© 2012 photobookgirl

Day 2 – Can’t Miss Christmas Gift Ideas – Photo Calendar (Updated for 2016 – 2017)




Also check out these PHOTO BOOK DEALS!

Day 2 of my Twelve Days of Custom Photo Gifts series is here, and this is definitely a gift I plan on giving this year. I made custom photo calendars for my entire family last year for the last two five years, and they were such a big hit, I already had requests to make this an annual tradition from the moment they received them! I don’t mind people telling me what they want – why rack my brain trying to think of gifts that may not fit, may not be to the person’s taste and will likely get returned? What’s great about custom photo gifts are that they are always appreciated and never returned (not that they could anyway – ha ha).

Similar to photo books, you can easily put a bit of time and effort into designing a single calendar and then order several copies for everyone on your gift list. When I did mine last year, I made two versions, one for my side of the family and one for my husband’s side. The main images I used were almost identical (I used some of my favorite nature and landscape photos that I took on various trips), the only difference were the sets of birthdays and important events like anniversaries that were included in each version.

Aside from family, calendars could make great gifts for members of an organization, group, school, or club. You can easily put meeting or event dates in the calendar so folks won’t forget any key dates (b/t/w it’s a great idea for a holiday fundraiser too!)

I’ve made photo calendars with Mixbook, Picaboo and MyPublisher. You’ll find my Mixbook calendar review and my Picaboo calendar review via the links. I haven’t reviewed MyPublisher’s calendars for this site yet as the one I made was for a dear friend of mine and I had it shipped to her directly.  She said it came out really nice though.  All three companies (as well as all listed in the chart below) allow you to add photos to the individual dates – so you can put a photo of Aunt Mary on Aunt Mary’s birthday. Nice right? They all also easily allow you to automatically add holidays by clicking to select which ones you want from a list, so no need to enter those on your own.

I was pleased with both my Mixbook and Picaboo calendars in terms of paper and print quality. One thing I really liked about my Mixbook calendar over the others was the ability to add clip art and photos anywhere on the calendar, even on the grid part. You can also upload your own clip art – so for digiscrapping fans, that’s a huge plus. You don’t have to stay within the grid either – similar to Mixbook’s photo book software, you have a lot of flexibility on design of  your calendar as well.

Just as with photo books, if you have your own design software, you can upload finished pages as well.

Calendar Review

Mixbook calendars – 11 x 8.5 and 14 x 11 sizes

Below is a chart of some basic specs on some companies that offer calendars. (You know how I love my charts!) This is not an exhaustive list, but will give you some comparisons and pricing. Note that when you order more than one calendar in the same order, shipping costs are reduced. (I’ve updated the pricing and info for 2016 – 2017!)

Custom Calendar Comparison Chart (Updated 11/2016)

Note that these prices below are base prices before any discounts. 30%, 40%, 50% or more is not uncommon!

Sizes Cost Shipping Cost (base shipping) Special Features
$7.99($1.49 to $2.99 for each addtl)
Start from any month; Change backgrounds on date page; Add clip art liberally; Add your own clip art; Ideal for digital scrapbookers
MyPublisher 11×8.5
$5.99 Start from any month as well as any year up to 2015 Please note, Shutterfly acquired MyPublisher earlier this last year. Calendar products are now provided by Shutterfly.
Picaboo 11×9
$6.99 to $9.99 ($3.00 to $3.50 each addtl.) Start from any month. Add a photo to a date box. Larger size has glossy laminated photo pages.
Snapfish 11×8.5*
12×9 (new)
$5.99 ($2.99 each addtl.) 18 month calendar available. Desk calendars available too. Customize date with photo. NEW: Premium 12 x 9 size
Shutterfly 11×8
12×12 (new)
$6.99 + tax Start from any month through 2018; 18 month available in 8 x 11 size; Personalize dates with photo; Also desktop, mousepad magnet calendars; Supports Spanish language characters; add stickers; NEW: Easel calendars
AdoramaPix 6×6
$5.00 Printed on photo paper – lustre or glossy; Add photos to a specific date; Quantity discounts available; Wall and desktop; Start from any date.
Photobook America 11×8
 $6.99 ($2.00 to $3.00 each addtl.) Printed on ultra thick premium silk paper; Add photos to a specific date; Quantity discounts available; Wall and desktop


Check my Coupons and Deals Page

Since many of the photo book companies also offer calendars in their product line-ups, I also post these deals along with other photo gift deals on my photo deals page. Additionally many companies will have 40%, 50% and sometimes 60% off site-wide deals which then of course apply to calendars.

Check my Groupon Tracker

Don’t forget about those crazy Groupons and daily deals – you can typically get upwards of 60% off using a Groupon. I keep track of all the photo related Groupons and Living Social deals on my Groupon Tracker page across the U.S., Canada and many international cities, so you don’t have to sign up under every city to find out where the deals are. Remember you don’t have to live in that city to take advantage of an offer. Since these companies operate online, you can buy a deal from Cleveland if you live in NYC. I would recommend that folks stick to their deals within their own country however and be sure to read the fine print as each deal can have different details.



Be sure not to miss any of my gift ideas! I’ll be archiving all of them on the main Photo Book Girl gift page as we go through all 12 days so be sure to check back!




Be sure to check out my CANVAS DEALS!


  1. Stevie
    Posted October 23, 2012 at 1:51 pm | #

    I gave photo calendars to my parents and my husband’s parents two Christmases ago – everyone LOVED them! My Mom showed it to everyone who came to the house, even took it to church and showed it around. She hangs it in the kitchen, and if you even dare to think of writing an appointment on it – you better run! That is for the “regular” calendar, she will tell you.
    Last year, my parents and my in-laws all told me (nicely, of course) that there BETTER be another calendar under the tree for them…and my sister, my aunt, and my brother-in-law all wanted one, also. This year I plan to add my brother to list….great gift!

    • photobookgirl
      Posted October 23, 2012 at 6:46 pm | #

      Your family sounds like mine! 🙂 My mom shows the photo books I make her to all her friends and her calendar is front and center for everyone to see too. Isn’t it nice that they are appreciated?

  2. CowCow
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 10:28 pm | #

    What a great personalized custom photo book gift ideas.

  3. FatimaC
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 2:47 pm | #

    I love this post! I am ready to make my first calendar for my parents, showcasing their grandkids. Hopefully Mixbook will offer another promotion 🙂
    Thank you, PhotoBookGirl.

    • photobookgirl
      Posted January 31, 2016 at 10:22 am | #

      Hi Fatima, Mixbook is always running some type of promo or another. Calendars are often included. If you check my deals page you’ll see the latest!

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