Birthday book

My lovelies, I wanted to share my dad’s 60th birthday present (just because I’m so excited about it). I made him a hardcover photo book filled with snapshots from all stages of his life. It was so much fun looking through family shots and choosing favorites, including a few he had never seen! (How hilarious is his expression in his wedding photo, by the way?) When I gave it to him this past weekend, he was so touched and couldn’t stop looking through it. It was one of those truly special life moments.

(P.S. I made the book through Pinhole Press, and the book felt beautiful, with silky paper and a linen cloth hardcover. This book is the exact one I choose, but there are a bunch of other lovely options. Would be amazing to make a wedding album, too, don’t you think? xo)

P.S. Having babies in Paris.

  1. Anonymous says...

    Wow, he looks like Dennis Quaid in that last one!

  2. I love the book!! I am definitely want to make a couple of books. I want one for both of children’s first year and one for my grandparents. I think this is so wonderful. Thanks so very much for sharing!

  3. Seriously, that is the best birthday present idea – EVER! Perfect for the person who has everything! Joanna, I can see why your dad was so touched. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

  4. Love the idea so emotional and lovely!

  5. Omigosh — I love it so much! heading over to Pinhole right now.

    p.s You are the best daughter!

  6. My husband surprised me at Christmas by making me one called “ONE” that documents the first year of our daughter’s life. I’ve written her a letter every month and he included those at the top of each months’ photos. It’s the best present I’ve ever received.

  7. This is such a sweet gift! Very thoughtful and heartwarming.

  8. Definitely a beautiful and thoughtful book. I’ve been procrastinating on making our wedding album…I’ll be sure to visit Pinhole Press.

  9. wow!! this is wonderful! what an amazing gift!! dad’s are so awesome. I miss mine everyday, but i treasure all my memories of him.

    you carry their love with you all your life.

  10. It turned out beautifully, Joanna! I think I might need to steal your gift idea. What a thoughtful and special thing to give. I love the full page spreads, btw.

  11. What a special gift. I’m sure he will treasure it always! :)

  12. The book is beautiful, the photos are wonderful (your Mom and Dad look so young and happy on their wedding day-made me think of my wedding day at about that age!) and the thought you put into it is priceless.

  13. So glad your father fell right into loving this gift… who wouldn’t?! It’s one of the most treasured treats to let someone know how much they are loved. I made one for my own father for his 70th recently and, although I couldn’t be with the gang when he opened it, my siblings shared how he just quietly and slowly moved through each page, taking it all in. How beautiful that you were able to experience this right along with him. It looks wonderful.

  14. This is beautiful :) Thanks for sharing. My mom’s birthday is coming up and now I have the perfect gift for her!

  15. What a great idea! I would love to receive one of those. And pinhole press is just lovely!

  16. Such a beautiful, beautiful gift. Thank you for sharing the idea, it’s perfect :)

    xo Nadia

  17. i’m planning a surprise vow-renewal for my parents’ 35th anniversary and now you’ve totally inspired to make a photo book! your’s is beautiful!! thank you for posting this!!!

  18. This is such a beautiful and thoughtful book!

  19. Love the Birthday Book. Your dad must have been thrilled. It looks so professional too. I’m sure it takes pride of place on his coffee table now!

  20. Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. What a wonderful present! I’m sure your dad will cherish this for a very long time.
    I think I know what I’ll be doing for my mom’s birthday now!

  21. oh, this is absolutely gorgeous! i’m feeling less guilty about not having made a baby book now…will definitely look into making one like this. thanks for the inspiration!

  22. what a lovely gift!! such a thoughtful gift for anyone to receive! thanks for sharing :)

  23. It is a wonderful gift, Jo. I was very moved, not only by all the effort you made, but also by the feelings brought forward by so many of the photos, especially those images I had not seen before. It was wonderful to be so transported. Quite a labor of love; thank you so much.
    Me xx

  24. i’m in love with sentimental gifts, and this is sooo perfect! thank you for sharing- this would be awesome for any occasion.

