UPDATE 12/28/2010: You can now personalize the dates with photos and captions!
The folks at Picaboo generously offered me one of their personalized photo calendars to review. I’d never done a photo calendar before, but I do love personalized gifts, so it wasn’t much of a stretch for me to try it out. Also, my parents and brother had just come back from a whirlwind trip to several countries in Asia and I knew my mother would love to have a different kind of memento of the trip. (She already has a standing order with me to make her a photo book for every trip and occasion!) I ordered and received the calendar a while back, but since I had it delivered directly to her, she opened it and kept it. I had to wrestle it back from her to do the review! So I guess that’s a thumbs up for Picaboo calendars from mom!
The calendar I created was the Classic Calendar. It’s 8.5″ x 11″ and is spiral bound. When it’s opened it measures 17″ x 11″. The Classic calendar is $19.99 and the larger Premium Calendar at 11″ x 14″ is $29.99. Both are printed on thick 80 lb. cardstock. The Premium version features laminated glossy photo pages and matte date pages, while the Classic features matte pages throughout. The Classic Calendar is $5.99 for standard shipping.
It didn’t take me very long to lay out the calendar, already being familiar with Picaboo’s software in making photo books. The process was similar and tools were the same.
You can personalize the photo pages just like you would with a Picaboo photo book, adding borders, captions, shadows etc., but you can’t personalize the date pages. (Update! You can now personalize the dates with photos and captions! )As you can see from my layouts, I kept it pretty simple and clean and yes – my black backgrounds are here on the calendar too, which I suppose unconsciously has become one of my signatures. (I’ve gotten several questions asking about my preference for black backgrounds – I just like how black gives you this neutral palette to highlight your photos. With the addition of a crisp white border – the photos really pop don’t you think?)
The calendar printed very nicely and the saturated colors of the photos that my brother took with his new micro four thirds, Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 camera, reproduced well. It would have been nice to be able to add my family’s birthdays etc., but Mom of course loves it and that’s what matters!
If you’re looking for a nice personalized gift for the holidays that’s easy and quick to make, I definitely recommend a custom calendar! With holiday schedules you can still get your calendar in time for Christmas, but time is running short! So make sure to check out the production schedules on Picaboo’s site.
Charlene @ Sweetchic says
This looks like it came out really well! The colors are especially gorgeous, but then again… so are the pics 🙂
Yes, now my mother is asking me when she’ll get her photo book! 🙂 Asia is such a colorful continent! Never a shortage of interesting and beautiful sites. After seeing his photos, I’m tempted to get a camera like my brother’s – it’s more compact like a point-and-shoot, but has interchangeable lenses – so tempting!
cathy thompson says
Mandy H. says
OK. I love that the calendar is spiral bound. Just a personal preference. Thanks for doing a review and showing the layouts and variations! I just might have to get one of these for myself … and maaaaaaaaaybe for my parents and in-laws. 🙂
ann Scott says
Nice to see that the paper is high quality and in general it looks great. But I really would like to be able to personalize the dates with pictures of the person having the birthday etc…
ann Scott says
I won the calendar give-a-way and I love it. The premium calenda is on really nice glossy cardstock for the pictures, but the calendar itself is matte so you can write on it. It would be nice if they had a feature so that you could add recurring events, like bookclub every month or other stuff that happens all year. Thanks again!
Oh I like the recurring events idea! That makes total sense! So glad to hear you love your calendar.
I just received calendars that I made using Picaboo. I’ve been making these calendars for our family for about 5 years now. In the past I used Shutterfly and Tiny Prints (back when they had a different calendar vendor…looks like they now use Shutterfly as well), but had a Groupon for Picaboo.
I am NOT happy with the print quality. Even before I compared it to my Shutterfly calendar from last year, I could tell that the colors weren’t as vibrate or crisp. It just didn’t look professional.
On top of that, it took me about 5 times as long to actually make the calendar. The software is clunky and slow.
I’d recommend Shutterfly over Picaboo based on this experience.