Sunday, October 11, 2009

Using Zoom Albums to Make Quick Mini Photobooks

Yesterday I shared our recent trip to the apple orchard, when we took ER apple picking for the first time. Today for Scrapbook Sunday I want to show you how I turned my memories into a ZoomAlbum, this is scrapbooking at it's easiest. You don't even need scissors or adhesive. All you need besides the kit, are your digital photos, computer, and an ink jet computer. Things most of us have readily available. It was pretty quick and simple to do to, all from home. So no more comments about not having enough time to do anything with your pictures and leaving them in limbo on your hard drive! I used a Photo Cover Album Kit and made all three 3X3 albums in my package, in one night. Two were of the Apple Picking outing, one for us and a copy for my parents; the other was of my mom's 60th birthday outing last July. They are great little keepsakes to remember special events. I still can't get over how neat they are! I will be sharing the inside pages of the Apple Picking ZoomAlbum throughout this review post. As you can see it truly is a mini scrapbook because you can add text and tell your stories through it. The first thing we had to do was install the software that comes with the kit. It makes it very easy to select your photos, arrange their order, and adjust their size. My pictures are full sized, but you can adjust size so that you can include horizontal or vertical rectangular photos as well. I did run into a little snag when adding text. The first few times I needed to adjust the text box size, so my captions would be the same width as the pictures, I could not get the resizing to stick. To circumvent that, I started making the text boxes longer than I needed and then shortening them to the exact size I wanted. It was very easy to switch back and forth between the steps to making the book, and there is a handy navigation bar at the top left corner. So if you decide after adding text you want move around your picture you can. I also liked how a test sheet is included so you can print out a trial run. That way you can make sure all the pictures are centered correctly and get a feel for how big the text will appear in your book. I enlarged mine from 18pt to 24pt after seeing how little it would actually be. It's also helpful that a large dialog box pops up when you hit print, just to remind you to make sure all your setting are adjusted for optimum printing, in my case the printer needed to be set on high and for glossy photo paper. Another part of making the book that I found a little tricky was choosing a picture for the photo cover. I didn't realize at first that one picture is used to make the cover. So you have to watch and pick one that won't end up have someones face right on the spine. I had to look for one with most of the main subject offset to the right, which for me was a challenge because I tend to center the subject in my photos. The second time around, when I was making the one about my mom's 60th birthday, it was a lot easier because I knew to save a picture with that kind of composition for the cover. I am glad that they have photo covers, I love that feature. I have purchased ZoomAlbum kits in the past but they were always Color Cover Photo Album Kits, that I'd then embellish in traditional scrapbook style before giving them aways as gifts. But they were no where as elaborate as these beautiful examples found on the ZoomAlbum blog. I was concerned that perhaps a photo cover would get easily ruined, because a lot of times home printed photos show fingerprints really easily. However, ZoomAlbum covers are made out of a special paper material that stand up to little hands, no smudges! I am really happy with their performance.
After you finish designing the ZoomAlbum, you insert your photo album paper and print it out, followed by the cover, and let both dry. See my pages and cover ready to assemble below. I'll admit it did take me a little while to figure out how to fold the book together, it's been quite sometime since I made one. I even ripped apart one area I wasn't supposed to. In the end it didn't matter because all of the pages have sticky backs and you adhere them together. What I should've done, and what I recommend anyone else doing this for the first time is to watch the videos online, seriously this makes it a lot easier if you're having trouble visualizing how they go together. Plus you can see Ellen, spokeswoman for ZoomAlbums on Martha Stewart, and if Martha likes ZoomAlbums you know they're a good thing☺
Besides making commemorative books for special events, ZoomAlbums would make great end of the year books, since there are twelve pages. Highlight one photo from each month or show off how much your baby changed and grew the first year. They make great brag books that you can keep in your purse and are sized right to send loved ones in the military far away from home. Find a really fun idea for using ZoomAlbums and a Crop-a-Dile, on their blog, love their easy technique for turning them into an ornament, necklace, or key chain! Check out ZoomAlbums's Shop Page and get started making your own quick and easy mini albums. You can even purchase refill kits once you've used up your starter kit and don't need another CD with the software.
Disclaimer: While ZoomAlbum did send me the review product that I used to create the albums shown in this review, I HAVE purchased four kits in the past for personal use. Thank you to ZoomAlbums for the review product, this post reflects my own experiences and opinions, which were not influenced by the sponsor in anyway. Yours may differ.

7 Friends Said:

Nicole {tired, need sleep} said...

I'm definitely going to look into this - I'm thinking it would make fun (and quick) Christmas gifts for the grandparents! Thanks!! :)

Vickie said...

I was just thinking this would be great Grandparents gifts then I saw Nicole's comment:)

I like that thru the year idea also!

Gonna check it out! Thanks for showing.

Kelly said...

This is great! I wanted to do something for my daughter's Nature Lessons. So I can put all the pictures we took on our Nature Walks in this! Thanks for sharing!!

Laura said...

Those are SO cute! :) It would definitely be a cute little gift. I could see myself making a bunch and then putting them in a cute little basket on my coffee table or something. :)

Anonymous said...

These are very cool. I have always wanted to scrapbook but I have no time. I am a huge photo taker though digital and film. I will be looking into this. Thanks!

peata said...

very cool little minis.

pink and green mama MaryLea said...

So cute!! I love the small size, my girls would love these and so would their grandmothers and great grandmothers!!

Congrats on the Family Fun Mailbox! I knew I recognized that cutie pie when I saw her in all of her "crowning glory"!! LOL!


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