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Love this custom alphabet photo book idea - made it for my son's 3rd birthday and he was thrilled

DIY Personalized Alphabet Book

I first gave you a glimpse of the personalized alphabet book I made for C here.  He liked the initial inexpensive flip version so much that I decided to make a hard cover copy for his last birthday.  Today I thought I’d share it, in it’s entirety, in case you’d like to attempt something similar.  It can be surprisingly hard to think of something that’s salient to your child for each letter – I’m hoping sharing my picks might help.


Please enjoy and let me know if you have any questions.  Also, you’ll notice there’s not a page for the letter U.  In the book it’s a close up shot of C wearing underwear for the first time. He’s only got one sock on and it’s super cute.  You’ll have to take my word for it though as I’ve decided not to post any photos of my offspring’s bums here on the internet.


Click through for the rest…

C helped build this with his grandpa and daddy last summer.

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{ 88 comments… read them below or add one }

Maya January 19, 2012 at 6:35 am

This is AMAZING!


Blairadise January 19, 2012 at 7:10 am

This is a brilliant idea! Starting mine today!


Kimberly January 19, 2012 at 12:50 pm

I love this and have already started making a list for mine since your first post! Thanks for sharing your whole book I did get some ideas from your pics!


Allison January 19, 2012 at 1:10 pm

I’ve been wanting to make one of these for a long time!


Lisa January 19, 2012 at 1:42 pm

I love that you didn’t share U with us, that was being a very loving responsible Mama/blogger! What we share with our family and friends should be different than what we share with the world.


tute-bot January 19, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Wow! What a great idea! It looks really professional too. This book is going to be an heirloom in your family. I need to do this for my nieces and nephews. (I’m going to tweet about this.)


Sandrine January 19, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Love it! I’ll have to make it my way (in French 😉 )


Cyn January 19, 2012 at 5:58 pm

I love this idea!!! It’s brilliant, I can’t wait to make my own =) Thanks for sharing!


Cat January 19, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Aww this is precious! Bookmarking and making one soon!
It’ll be a long time coming, cuz mine will be a bit different but this post totally inspired an idea! THANKS!!


Bethany Haid January 19, 2012 at 7:30 pm

This was very helpful! I wonder where you printed it? Blurb or Shutterfly? Also, how does your son enjoy it?


Little Hiccups January 19, 2012 at 7:43 pm

I love your alphabet book. It looks fantastic. I really like that you’ve chosen items that your child can relate to and I’m sure he loves seeing himself in his book :)
I’ve been meaning to make the exact same thing for my daughter for the last few years although now that she’s almost 5 she’s a little old for it. I’ll have to get cracking on making one for my 15 month old daughter instead!


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com January 19, 2012 at 11:52 pm

Hi Bethany,

I used My Publisher (more on them from me here: http://www.modernparentsmessykids.com/2011/09/giveaway-my-publisher-photo-books.html).

My son really loves his present, which made all the work worth it. He thinks it’s so cool to read a book that he’s in with all the things he loves :).


Michelle March 12, 2014 at 8:51 am

What font did you use.


Steph (MPMK Founder) March 12, 2014 at 9:29 am

I believe it was Helvetica


Bec January 20, 2012 at 7:51 am

Such an adorable idea. love it. i like seeing all the pages. it really does look beautiful.


Cher' Shots January 20, 2012 at 6:25 pm

I ‘love’ this idea!
‘hugs from afar’


2flowerslearn.com January 20, 2012 at 10:54 pm

Beautiful! I am sure the cheeky U gets lots of giggles!


Christie - Childhood 101 January 22, 2012 at 12:43 pm

I love this! Such a great idea and such fab photos :)


Darcy January 24, 2012 at 3:24 am

This is adorable!


Drine (from France!) January 24, 2012 at 10:54 pm

Excellente idée!
Excellent blog!


Mini Piccolini January 24, 2012 at 11:06 pm

This is such a wonderful project! I think doing it in hard cover must make it feel extra special for the kids. Thank you so much for sharing the entire book!
I shared a little preview on: http://minipiccolini.com/2012/01/a-personalized-alphabet-book-for-your-little-reader/


Anonymous January 28, 2012 at 9:08 pm

I love this idea. I am making it using a photo album and protector sheets so we can change the pictures for different seasons or themes.


Anonymous January 30, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Hos did you do the letters and words on the page? Can you explain how you made it? Thanks!


Laurie November 29, 2012 at 9:30 pm

I was able to add letters and words to my pages through MyPublisher pretty easily. While editing pages, you can click to “add text.” Then you can change the font, color, and location. Hope this helps!


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com January 31, 2012 at 6:39 am

Hi There,

I used photoshop to add the text. However, you could use a free online photo editing program such as picnik (but hurry as they’re shutting down soon). Also, most of the photo book publishers offer the ability to add text to the pages.