  25. This is so sweet! Our dad would LOVE this :)

  26. This is so awesome! Thank you for sharing! I might have to make one of these for my parents…

  27. What a great idea!! I’ve been looking for a service to use for my wedding album (no way am I paying the photographer 1000 bucks for one) and this might be the perfect one!

    xoxo Lauren

  28. this is lovely – we just got our wedding photos back from the photographer and was just about to start looking in to printing albums, so thank you! i am playing around on the site now. xo

  29. A wonderful idea and a great, loving gift!

  30. nothing short of amazing. i love the twin babies photo next to the tower. oh and your wedding one, of course!

  31. what a gorgeous gift!

  32. w says...

    this is absolutely fantastic!! i’m in love, like really want one right now. It’s perfect for a gift just as yours.. beautiful jo!

  33. Lovely! I’m also copying this idea.

  34. You are a wonderful daughter. That is an amazing gift.

  35. beautiful!

  36. this is lovely! you just game me so many birthday ideas! thank you so much for sharing this!

  37. That is the perfect gift! I’m sure he loved it!
    xo Trina

  38. What a super duper idea! I can see why he loved this book.. he’ll probably keep it close by for a long time so he can look at it often.


  39. Wow! What an amazing gift. I wouldn’t be able to put it down either! So thoughtful


  40. what a fantastic gift! I’m sure it was as much fun to give as it was to receive, those are the best kind :)

  41. wow,such a nice idea <3 I want somthing like that for when I turn 18!!!

    oh ! happy birthday to your dad!

    alexandra @

  42. what an awesome and thoughtful gift! looks great and will keep those photos alive for much longer.

  43. Great blog! So glad I found you!
    Check out my new blog when you get a chance. Thanks!
    Have a great afternoon.

  44. this is so so so amazing… i want to do one for every special person in my life right now!


  46. What a special gift for your dad’s 60th! So polished yet very personal. I’ve been delaying putting together my wedding album for several months, and this is a great option to consider. Thanks for sharing!

  47. I’d love to do this for my parent’s 30th anniversary this year, but there aren’t a lot of recent photos of the two of them (my mom doesn’t like being photographed).

  48. My husband turns 40 this year and I think this is just the present I’ve been looking for! Thanks for the idea…

  49. i did the exact same thing for my dad’s 60th!!!

    oh, it looks gorgeous.

  50. OMG. YOur Dad is adorable and this photo book is the best gift idea ever.

  51. This is such a fabulous idea! I am definitely going to look into this for a present to my mom. It is so perfect! Thanks so much for sharing this lovely present!

  52. The bunny ears made me laugh. :)

  53. Wow, that is fabulous! I think I am going to make one for my kids for Christmas – that will give me enough time to look thru my photos! Thanks for the idea! xxoo :)

  54. Joanna, what a GREAT idea, especially for parents!! You’re sooo sweet! I bet your dad was just smiling from ear to ear! Thanks for sharing with us!!

  55. esthere and marie, i did scan old photos, and i used some photos that were already digital. then it was really easy to make the book after that. scanning isn’t too tough — you can actually take photos to photo stores and they’ll do it for you and give you a disk, if you want! xo

  56. yes! jessica, a wedding album would be AMAZING! i think we’re going to make one, too.

  57. That’s a wonderful gift, it’s a life gift (:
    ha, your dad’s facial expression is pretty hilarious as you said. :D
    DaWolf x

  58. Awesome idea !! Hubby is turning 40 this year and that would be a brilliant present for him (he would LOVE it)… Did you have to scan/upload all the photos ? I’m secretly hoping I could just send all my pics over and they would do it for me (and then send them back with the book)(so lazy, I know :) xx

  59. Ida says...

    Very beautiful :)

  60. best present ever! great looking book–and I think I will make a wedding album.

  61. This is the best gift idea. Very touching.

  62. Anonymous says...

    This is truly beautiful gift.

