Monday, January 7, 2013

Personalized Board Book Review

I have had this pin sitting in my (very small) gifts board for a long time. I love the idea of making personalized books for babies. I know JJ loves "reading" and it is so much fun when kids start "getting" that there is stuff to look at and stories to hear from books. I know I could make the standard snapfish photobook, but these are the tough board books that can withstand a teething baby. This Christmas, I decided to order up a couple of these for my niece and cousin's son.

Board Book from Pint Size Productions

Another bonus - these books from Pint Size Productions are made in America -perfect to help support World News' Made In America program (side note: I am a total ABC news junkie. From local NY news anchors, to GMA, to World News with Diane Sawyer. Shannon gets sucked in as well and we have been known to google some behind the scenes gossip. One day we will venture into Manhattan with JJ in tow so Josh Elliot talks to us). Back on topic: I gathered the pictures I needed from facebook, my own library, and asking for some random shots from my cousin. For both Emma and Sal, I used photos of their parents, their pets, their grandparents, friends/cousins, and of course, them. For the text, I simply described who was in the photo and where it was taken. There are some pics below in case I am not explaining myself well.

I decided to go with the "Simple Photo Book 2" with a photo on the right and text on the left. I only had a handful of pics for each baby so I thought this would be the best choice. Once you click which type you like, you add it to your cart and are brought to spread building site. Here's a screen shot:

It was pretty simple to use once you got the hang of it. Every time you add a new photo or change the text, you have to click "Update Preview" and then select the page at the top in the middle to see it. The good thing is you can save it and come back to it later if you can't finish it all in one sitting. You can also add a photo and message on the back cover. I think it would be helpful if Pint Sized Productions added a little gallery so those of us that are creatively challenged could be inspired by what others have done. The website said all Christmas orders had to be in by December 7th in order to arrive by Christmas. I placed my order for the two books on December 6th. The total was $50 and change for the two books and shipping.

I did get a little nervous about them arriving in time as I got the shipping confirmation email on December 17 and it stated that it could take 5-7 business days to arrive. I emailed customer service asking it was going to arrive on time and never heard back. Luckily, they arrived on the 19th (before I even had a chance to call the customer service phone number).

The results? They came out really cute. They did seem to have a chemically odor but I am not sure if that was the packaging or the books themselves. I knew the quality of some of the photos would be compromised (since I stole some from Facebook), but I thought some of the pics I had taken myself with my DSLR were a bit grainy too. Overall though, I was happy. Although $25 seems a little high for a 7 page book, it was worth it to get a special, personalized book for these special babies that they can keep for a long time.

On to some pics (graciously supplied by my cousin Katie since I forgot to take pics before I wrapped them):

The handsome recipient, Baby Sal

Back Cover

Sample of an inside page
Another inside page

The whole thing

I would definitely recommend using Pint Sized Productions if you are in the market for something similar. Their website has some other designs and some stuffed animals as well. Has anyone else out there made anything similar?

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