Marnie Craycroft February 3, 2012 at 10:18 pm

Love, love, love! Thank you!


MamaBear February 11, 2012 at 1:57 am

I LOVE the simplicity and the uniformity of using full page layouts! I’ve made several trips through the alphabet for my own children over the years – I call their books Alphabitty Moments (a way to remember to photograph the every day things of childhood and not just the big milestones)

After doing this so many times, I’m starting to run out of ideas – I’ll be bookmarking this page to inspire me for those letters that I’m stumped on for this round.

If you are interested, here is where I share my letter of the week project: http://campgroundcubs.blogspot.com/search/label/Alphabitty%20Moments


Ashley February 11, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Found you via Chic & Cheap Nursery via pinterest. Your alphabet book is great! We are having an ‘alphabet extravaganza’ for my daughter’s 2nd birthday at the end of March, and I think I just tacked another thing onto my to-do list. Thanks for the inspiration!


Anonymous February 13, 2012 at 3:46 am

How do you make this into a book? Maybe i’m just slow but im not sure how you did it. Could you explain please?


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 13, 2012 at 5:03 am


I added text onto the photos using photoshop elements and then upladed the photos onto a book template at mypublsher.com that had a layout with one large, full page photo on each page.

Hope that helps!


Anonymous February 13, 2012 at 7:36 am

A is for AWESOME!!!


Aleksandra February 13, 2012 at 8:19 am

wow, that is amazing idea:) Im going do two like this in two different languages so my kids grandparents will have one own.


Bethany Schlegel February 13, 2012 at 6:54 pm

this is gorgeous. What a great idea.


Lisa ~~ www.bringheritaghome.com February 13, 2012 at 11:18 pm

you can make this for just $32.99 on Heritage Makers http://www.BringHeritageHome.com they have lots of templates too that make it even easier to make them. Love this!


Pamela February 14, 2012 at 4:15 am

This is an amazing book…can’t wait to start one for my grandson! You did a top notch job and he will treasure it forever!


the lusso chicks February 14, 2012 at 3:19 pm

wow great idea! i’m starting an a-z list right now!


Alisha @ SnugasaBugBaby.com February 14, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Thanks for sharing!! I’ve been wanting to do this with things around our house for numbers, too.


Bronwyn June 13, 2012 at 10:21 am

Hi Alisha, I’ve made one with numbers for my son. You can see it here for some inspiration: http://madebybronwyn.blogspot.com.au/2009/05/blog-post.html


EdAKAtor February 15, 2012 at 12:47 am

I LOVE this! Shutterfly.com had a photobook template with pages designed for this type of book. It’s pretty adorable. I’m not experienced enough to do this all on my own from scratch, but I felt like a pro with their template. It’s pretty adorable if you need an easier layout. I will definitely be using these ideas for the photos to fill the pages! Thank you so much for sharing. Your work is beautiful!


Julie February 18, 2012 at 4:19 pm

I am in the middle of making one of these right now for my 11 month old son and have had a lot of fun! Although I did mine from scratch, there is a template for an ABC book on Shutterfly’s website. One question for you though just as a frame of reference, what size font did you use? I want it to be large enough for my son but not ridiculously so! Thanks!


Jen February 24, 2012 at 4:18 am

pinned!! So wonderful- thank you for sharing.


CK: the adventure begins... February 28, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Thank you so m;uch for posting your pictures. I am heading up our preschool fundraiser and we plan on making an alphabet book for our class. I have been researching the internet and came across your blog and feel like I have hit the jackpot. Wonderful job! I am going to use both My Publisher and Photoshop to make our book after seeing what a beautiful job you have done. My Publisher is running a BOGO free deal right now which will help our fundraiser. What size book did you order? What was the final cost of the book? What type of cover did you order for your book?
If the final book price is around $40 and it is a BOGO free deal, then the books will end up to be $20 each and our preschool can then sell them for $40…making a $20 profit!
Thank you in advance for answering my questions. I really appreciate it!


Anonymous March 8, 2012 at 7:03 pm

what happened to U?


Anonymous April 25, 2012 at 8:57 pm

Did you read the post?


Victoria Bennett Beyer April 19, 2012 at 3:45 am

I LOVE this idea and I think I’ll try my own when my baby gets bigger! Thanks for sharing your clever ideas.


Mallory April 25, 2012 at 9:04 pm

I am making a book similar to list. Other I am using my daughter’s handprints and fingerprints to make the pictures. I am either going to make 3 different books and laminate and bind them. Or I am going to take pictures while making the prints and turning them into a picture book via shutterfly or at Walmart.

