kojotutorial: I Spy Book

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Keadryn is currently obsessed with I Spy Books. To say she loves them is quite the understatement. And her birthday was the perfect chance to make her a Keadryn Tailored I Spy Book.

Putting this book together for Kead was super fun! If you’ve ever put a photo book together, you know that it’s a lot of work. However, the finished product is totally (TOTALLY!) worth it! Does someone in your life need one too?

To make a DIY I Spy Book, you’ll need:
-collections of ‘stuff’ to take pictures of (some things I used- wooden blocks, pom poms, fake flowers, little foam animals, Mr. Potato Head parts, cars, charms, seashells, pinecones, books)
-posterboard backdrops
-Picasa photo editing software

1. Set up a backdrop. Cover with a collection of stuff. Make sure that you have at least three items that are unique (for example, if the collection your taking pictures of is pom poms, make sure there are three pom poms that are unique) as your “I Spy” items.

2. Take a picture of three unique items on a white backdrop. Leave white space above the items (you’ll see why in a couple steps).

3. Upload all of the pictures into Picassa. To edit your ‘collage-esque’ picture into a square, choose “Crop” and then “Square” from the drop down menu.

4. Edit your three-unique item picture into a 4×6 image with some white space at the top.

5. Using the “Text” feature in Picassa, find a fun font (I used “Circus”) and add the words “I Spy…” into the white space.

6. Select both your collage picture and your I Spy picture (hold down shift while you select both pictures). Then, click on the “Create Photo Collage” option (highlighted with the large red arrow above).

7. Repeat and repeat and repeat until you have a collection of “I Spy…” picture collages. Upload into a photo book (I used Paper Coterie’s fantastic photo book system).

8. The finished product? A FABULOUS I Spy Book.

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  1. I love your idea and it turned out great! How original! I have printed lots of books, but have not heard of this company. I'd love to win one of the books to try them out. Who knows, they might be my new book company!

    If I win, I'd publish the book I've been working on of the 4-27-11 Alabama tornadoes destroying my daughter's first house (bought less than a year ago) and the new one rising from the ashes (so to speak). It's my effort to help her heal and show the good coming from the bad. She's the greatest!

    I do so love your blog and look forward to each of your posts. Thanks for all the hard work, and for this opportunity!

  2. I would like to make a photo book of our family. We don't live close to family so I've been wanting to put something together so my little girl can be learning everyone's names even though we only see them once or twice a year.

  3. My husband is in the Army and leaving for 6 months of training in August. He got home from Afghanistan in September, so I would order a photobook of him and our daughter who was 10.5 months old when he came home and is now 19 months old that I could send with him so that he could have all his memories of their time together all in one spot. I would probably order a second one too so that I could show it to our daughter every day so that we don't forget daddy again. That is the hardest part about her being so young and him being in the military. Thanks for the opportunity to win something so meaningful.

  4. such a cute idea! I wouldn't mind a book like that of our own πŸ™‚
    If I were to win this fantastic prize, I would love to make my own books for my two kids. 2 personal books of everything they love and everything they are.
    speckledkat [at] gmail [dot] com

  5. I love this idea and want to make one for my toddler. Thanks for the tutorial.

    From Paper Coterie I love the Polaroid Heart and the Know Your ABCs growth chart, but of course I use the credit to have my own I Spy book printed.

  6. I would love to make an I spy book for my son who is turning 3 this week. He loves those books and would flip for a unique one personalized just for him!!

  7. I love the I Spy idea! Wish I had more kids in my life to give it to πŸ™‚ I would probably get an album for my parents if I win.

  8. What a fun idea! If I won I would finally create a photo album of our honeymoon in the UK. It's something I've been meaning to do for a long time.

  9. This is such a fun idea. I would love to make a few I spy books too for my jellybeans! Its nice to try out a new company and see how they compare to the ones I traditionally use.

  10. I LOVE paper coterie! I would do one for my dad for fathers day!!!!!!!!!! thanks jeanarae at hotmail dot com

  11. That is so adorable!

    I love Paper Coterie's selection. I have been drooling over their shop since they opened but just haven't found the motivation to put together a book yet. My very favorite item is the Polaroid Heart poster. I haven't ever seen anything like it!


  12. How fun!! That turned out beautiful. I would make a little photo book as a birthday gift for my 6 year old daughter. She loves looking through pictures but I'm not very good about printing them off! πŸ™‚

  13. What a great idea and a good giveaway. I would do the "Our Family" photo book.



  14. I love photo books – I make them of vacations, special events, ABC's of each child's first year, and the stories my kids tell me. Its hard to say what I would make next, but I would definitely put the credit to good use!

  15. Ooooh, I'd love to have the chance to make one of these I spy books for free! Such a great idea!! Thanks for the chance to win. rachaelkoch (at) gmail (dot) com.

  16. I love the I Spy book idea!! I have been thinking about making a photo book of animals for my son who is 18 months. I love the photo books from Paper Coterie.

  17. I would order a an I Spy Book as I have this on my to do list for my son's upcoming birthdays πŸ™‚ I have to plan now so I have time to complete it lol


  18. I would order some of their lovely birth announcements to commemorate the arrival of our little one in late summer (and to make up for the fact I never got around to doing them for her older brother…whoops). Sorainima (at) gmail.com

  19. I love this book! Thanks for the tutorial. I'd probably go for the ABC book, although so much of their stuff is adorable! It's almost too hard to choose! jennifer(dot)hill82(at)gmail(dot)com

  20. Oh, what neat ideas! We have a family full of firefighters, so it would be so neat to make one of the hero books for my kids, featuring the firefighters of the family!

