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Free 4x6 Photo Template, Plus Win an Epson PictureMate Charm!

Okay, so we have been back from our summer trip for about 6 weeks now, but I feel like with prepping for and starting school, prepping for and attending Spraguefest, that I am just getting the chance to breathe and get some photos taken of our books. AND I have been working out a super surprize JUST FOR YOU!

As I  mentioned while we were on our 2 1/2 week odyssey to the Western U.S., I brought along a little tool that was an amazing friend on the trip: An Epson PictureMate Charm. I had such a great experience using it, that I would like to GIVE ONE AWAY this week! YAY! (That’s at the end of this post).


I brought the printer along as an experiment - to see what it would be like to make a travel scrapbook in as close to real-time as possible. The goal was to capture photos among myself, Jared, and the kids, and then print them out in the evenings to glue them in to the books.

I started with three books - one for myself 8x10 and one for each kid, 5x7. They are the hardcover wirebound sketchbooks you can find in any craft or art store.

Honestly the biggest mistake I made was not starting with predone backgrounds. I brought paper with me to cut down and glue in, and it took up way too much valuable photoshop/print/glue time. But aside from that, we got the process down pretty well!

Each evening I would gather up everyone’s devices (two phones, my big camera, and the replacement ‘kid camera’) and dump the photos off onto my laptop. Then I’d go through them to add selected ones to my Photoshop document for printing.

Here are a few photos of my book. The edge of the book. A few fancies there - tabs for the dates and one ruffle. Note that there is only one…

While we were on the plane, Rowen and I took out the Southwest Airlines maps in the back of the plane magazine and glued them in to our books. Then we traced the route we were taking.

I got super lucky with timing - it just happened that several companies released really cute travel-themed product during this time. Here’s a cute travel log I filled out for each piece of the trip.


Then the book starts with some pics of the airport and the plane. My kids hadn’t ridden on a plane in several years, and so didn’t remember it - they were both nervous and excited, and they did great. You’ll notice the fairly bad quality of the pics in these first pages - somehow between the rental car from Salt Lake and getting to my parents’ house in Idaho, we lost the camera we’d been taking photos with. Not my big one - no, sweet mercy. But the Canon PowerShot that we were letting the kids use as well. So the only shots of airport and plane and Salt Lake are from Jared’s phone. Just another reason to double up on those photo devices, right? :)

We spent most of the day in Salt Lake, seeing Temple Square, visiting the Conference Center there, eating lunch, and meeting up for a playdate/meeting with Heidi Swapp at the park before heading up to Idaho. I used a map from a tour book in the hotel.

Very simple structure for most of the pages - since I was rocking a 4x6 printer, I chose to either print a 4x6 (if it was a really special print), or for most of the pics, to do two 3x3 photos on a single 4x6 sheet. I created a quick template in Photoshop, clipped the photos in, and sent them to the printer. A few seconds to dry and they were ready to glue in.

Here’s a shot of my printer/laptop setup in one of the hotel rooms - this one between Idaho and Oregon about halfway through the trip. Everyone else was sleeping, and I was up blogging and printing pics! It was awesome. :)

I spent extra time at each place we went collecting things like maps, a postcard, a ticket, a receipt. Knowing it would make my book a lot cooler in the end. I made a pocket for this map by cutting one of the book pages in half and then gluing it to the page behind it, leaving the top open. That’s my cute brother and his super-cute son Emerson there reading the map. :)

Went a little nuts with pics at the zoo! LOL. But you can see that I was able to get two 3x3s side by side on a page, so they didn’t take up TOO much space.

Here is a shot of the setup at my in-law’s beach house, where we stayed overnight while we were in Oregon. Mostly this is a really good shot of a can of Diet Mt. Dew. But that is ALWAYS part of any setup when it involves me. ;)

Here are Rowen and Grandma helping make the scrapbooks.

One of the best parts of this was watching the kids’ eyes light up when they saw the pictures they had just taken, or were gluing such a recent memory into their book. And speaking of their books - I snapped a few pics of Rowen’s book.

