Share Your Best Recipes in a Gift Book for Christmas
Do you need simple, inexpensive — yet somewhat personal — gifts for holiday giving? Why not put together a collection of your favorite Christmas cookie recipes — or other holiday treats — and give them as special gifts this year.
Simple? That means you don’t have a lot of time to shop. You need something that will go together fast. A recipe book can be just the thing!
Inexpensive? How does $6.95 sound for a 20-page photo recipe book? Not bad, eh?
Personal? What’s more personal than the love you put into baking cookies for family and friends? You can share that love by sharing your recipes.
Here’s how to make a Recipe Book:
1. Gather your recipes. For a 20-page book, you’ll need 10 recipes. Be prepared to type in your recipes in the text blocks on the pages of your book. Or you can scan your recipes and upload the digital file just as you would a photo. Another option is to “copy and paste” (from a Word document or the Web) into the text boxes. You can add as many pages as you wish.
2. Bake. Make a batch of cookies from each recipe you’ll be using.
3. Photograph your cookies. Find a creative way to display a few cookies from each batch or an entire batch for a photo. (I recommend taking several photos — from different angles — so you have choices later.) Closeups work well for cookies. Here are some ideas for arranging Christmas (or Hannukah) cookies for your photo shoot:
4. Upload your digital photos to Lifephoto.com. You can create a Cookie Recipe Book folder in your personal photo gallery if your register. No charge for registering which gives you unlimited and free online photo storage. This means you can work on your book, save it and come back later to resume your project. (You are not required to register, but you photos will not be saved — you’ll have to make your book in one sitting.)
5. Start building your book. Once you’ve uploaded your photos, the book-building process will move along quickly. Choose hardcover or softcover, one of 6 book sizes and 4 paper options. As you make each selection, your book price will calculate on the page.
Choose a design and theme. For a recipe book, I chose the “Creative” design which gives the most flexibility for placing text and photos for this kind of book. You also have the option of choosing from a number of background themes under the “Christmas” design category. You can “fade” the background design by increasing the opacity level. Here’s an example:
Select photos from those you uploaded and any scanned recipe text (if you uploaded that).
Place Photos and Text. I chose to “place my own photos” on the pages so that I can arrange the recipes with the photos. It’s an easy process. But Lifephoto also gives you the very quick option of letting the software automatically fill your pages. You can always make changes later to individual pages — or even move pages around.
The illustration below shows a book in progress. I chose a text layout for Page 2 and a photo layout for Page 3. Lifephoto offers quite a few layouts that can include only photos, only text or a mix of text and photos. Note that this is a “turning-page” book previewer — that you can e-mail to people when you’re done — at no cost. Or you can post your Cookie Recipe Book Previewer to a Web site, a blog or to Facebook. Pretty cool, eh?
Get Out Your Recipes. Bake. Then Build Your Recipe Book!
It’s time to start your holiday baking anyway. So with each batch of cookies, take a few digital photos. By the time you’re done with all your baking, you’ll have most of the content ready for your cookie recipe book. You can even upload your photos to lifephoto.com as you go and store them in your personal photo folder until you’re ready to build your book. Lifephoto offers quick turnaround on book production, so you still have plenty of time to get them back for holiday giving.
Have fun with it!