    I'd also love to do a calendar of my kids for extended family!

    mdpntemp (at) hotmail (dot) com

  21. Cute idea! I would like to try something like that for my girls, or a family book, since we have so many that live out of town. They forget who everyone is between visits.

  22. I love the idea! I have seen those before, but I've never taken the time to make one. I have 2 sons–2 1/2 and 1 1/2. I would make them a book about their family because we don't see extended members very often. I think they would love to flip through their book and see each member of the family! πŸ™‚

  23. I love the I spy book – my kiddo loves I Spy too, and her birthday is coming up! Perfect timing!

  24. i love this company – thanks for introducing them to me! I would get the autobaun growth chart for little peanut…
    jessica dot evans06 at gmail dot com

  25. I love this idea! I recently used Paper Coterie to make a poster but that book idea would be perfect for my small boys! Thanks for the chance to win!
    melissa_riker at yahoo dot com

  26. I ordered a Growth Chart from them in the past and it is awesome. Their quality is superb! I would probably order either a calendar or a photo book…both of which would be time intensive, but totally worth it, as you stated!

  27. I LOVE this idea for an I SPY book and customizing it for the little one. So creative and so personal. I just discovered you through the Facebook post on the Paper Coterie. I'll be following you!

  28. I also love Paper Coterie and have made three journals so far. I have so many ideas I have a hard time deciding on what to do. Your I Spy book was just added to my list!

    My first two grandchildren are both due in September. I'd love to steal your idea and make an "I Spy" book for each of them!


  29. I totally love this idea!!!
    And my friend just had her baby girl TODAY!! so I would love to make her a growth-chart. .

  30. I Love Paper Coterie! I've already made an ABC book and would love to do any other photo books of theirs. Maybe a recipe book?! It would be great to compile photos and recipes that are my faves for our family to see.

  31. I love this idea and I want to copy it for each of my kids, my nieces and nephews!

    That's definitely what I'll order!

    Serena84 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  32. I love Paper Coterie! I've ordered some things from them thru their openhouse and I won a growth chart from another blog. Maybe I'm being selfish by entering this give-a-way, but I really love their products.

  33. Wow, what an incredible idea! I am in love with these books (I've made 3 and they are amazing!), the next one I have my eye on is Love Is…they have such unique ideas!
    stephaniejanzen at gmail dot com

  34. I love this giveaway! I never win anything, but if I were to win this one, I'd definitely have to get a recipe book. There are so many recipies from my grandmother (who died 25 years ago) that are being lost through grand and great grandchildren. Her recipies are a lost art, and I want to preserver them. caroline (dot) peck 99 at yahoo (dot) com.

  35. I would love this! I think I would make a book of all my daughter's visits with their grandparents! How wonderful of a book to put their memories with all the grands in one place!

    winecm at hotmail dot com

  36. I would love to make the Our Girl And The Little Elephant book with my little ones newborn pictures!
    andreapaetkau at gmail dot com

  37. I would love to make a photo book for my family who has gone through a lot of hard times in the past & in the book I would document the hard times and how we got through them and how each thing made us stronger as a family and as individuals. I have ordered a photo book from Paper Coterie before and I absolutely love the quality! Thank you for the opportunity! 9009heather@gmail.com

  38. I would DEFINITELY have to make a book for my baby girl. Such an AWESOME creation and giveaway!! THANK YOU for the chance to win!!

  39. What a cool idea!! I'll be linking to this post on my blog.

    If I won, I would make a book of my daughter with her cousins. She has 3 cousins that she adores and she loves to look at photos of them. I would make a book with photos plus descriptions of things about the cousins.

  40. I love this idea! I will be linking to this post on my blog.

    If I won, I would make a book of my daughter with her cousins.

  41. man, this is an awesome giveaway (and that i spy book is beautiful!) i have been planning to do each of my kiddos a book of their first year of life (since i am totally NOT a scrapbooker) and this would be so helpful! myhedwig {at} gmail {dot} com

  42. I just love this company! I love your cute comments on FB and I defiantly adore everything in your store. If I had to only pick one item I would love to make an ABC book for my little boy. Keep up the awesome art work!!


  43. Love the I spy book! I would have never thought of this! too cute. Not sure if I count as a US resident any more, but I will be home i a week for the summer so maybe….
    I would order a photo book! Love them!


  44. The "On the Dot" Recipe book – one of my close friends is getting married and I want to put together a book of the recipes she's liked that I've made – this would be a perfect way to present that!

    Thanks πŸ™‚

  45. I would make a book of pictures from my honeymoon that was taken back in March! We took a road trip from Texas to Louisiana to Alabama and had a blast!

  46. I love the Book of Abc. I also love your idea- that is so cool! I also like the Dear Dad one- if I had time I would do that one for Father's Day!
    presprizes at gmail dot com

  47. ..Sorry I just created my account, I think my last comment didnt went through.
    I love the wall calendars from Paper Coterie and their photo book. Thank you Kojodesigns for the great tutorial!


  48. i spy a Paper Coterie photo book in my future, to make an I Spy book for the kiddos to enjoy on one of our many travels to see family!

  49. I love their ABC books. I made one for my daughter through a different company. Instead of objects I used family photos with her in them. It was so fun to create. Your I Spy book is on my lengthy to-do list.

  50. I would order one of the swatchbooks…what a fun way to display photos

    suzanne (underscore) lewis (at) hotmail (dot) com

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