I made Rowen’s book a little more like a workbook, where she could answer questions and draw her own pictures alongside the photographs. Here’s the first page:

And her self-portrait:

I just handed Rowen the cut photos, and she could glue them in wherever she wanted, as well as add her own artwork:

She started collecting things to put in her book as well - such as saving her luggage receipt from the plane to put with her photos of the plane ride:


Overall, the trip was incredible. And I would definitely bring a PictureMate along with me again - and definitely will, the next time we are on a trip. It is SUCH a cool way to bridge the time gap that happens between taking the photo and actually telling the story. It was a cool way to get my kids involved in telling the story from their perspective as well, and now I have three precious books for remembering.

Free 4x6x2 Template

I thought you might like to have the template I made for putting two 3x3 photos (framed in rounded black with some cool texture on them) onto a single 4x6 photo print. It looks like this (after printing, you’ll just cut off the extra inch of white). These can be printed on a 4x6 printer like the PictureMate, or can be uploaded to any photo printing service to get back some really cool rounded-square images. :)

Click here to download the 4x6x2 template.


Win an Epson Picturemate Charm

Okay, so are you ready to WIN an Epson PictureMate Charm to take with YOU on your next trip? Or take to the park? (Did you know it has a battery attachment?) Printing 4x6 prints could NOT be easier on this. I absolutely LOVED it. And the cost is very reasonable - one box buys you the ink cartridge and 150 sheets of photo paper, so there’s no running out of ink in the middle of the night. :)

All you need to do is leave me a comment before midnight on Friday the 21st of October (Eastern time), telling me WHERE YOU WOULD TAKE YOUR PICTUREMATE. And one lucky winner will get to do just that. Love it! Epson will ship this sweet little guy straight to your door to begin enjoying it! (Entries only accepted from within the U.S., please).


Can’t wait to hear all about it! Let’s think up some unique places! :)

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Reader Comments (1168)