A- apple N- Necklace
B- butterfly O- Octopus
C- Caterpillar P- Peacock
D- Duck Q- Queen Bee
E- Elephant R- Rabbit
F- Fish S- Strawberry
G- Giraffe T- Tutu
H- Hippo U- Umbrella
I- inchworn V- Valentine
J- Jellyfish W- Watermelon
K- Kite X- x-ray
L- Ladybug Y- Yak
M- Monkey Z- Zebra


roarsweetly April 27, 2012 at 10:51 am

This is divine. The pages are presented beautifully. Thank you so much for sharing!


christy May 11, 2012 at 8:49 pm



Anonymous May 25, 2012 at 4:30 am

how do i order one?


Bronwyn June 13, 2012 at 10:18 am

Brilliant! I’ve done something similar for a friend – my saving grace was a cat called Viola! In Australia we also have a breakfast spread called Vegemite (like marmite), so there’s another “v” word. My friend’s book is here: http://madebybronwyn.blogspot.com.au/2009/12/personalised-alphabet-board-book-for.html


Anonymous June 15, 2012 at 6:05 pm

My daughter made a book like this for her neice(our grandaughter) She used pictures of our whole family as we all live in different cities. Now whenever she looks at the book, she will recognize all of her Aunties, Uncles and Grandparents even though thousands of miles separate all of us!


Anonymous June 18, 2012 at 8:08 pm

I love this! What size book did you make? What font and what size did you make the letter on each page?


Doné June 18, 2012 at 11:54 pm

This is so so cool. We are planning to do almost the same. We are learning the alphabet now and I am taking photos of everything we make and will scan in her writing pages and when that is finished, I am making a ABC book for her.


Rachel Stribling June 21, 2012 at 11:33 am

Thats what we do with Creative Memories, great idea isnt it! My kids just love them! http://www.mycmsite.com.au/rachelstribling check out the digital tab!


Anonymous June 24, 2012 at 1:52 am

Love this~ What type of camera do you have. The pictures are amazing!


Ange June 29, 2012 at 10:13 pm

What a great birthday gift. Thanks for sharing the wonderful idea.


Becki September 4, 2012 at 9:52 pm

As a kindergarten teacher I would suggest using X as an ending sound since that is how it is most commonly taught. Kids that age always love boxes! I love that you used underwear for U- that is one of our favorite weeks since there are so many great underwear books (Aliens love underpants, Dinosaurs love underpants, and many more written by Claire Freedman).


Liz September 6, 2012 at 4:26 am

Thank you for the fabulous idea! Just finished making one for my daughter. I had a great time going through all of her pictures to make up her alphabet and cannot wait to give it to her for Christmas.


jess @ fushmush September 7, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Love it! I made one of our family for my daughter’s first birthday. I’m going to pin this one for Christmas.

I love X for Xylophone too. I’m sure there is a comedian out there who does a bit about how xylophones only exist so there is something to put in children’s alphabet books.


Jean September 8, 2012 at 10:51 am

I like this idea and I am thinking it would be fun to do with pictures of family members.


Ashley September 9, 2012 at 12:58 pm

What is the name of the font you used? Was the book printed 8×11? Thanks, this is super cute. I’m working on one now!!


mpmk September 9, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Hi Ashely,

Yes, the book was 8×11 and I used Helvetica font. Hope that helps :)


Julie September 25, 2012 at 7:39 pm

I am making this right now, thanks to your inspiration, and I am wondering how you got your font larger than 72 at Mypublisher? I LOVE the way yours turned out!


Julie September 25, 2012 at 7:44 pm

Also, I don’t see Helvetica on there? Many, many thanks for the inspiration, even if you never get a chance to respond to these questions =)


mpmk September 25, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Hi Julie,

I actually used photoshop elements to add my letters and words and then uploaded the photos to Mypublisher. You could do the same using a free photo-editor – I hear picmonkey is good.


Laurie November 26, 2012 at 3:48 pm

I am making one now, and I was able to use any size font through MyPublisher by double clicking on the font size and typing in a number (for example, I used size 200 for my big letters.)


Julie September 25, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Yes, that’s what I suspected . . . Thanks so much for your (very quick!) reply. You are so kind! I can’t wait to explore your blog. Fantastic stuff here!


Elaine September 30, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Thank you so much for the great idea. I will make these for my grand-sons, one is 4, one is 5 months and one is on his way in late January. I also have 2, 6 years old nephews and one 6 year old nice. These will be perfect Christmas gifts and customized to their ages and taste. I will make the smaller versions I believe 5 X 7 and some will be in French. I was also thinking of making for the older children with animals or by themes (Pirates or dinausurs).

