I have been telling you a lot about how we are taking our first vacation with the kids that will involve a long car trip. I am trying to be prepared as I can be to keep the boredom at bay. I have created a road trip binder for each of my children. I will be sharing the whole binder next week, but today I am going to show you how I created a DIY version of the popular I Spy game. 

DIY I Spy Game - Road Trip Binder - Laura's Crafty Life

I first saw a similar idea on A Girl and a Glue Gun a few years back. Hers is much fancier than mine and super awesome.

This post contains affiliate links.

Supplies needed:

  • camera
  • printer (or you can have photos printed out at a photo processing center)
  • white poster board (optional)
  • multiples of various items around your home
  • picture page protectors

You will start by collecting a large quantity of similar items around your home. The first set of pictures I did was of colored pencils.

Arrange your pencils on a solid background. I usually use white poster board for this. You could use your kitchen table or other flat solid colored surface as well, as long as the color does not distract from your items. I placed all the pencils sort of haphazardly on my surface. 

How to take pictures for I Spy Game

Shooting straight down with your camera, get as close to your objects as possible while still getting them all in the frame. You can also crop your image after you are finished taking pictures. Try to shoot your pictures in natural light with no flash – near an open window or outside. Your pictures will turn out much better without much editing. (I used wood grain paper for the background on this picture.)

colored pencil i spy

After you have taken the first picture of all your items, you will want to choose between 4 – 8 of your items to photograph individually. Now, you will want to lay out your items neatly and take another photo. Again, try to get down close to your items, while still getting all of the items in your shot. I try to get good pictures straight from the camera, but if you need to edit them, Picmonkey is a great free site for editing photos.

pencil spy

Once you have all your photos taken, make any edits you need. You may need to crop or brighten your pictures. Print them out on your home printer or send them off to your favorite print processing place. I usually get my prints done at Sam’s Club or Walgreens.

Once you have the photos printed, you will add them to your page protectors. For the two page spreads, I created three different pictures of items to find. 

DIY I Spy Game - Laura's Crafty Life

The great thing about page protectors is you can write on them with wet or dry erase markers and use them over and over again. The ones I use for our binders have erasers attached to the caps. And if my kids get tired of these images, I can switch them out.

DIY Personalized I Spy Game - Laura's Crafty Life

Using the DIY I Spy Game

Below are all the images I used. Please feel free to use them for your own I Spy book. Simply right-click on the image and save to your computer. (Images are for personal use only.)



flower i spy

flower spy

Race cars:

race car i spy

race car spy 1

race car spy 2

race car spy 3


food i spy

food spy 1

food spy 2

food spy 3


fast food i spy

fast food spy 1

fast food spy 2

fast food spy 3


critter i spy

critter spy 1

critter spy 2

critter spy 3


lego i spy

lego spy 1

lego spy 2

lego spy 3

P.S. You may also like: Road Trip Printables – Scavenger Hunt and License Plate Bingo | Reading on the Road

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *