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Mini Masterpieces (the photobook)

Audrey’s art in a photobook arrived yesterday. I ordered the 12×12 size and I love the scale of it – her drawings have a larger than life feel to them. I love that when Audrey opened the book, she said, “WOAH.

A few months ago Shutterfly asked if I’d be interested in creating a new photobook style for them, one that could be used to showcase children’s artwork. I may or may not have jumped out of my chair when I got that email. At the time I had already collected a huge drawer full of Audrey’s art and was planning on making a photobook of her art.  Coincidence much? Anyways, of course I said, “YES!

The new photobook style is called Mini Masterpieces and is now available at Shutterfly. The style includes 20+ idea pages, with predesigned photo layouts, title placement and even journaling prompts. You can use the idea pages as is or use the customize mode to add more photos/artwork or embellishments.

Here’s a closer look at the printed album.

My daughters had so much fun looking through the album this morning. I can’t wait to collect more of Madeline’s drawings so I can make an album for her as well!

{ 106 comments… add one }

  • kimberly michelle April 19, 2012, 2:22 pm

    As always — this is absolutely fabulous!!!!

    • Liz April 19, 2012, 2:30 pm

      Thanks so much Kimberly!

  • Aja April 19, 2012, 2:30 pm

    Oh, Liz, I just adore this!

    • Liz April 19, 2012, 2:30 pm

      Thank you Aja!

  • lauren April 19, 2012, 2:36 pm

    So in love with this! I’m curious, how do you digitize the artwork… photograph it or take a picture of it? I need a good workflow for this and taking a picture of it sounds easier to me.

    • Liz April 19, 2012, 2:51 pm

      Hi Lauren,

      I scanned all of her artwork in at a resolution of 600 dpi – I wanted to be able to print my favorites as full 12×12 pages. Photographing their art is just as good an alternative, if not better. Easier is always better. I used this name sequence for all the files: yearmonthdate-artist-nameofart. Ex. 20110811-Audrey-meandmysister

  • tracy larsen April 19, 2012, 2:51 pm

    Liz, this is AMAZING!!!!! Audrey’s artwork is so adorable and I love the idea of making the book so big. I have been stashing my son’s drawings and this is the perfect way for me to keep them for him! You are so creative – thank you!!!!

  • Elizabeth April 19, 2012, 3:10 pm

    Love this and totally doing it!

  • vinnie April 19, 2012, 3:20 pm

    Really amazing, Liz!

  • jamaica April 19, 2012, 3:20 pm

    Awesome Liz, just awesome.

  • kristy April 19, 2012, 3:34 pm

    Gorgeous book I love how the art in photos look in the 12 x 12 book!

  • esther_a April 19, 2012, 4:19 pm

    Brilliant! What lucky Shutterfly customers they are to have such a great looking templates at their disposal! Your book is beautiful!!

  • Lisa April 19, 2012, 4:44 pm

    This is fantastic!! Just yesterday I was wondering what I could do to preserve my boys’ masterpieces… And now I know! Thank you!

  • Crystal April 19, 2012, 4:59 pm

    This is soooooo amazing! I can’t wait to scan a bunch of the kids stuff and try this! Such a great idea and perfect way to dispose of some of the lose papers laying around 😀

  • erica April 19, 2012, 5:45 pm

    This is SO FANTASTIC, Liz. You are brilliant!

  • Shelley Haganman April 19, 2012, 8:32 pm

    Seriously amazing idea and book! Amazing!

  • Lori S April 19, 2012, 9:36 pm

    The book idea is fantastic. Love-love-love Audrey’s hair cut. And the two of them checking out the book on the bed is too cute!

  • Janine April 20, 2012, 12:21 am

    fantastic…need to do this for my little artist..x

  • eva April 20, 2012, 12:33 am

    This looks absolutely amazing!!! This is my next project to do. My Laura is going to be 4 in September and I’m still collecting her drawings. I’ve noticed that in the last few months are less “abstractive” 😉
    Your girls are so and creative,just as their mom!

