Gift Idea: Sister Photo Book

A fun gift idea! Sister photo book (click through for DIY details)Hi, friends. Today let's hop back on the scrapbooking train!  I'm going to show you how to make one of my very favorite albums, a chipboard photo book, in another installment of our Canon USA collaboration. I made one earlier this year with wedding photos, but the one we're going to make today is even simpler because we're using a three-ring binder book instead of a spiral-bound book. 

This book is a special gift for my sister. 

A fun gift idea! Sister photo book (click through for DIY details) Over the past year we've taken a lot of photos together for the blog. Some of them are my very favorite photos ever. Prior to making this, neither of us had any of these photos printed out in our homes, the shame! For this project I am printing them out and making an album with all full-page photos as a keepsake for Emma. I want her to always remember this special season we've had. 

A fun gift idea! Sister photo book (click through for DIY details)  Supplies:
-chipboard album
-2 pieces of colored cardstock
-photos to fill all your pages
-X-Acto knife

Not pictured: I also used black bookbinding tape, a Crop-A-Dile tool, and black and white acrylic paint. 

A fun gift idea! Sister photo book (click through for DIY details)   Optional: There are countless fun embellishments you can pick up to add to your pages. If you want to, use stamps, letter stickers, washi tape, mists, or stickers. 

A fun gift idea! Sister photo book (click through for DIY details)    Time to print! Measure the cover and the pages of your album. Add 1/2" to each side (so they will go over the edges a little and help you trim them exactly flush with your chipboard). Print your photos. We printed ours on the PIXMA iP8720, which is our go-to printer for large prints (it can print up to 13" x 19"). I love it for these projects because it makes it easy to get multiple prints on one sheet.

A fun gift idea! Sister photo book (click through for DIY details)     Assembly Step One: Use scrapbook adhesive to line the outside edge of each chipboard page. Then adhere the page to the back of your photo, centering it. 

A fun gift idea! Sister photo book (click through for DIY details)      Assembly Step Two: Trim the photo paper away from the chipboard using an X-Acto knife. Some parts will be easier with scissors, but on the corners you will want to use the X-Acto to get a good, rounded edge. This is the most tedious part of the album. After you adhere a photo to both sides of each page, use another page as a guide to re-punch holes with a Crop-A-Dile tool. 

BindingAssembly Step Three: After the photos are on the front cover, use bookbinding tape to seal them down and cover the spine.

A fun gift idea! Sister photo book (click through for DIY details)       Assembly Step Four: Use black paint around the binder clips to give it a more finished look. 

A fun gift idea! Sister photo book (click through for DIY details)        Assembly Step Five: Last step! Adhere colored cardstock on the inside of each cover side. I used two different colors just for fun.

Now that it looks finished and polished, it's time to add fun details! 

A fun gift idea! Sister photo book (click through for DIY details)         Time to decorate those pages. Choose whether you want to stay minimal or go crazy with embellishments. For me, the more I love my photos, the fewer embellishments I tend to use. So this book doesn't have too many. I wanted to let the photos really shine. Don't worry. I'll go embellishment crazy another day soon. 😀

A fun gift idea! Sister photo book (click through for DIY details)          Get sentimental. Real sentimental. I always like to add a personal note to a gift album. 

A fun gift idea! Sister photo book (click through for DIY details)           And it's that simple! Your album is complete. This one took me two days because the X-Acto process is a little tedious. Worth the effort, though! I love the crisp, clean look of full-page photos. 

Want to see the rest of the book? 

A fun gift idea! Sister photo book!A fun gift idea! Sister photo book! A fun gift idea! Sister photo book! A fun gift idea! Sister photo book! A fun gift idea! Sister photo book! A fun gift idea! Sister photo book! A fun gift idea! Sister photo book! A fun gift idea! Sister photo book! Every album ends with "to be continued." I love these foam stickers that my friend Amy designed. 

A fun gift idea! Sister photo book!        A fun gift idea! Sister photo book!        A fun gift idea! Sister photo book!        For a finishing touch, I added messy painted stripes to the bookbinding tape on the cover. I can't wait to give Emma her book (I left it on her desk at work). It was a lot of fun to make, and it feels awesome to have so many of our memories printed out and put together. 

Who do you want to make a photo book for? xx. Elsie 

Credits // Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. Photos edited with Stella from The Signature Collection


  • This is such a good and simple idea. I have tons of pictures of my sister and I but they are mostly throughout the years but I think it would be an awesome gift to give to her! Thanks for the inspiration :0)

  • Hi Elsie!

