My ideas usually start small and then grow into something bigger.
It’s a problem, really. When I decided to make a book for my sons’ birthdays, I first thought that I would write something, and figure out how to import images for the illustrations. As the idea grew, I wanted to teach them a spiritual lesson about life being all about God, then I decided to use them as the main characters. As it developed, I eventually self-published a children’s book entitled, It’s All About God, with Obadiah and Eli as the main characters.
I’ve had some very kind comments from people who picked the book up online, and I have had some questions how I made it. First off, I am not an artist and I’m not that talented. I just learn to be clever (aka budget, ghetto, whatever adjective you might use here). So, here is a step-by-step guide on how to make a children’s book on a budget.
1. I take lots of pictures of the boys. I then put them in iPhoto. I changed some effects on some of the shots to give them a bigger color boost.
2. I downloaded a free program called “Gimp” to edit the pictures. It is a software designed to give budget people like me a shot at Adobe Photoshop capabilities. In Gimp, I cut the boys’ heads out of the picture to isolate their faces.
3. I drew all the bodies and scenes in Keynote (Mac’s version of Power Point). I used simple shapes or the hand-drawn tool. I gave most of the objects an outline that made it look like a child’s drawing. I then placed all the objects together.
4. I wrote the text for the page. I then would have the slides as a different page. Example: slide #12 would be the left page, slide #13 would be the right page. So I would start with the slide #12. Make the background. Copy and paste the slide (which would be #13) so that when they were beside each other the scene would appear seamless. Here is an example of the left page:
Here is the opposite page.
And, when printed, the spread looked like this:
Anyway, it was a fun project. The boys love it which makes me a happy daddy. And it showed me that you can make special gifts for people on a budget that give memories for a lifetime.
If you would like a copy of the book, you can get yours here.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.
2 thoughts on “How to Make a Children’s Book on a Budget”
Nate loves it! We read it a lot at our house. Very creative!
Awesome. Thanks so much, Leah!
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