  • samone April 20, 2012, 1:03 am

    love this! My daughter loves drawing and Ive been wondering the best way to keep it all together! So much nicer than my eldest’s phonebook I made a few years ago through another company.
    Thankyou x.

  • elizabeth rosemond April 20, 2012, 9:06 am

    LOVING THIS! I just scanned Lauryn’s artwork from this year for this very purpose. I was a little stressed about how to put it together. So excited!!

  • beshka April 20, 2012, 10:00 am

    Love the 12×12. I ordered 2 of these books last month. I did 8×8 and one for each kiddo. I was a little worried about how my scans of their artwork would transfer over, but they are beautiful and the kids think they are soooo cool! Thanks for designing this…I love mine!!

    • Liz April 24, 2012, 1:41 pm

      Awesome Beshka, so happy to hear that you love the books!

  • Kelsey April 20, 2012, 10:08 am

    Love this!! Such a great way to save your children’s works of art without the clutter!

  • Ewa April 20, 2012, 4:12 pm

    This just blew me away! In Poland, where I live, we too have photobook service but its still pretty basic. Oh, well, I will think of something – nscanning , scaling, using Illustrator:) Thank you for this wonderful inspiration.

  • Jennifer Klementti April 20, 2012, 4:57 pm

    Oh my goodness, I absolutely love this book! I seriously just posted today on my Facebook page that I was looking for a cool way to archive and display my daughter’s artwork! This is soooo cool! I love it!

  • Jennifer April 20, 2012, 5:56 pm

    My goodness, you’ve outdone yourself! This is soooo adorable and my daughter will love, love, love one of these books. Thanks!

  • Heather Johnson April 20, 2012, 6:12 pm

    Love love love! I have been scanning my daughter’s artwork for the past year–and this will be PERFECT for it. You are so crazy talented girl!!! I have been a fan for at least four years now, love seeing what you come up with time and time again. (Your recent December Daily post was stunning.) I am doing my Project Life layout this week with Twiggy Guava, last week I used a lot of Happy as a Lark–be sure to stop by and check them out:)

  • Lucy April 20, 2012, 6:37 pm

    Love Paislee Press and have for a long time. This is icing on the cake. The book is really beautiful and you have such great ideas. I love this and can’t wait to make one. :) So glad you did the collab with Shutterfly, they are one of the best.

  • Liesbeth April 21, 2012, 2:05 am

    Ohhhhhhh… this is so very awesome!!! Thanks for sharing your inspiration!
    Groetjes from Belgium,

  • Liz April 21, 2012, 7:22 pm

    I made an art book a few years ago for my daughter through Shutterfly, and it was a pain to figure out the layout all on my own. I’m so glad you designed something sooooooo much easier to use! Both my daughter and my son need a new book now (his first, her second), and I’m really really excited to use your new format! Thank you so very much!

  • Amy April 21, 2012, 9:04 pm

    Adorable project and such a great layout. Shutterfly was smart to ask you to design something–it’s darling!

  • shaui April 22, 2012, 7:22 am

    This is fantastic Liz!!! I have all of Fei’s artwork in a binder and it makes me smile when i look at them. Audrey is such a wonderful artist just like her Mama!!!

  • Anabela April 23, 2012, 4:56 am

    HI Liz, your work is truly aw-inspiring, and I just LOVE your style! I have scanned all my daugthers pictures but have yet to do something with them, now I can start putting her beautiful works of art into a photobook, just a question, I live in South Africa, and would need to use a photobook place here to print the book, is it possible to buy the digital psd files so I can put it together and then send it through to the company here that prints photobooks?

    Many Thanks

    • Liz April 24, 2012, 1:43 pm

      Working on this Anabela! Hoping to get this in the shop before the end of the month.

