DIY Eye-Spy Book

When I saw this post by Jenae over at I Can Teach My Child ( who will be a guest poster tomorrow so don’t miss it! ) my head was running with ideas on how to make something similar. I would be lying if I told you it was easy, maybe it would have been with no kids but I had an infant in my arms while taking every picture and a 4 year old helper wanting to “help”. However the results were pretty cool and it’s a great book to take to church or somewhere else where talking is frowned upon.  It’s been tested out by a handful of friends already and our Eye-Spy Book  was quite the hit at a playdate last week. So the effort was worth it. Here is how we made it.

  1. Gather your materials. This is a long list so take notes! I gathered a bunch of categories of my son’s toys. You can use anything for the pictures but I went with themes because it was easy to just grab bins from his room and the family room. You will also need some back drops. I chose plain Jane construction paper, you will need some foam letters and a camera. A good camera would be better but my point and shoot was OK.  Once the pictures are developed ( or printed out) you will need some self laminating pages, a hole punch, and some binder rings.
  2. Start by using the foam letters to write Can You Find and take a picture. This will be the cover page.
  3. Next do the first lay out.  Lay the toys you are looking for on the page.  I laid out the whole search page first then picked a few out to lay on the can you find page. Take a picture.
  4. Replace the objects you used and take a picture of the full lay out.
  5. Repeat this is a bunch of different toys.  I always used the same black paper with ” Can You Find ” in foam letters for the search page. It made the process quicker.
  6. I took this picture for the back cover.
  7. Have the pictures developed or print them out on your printer. 
  8. Time to laminate.  Now in my dream house I have a craft room with awesome natural light and a laminator. But in reality I have my kitchen and these cool laminator envelopes that are sorta tricky but they laminate so clearly without a machine that they are worth it. I had a few bubbles but nothing too bad.  Remember to laminate in order so 2 pictures front and back to each page.
  9. Punch holes.
  10. Pop the rings through and you are done! I like using the rings because I have plenty of room to add more pages.
  11. Time to find things! 

More I-Spy Crafts

I Spy BottlesI-Spy Bottle

I-Spy Bag


  1. says

    What a great idea! My son loves the toddler find it book he got from grandma, but it’s getting too easy for him..though it might be a while since I don’t have a colour printer, I’ll definitely have to try this, thanks!

  2. says

    This is the neatest thing I’ve seen in a while! I was just thinking yesterday how I’d like to get her an I SPY book, but now I can MAKE one! This is so neat! I’m so excited for this project. How big are your pages if you don’t mind me asking?

  3. Sharon says

    Wonderful idea! You could probably do this just as cheaply by uploading the photos to a site like snapfish then using a photo book code to get the book for free or really cheap. I think I’ll try it this way and use some family group pictures, too.

  4. Bea says

    I am so doing this for my girls, this will be great book to bring to church so they can be reverent, and you think it will be a good present for a one year old? I am so making one for him if you say yes!! thank you, you are so smart!!

  5. says

    This is an awesome idea, I love it!! Definitely making a few for the car and pram, they will be terrific for keeping my girls amused while we are travelling. Thankyou!

  6. Krista says

    I love your ideas. Thank you for sharing so many wonderful ones.
    What size pictures did you develop for the booklet? Is a 4 X 6 size big enough?

  7. Shauna says

    I was also wondering what sizes your pictures were? I LOVE this idea and I think I am going to use it for Christmas (planning ahead) as a homemade gift. Thanks for sharing!!

  8. Jennifer says

    I love this idea. Would be a great homemade gift too – I don’t know a single kid who doesn’t love these books!

  9. says

    Awesome idea – I’ll be linking on one of my weekly roundups soon. I also wanted to comment – I use clear contact paper a ton for “laminating”. It probably isn’t as good as the real thing, but much cheaper for sure.

  10. beth says

    I love how you made this! Would you mind sharing the photos you used, they look great. I would love to make an i spy book but know i dont have the time to gather all the toys.


  1. […] I found some miscellaneous items around the house (small foam letters, paper clip, a small padlock and key, pom poms, etc) – I drew a quick sketch of all of them on a piece of paper – trying to keep it color coded as best I could. I threw all the items in the sandbox and let Henry have a little scavenger hunt for the items. This stayed out all morning long – granted it made a mess, but a sheet makes a much easier cleanup. Idea from No Time for Flash Cards […]

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