"Do you love the look of full spread bleeds but not sure how to achieve the layout with the free program? It’s not rocket science, but it can be done. Create two full bleed page layouts next to each other. Insert the same photo on each side. Scale exactly the same percentage and then line each photo with the center along the spine."
What to do with all the old school work and letters I have from my childhood? Scan them in and turn them into a "Blurb" book. This blogger also gives tips on how she turns her blog into books. Just search for "Blurb" and those posts will come up.