Adoptive Families, the award-winning national adoption magazine, is the leading adoption information source for families before, during, and after adoption.


It's a Date!

What could be a better gift than seeing your child’s smiling face all year long? We asked readers to rate DIY online photo calendars, just in time for the new year.

Kodak Gallery calendar, $19.99,

Reviewer: Erica, mom of Finn (1, Korea)

Technically speaking: I’ve used other photo calendar sites in the past. I’ve enjoyed making calendars, but the uploading always took a long time. It was easy to upload photos to Kodak Gallery. But once the photos were uploaded, I had trouble cropping and resizing them.

Making it personal: The calendar was not very customizable. I would have liked the ability to change the background of each page, especially with seasonal imagery. I could not mark special dates, although there was an option for captions.

Snap happy: Overall, the calendar looks good, but it is rather plain. I have used others that are more fun and more colorful and customized.

Shutterfly collage calendar, $19.99,

Reviewer: Christine, mom of Zhanna and Madina (3 and 1, Kazakhstan)

Technically speaking: I love to scrapbook. I purchased software to make calendars, but I couldn’t figure out how to use it! The Shutterfly calendar, on the other hand, was simple to use. The site had easy-to-follow instructions and examples.

Making it personal: I loved the layouts and backgrounds—it was easy to change them for each page. There was an option to add captions, though I chose not to. I marked birthdays, anniversaries, and adoption days, but the text was tiny. I would have liked a way to change the font and color of the words, to make some days stand out. 

Snap happy: Because the site was so user-friendly, I was able to finish a calendar in one afternoon. I love the results, so I ordered two more for Christmas gifts. I have recommended this site to all of my scrapbooking friends, too.

Snapfish calendar, $18.99 to $24.99,

Reviewer: Kate, mom of Clara (10, U.S.), Jacob (9), Chris (7, U.S.), Benji (6, U.S.), and Debra (3, U.S.)

Technically speaking: It was easy to upload photos, and I loved the tool for cropping and resizing—I used it on every photo! There was an option to change to black and white or sepia, along with an enhance option to improve the quality of the photos.

Making it personal: There were several layout choices and background colors, but I wanted more options. I noticed that Snapfish offers photo books with cool scrapbook designs for backgrounds, and I would have liked those for my calendar. The date feature was awesome—it allowed me to personalize my calendar by marking birthdays and anniversaries with both words and pictures.

Snap happy: I’m very pleased with the calendar. The photos came out nice, the colors look like they did online, and it is bound well.

Wal-Mart deluxe calendar, $25.86,

Reviewer: Cara, mom of Victoria (3, Russia)

Technically speaking: The uploading was very fast. The site allowed for some cropping, but it did not have special features, like red-eye reduction. I was unable to name the project, so it was hard to find it later.

Making it personal: We had fun picking out pictures for special dates. But the space was limited, so if I had two events on one date, I had to abbreviate.

Snap happy: The photos are bright and clear. The pictures are laminated, which is nice, but the dates are not, so I can write on them.

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