items to Include
Just because you're creating a photo book doesn't mean you can't include images of other items. If you're making a digital yearbook, scan documents as JPEG files or take pictures of them to add. You can also add envelopes and clear sleeves to some books, digital or not, to actually hold the items themselves.
- Certificates and awards
- Ticket stubs
- Holiday wish lists or lists of gifts received
- Letters and postcards
- School assignments
- Brochure covers or website screenshots for attractions
- Holiday cards
- Social media posts
There are tons of apps and websites you can use to create digital family yearbooks. For most you'll need to create an account, upload your images, and pay as little as $10 for a small book. There are also several DIY versions you can make.
- Scrapbook, whether digital or paper
- Handwritten journal with pictures
- Photo album with individual holders
- Fabric book using transfer paper to fuse photos to fabric
A Year in Review
Family yearbooks make great baby or graduation gifts and are nice to have at home to share throughout the years. Consider your yearbook an upgraded family photo album that highlights everything you accomplished and experienced in one year.