Elaine from Montreal, Canada


Jo October 18, 2012 at 10:55 am

This is such a great idea! I stumbled upon it on Pinterest a few weeks ago and I’m now almost done my own alphabet book for my daughter’s Christmas present. We speak French and English at home so my book is bilingual and it was hard to find some items that started with each letter in both languages, but we managed. I took a picture with her and each object (all things we had around the house…except the helicopter we took at g-pa’s workplace and the toy iguana I bought at the dollar store). Here’s my alphabet list:

A – airplane (avion)
B – bubbles (bulles)
C – caterpillar (chenille)
D – dice (dés)
E – elephant (éléphant)
F – flower (fleur)
G – giraffe (girafe)
H – helicopter (hélicoptère)
I – iguana (iguane)
J – jeans
K – koala
L – lamp (lampe)
M – Minnie Mouse
N – navel (nombril)
O – organ (orgue)
P – patents
Q – q-tips
R – red (rouge)
S – smile (sourire)
T – toque (tuque)
U – utensils (ustensiles)
V – vase
W – Winnie the Pooh (Winnie l’Ourson)
X – xylophone
Y – yoyo
Z – zebra (zèbre)


Andrea October 20, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Thanks for this wonderful idea! Not only a personalized book, but also a way to use my pictures. Made one for mainly my niece but made a copy for my mom as well (pre-school teacher).


Christina @ Floridays Mom November 9, 2012 at 11:13 am

I found your link from another site (Heart Tree Home). I am LOVING this idea. I adore homemade pictures books and this just takes it to another level. Totally going to have to steel for some special upcoming xmas gifts. Just terrific!!!


Jessica November 12, 2012 at 1:38 pm

I love this alphabet book. Thinking its a must for my little girl. Thanks so much for sharing. Love your site you have such inspiring ideas. Keep them coming :)


Shauna November 28, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Fantastic design!! Love it. I did a similar one with a Shutterfly template a few years ago (but I like this one much better with full bleed pictures). btw, have you ever used ArtsCow.com for printing? They do deluxe books with board book pages. Great for ABC books and other books for babies and toddlers. You can see a few pics of books I’ve had printed here:



kortnie January 16, 2013 at 11:35 pm

What happened to “U”?? Was it underwear? I’m finishing my ABC book for my kids and Im stuck on “U”. I just came to back to your post for ideas and realized “U” is missing!


Kortnie January 18, 2013 at 12:14 am

I just finished mine! Check it out at kwertzbaugher.blogspot.com


Ash January 17, 2013 at 11:27 am

It was underwear on here. I took a pic of my son holding a cars Umbrella that went to a little outdoor table and chairs set. My son was in every picture w something starting with each letter and he LOVES it!


Meaghan January 17, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Please tell me how to make this alphabet book! I would love to make one for my sons 1st birthday


mpmk January 17, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Hi Meaghan,

I took each photo and added the text with photoshop elements. Then I uploaded the photos into a book using My Publisher. I believe the site will also allow you to add text while you’re creating the book if you don’t have photo editing software to do it beforehand. Hope that helps!



hier klicken February 24, 2013 at 2:14 pm

This website doesn’t show up correctly on my iphone – you might wanna try and fix that


Nancy March 6, 2013 at 7:43 pm

This is a great idea!! I love all the pics and it is so special as it is personalized and may have to do one for my nephew.

Where did you get the book done as a hard cover? Did you do it yourself or pay to have it done?

I apologize if someone has already asked this question of you.

Thank you for your time.


Elizabeth Than April 17, 2013 at 10:28 pm

I can’t thank you enough for this inspiration! I made a simple (REAL simple) album for my boyfriend on our 5 years dating anniversary and he was speechless!

I underestimated this project. I thought it would be easy peasy but nooo! Nonetheless, I had fun cracking my head for some of the alphabets.

Thanks again! xo


rebecca April 29, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Thank you so much for this idea. We made an alphabet book for her birthday last year filled with all of her friends, family, favorite toys, activities and trips! One of my favorite projects I’ve made for her!


Linda June 22, 2013 at 1:30 pm

This is such a cute idea! I have to remember this! Love it.


cate August 9, 2013 at 10:50 pm

would love to do the same book for my nephew’s bday.
i’m new to my publisher. how do you get the letters on top of the pictures?
your book is beautiful!!


laurie August 12, 2013 at 8:52 am
TayS December 17, 2013 at 3:30 am

Just about one of the best ideas I have seen on pinterest… and that’s saying something! Will be doing this someday for sure!!


Rebecca October 9, 2014 at 1:05 pm

This is a brilliant idea! Thanks for sharing. Was there a particular company you used to get the book printed? I’d like to make one for my 3.5 year old for Christmas.


Heather December 3, 2014 at 6:52 pm

I have been wanting to make one of these forever and finally have all the photos picked out and was excited to see your post for lay out ideas. But the photos you posted are not loading for me. When I click on the little icon where the photos should be, it says page not found. I’ve tried seeing the photos on our laptop, my phone and kindle fire. Any ideas?? I would really love to see yours as a guide! Thanks in advance!


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