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Can’t Miss Gifts for Mother’s Day – Custom Photo Gift Ideas for Mom



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Mother’s Day is May 14th! You’ve got a few weeks left to get something special together! Don’t worry there are plenty of gift ideas that won’t take much time, but will be certainly appreciated for much longer. This is the time of year I love to check out all the new gift ideas, new photo book themes and templates being offered by the various companies. Keep in mind some of these templates may not be listed specifically under “Mother’s Day”, but could be under  “Family”, “Baby”, “Kids” and “Year in Review”. Don’t feel like you have to pick a theme however, a clean, modern layout may be all that you’re looking for.

Click on the following links or images to go directly to the company’s site. Also be sure to check our photo deals page for the best and latest Mother’s Day promos!


Shutterfly – I haven’t personally tried it, but if you’re short on time or who just want someone to do the work for you, Shutterfly has a “Make My Book” service. For $9.99 (in addition to the cost of the book itself), a Shutterfly designer will go through your photos and make you a book. It’s FREE to try – you only pay $9.99 if you decide to order the book. It’s fast too – only 3 business days and it’s ready to view. What’s great is you can still tweak and personalize the book with captions etc.

Also, if you’ve never made a photo book with Shutterfly before, why not make the first one for mom – for FREE! Shutterfly is offering a FREE 8 x 8 hardcover photo book for new customers. Coupon code: AFFPHOTOBK

Mixbook – I’ve been checking out one of their newer offerings – acrylic prints as a sleek alternative to the more common canvas prints. Check out my section below about that and other home decor gifts. Currently you can get 40% off acrylic prints (plus up to 50% off other products at Mixbook with coupon code: MSHIPA! (through 4/26/2017).

Blurb – Not a new offering, but fun nonetheless is a Facebook or Instagram book. Let Blurb slurp photos for mom into a fun 7 x 7 photo book! Blurb is currently offering Photo Book Girl readers a special 40% off all photo books! Coupon code: PHOTOGIRL40 (through 5/1/2017).

Photobook America – Check out Photobook America’s Mother’s Day Gift Guide along with 50% to 60% off on everything!


#1. Baby Book for New Moms

Recently, several dear friends have had babies. In the past couple months I’ve met three lovely little guys all with the most scrumptious cheeks! (Yes, a lot of boys recently!) I can tell you from firsthand experience that the first Mother’s Day for a new mom is one of the most special. Any mother would love a gift of photos featuring her little one. She probably has not had the chance to make one herself, especially in the early months of sleep depravity. Just imagine how happy she’ll be to open this present! Grab a bunch of snaps off your phone and drag and drop into one of these ready made professionally designed books!

Mixbook – Chalkboard Baby Boy

Photobook America – Our Little Darling

Mixbook – Hand Painted Baby

I couldn’t resist this particular theme. My little 1.5 year old LOVES “Pooh Bear”. He sleeps with no less than three stuffed Pooh bears every night!

Shutterfly – Disney Winnie the Pooh

Shutterfly – Welcome Baby

Another great idea for a new mom is a book documenting her journey to motherhood. Pregnancy journals are a great way to get those baby bump photos on display. Check out my pregnancy journal here. I especially love seeing all the bump photos in a progression like this template below. Cute date captions too!

A photo book of mom’s baby shower is another great idea. What I like about picking a particular event is that it’s often easier to go through photos of a single day than to wade through photos spanning several months or years. It’s much easier if you find yourself crunched for time.

There’s also a theme especially for adoption stories, which I love.

Mixbook – Adoption Story

#2. Family Cookbook

Mom’s food is the best isn’t it? Don’t lose those cherished family recipes – make sure to collect them for future generations. Turn your Mom’s lovingly thumbed through recipe cards (especially the ones she got from Grandma) into a photo book. Gather recipes and photos from family and friends and you’ll probably have a gift everyone will want a copy of! (I love this idea for Christmas gifts by the way, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves). Combine with family photos past and present and you’ve got an instant hit.

AdoramaPix - Recipe Book

AdoramaPix – Recipe Book

Sh My Recipes

My Recipes theme from Shutterfly. I like how this layout has a spot to talk about the history behind the dish and a photo of the family chef!

Shutterfly - From the kitchen of

Shutterfly – From the kitchen of

Blurb has a whole part of its site focused on tips for making cookbooks. Get some inspiration from a professionals chef plus links to other cookbooks sold in Blurb’s bookstore. You never know, mom might like her cookbook so much she may let you publish it and offer her book for sale!

Blurb - Cookbook Bookwright

Blurb – Cookbook Bookwright

Photobook America – BBQ Party

#3. Family History

Family history books can start with mom’s story – her childhood, schooling, marriage and children, or you can go higher up the tree and start with mom’s parents or grandparents. Go back as far as you can get! I especially love the family tree layouts. It’s fun to see the connections and resemblances.

Mixbook - Family Memoirs

Mixbook – Family Memoirs

Shutterfly – Family Ancestry

Shutterfly – A Life’s Story

Perhaps your family had a recent reunion or gathering you would like to commemorate. This would make a perfect gift for mom or grandma. Ask everyone to contribute their photos and put them all together in one place!

