One of the nicest things anyone can do for me on Mother’s Day is to devise gift made especially for me. And while there is no denying the sweetness of macaroni art, I will admittedly spend a lot more time pouring over a custom photo book.

Whether you fill it with photos of the family, or assemble all of the kids’ favorite recipes into a family cookbook, or have the kids make a “Why We Love Mommy” book, this is definitely one gift where the thought behind it counts. And don’t worry that custom is really code for a lot of work: It’s not.

Here’s a round-up of some of the great photo book sites we’ve featured on Cool Mom Picks.

I’ve been a fan of Blurb (photo above) every since it helped me create a photo book for my impossible-to-shop-for father-in-law. The software is incredibly easy to use and the prices, quality and options are great. Whether you create a coffee table-worthy tome or a booklet of smiling baby faces, it’ll be an instant classic to me.


If you love the looks of a perfectly designed scrapbook but are lacking the time, patience and $500 in supplies, Pixtorie has just what you need. With real photos layered onto perfectly designed pages by their own artists, Pixtorie’s designer scrapbooks, or the smaller, more affordable “simplebooks,” are a great way to chronicle life in pictures.

shutterfly photobook by elizabeth

There’s no beating the ease of Shutterfly photo books, especially for those of us who already upload our photos here. Choose from many sizes and design templates, or make things a bit easier with the  “Celebrate Her” photobook which comes ready-made with writing prompts. If you are looking for inspiration, check out some of these amazingly creative ideas from our readers like this one, from reader Elizabeth.

see here keyhole scrapbook

FujiFilm is in the photo gift game now through their site The Pages in Stages Keyhole Scrapbook is particularly interesting – a photobook-scrapbook-photo album hybrid that you can customize on the site, then add to later using traditional photo pages. The interface isn’t quite as intuitive as some other sites and the font printing could be a little sharper, but the prices are terrific and the cloth hardcover makes quite the elegant presentation.

Mini  photo albums / brag books by ZoomAlbums

If you believe that less is more, check ZoomAlbums which we called an “itty bitty brag books of awesome. These are actually kits that allow you to arrange and print your own photos, then follow the easy instructions make three of your own mini photo books. It makes a sweet gift to accompany The Gift.

lulu minibooks

This week we discovered the new minibooks from self-publishing site, Lulu and they’re terrific. It’s hard to beat the wallet-friendly price for the wallet sized books–just $16 for four, so you’ll have one for every mom on your Mother’s Day list, and maybe one leftover for yourself.

Heritage Makers

When the story behind the photo is as precious as the image itself, check out Heritage Makers’ professional-bound story books. I love how there is plenty of room for narrative so that you’ll always remember that the reason she’s shyly smiling is because she just hid the peas from dinner under the dog’s bed. -Christina

Congratulations to lucky winner Hyon-hee G, who’ll receive an 8-page scrapbook from See Here!