  • amber April 23, 2012, 11:53 am

    omg! this is amazing! now I’m mad at myself for throwing out the 500+ drawings my kids have done over the years…:P

  • amy April 23, 2012, 2:34 pm

    so completely awesome. thank you these are amazing books to create for my kids overflowing artwork drawers.

  • Debbie April 23, 2012, 5:31 pm

    Oh my goodness! All I can think is Christmas… check!

  • Jennifer April 23, 2012, 7:12 pm

    Hi Liz, curious to know about how many drawings you used for the book. Thanks!?

    • Liz April 24, 2012, 2:04 pm


      I used 31 drawings, 3 photos (of her diorama project) in addition to photos (of her drawing, etc.)

  • Nicole April 23, 2012, 7:38 pm

    Did you just scan all her drawings and save them as a JPEG? I love the idea!

    • Liz April 24, 2012, 1:46 pm

      Exactly Nicole – Scanned and saved as high resolution (600dpi) files.

  • Fiona April 24, 2012, 3:00 am

    This is so awesome! I would love to make one of these for my son and daughter. Now I just have to convince them to draw or paint some more! I love your style.

  • rachel April 25, 2012, 6:21 pm

    thank you so much for sharing this!! i am in love with this beautiful way to remember their creations!

  • Ayako April 26, 2012, 11:34 pm

    I love it! This is perfect for keeping memories my son’s art work and his scribble. Thank you for sharing this!

  • osaru April 26, 2012, 11:56 pm

    Great photo book!! 😉

  • Debbie Wibowo April 27, 2012, 7:44 am

    Fab idea!!! I’ve been thinking how to document my daughter’s drawing and art project. This is just perfect! Thank you so much, Liz!

  • Jennifer April 27, 2012, 8:25 am

    I LOVE this book! I’m just curious if I can purchase the template somehow without using shutterfly? I’d love to go through my own album company. Thank you!

    • Liz April 27, 2012, 2:14 pm

      Yes, it won’t be the exact same thing that’s available at Shutterfly now (more customizable options will be available with the templates). Hoping to get that in the shop sometime next week.

  • jodi April 27, 2012, 11:38 am

    this is amazing!! i absolutely love it!

    • Liz April 27, 2012, 2:14 pm

      Thank you so much Jodi!

  • Kira Lauren April 27, 2012, 11:51 am

    I LOVE THIS! I’ve been meaning to scan all my son’s artwork and print it in a book, and this is an absolutely adorable and perfect way to display them! Thank you SO much for sharing! :)

  • Jen P April 28, 2012, 9:01 pm

    Liz, LOVE this book! I’m trying to create one from Shutterfly tonight and I have a question about your finished album cover page. It’s different then the cover you have on Shutterfly. Do you have an example of that page in your own album? I really like your album cover page but noticed it’s on the first (inside) Shutterfly page. Is there a way to move that cover template to the inside page and the inside page to the cover page like yours?

    Did I completely confuse you? LOL


    • Liz April 28, 2012, 10:44 pm

      Hi Jen,

      I totally get what you want to do. You can definitely change the cover design. To get the same layout design that I used for my cover, you can do so by taking the following steps:

      1. Go to the cover page in the mini masterpieces style
      2. Select LAYOUTS (on the top left corner)
      3. Select the layout design you want (the one I used is the 4th on the right column.

      Attached is a screenshot of it:


      Hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions.

      • Jen P April 29, 2012, 7:22 am

        Thanks Liz, I’ll give it a shot!
        Is there a way to move the Shutterfly cover page to a regular page in the book? I love that template but was hoping it elsewhere.


        • Liz April 29, 2012, 8:37 am


          The cover and the inside pages have different dimensions so it’s not possible to swap out idea pages, but there is a layout in the book that’s very similar to the cover. Look at the end page (page 20) – exact same layout, just add the white frame from the embellishments section (and make sure to slick “send to back” so the frame goes behind the photo spot).