    I really like your blog! And this is such a creative, cute and unique gift. It’s such a beautiful idea. I was just wondering where do you get the chipboard album? And how long does it take to finish this photo book?

    But overall, I think this is a beautiful idea to give to anyone that we love. Thank you for the inspiration!

    – Diedre

  • I’m falling in love with this printer – do you know if you can print onto watercolor paper? thanks! 🙂

  • I love this!! Can I ask where you found the chipboard album? Thanks 🙂

  • oh how wonderful and personal! I’m going to make one for my fiance, next year will be our 1st year living together and I plan on taking plenty of photos!

    I look forward to your new book to be available here in the Philippines!


  • I love this idea!!

    I was wondering why comments were disabled on certain posts.

  • This is so pretty!! I love this idea and I’ve been really wanting to print some photos lately! I can’t wait to make some pretty photo books. What a sweet message and I love “to be continued.” Perfect!

  • I would love to make one of these for my niece. Little nervous as not crafty. One of those who can not make a straight line even with a ruler. But love the way this looks. I have watched your video for this project a few times and keep thinking someday.
    Do not make scrapbooks so all the tools are pretty new but I have never seen a mist before.

  • this is gorgeous!! YOU ladies, are gorgeous!!! Such a sweet and sentimental gift for our sister, it made me a little emotional.
    I love your scrapbooking posts, it really motivates me to print my photos and actually display them somewhere…ANYWHERE, other than my phone hee hee.
    I’m sure Emma loved it!

  • It’s official. I need to hire a personal photographer to follow me and my bestie around 😉 Love this album!! xoxo

  • This year, I’ve gotten into Project Life, scrapbooking, and photo/art journaling. I bought a pack of chipboard albums on clearance at Michaels and now I have the perfect excuse to use them! My sister and I are two years apart, and I can honestly say she is the best friend I could ever ask for. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • I am definitely going to make one of these after wedding season! Adding it to my list of creative to-dos… 😉 Thanks for the tutorial! The photo on the back is the best!

  • I love this idea, it’s gorgeous!
    Definitely going to do this for my sister before I leave for University at the start of September.

  • So beautiful!! Such a lovely gift!
    And the pictures are just gorgeous!


    Ester 🙂

  • I can’t wait to make my sisters one! Awesome idea!!

  • Oh wow, I love this idea! I’m thinking I might make one for my mom, with pictures of my mom, my sister and me… Thanks for the idea!

  • Another great idea. I wonder if you can truly imagine how much inspiration you provide for so many people. I bet you don’t even know the half of it. Well done girls, I do often think to myself….what would Emma and Elsie do haha X

  • wow this is so creative! I love how much time you took to make this. I want to make this for my sister’s birthday now

  • Beautiful! I love the book, and I love that you guys get to spend these amazing years exploring together. FUN!


  • So beautiful & well done – looking forward to creating one for my sister! I’ve seen some sights that make creating books easy to do, but I love that this is handmade and bound. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Warm regards,

  • What a great idea! It turned out sooo well, I wouldn’t have thought to use the entire page for a picture, but it gives it such a nice look! And of course the pictures are beautiful! xo

  • What a thoughtful, sweet gift! I love this method for creating a scrapbook – I’m going to have to give it a go!

    Hannah | A Lovely Look

  • Me too! I struggle with the same thing.
    Glad you’re inspired Victoria!
    xx- Elsie

  • This is an awesome idea! My sister just had a baby this would be a great idea to give her for just them two. I honestly really love this.


  • I really love this photo album!! This made me think of my bestfriend too 🙂

  • Such a gorgeous finished product! I adore it! It reminds me that I need more photos of me and my sister and I want to make an album of ALL my siblings together. This would actually make a great Christmas gift for our parents too!


  • You are the sweet sister, your love towards Emma is so transparent in the photos! She is lucky to have you in her life ( and vice versa) the happiness is overflowing and you are so creative Elsie, I am so impressed x

  • I love this idea! I am a scrapbooker and I am always looking for new ideas! Thanks! I think I will make these as Christmas gifts for my mom, sister, and dad.

  • Oh my goodness, this is adorable! What a cute present!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  • I adore this! Where do you find a chipboard album like that? (And the book binding tape for that matter.) most scrapbooking I do digitally so I am at a loss as to how to do things physically !!)

  • Hi from Turkey!
    I am fashion editor at Guzelim Guzel is a woman web portal.I voted your blog on the best blog awards web page:) Your blog perfect!
    Note;I linked my latest article about fall/winter fashion trends.Yourfeedbacks areimportant for me:)

  • It’s absolutely fantastic gift!!!!!
    Pictures on the cardboard always look great.
    Beautiful gift.
    And – of course – pictures are beautiful.