    My mother is turning 50 soon and I’m stressing about what to get her. Something like this could actually be nice! Do you have any other ideas what I could give her? You find always such inspirational things :)

    Love, Riikka

  63. What a lovely and thoughtful idea!

  64. so beautiful and heartfelt :)

  65. What a fabulous gift! I may have to do that for my family members.

  66. Really beautiful! I am photographing my sister in laws bridal shower on Sunday and I think this would be the perfect after shower gift!

  67. Oh my GOSH, what a thoughtful present! You are such a sweetheart. Love the cover photo : )

  68. Thanks for giving me such a great idea for my own dad’s 60th, which is right around the corner! Your book came out so lovely. ;)

  69. wow. this is so SO beautiful, Jo. I think I may have to do this for my mom. Thanks for sharing!

  70. this is JUST what i need! for my paternal grandmother’s 80th, my mom and i made a book for her by hand. it was beautiful but it cost soooo much money and it took several weeks of constant work. my maternal grandmother’s 80th is this december- and i think we will have to try this! it’s gorgeous!
    p.s. i love the schoolboy photos- too cute!

  71. amazingly sweet and thoughtful :)love it

  72. What a perfect present! Thank you for the great idea! My dad’s 60th birthday is just a couple of years away, will have to keep it in my mind!

  73. i have a question, how did you get your dad’s old photos in there? did you scan each one individually?

  74. Oh my goodness. That is so beautiful. I love how it’s designed, and of course it helps that you have some really awesome photos! What a great thoughtful idea.

  75. Well done! So very thoughtful. It looks amazing.

  76. This is done so beautifully… what a precious treasure to have! You have my wheels spinning for a gift for my parents this coming Christmas…. you have truly inspired me!

  77. LOVE. SUCH a great idea!! Thanks for the inspiration~~

  78. beautiful way to put together such a meaningful gift… thank you for sharing!

  79. What a fantastic idea. So thoughtful.

  80. love the look of this book. Classic and cool. I always use apple, but I’m thinking I want to try this brand out. Perfect gift for a 60th bday. I did the same for my mom.

  81. Lotje says...

    Such a beautiful present, I would cry my eyes out if I were to get such a lovely and personal gift…

  82. My dad has alzheimer’s so a few years ago I made him a book like this of his life for christmas so he could maybe remember us a little longer. It’s been 3 years and he looks at almost everyday. One time he told my brother that it was worth a million dollars. Sometimes the simplest gifts are the best ones. That one looks absolutely gorgeous.

  83. This is so beautiful! I love gifts like that as they are so special. Well done, Joanna:)

  84. What a beautiful book! We have given those for Christmas presents and things and things like and they are always a hit.

    The Cheeky Cafe

  85. this is so beautiful joanna. i want to make one for my parents but it’s hard to find old photos as my mom came from communist prague and had to leave all her belongings and pictures from her childhood behind

  86. Thanks for sharing! What a lovely sentimental gift. I’ll have to add it to my list for upcoming occasions.

  87. Lovely lovely lovely. What a treasured gift!

  88. Joanna, that’s great! My mom’s 60th birthdayis in two weeks,and I have already made a photo book on Shutterfly and planned to order it soon. I’m now seriously considering re-doing it with pinhole press because it’s more modern (and less expensive!). Do you how long it took to ship after you submitted it? Thanks so much!

  89. What a brilliant idea! Both my parents turn 60 in a couple of years (they were born 12 days a part) and their 30th wedding anniversary is in 2 years, so I could see doing a joint book of them together. Thanks for the idea!

    Did you do one for your mom?

  90. what an amazing present! So creative and thoughtful!!!

  91. this is so great. I get this feeling that you are a superior gift giver



  92. I love this! Beautiful!

  93. that’s awesome, it would take me a year to get organized enough to do something like that. Good work girl!

  94. What a great inspiration! My dad turns 66 this year and I will copy this idea completely! Thank you!

  95. It turned out so lovely Joanna! I’m still working on mine, so I’m thrilled to see yours!

  96. Gorgeous!!

  97. it turned out so well! fantastic job, joanna.

  98. This is so wonderful! Such a beautiful idea for a gift. So perfect for Mother’s Day!

  99. I LOVE photo books! I made one for my mum and dad’s 25th anniversary, my little sister’s 18th and as a present for friends in Italy. They’re such a lovely way of storing and looking back on memories!

