DIY Coffee Table Books Featuring Your Own Travel Pics Are Trending

Assouline coffee table book

If you’ve looked inside a few trendy homes in Australia in the last couple years, chances are you would’ve spotted an Assouline coffee table book.

The French brand has been producing high-quality coffee table books since 1994, but is best known for its colourful books on Capri, Tuscany and Ibiza, all wrapped in linen hardcover and filled with glossy photos and text.

Adding pops of colour to neutral or already colourful homes, they’re an easy choice for anyone looking to dress up their coffee table. But with a price tag of $185, they don’t come cheap. So, when a TikTok with the idea of DIYing Assouline books came across my For You page, I stopped and watched.

“POV: You made the ultimate travel photo book and created a guide with templates so everyone can make their own,” reads the caption by account @thesmilingblonde.

In the video, she showed herself flipping through a book similar to an Assouline coffee table book that contained all her own travel photos.

YouTuber Kelly Bryden also created her own travel book, using photo site Mixbook Photo Co, which — I checked — ships to Australia. In this video, Bryden shared that she dropped her own photos into the book, and, in a later video, she shares that she’s selling the templates she used for the books on Etsy.

It’s also worth noting the books on Mixbook only come in softcover, hardcover glossy, hardcover soft touch matte, and hardcover soft touch matte with a dust jacket. They won’t have the same linen finish as the Assouline books.

Another thing worth noting is that the templates replicating the Assouline books are essentially rip-offs, so do come with their own ethics issues.

“Instead of spending $100 on Assouline coffee table books, I think that you should just make them yourself,” Bryden says in the clip. “These books obviously have a chokehold on me. I love colour. I love tropical places. Everything about this is just chef’s kiss. But it’s just not personal. And for $100, I felt like I should make something personal.”

“I don’t know how they do it, but Mixbook always has sales going on, so I was able to save $100 on ordering these two books. They turned out great. They’re colourful and unique to me right now.”

The account @thesmilingblonde has templates for her version of the coffee table books for 7.89 euros (roughly AUD $13). The cost gives you two templates, one for the cover and the second for the inner pages — 104 pages.

“Keep in mind, this is a guide with templates,” reads the description. “I give you all the information you need to make your own, but I don’t make it for you. This is a digital product. You will receive the item directly through email after payment.”

Etsy also offers some Canva templates for Assouline-like coffee table books, like this template costing $13.42, which pays homage to the captivating beauty of Zakynthos, Greece. It has 18 different front colour options, all of which the seller says, “encapsulate the very spirit of Zakynthos”.

Etsy Assouline coffee table book
Image: Etsy

“With a few simple clicks, you can personalise fonts, colours, layouts and more, ensuring your coffee table book resonates with your individual style and memories,” the seller writes. “Designed to fit the classic A4 size, this digital template sets the stage for your coffee table book’s physical form.”

So, if you’ve just arrived back from Euro summer, and are already feeling the memories, along with your tan fading, this could be just the thing for you.

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