  • Such a cute idea, and my sister’s birthday is coming up!

  • Such a creative way to make a photo book, hope Emma loves it as much as you do!

    – Cindy ( )

  • How sweet is this. Such a lovely idea, my best friend’s 21st is coming up so thanks for this! x

  • That is so pretty, I don’t know what else to say! x

    Rona from threepinkcats

  • This is so beautiful!
    Such a great inspiration and my sister would love something like this 🙂

    X Maya

  • Your photos are such good quality! I have a canon photoprinter, but when I use photoshop cc to make collages, the photos turn out weird with stripes through the photos. How do you manage to get them so beautiful and sharp? Any tips or tricks? (:

  • I love the full size photos and your choice of colors for the cardstock. Very inspiring!

  • I love this idea for a gift! I may just have my sister’s Christmas present! I just have one question, where did you get your chipboard album? I can’t seem to find any decent ones. Time to get back into scrapbooking!


  • This is fantastic. I have a really good girlfriend getting married next year, and I would love to give her something like this as a present.

  • Oh my goodness!! I want to make a sister scrapbook for my sister so bad! Bummer that we don’t have anywhere near as many photos as you two do!

    This is so lovely Elsie! xx

  • I would love to make something like this for my sister. She would adore it! Of course, we don’t have all of the gorgeous photos that you two have! We’ll have to get working on that… 😉


  • Super cute! Your printer prints amazing, also! Got to get myself a new one. Would you recommend Canon printers?

  • I love this! I am such a sucker for a photo scrapbook album!
    I will defiantly want to try this out!


  • They certainly do look like the best year! And wow each picture looks absolutely perfect! 😉

  • Love this. Love you guys. Love that you’ve made something so good from your passions and you share it all with us so generously. Thank you.

  • Love this project…the scrapbook looks beautiful full of beautiful pictures of beautiful ladies..happy weekend!


  • Beautiful! I wish I was as close to my sister as you and Emma are. This book is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing.

  • What a great idea! plus you guys are gorgeous!!


  • This makes me want to print more of my photos. Uploading them to my blog is great but I just love physical reminders sometimes. I might make my own version and share them on a gift series I am thinking about doing closer to Christmas! Thanks for the awesome posts.

  • What a great book, I love it! And it’s such a wonderful memory!

  • great idea !!

    I love it so much !!
    wanna do one for mom ☆*:.。. o(≧▽≦)o .。.:*☆

  • LOVE!!! definitely a wonderful idea for my sisters who both moved away this passed year! beautiful pictures!!!

  • Beautifullll!!! Such a sweet sister you are.

  • I love love LOVE this! My bff, Sarah, is moving across the country -literally- from Maine to California (*sniffle*…*sobbing*). We have many memories shared & this would be a wonderful gift to emulate. Super awesome idea thank you for the inspiration!! <3


  • I love your message to Emma. Last night, I told my husband that I am so happy in life right now (with him, my new career, making time to be creative and seeing friends and family regularly) that I can’t imagine being happier. It is such a peaceful feeling. To the happiest times…

  • Such a precious gift to give to a loved one. I like the decorations & the sentimental note is juuuust right. :] // ☼

  • This is really nice.

    I’m really gonna try this. Thanks!

    Esther (from The Netherlands)

  • This is so thoughtful, and beautifully presented! I just made a scrapbook for one of my best friends 21st present/leaving present – she’s studying in America for a year! It was so lovely going back through all of our old memories together (a couple of cringing moments, of course!!) xx

  • What a lovely book! I have made a book about places I saw in the US. Creating books is lots of fun! 🙂

  • This so precious! You two remind me of my sister and I 🙂 What a thoughtful gift- will be so appreciated now and even more so in 20 years!

  • I haven’t done much scrap booking, but I absolutely love bookbinding as an art form. What a special way to take photos, often which you only interact with on the computer, and turn them into a physical gift to hold. This would make a lovely present!


  • This is so cute! What a special & unique gift this would be :).


  • This is just so beautiful and thoughtful and wonderful x

  • super sweet!
    this is so cute!
    and you dont even need that many embellishments because your writing alone…!

    good idea!

  • This is such a gorgeous idea! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Jennifer x

  • Love this beautiful book. Filled with memories and love. This was a nice inspiration.

  • This is such a great idea. Will definitely do something like this for my sister’s birthday! xoxo

  • This is so lovely! It breaks my heart that the majority of my pictures stay in iPhoto. It’s time to start printing them out more often! -Victoria

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