Anyone who knows me, knows that I’ve been doing this project a long time, since 2010. (The FALL of 2010 by the way, for all you perfectionists out there who think you HAVE to start January 1st, of course you don’t). I chugged along pretty steadily until this year when I changed from single pages to Becky Higgins digital project life. Then I hit a wall. And had a crisis. And I started working through it. I finally decided that what I really needed to do with this project in order to make me happy was to print my pages as I make them. So that’s what I’m continuing to do as I work through the remainder of my 2012 pages.
Now that I have a few weeks of that under my belt, I thought I’d share some of the products I’m using. I’m doing this part very differently than most people that I’ve seen. I searched blogs for over a week for anyone doing digital PL in 8×8, and with inserts. I couldn’t find a single person. A week after my search, Becky announced her 2013 PL Creative team, and there is one, Donna Gibson, who’s doing it digitally in 8×8, but I don’t think she’s using inserts.
So not finding anyone else doing it this way, I’m improvising. We’ll call it “Pimp My Project Life”.
I have this album, an 8×8 from American Crafts. I have a reserve of these 8×8 AC page protectors that I’m running through. When I run out of those, I’ll be cutting down these 8.5×11 page protectors from Staples. (The quality isn’t as good as the AC protectors, but you could always get higher quality page protectors and still save a lot of money by cutting them down yourself. Note that if you decide to go this route, you will also probably need to punch an extra hole in the page protectors to fit in your binder. If this is too much trouble, just get the regular 8×8 page protectors. I use this Fiskars paper trimmer to cut down my page protectors.
For the main pages I’m doing everything simple and basic. I use Becky Higgins Digital Project Life templates, usually Design A or F. Then I print them out as 8×8 using my Brother printer and this paper.
Then we come to the fun part- the inserts. The easiest thing to do if you want your album to have all the insert-y goodness that all the 12×12 kids have, is to use a template and scale them down to fit your album. So the 6×12 inserts will scale down to 4×8. Then just cut your page protectors down to fit. (You can close up the side of your protector by sewing it shut or using staples or washi tape). This will give you a very similar look and feel to your albums that the 12×12 PL’ers have.
You can also use this trick for any size photo you have, as long as the largest side is smaller than 8 inches. I did this to add Little Man’s school picture into my album in a 5×7 size. (Post showing that here). With a little cutting, the possibilities are endless.
Another thing that I discovered by accident is that you can use photo album sheet protectors in your 8×8 albums quite nicely. I got a couple of 4×6 brag books with rings for my wedding that I’m not using, so it was super easy to just pop a few of them out of the brag book and use them in my PL albums as inserts. I’m planning on doing that a lot this year. You can see an example of using 4×6 inserts as collages in this post.
On a recent trip to Staples I fell in love with the little 5.5 x 8.5 notebooks that a lot of coupon collectors use. (If I had seen these earlier, I might have made that the size of my 2013 album). But I can use their page protectors! Note that they are half an inch taller than your regular page protectors. You’ll have to trim the top if this bothers you.
Martha Stewart also has several page protectors in this size. Jealous of the big envelope pages in the 12×12 size? Martha can help with these. Great for memorabilia from trips, or just everyday ephemera. Note that these ate taller than your 8×8 pages by half an inch. To make these smaller you’d need to trim the bottom and seal it back up, leaving the top flap intact. But these being a little bigger don’t really bother me.
Two more things that I’ve bought but haven’t used yet are the Staples business card pages (couldn’t find a link), and these Martha Stewart divided page protector pockets. I might be going a little crazy with the page protectors, but I know this summer will be inert-tastic, so I’m stocking up ahead of time.
I have a couple other sizes on my wish list, but I’m going to wait and see how I actually use these in the coming months.
Lastly, I store all my project Life stuff in these magazine storage containers from IKEA. I can fit printer paper, photo paper, and all my page protectors in one of them and just slide it on the shelf when I’m finished, another advantage of using the smaller size.
I’m curious if anyone else is doing something similar? I’ve seen lots of alternative versions, like doing 8.5 x 11, or using baseball card sized pages to make your album. I love seeing other people take the basic system and make it work for them (and be more cost effective).
I tried to take some nice product pics, but I kept getting photo bombed by a certain Miss Kitty. So here are a couple of out-takes.