Product Review: Unibind PhotoBook Creator

Make a hardcover photo book at home

Yes, you can get it done by the pros at AdoramaPix, but if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, Unibind has a way to create your own book.

One of the most gratifying ways to show off your photographs is when they are bound in a real hardcover book. Many online services, such as AdoramaPix, will create such PhotoBooks for you. But a very appealing option is to create them yourself using the Unibind PhotoBook Creator ($90 for start-up kit).

Photo: Elinor Stecker-Orel

Why use the PhotoBook Creator instead of uploading your images to a book-publishing service? You can use any paper you like, from glossy to matte, thin to heavily textured. Your book can be ready immediately. You can add, remove, or rearrange pages by reheating the book. It’s much less expensive (after your initial purchase of the Creator device). When your friends ask who made the book for you, you smile and have the satisfaction of saying you did it yourself.


What is this thing?


The PhotoBook Creator is a device containing a ceramic heating element, which is designed to work with Unibind’s PhotoBook covers. Inside the spine of the covers is a channel filled with resin. Place the photos into the spine, insert the cover spine-down into the Creator, and as the heat melts the resin, the photos become securely bound to the cover. Voila! A real book!

Creating your book couldn’t be easier or faster. After you insert the PhotoBook into the Creator, a red light goes on to signal it’s heating. In about 90 seconds, the light goes off and a green light comes on, letting you know it’s cooling down. Wait another two minutes and your professionally bound hardcover book is ready. Total time: less than four minutes.

The initial Photobook Creator Kit comes with the Creator device and one 8.5 x11-inch black landscape-format PhotoBook. Additional covers are available in other colors, sizes, and formats. You can also download software for laying out your pages, but if you have photo-editing software, you may prefer to use it instead.

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