  100. Anonymous says...

    I love the way you dad held you/lucy when you were a baby. And also your dad’s expression with your uncle in the last photo. Such a great gift, Joanna! Xoxo michelle

  101. Anonymous says...

    This is truly beautiful! Love that it is so clean and classic with no captions. xo

  102. I LOVE this – and what gorgeous photographs from your Dad’s life too. He looks like he was a mischievous kid!

    I’m inspired. My Dad’s Birthday is in May and I think I’m going to make him a book too.

  103. amy u. says...

    How beautiful! I am attending and photographing the wedding of two dear friends next weekend, and while I’ve looked at many “photo book” sites, this one is the most lovely I’ve seen! Thank you for sharing!

  104. That’s an amazing present! Looks like it’d be awesome for a couples’ anniversary too!

  105. Anonymous says...

    This is so beautiful! I love the feel if high quality paper – makes all the difference. Such gorgeous pictures, too!

  106. It just amazes me how expressions and looks are passed through generations. I see a whole lot of Toby in your Dad. :)

    What a beautiful present!

  107. how lovely and special :D

  108. Wonderful!

    You look so much like him on the front cover.

    (Such a cheeky one!)

  109. woah! i was just brainstorming ideas for my dad’s 60th birthday yesterday. this is perfect. i just passed it along to my mom to collect the photos.
    thanks for sharing!!

  110. That’s such a sweet idea!

  111. my aunts did a similar book for my stepfather and he just loved it, we all look through it so much. its such a special gift.

  112. How lovely. What a great idea. I’m bookmarking the site. Thanks! xo.

  113. such a great gift for your dad. i wish i still had a chance to do something like that for mine. he would’ve loved it.

  114. Personal gifts are always so special. The book looks beautiful and I must say I think you have your dad’s eyes!

  115. Judging from those pictures, your dad aged so gracefully – a sign of a true gentleman. What a sweet gift!

  116. Such a great idea! My wheels are already turning!!

  117. How inspiring! I’d love to do something like that for my dad/mom one day.

    You have a gift! Thanks for sharing.

  118. this is amazing! congrats, great idea!

    my mom made me a book here in Brazil when I turned 18 :) it’s such a lovely gift.

  119. Oh my goodness, that is one of the best gifts I’ve seen. Great job.

  120. beautiful gift/wedding album idea. i can only imagine how much he loved it – lovely :)

  121. What a lovely gift. And yes, his expression on his wedding day is hysterical. Weddings are crazy though, and there is so much going on, and so much excitement, it is all so wonderful, and overwhelmingly beautiful.

    Need to go put my little papoose in his crib now.

    Hope you and Toby are having a lovely day

  122. Amazing! I kind of want to make something like that for my nephew because he never knew my dad and it would be a fun way to give him a little family history. Thanks for sharing!

  123. wow…that is awesome! Great idea!

  124. AMAZING.

  125. This is so beautiful. I just love it!

  126. I’ll add to the chorus of praises. This is gorgeous!

    I’m guessing you used a combination of actual paper snapshots, and some digital images (or were they all printed out?)…
    You’ve made me want to make one!


  127. That is something so sweet and generous, and something to share with all who show up to celebrate him.


  128. Beautiful book! My mom made me one from our wedding, my sister made one for our wedding dinner for guests to sign and they are so fun to look at! My sister also makes them every year recapping what her family did and she makes them for my parents. They are the greatest gifts!

  129. What a sweet idea! I have the hardest time thinking of gifts for my dad. I may have to borrow this idea when his 60th rolls around :)

  130. how perfect! this would make a darling present for mother or fathers day too! thanks for the idea :)

  131. This is SUCH a special gift! I’m sure he will love love love it! xo

  132. This is a great idea, I’d love to do this for my parent’s anniversary.

  133. That is a fabulous gift, Joanna. It means more than any other kind of present.

  134. Wow, that’s such a great gift! Borrowing this idea ;)