I would take that with me on every road trip. My husband and I love to go off on weekend adventures. We live in California and we like to visit all the different beaches and parks we can find. I love the book you made and thanks for the template.
October 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlexandra
The next trip I am anxious to take is a visit with my sister. Soon I will celebrate one of those infamous birthdays that end in '0' and we are meeting to celebrate the occasion. She lives on the west coast, and I live on the east. There are only the two of us, and the get-togethers aren't frequent enough. Jessica, I would love to create books for both of us, inspired by the ones you have just made with your family, as a way to remember a special trip.
October 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterK Chickering
I'd take it to San Diego to visit my family!
October 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChris
I would bring the Picturemate with me next year when we vacation. We will probably start out in Washington DC. I tried to do a vacation mini while on vacation last year, and getting the pictures printed and printed small enough, was a big hassle, so this would be great! Thanks for the chance to win!
October 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPat Garay
Chicago. My brother, SIL and nephew live there and we don't get to see them much. I think it would be fun for my 11 year old and 5 year old daughter to take pictures with them and we could make books so that each could have a memory of their time together.
October 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCathy
Jessica - I absolutely love, love, love the scrapbooks you and your family created on your summer trip. What an awesome idea! I have seen products like this, but had not even dreamed of taking something like this on trips. Thank you for the template you shared, and thank you for the chance to win this awesome printer - if I were to win, I would take this with us everywhere!
October 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDenise Scott
I have looked at these a lot lately! My family is going to Mexico for X-mas...hhow fun would my quiet evenings be if I could make a travel scrapbook on the go as youmentioned in the blog post! I'd also love to take it with us to our cottage in the summer..too mjuch fun could be had!!!!
October 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKim Gowdy
I love the idea of scrapping pics and memories while on vacation. It takes me so long to scrap such things. We're going on a Disney trip in a couple of months as I would love to win the Picturemate to take with us. I love Epson products! Thanks for the cool frame and thanks for the chance to win!
October 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie L.
I would LOVE one! I would take it with us to Disney to get pics of the characters and have them sign them the next day. Then make a book for my boys to look at on the looong ride back home!
October 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTammy
I would definitely take it on my next vacation so I could print my pictures immediately. Seems like I procrastinate this and it makes it hard to get the pictures scrapbooked. What a cool little printer. :)
October 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLindzie H
Fun give away! I'd use it when I go to the family cabin.
October 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLisa B (latz)
Wow! Love your idea of scrapping while traveling! I would bring the printer along for the holidays. We visit so many places that I feel overwhelmed with too many pics and memories. I would love to scrap along the way and involving the kiddos would be great! Thanks for sharing and thanks for the chance to win!
October 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKristina T
I would take my picturemate to New York and then to Miami.
October 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDyan
I would take it on our very first trip to Disney next Summer!!!! Love instant gratification!
October 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCindy B.
Well, let's early November, we're going to Hawaii (just my husband & I,) to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. Two weeks later we'll be traveling to Topeka for 10 days to spend Thanksgiving w/my in-laws and the hordes of cousins who will also be visiting. In Feb we go on an annual ski trip to Tahoe w/my family. And my husband is getting a sabbatical this next year, so I believe we're going to splurge & go do the Disney thing in FL, (including the cruise). During the summer, I take the girls to our beach house (near Santa Cruz, in CA,) and we spend 6 weeks while they participate in the Jr. Guards program. I take tons of pix during that time. This summer I got some unbelievable shots of some of the 'coaches" boogie boarding & surfing; really cool start to finish series through the pipe & all. My girls are 5 & 8, I would love to get them started on doing an album (or 2,) like Rowen did. So if I don't win, I'm probably going to have to go buy one.
October 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJill McElroy
I would take it for our first ever Family Road Trip - that will include six children and their spouses and 15 grandchildren! Love your idea of doing "real time" journaling with pictures and mementos of your vacation. Wish I had done this while in NYC for two months - instead I have a pile of items and a computer file of pictures - and my "journal journey" is still not complete.
October 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnnCP
We pull a little tent camper all over the place. I'd take it on family trips
October 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLeslieM
Hi, Love the scrapbook photos. I see, it appears you like Dt. Mt. Dew. I love it!! can't scrap without it.
I like your free down load too. thank you.
October 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTheresa G
I would take it home with me (Michigan) I would love to be able to print pictures wherever I am and leave them with friends and family and not have to run to the store and pick them up!
October 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSabrina
I would love to win one of these! I am busy planning a vacation to "I don't know where yet"! My oldest son will be graduating from High School in 2013 and want to take one last great family vacation. We are also taking 2 vacations this summer for family weekends with the grandparents. I would LOVE to have one of these!!!! Thanks for the opportunity and I LOVE your scrapbook!!!!
October 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie
I would take it with our family to Annapolis, MD next month to see my DH receive accreditation for the National Park Ranger Training Academy he commands. These are federal law enforcement officers, and he has worked tirelessly to attain this recognition for the college where he teaches. It would be a great resourse to keep current on the week to share with his collegues and college President upon his return. Thanks for the opportunity!
October 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMonda
A couple years ago my mom took my sisters & I, and any of our spouses & kids that were also able to attend, on a Caribbean Cruise. Without telling our mother, one sister spearheaded a project similiar to what you did on your vacation. At our last dinner at sea, we presented our mom with an 8x8" scrapbook of the trip as a thank you for what she had done. I'll never forget her smile as she flipped through all the pages!

I'd love to take my Epson PictureMate on my future vacations to begin a tradition such as what we did for my mom.
October 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAne T. (kela)
I would take it to our Gathering Place (Alzheimer's respite group) monthly meeting at our church where I could print the photos shortly after I take them and then share them with the clients. They love to see photos of themselves! What a great giveaway!
October 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEBPitcher
reading your post made me realize when i print as i go (vacation or life) i actually complete projects so where ever i go.......with my camera i would take the epson along......
October 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjeanie dickinson
I would love to take the PictureMate on my 5 year anniversary cruise. We are stopping in Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Jamaica and I know I will have tons of pictures. Sitting in the evening air under the stars, with my laptop and my PictureMate would help me scrap those precious memories as they happen!!
October 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

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