Blurb gift centerThis is the first in our series of picks for meaningful, beautiful, practical holiday gift ideas: your own custom book.

You’ve probably made photo books as gifts before. But what if you want to make a book that looks like a real book, with a lot of text? Blurb lets you publish your own custom book including photos, text, and even artwork, with the quality of a fine coffee table book. These books are seriously beautiful. Take a look at the Blurb Gift Center for inspiration and examples of what’s possible. I especially love the idea of a family history book. This is a project I’ve wanted to do for years: interview an elderly loved one, write down the stories she (or he) has to tell, go through her old photos and ask about the history or story behind each one, collect her recipes, and publish it all into a volume — that would be a cherished gift.

Blurb custom books gift center

One year I collected our family’s Thanksgiving recipes and made a rudimentary spiral-bound recipe book for everyone for Christmas. We still pull these out year after year. If only I had known about Blurb Food Books! I’m inspired.

Blurb food books

Are your children budding artists? Collect their works into a children’s book to give to grandparents.

Blurb children's books

To design your book, they offer BookSmart, a custom book-making tool that gives you a professional look without hiring a designer. Use their professionally-designed templates, or create your own layout. You can also work with Lightroom or InDesign if those are programs you’re used to using.


The books are surprisingly affordable, starting at $12.99 for a 7×7 softcover, and ranging up to $76 for the largest size hardcover with all the upgrades. From now through November 11th*, save $25 when you spend $100 or more on print books at Blurb with code EARLYSAVINGS. Or, save 20% when you spend $40 or more on print books at Blurb with code MORESAVINGS.

*UPDATE! New sale code, good through Nov. 21: Save $25 when you spend $50 or more on print books at Blurb with code SAVINGS.

Disclosure: After we discovered Blurb, we joined their affiliate program. We love what they offer, and hope you will too. If you purchase from them after clicking through from this post, we may receive a small commission.

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