What do you get a grandparent that has everything?
A personalised photo calendar is one of our staple gifts that we do every year. Our family loves getting a calendar with pictures of our girls in silly poses and themed pages. It is a thoroughly loved gift and a surefire hit with the grandparents. So much so that we do it every year.
We have used many online calendar creation and printing services over the past few years so we’ve got a fair idea of the pros and cons. To help everyone this holiday season we thought we’d create a summary as it can be quite a daunting undertaking. In addition, it will help us remember what we did for next year!
We’ve just done our annual calendar-making marathon session! It took about 4 hours in total over a couple of days. Our process has been refined over the years but it’s still quite an effort. Check out our post about creating a personalised photo calendar [post to be created].
Before we review the best platforms let’s understand some basics.
What is a Personalised Photo Calendar?
Photo calendars are just that. Calendars with photos of your own choosing. What we love about them is rediscovering the fun activities and little smiling faces each month. Bringing together your favourite and meaningful photos makes brilliant personal gift. Being the semi-perfectionists that we are we usually group photos into a collection for each month based on a theme or a relevance to a month. For example, a summer month could have pictures of our girls on a beach holiday or playing outside. An autumn month may have the kids walking thorough fallen leaves. An in-between month could simply be a compilation of funny faces.
Online Calendar Creation Platforms
One of the things that causes us a bit of stress each year is finding the right online service to make the calendars. Over the years Personalise photo product companies have gradually improved their online software, apps and the features. But, one area which still causes us great annoyance is the pricing. We’ll get to later. For now here’s our best pick of personalise photo calendar services. We’ve rated them for price, ease of use, design, delivery speed and features.
How We Determined The Best Photo Calendar Services
The best photo calendars for 2021 in the UK
Review of Personalise Photo Calendar Services
Reasons To Buy
Simple editing software
Reasons To Avoid
How Much Are Photo Calendars?
As always, it depends. The time of year plays a part too. For example, Black Friday tends to bring out some good deals as well as the run up to Christmas.
Even TechRadar’s Photo calendar review lists the base price of the companies they’ve reviewed. From our experience this is never really representative of the actual price you pay. So we thought we’d do a proper test and actually show what price we paid.
Here’s an example. [to be added]
What Size Photo Calendar Should You Choose?
Best Calendar Size: A4 Double Photo Calendar – 30 x 40cm
Our go to size is a double A4. We like it because it allows one complete page of photos and another for the calendar. The calendar is then big enough to allow notes to be written on. Some other sizes and layouts don’t lend themselves to the calendar being useful as a note taking planner. In addition, the A4 size makes them easier to post as they’re a standard large parcel size for the UK mail system.
Other Features To Consider
Paper Quality & Paper Types
Most platforms have the option to choose the paper type – matt or gloss finish. Most platforms use a high quality paper with a weighting of at least 250g/m². I can’t imagine a company would survive long if the paper quality wasn’t up to scratch.
High quality paper with a smooth, semi-matt finish.
The matt finish makes the colours pop.
Glossy paper that makes the colours standout and gives sharp finish.
Shipping and Delivery
Most are 5-7 working days.
Ready to hang
Most calendars come like this. Especially the double A4 sized ones. What it usually means is that the calendars come with either a hole punched in each page or a hanger.
Add events and birthdays
This is an ability to add your own events and memorable dates directly into the online editing platform. It makes the calendars extra personalised and also reminds certain family members about upcoming birthdays… ahem!
Start whenever you want
Create a bespoke calendar which doesn’t necessarily need to be tied to a calendar years. Start at whichever month suits your needs.
Photo calendar FAQ
What is the best photo calendar site?
We really like Photobox at the moment. To be honest though most platforms are converging on a similar approach both from a business model point of view (discounts etc.) as well as the online platform. They are now a lot easier to use than they used to be a few years ago. The other great thing about Photobox is that they keep your old photos in a folder so you can go back an reuse some. It’s really very easy now to create professional looking calendars. The quality of the finished photo calendar is usually very high. Pricewise we can’t complain. For £10 – if you purchase a batch – they are definitely a great gift option to add to other gifts.
How long do I need to create a photo calendar?
Let us be honest. You need to set aside a few hours and possibly over a few days. If you’re a perfectionist then add more time. Theoretically it’s possible to create a personalised photo calendar in a few minutes. But, you would probably want to revisit it to make sure you’re happy with the theming, the colour scheme and layout. However, if you’re happy to sue the standard templates and you know which photos to show then it can be a quick process.
You need to strike a balance between customising everything and using the stock templates. We generally use the standard picture layout templates and only occasionally edit them if there’s a collection of photos which suit being arranged in a particular way. But even this is now made a lot easier because the Photobox online software has a great ‘snap to’ feature to make aligning pictures a doddle.
How long do photo calendars take to arrive?
Photo calendars are usually a quick turnaround. We have experienced delivery after about a week. But it depends on the time of year. Obviously Christmas a peak season so plan ahead – put a reminder in your calendar!
Can I make a calendar from Google Photos?
How much does it cost to make your own calendar?