          • Jen P April 29, 2012, 8:43 am

            Not a problem! Thanks so much. I played around a bit and ended up using some of the frame stickers to create another ‘multi’ photo page too. Love that option! I think I’m going to go 12×12 size!

            Thanks for your fast reply! I hope to have everything compiled and ready to purchase in the next day or two!

            I was originally going to create my own digi layouts for a artwork album, but when I saw your amazing one already done I knew I had to have one too. :) Thanks for making it easier on me! :)

            Oh, and your little girl is a wonderful artist!

            Take care,
            Jen Papadimitriou

  • Bernadette April 29, 2012, 9:24 am

    Ahhh! I ADORE this! I have been searching for the perfect way to archive my little guy’s drawings…amazing work!

  • Amanda May 20, 2012, 6:44 am

    This is beautiful! Do you know if they offer gift cards for this product to give to parents so that they can collect and create with their child? Just thinking this would be an awesome Christmas gift for my sister and her kids!

  • erin May 20, 2012, 9:36 pm

    I just stumbled upon your blog while looking for info on deciding on a printer, a size, a style. I love your style. Great stuff. I’m so excited to make a similar book.

  • Eleyn June 1, 2012, 9:04 pm

    This is so cool! I’m glad I stumbled upon it! 😀

  • Tania McCartney June 7, 2012, 6:38 pm

    You are a creative genius, Liz. Biggest congrats. Love Shutterfly and love that your book is now there – I’m so onto it. Thank you!

    • Liz June 13, 2012, 10:06 am

      So sweet, thank you Tania!

  • Cath June 18, 2012, 4:04 am

    This is possibly THE most stunning example of collecting and displaying kids art that I have ever seen. I’d love to share… hope you don’t mind!

  • Liza June 20, 2012, 10:37 pm

    This is just what I’ve been looking for. I have been traveling with my children’s artwork around the world, literally. I can’t wait to try this out. Fantastic!!

  • Arlyna July 11, 2012, 6:38 am

    Hi, Liza!

    The minute I saw this template, I knew I had to make one as this was the answer I was looking for on how to document my kids’ artwork.

    I’ve started on a few pages and was hoping to get some tips from you

    1. For the journaling part of the book can you give some ideas or tips for what to do when I don’t have much to say about the picture?

    2. Is there a certain flow that you followed?

    3. Any other hints for how much art to include in one book? currently I have only managed to scan/photograph images from within the past couple years…

    Thank you!

    • Liz August 2, 2012, 11:29 pm

      Hi Arlyna,

      So thrilled that you found the templates!

      1. When I’m at a loss for words, I usually start by just adding the basics:
      – title of the drawing (something as simple as “my house” or sometimes, I include what she said when she showed me the drawing “this is me wearing lipstick momma!”
      – date they drew the picture and how old they were at the time

      Usually I find that by the time I get those things typed out, I’ll think of something I want to add. Sometimes staring at that blank space is most intimidating, but once you start filling it up, the words start flowing. And if you find that you still have nothing to write, I think it’s ok to leave it at that.

      For this album in particular, the journaling entries were from her perspective (which is why I ended up calling the album “the world according to audrey”). Maybe consider asking your child questions, ie., Can you tell me what’s happening in this drawing? what is your favorite part of this picture? why did you want to draw this cat/car/flower? How do rainbows make you feel?

      2. I definitely followed a work flow. First, I worked in chronological order (both with the scanning of photos and when it came time to arrange photos/layouts in the album). I like this workflow for several reason. First, it takes the guess work out of how I’m going to arrange the photos (I didn’t have to struggle with questions like do I want to feature the flowers first or the family portraits?) With all the creative choices that we’re faced with when designing a book its nice to have some things that we don’t have to think about twice. I also like how chronology plays out when I’m flipping through the book – seeing the progression from simple scribbles to more intricate drawings. With that being said, I did veer from the chronological order a few times throughout the book. Specifically when I found “themes” in her drawings (ie., self portraits, drawings of her toys, rainbows, etc.) I created collages for those because seeing them all together at once made for a bigger impact than if they were individually scattered throughout the album.

