I forgot to share the best gift that I made for my family this Christmas! I made my mom, stepmom, sisters and grandma a family cookbook of all of our dessert recipes. It took me hours and hours and hours. I also had to bake more than I care to so I could take photos — but it was all worth it.
I designed the book from cover to cover using Adobe InDesign. I designed the cover using a lot of the last names in our family as an interesting graphic element.
Once all of the pages were complete, I uploaded them to Shutterfly as images and put them into their blank photo book template — they call it Digiscrap. It shows a step by step guide on how to upload your own custom template onto a blank photo book.
The only downside to the blank template was a lack of measurements. For example, I made a jpg for the spine to fit into their template, but that spine wrapped around the whole book, so the words are partially on the cover (if you look at the first photo you can see what I mean). It would be great if they suggested art bounds and text bounds for the covers and pages. Not a big deal, but something to keep in mind if you ever design your own and use Shutterfly to print it.
Other than the spine mishap, the book is gorgeous. I’ve used Shutterfly before for photo books and they don’t disappoint. I love how the photos printed, which I was a bit nervous about because I am in no way close to being a professional photographer.
The recipes in the book go way back — we have one from my great-great-great grandma — and I even included pro tips from family members who are known for each recipe.
Ever make a cookbook of your own? Did you use a template or design your own?
I am really glad I designed mine myself. I learned a lot through the process. I would definitely do things a bit differently next time, which will be next Christmas when I tackle the family entrée and side recipes! We make such yummy food in our family, I didn’t have time to fit it all in one book.
I can’t believe I forgot to share it — I’m so proud of it.
10 thoughts on “Family Cookbook”
This is so cool! The shutterfly printing looks great. My family did this too but without pro pictures or printing.
Thanks, Ben! We’d made one 12 years ago using Microsoft word and clipart. It was fun to make it a little prettier.
This looks amazing! Your food photography turned out really well.
Thanks! I was nervous about it. We’ll see how it goes next year when I phototograph the sides and entrees. I think that is gonna be even trickier!
So cool! My mom doesn’t use recipes but I should stealthy follow her around as she’s cooking and note what she’s doing. I’m sure my sisters would love something like this.
It was fun to make! Your PayDay cake recipe is in it:)
Hey Jess, This book looks really cool. Could you send me me the link for shutterfly and the pdf so I can print one. I’d like to purchase one for my mom. I think she would really like it. Thanks
Is there any chance you might post your cookbook template? I would love to make something similar for my family 🙂