Shutterfly - Family Reunion

Shutterfly – Family Reunion

Mixbook – Family Reunion

#4. Pick An Event

As I mentioned above, don’t let your hesitation of going through a mass of photos discourage you from making a book. One of the biggest hurdles I find for most folks who haven’t made a photo book before is they feel overwhelmed with all of the photos they’ve amassed. If this will be your first time making a photo book or you are short on time (who isn’t?), start small. Focus on a single event and choose photos from that smaller subset for an easier task. Easter, Spring Break, or family vacation are possible topics. These themes are more photo focused and let the pictures tell the story. Shutterfly has been adding new Disney themed books to their product line since they started having featuring them last year.

Mixbook - Theme Park Adventures

Mixbook – Theme Park Adventures

Its Easter PA

It’s Easter by Photobook America

Photobook America - Easter Blossoms

Photobook America – Easter Blossoms

Shutterfly - Disney Adventures

Shutterfly – Disney Adventures

Shutterfly – Star Wars

#5. Year in Review

Let’s remember 2016! Pick some of the highlights from each month and put them in a book. These themes are really good at guiding you and giving you prompts for your layouts.

Mixbook – Modern Year in Review by Studio Calico

Mixbook - Linen Year in Review

Mixbook – Linen Year in Review

Photobook America - Best of the Year

Photobook America – Best of the Year

Shutterfly – My Year of Adventures

#6. It’s All About the Grandkids

Don’t forget about grandma! It’s a known fact, there’s nothing a grandma loves more than photos of her grandkids.

We Heart Grandparents - Shutterfly

We Heart Grandparents – Shutterfly

Mixbook – Watercolor Grandparents

Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 11.27.36 PM

Grandma’s Brag Book theme by Shutterfly

#7. Kids’ Artwork

Get those tiny Picassos, Kahlos, Van Goghs and Cassats’ artwork into a lovely photo book. We know we can’t keep every piece of artwork that comes home daily, but why not snap a photo of it and put it into book form for Mom? I’m sure Mom will also appreciate you cleaning up those stacks of artwork! I think the little ones will get a kick of this one as well.

I haven’t done one of these books yet, but this one is definitely on my list!

Mini Masterpieces - Shutterfly

Mini Masterpieces – Shutterfly

Arts and Crafts - Mixbook

Arts and Crafts – Mixbook

#8. Mother’s Day Themes

Of course you can’t go wrong with one of the many Mother’s Day themes available on many sites. These themes are all designed to give you a professional looking product with a minimum of effort. Just upload your photos and drag and drop. For those that want to do some tweaking, most if not all of them allow you to make edits to layouts as you please. Best of both worlds!

Mixbook – Botanical Garden Mother’s Day

Hand painted Mother's Day - Mixbook

Hand painted Mother’s Day – Mixbook

Photobook America – Mommy Says!

Photobook America - All About My Mom

Photobook America – All About My Mom

Shutterfly - All about Mom

Shutterfly – All about Mom

Other Custom Gift Ideas for Mom

I am a lover of all things photo book, but there are other customized gift options Mom will love!

CalendarsShutterfly pillow are a big favorite in my family, and nowadays since you can start your calendar on any month you choose, they can be given year round. You’ll usually find some great deals on calendars this time of year too, so that can be an added bonus.

Canvas prints also make for an awesome gift. If you’re finding time is tight, making a single canvas is quicker to make than a book and with all the canvas deals out there, you’re bound to find a deal. Check out all the canvas groupon deals here!

Acrylic prints are a newer offering I’ve been coveting lately. They look like glass but aren’t! I love the modern, sleek look – they could end up becoming one of my favorite home decor item! I recently took a lot of flower photos and I think some of the close ups would look stunning in acrylic! The samples below are from Mixbook.

Custom pillows can also make for a unique gift. Perhaps a collage of the grandkids, a photo of Fido or a her monogram may be just right for mom.

Custom magnets are some of my favorite custom gifts to make. We have two big magnetic boards in our mudroom covered with family snapshots, school certificates, artwork and those fun photobooth strips that Photo Book Boy loves to get whenever he sees one of those machines. My concern was that small magnets could be dangerous for his little brother, but that’s not a problem with these 2 x 2 inch flat photo magnets. Not that these couldn’t make their way into a little one’s mouth if I weren’t looking, but they are big enough and much safer than the typical round magnets. Plus they are adorable! These are from Shutterfly.

Custom Stationery is a chic option. Because so much of our communication is online now, the written letter or note stands out. Give mom her own personalized set.

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 11.43.37 PM

Mixbook stationery.

Tremendous Delight - TinyPrints

Tremendous Delight – TinyPrints

Groupon or Gift Certificate

Is your mom crafty? She might appreciate a Groupon or gift certificate to one of the companies. Did you know that we track Groupons and Living Social deals from cities across the U.S. and CanadaIt doesn’t matter if you don’t reside in that city – since the companies are online you can take advantage of a Charleston Groupon even if you’re in Abilene! (I would advise you stick to deals within your own country however.)


Mother’s Day Photo Book Deals!

Mother’s Day is a perfect time to make a custom photo gift and companies want to help you stay on Mom’s good side. I often get asked what time of year the best deals pop up and for sure Mother’s Day is one of the best times to get a great deal. 40% to 50% off are typical deals right now and sometimes even more. With photo books starting typically around $12.00 for softcover books, at 40 to 50% off, that makes for a very affordable gift. Cheaper than Mother’s Day brunch! Don’t forget to check out all the Mother’s Day Deals on the Coupons & Deals page! I’ll be updating that page as new deals pop up!

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