      My second workflow principle is using the “world according to me” perspective.

      And lastly, I tried to match up her drawings with photos (ie., pair a “this is my family” drawing with an actual family portrait).

      • Arlyna August 3, 2012, 1:30 am


        I’ve actually managed to finish my kids’ books. I have twins so I usually have to do two. And I’ve found, as I was working on the content, was both don’t have to be exactly the same and it was really a fun process.

        I’ve sent my artwork to the local printers and I cannot wait for Monday when I get these delivered!

        I didn’t want to ask my kids about the artwork I included as I wanted the books to be a surprise.

        So excited! So THANK YOU again for this great template!

        • Liz August 3, 2012, 1:39 am

          Wow that’s awesome Arlyna, congrats!! I wish I’d responded to your questions earlier, it was one of those things where I had lots to say and I kept putting off until I found a chunk of uninterrupted time to draft it. My apologies for the delay but it looks like you didn’t need it at all. You were on a mission and you work super super fast. :)

          Sharing the albums with your kids is going to be an amazing moment!!

          • Arlyna August 3, 2012, 6:48 am

            No worries… It was a nice challenge and plus you had some sample pages which I looked to for inspiration. :-)

  • Nancy August 10, 2012, 1:06 am


    I l.o.v.e your idea!!!
    i used it for my post today…

    have a quick look, and let me know, if it´s ok with u!!!


    greetings from sunny germany…

    yours nancy

  • Paige August 14, 2012, 1:51 pm

    I just finished taking pictures of my son’s pre-school artwork before recycling it. Would love to try this new format out. Glad i saw this on Pinterest.

  • Hiragana Mama August 18, 2012, 5:48 pm

    I’m so happy I stumbled upon this via Pinterest. I’ve always wanted to compile my daughter’s artwork into a book, and that I’ve seen how beautiful it can be, I am more motivated to get it done. (Your daughters are adorable btw!)

  • Pink Ronnie September 1, 2012, 9:11 pm

    Hi Liz,
    I am seriously still in awe of this book and have plans to use it for all our boys down the track!
    One question about your workflow – have you kept any of the original artwork?
    Would love to hear your thoughts!
    Ronnie xo

    • Liz September 5, 2012, 2:20 pm

      Thanks Ronnie! Yes, I am definitely hanging on to the original artwork, for no other reason now except that I have a hard time letting go of certain pieces for sentimental reasons and the original is well….the original. I plan on doing something with the originals, just not sure what yet. Either inspiration will hit in a few years or I’ll be drowning in a mountain of kids drawings. :)

  • jaclyn @ www.lilmsadventures.blogspot.com September 21, 2012, 2:16 pm

    Wow what an amazing idea!! Then you have these as a keepsake and do not feel bad when you have to recycle out their old art work when you have too many :)
    Thanks for sharing

  • Orit September 27, 2012, 1:03 am

    thank you for such an inspiring project and idea ! i hope that i will be able to compleate in such perfect way!

  • Julie October 5, 2012, 1:20 pm

    That’s fabulous! What a treasure.

  • edinamail October 15, 2012, 10:58 am

    Such a great idea! just wooow.i’m wondering that can be gift to a boy.i like really much to draw and my boyfriend like those.we wanted to make a children book with my pictures,but we didn’t have enough time for that.so my question is: is it stupid to make to my boyfriend an “art book”? i’d draw things what both of us like…hmmm have to think about :)

  • edinamail October 15, 2012, 11:00 am

    oh yeah he’ll be 26,i’m 22 years old but both of us like children :)

  • Rosa Nissenbaum November 7, 2012, 8:12 am

    oh.my.word. I ADORE this!!! I have so much of my kids artwork here and there and everywhere. This would be great way to get it all into one place!!! Did you have any drawings that were really, really big? If you did, how did you incorporate those?

