How to Make A Photo Book Using InDesign (Part 2)

How to Make A Photo Book Using InDesign (Part 2). WONDERMENTARY - travel & photography blog

Last week, I shared how I fit more than 1000 photos into ~150 photo-filled pages for $40 in this post. These DIY pages were achieved using Adobe InDesign. You can use other publishing programs of course (Pages, MS Publisher, etc.) and simply apply the same principles. In this tutorial, I will share how I decorated the pages, printed them out, and the materials I used to complete my book.


Some of my page layouts (see all layout suggestions here) had some white space and gaps between the pictures. Ick, no white space! I found free scrapbook paper sets and used them for my page backgrounds. Then I went ham finding fonts that fit the “feel” of each page (Parisian fonts, I’m looking at you). In fact, I compiled a bunch of my resources in this Pinterest board:

You’re welcome 🙂 Now follow me on Pinterest, bub! WONDERMENTARY

As a result, some of my prettied-up pages looked like this:


WONDERMENTARY photo book InDesign

Background and text creation tips:

  • Place your background image just as you would any other picture (File > Place)
  • Send picture to the back (right-click on the background image to bring up options)
  • For text, make sure you’re on the Type Tool. Drag and drop to create a text box.
  • After typing in a phrase, double-click on the little white square on the bottom right of the text box to perfectly fit the text box to the size of the text.

When you’re done, File > Export. I chose PDF format.


I know printing is hella expensive. So I scoured the ‘net to find the cheapest color printing options and discovered MGX Copy. They definitely had the cheapest price per page – visit the website for the most current price. In total, I spent ~$28 for 157 color pages! I believe that’s unheard of anywhere else. Just to compare, both Kinkos and Staples offered printing at $0.75 a page.

In addition to cheap prints, MGX also had excellent customer service. They first proofread the file that I sent them, sent a print preview back to me for approval, and only then began the printing job. Then when UPS lost my package (they’re the worst), MGX sent me another copy of my order. Now MGX will have my loyalty till the end!

WONDERMENTARY photo book InDesign

The pages turned out a bit thin for my liking, so instead of choosing 80 lb. paper, I will try 100 lb. next time. However, the colors and details printed beautifully!

Finish the Book

So I ordered single-sided copies because that was significantly cheaper than double-sided copies. But to have double-sided pages is a very easy fix – all I did was stuff the single pages into sheet protectors!

WONDERMENTARY photo book InDesign
Double-sided AND protected. Two birds with one stone, baby.

Sheet protectors are relatively cheap and can be found in many places. I think I bought 100 sheets for $5 at Walmart.

Finally, I saved all these sheets in a pretty binder that I got from Target for $7.


So if you do the math, that comes out to be $40. Now if you’re not crazy like me wanting to print 1000+ pictures, your budget would be even lower. In all, I’m quite happy with my photo book and can’t wait to share it with all my family and friends until they don’t want to hear another word about Europe again!

Do you print out your pictures? What application or service do you use? If you end up creating your own photo books from following this tutorial, please show me – I wanna see!!

Thanks for reading!

P.S. Read the first part of this tutorial: How to Make A Photo Book Using InDesign (Part 1)

  • I love the idea of using scrapbook paper as your background so that you have some color instead of just white! And Target seriously has the best of everything! That binder is so cute and colorful, and is the cutest photo book holder.

  • What a great idea. I love this.

  • I Love this!!! Totally love it, thanks for sharing. I am thinking of doing this to my photos from Uganda… keep everything neat and in one space. Loveeeeeeeee it

  • Yay! Printed out pictures! More people need to do this – it really is an easier way to share your travel photos with your loved ones. I love taking my albums to parties and get-togethers – and everyone loves looking at them, too!