Note: This has turned out to be a rather lengthy post. So, grab a cup of hot chocolate or tea or something fun, and I hope you find this helpful.
In 2013, I really perfected how I approach Project Life or any other divided page protector scrapping. Most of you know that I do not scrap 12x12. It is just too big for me. I scrap 6x6, 8x8, 9x9, and 8 1/2 x 11. Mostly for my albums now it is 6x6 and 8 1/2 x 11. Love these two sizes. And for Project Life, I know most people choose 12x12. Again, that is just too big for me. I tried it in 2013, and I quickly knew it would not work for me. The 6x8 albums are a cute size but too small for this style of scrapping for me. I also want to be able to put in my regular, fancy scrapbook pages too into these albums. So, I have settled on using 8 1/2 x 11 albums. It is working so wonderfully for me but finding 8 1/2 x 11 page protectors can be difficult. We will discuss that shortly.
Weekly, Monthly, What?
I put photos in my album by month. I made three 8 1/2 x 11 Month-in-Review albums for my girls for Christmas. That concept showed me that approaching Project Life monthly is a great way to handle it. Basically for 2014 thus far, I am just using the photos I like for January. If it takes a 2-page spread for the month, great. If it takes more than a 2-page spread and goes over several pages, great. I am not going to be a stickler about it. It's very freeing to just print my photos, journal, and add what I want without worrying that I don't have photos for a particular day or week even.
Where to Find 8 1/2 x 11 Page Protectors
In my album, I use 8 1/2 x 11 page protectors by WRMK, Stampin' Up, and The Paper Studio (Hobby Lobby). I also cut down some of the Becky Higgins Project Life page protectors. I will share that below.
WRMK Page protectors 8.5x11 Ring (9-3.5x2.625 Photo Sleeves), 10 Pack, #50030-8
The Paper Studio 8 1/2 x 11 Album Refill (4.25 x 5.25), 15 pack, #808998 (left)
The Paper Studio 8 1/2 x 11 Album Refill (3.25 x 5.25), 15 pack, #808881 (right)
Stampin' Up/Stampin' Memories 8 1/2 x 11 Divided Pages, Code 5040-00
These particular pages I found on eBay, and I must say they are my favorite pages. They are sturdy, and I love the layout. Unfortunately, I have not been able to ever find these again. I have no idea how old they even are. I have listed the product name and number here just in case you might be able to find them somewhere for yourself.
Cutting Down 12x12 Pages
I love to use and cut down the Becky Higgins Style H pages. Once cut, they fit beautifully in an 8 1/2 x 11 album. To do this:
- Place bottom of page protector at 11 15/16". Trim top portion off.
- Turn page protector so the top is now positioned at 11 3/8". Cut off the bottom.
- Using your sewing machine, sew bottom portion of the page protector to close the open section. You can also use washi tape for fun.
Adding the Months
Since I am scrapping my extra photos monthly, I went ahead and created my 2014 cards for each month. I used Memory Box distressed dots paper, a free printable calendar from Pinterest, and I cut Quickutz letters for each month in black cardstock. The printable calendar I cannot find online again. My laptop crashed before I could pin or save it. I am so sorry. Click here to see the many printable calendars on Pinterest. I am sure you will find one you love and can use.
My First Pages
Here are my first pages for 2014. Now, I don't get fancy with my pages. This is about getting the photos in and the journaling down—that's it. A few embellishments here and there but that's all I add. In the end will my family know how everyone else was adding so much more? No. I am sure it won't even cross their minds. They want the photos and the story. That's how my approach was to the Month-in-Review albums I made for my girls. And they poured over them at Christmas. One daughter even commented "Thank you mommy. I was thinking the other day that 2013 was the best year ever. Now I have it in the album." That touched me so much because that's exactly the purpose! So, that's my approach to my 2014 album.