Hey, crafty lovelies! A few of you have been asking me on Instagram and youtube to share my essentials for memory keeping, specifically for my Project Life album so I decided to kick off this new blog with a post all about my memory keeping essentials. If you’re visiting from my regular blog, thanks so much for visiting! I hope that this post inspires you to start documenting your own memories.
It’s important to note here that I’m a firm believer that good memory keeping reflects the memory keeper so use this list as a guide to help you get started and then let your personality shine through! Also, this is by no means an exhaustive list, but it should definitely get your creative juices started.
My Memory Keeping Essentials
1) Start with your album
The first thing you should think about if you’re debating starting out with Project Life is your album. There are a ton of size options out there for you to choose from–12×12, 9×12, 8 ½ by 11, 6×8, even 4×6 albums. For me, a 9×12 album like this one from Studio Calico is the perfect size for my weekly memory keeping. I tried a 12×12 album in previous years and it was just too much space for me though it is definitely the most popular option for memory keeping. Six by eight albums are also gaining in popularity but I personally only use this size for specific projects.
2) Next up, page protectors.
Ok, you’ve chosen the size you’ll be working in and have picked out the perfect album, now what? At its core, Project Life is all about adding photos, memorabilia, and journaling into page protectors. Just like album sizes, there are a lot of different page protectors to choose from. If you’re going with a 12×12 album, I recommend Design A pages aka a page protector with four 4×6 pockets and 4 vertical 3×4 pockets. For 9×12, I use page protector 3B with two 4×6 pockets and five vertical 3x4s.
Take a look at your photos. Are most of your photos portrait or landscape? If you’re unsure about which page protectors will work for your photos, grab a variety pack. You can find an inexpensive pack at Walmart in the craft section.
3) Choose your cards.
Hi, my name is Elizabeth and I’m a project life card hoarder. Seriously, if you saw my stash of crafty supplies, you’d be flabbergasted at how many project life cards I’ve collected from various manufacturers over the years. (And if you’re new to project life, I sincerely apologize to your wallet.)
There are a lot of project life card designers out there but my absolute favorite is Ali Edwards. Seriously, the day I discovered her site was the day my husband said goodbye to all his money. Ali has a few different kit subscription options but if you’re just starting off in Project Life, I recommend her Stories by the Month kit. As the name implies, these kits come out once a month and are geared around the months and seasons, perfect to use in weekly or monthly project life.
If seasonal type cards aren’t your style, you can definitely go old school and pick up a themed kit from Becky Higgins. She is the founder of the whole Project Life system and has lots of options available if you’d like your album to be more cohesive as a whole.
Project life cards are home to your journaling and also add some of the ‘prettiness’ to your project life layouts. Take your time and find a style that fits you and your personality. A few kits that I enjoy: Ali Edwards Story Kits, Felicity Jane Kits, and Studio Calico Documenter Kits.
4) Decide how to print your photos.
Your photos are the heart of project life and the decision on how to print them trips up a ton of would-be project life scrappers, including me. If keeping up with your layouts from week to week is important to you, printing your photos at home might be the right choice for you. When I decided to get serious about my weekly project life album, deciding to print my photos at home was a game changer for me. I use my Canon Pixma printer to print my photos most of the time but I also love using my Canon Selphy printer *affiliate link.
You can obviously also print your photos through a service like Walgreens, Target or Persnickety Prints but I love the freedom that printing at home gives me.
5) Gather the rest of your supplies.
My number one tip for this step–start simple. You already have your memory keeping essentials with an album, page protectors, project life cards, and photos. Gather a paper trimmer or scissors, glue runner or dots (I would not suggest using regular school glue for your memory keeping), and maybe a date stamp and–ta-da–you’re all set to start documenting your memories.
Things like embellishments, stamps, and patterned paper are just icing on the cake so start with the basics and find your style from there. Remember, the most important part of memory keeping is documenting your memories.
Need some inspiration to get you started?
Check out the 2018 Project Life Playlist on my youtube channel.