I have always wanted to be a scrapbooker. Like, always. I just love wandering down the scrapbooking aisle in a craft store, looking at all the pretty papers and fun embellishments. I even have a decent size scrapbooking collection of my own. I own about 5 albums, a good stack of paper (both decorative and cardstock) and a hefty amount of stickers and embellishing odds and ends. And how many completed scrapbook pages do I have? One.
Being a perfectionist, I simply do not have the time available to make every single page as perfectly as I want. So I keep putting it off until that magical day when I will have all the time in the world to sit around and play with paper punches and stickers. But in all of my 23 years of life, that day still has not come. Shocking.
So I resigned myself to a life sans beautifully crafted books of memories. All my pictures have stayed in digital format, because I saw no point in printing them out just to shove them in a box that would undoubtedly become an unorganized disaster. I had given up on my dream of having all my life’s memories beautifully displayed and easily accessed. Until I discovered Project Life.
Project Life is this amazingly simplified way of scrapbooking. The albums are 3 ring binders that hold page protectors very similar to baseball card holders. The page protectors have multiple slots where you can easily slip in a photo or piece of decorative paper to make a pretty layout for your memories. There is no muss and no fuss to this way of scrapbooking. It’s just in and out, quick and dirty, and bam! You have yourself a beautiful, colorful, and meaningful book of memories!
As soon as I learned about this amazing creation, I ran out to Michael’s to begin stocking up. I can never resist the temptation of another collection to start hoarding, so I know I’ll eventually end up with a huge stash of the adorable decorative cards they sell. But for now, I’m really trying to limit myself to only buying what I actually need and will use.
With the help of a 40% off coupon, I got all of the above for $35. I held off on buying the actual album because the Michael’s I went to had a very limited selection. I haven’t been able to stomach the $30 price tag of the Project Life brand albums yet, but I may cave soon if I don’t find another option that is more affordable. My dream is to eventually have all the PL albums in all the colors. I know, I dream big.
I decided to start myself off with one core kit. At $30 each, they are definitely a bit of an investment, but I have ways to justify purchases like this to myself. Buying a bulk pack to begin with will hopefully have me set on the card front for a good long time, so I won’t need to buy any more cards for a while. And with 616 cards, it actually works out to about 5 cents per card, which isn’t bad at all.
Each core kit comes with a variety of different cards. I’m still learning, but how I understand it is there are two sizes, three types and a gazillion designs of cards. The two sizes are either 4×6 or 3×4. The kits comes with a bunch of 3x4s and a good amount of the 4x6s.
The types of cards are journaling, bi-fold and decorative. Journaling cards are ones that are meant to be written on, and where you can jot down memories or captions for pictures. Bi-fold cards I’m still getting the hang of, but from what I understand they enable you to get twice the space out of a single slot. They fold in half, so I believe you stick one half in the slot and let the other half hang out…if that makes any sense at all. I’m sure someone else out there can explain it a lot better than I’m doing. And I could be completely wrong anyways. Luckily the decorative cards are pretty self explanatory.
Each card has a different design on the front and back, so its actually like you’re getting 1,232 different cards, since each card almost counts as two. There are also multiples of each card which I think is just the best thing in the world. When I would try scrapbooking in the past, I would never actually use any of my fun supplies, because I didn’t want to ‘waste’ them. With Project Life cards, I feel no crafty guilt over using a card, because I know I still have one just like it if I want to use it later on!
This was the purchase I was most excited about. Since I have a huge pile of scrapbooking paper just sitting there taking up space, this little guy will allow me to put that paper to use and make my own Project Life cards! And for an added bonus, that will save me money from not having to go out and buy more cards. Win win! I always love to DIY wherever I can.
To start myself off slow, I got myself a twelve pack of dividers. There were many different layout options, and I wanted to get them all. But I had to rein myself in and just pick one. I told myself once I get the hang of this whole thing and have more of an idea of what I want out of a layout, I can go back and get more. Until then, I will just stick with these.
I also got this cute little guy by We R Memory Keepers for $2 at Target. It comes with 18 cards, and was just too cute and too cheap to pass up!
So I finished up my little Project Life spree and brought my haul home. It sat on my desk looking pretty for a little bit, and then I opened her up to really dig in and get started. And then I realized I still didn’t have any pictures printed out. Womp womp.
So I settled for making my ‘title page’, which is apparently a thing you do in Project Life. It’s basically the first page of the album, that doesn’t have any pictures. So here she is, my very first Project Life layout!
I just love how fun and colorful it is. Makes me smile every time I see it. I just can’t wait to add fun memories and pictures into that mix!
I included two small journaling cards in there to write some descriptions for the album. But I left them blank for now. I wanted to select the pictures I was going to include first, so I could get more of a feel for what the album would be about. Once I have that nailed down, I’ll fill in the tiny description box. Probably with something like Merrit and Melissa 2010-whatever year I end with. So I’ll probably leave it blank or partially filled in until I complete the album. To be determined.
My favorite card is the one that reads “There is something good in every day”. So true. Since one of the main uses for Project Life is to document the everyday little memories and experiences you don’t want to forget, I thought this was a perfect quote to start my album off with. It makes me think that even the simplest event is worth remembering if it made you smile. And you can find something to smile about in every day.
So that’s where I am! Now all I need to do is print out all my pictures and buy an actual album to put these pages in. I was lucky enough to get some time the other night to go through the thousands of pictures on my computer and pick out the ones I want to include . Now I just have to get those suckers printed!
Are you a Project Lifer? I’d love any tips or resources you can throw my way, I still very much getting the hang of all this. There is just so much to learn it’s hard to know where to start! Leave any advice, or links to your own beautiful Project Life pages in the comments below!