    • Liz November 7, 2012, 9:00 am

      Nothing bigger than 8.5x 11. But, she did have a diorama that was 12x 8 in size and it’s bulky so we obviously couldn’t scan. For larger scale projects, photographing is the easiest way to go!

  • Yvette-Michelle | Crafted Spaces November 14, 2012, 12:22 pm

    This is such a wonderful project. It is a beautiful way to preserve your children’s art. My son Matthew just turned ten and I have tons of his artwork that I was not sure how to catalogue. Thanks for sharing your process and wonderful idea.

  • frogus_80 January 8, 2013, 12:36 am

    It’s brilliant idea!!! :)

  • jeannie January 12, 2013, 6:53 am

    Hi! Just happily stumbled across your blog and am in love! This is exactly what I need right now as I try to come up with a system to get our family images better organized. So looking forward to following you :)

  • sarina coffin February 11, 2013, 4:08 pm

    This is such an amazingly awesome idea!! My daughter loves to draw and I never know what to do with all the paper. This is this years Christmas gift for her. Thanks for posting this! I am pinning this to, it is just to good not to share.

  • Moi February 22, 2013, 11:42 pm

    Hi Liz
    I love this so much.I bought the templates but I was wondering what fonts you used for your album.

    • Liz February 22, 2013, 11:59 pm

      Thanks Moi, hope you enjoy using the templates! Fonts, the title font is strangelove and the subtitle font is helvetica.

  • Carola April 18, 2013, 12:01 pm

    Wonderful idea! I want one for mi daughter 😀

  • Kara August 12, 2013, 6:09 am

    Could you please tell me what type of light and space you photographed your child’s artwork in (outside, inside, bright sunlight, no sunlight, etc). Thank you!!

    • Liz August 12, 2013, 8:31 am

      The majority of them were scanned in. If you plan on photographing, choose a spot with ample natural light. I usually photograph near a window.

  • kelly wills August 26, 2013, 1:20 pm

    what scanner do you recommend? i so grateful you created this fun template. just getting started…

  • Lucy Baum September 4, 2013, 10:58 am

    For the parents who may find the photography/ scanning and design a bit intimidating, I offer this as a service. I offer professionally taken photographs of the child’s art work, casting it in its best light to remember for years to come, and do all the design work – you just send me the art and make the approvals/ suggestions! You can check out details on my website at http://www.lucybaumphotographer.com/bunnyproject.

  • Erin November 11, 2013, 6:46 pm

    This is so lovely! What a brilliant idea. I love the layout.

    Erin // http://www.erinoxnam.com/

  • Kaia January 3, 2014, 8:31 am

    Hi! I’m just wondering if this is still available on Shutterfly? The link doesn’t seem to be working for me, and when I go directly to the Shutterfly site, I can’t find it. Thanks!

  • Sherry May 2, 2014, 2:36 pm

    I love this template! I am trying to make a book now and am wondering what fonts you used as they look a bit different than the default in the template.

    1. The captions (e.g. ILLUSTRATIONS BY… on the front cover) – what font did you use? The default is Avant Garde but I don’t think it looks as good as what you used in your book.

    2. In the titles like “THIS IS MY RAINBOW SERIES”, it looks like the kerning for LiebeErika font is wider in your book than the default in Shutterfly. Is it possible to adjust the kerning? I think the wider font looks better but I couldn’t figure out how to adjust it in Shutterfly.

    Thanks so much! I can’t wait to finish this book and see the finished product.

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  • Rebecca July 18, 2015, 5:10 am

    Hello, I am so glad I discovered your page, I can’t wait to create a book for my daughter! One question, with the artwork you added…did you photograph it or scan it? I’m not really sure the “best” way to get the images on to my computer to start the process. Thank you so much, Regards, Rebecca

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