Welcome to Project Life Tuesday 2014 Today I’m sharing tips on how to create a Project Life Baby Album. If you are new to The Mom Creative, welcome. I hope you will stay awhile. I’m Jessica – wife to Matthew, mom to Elias, a silly and spirited five-year-old, and Adeline, a spunky two-year-old. I’m also a marketing professional, savvy deal finder, photo lover and memory keeper trying to juggle it all. The first Tuesday of every month, I share my most recent spread as well as host a linky for readers to link up their pictures/layouts. Some links are affiliate links.
I have not touched my Project Life 2014 album since Valentine’s. I’m trying not to think about it. Instead, I am celebrating the fact that I commenced work on Adeline’s Project Life baby album.
This is a project I have been procrastinating one for more than a year. You might remember when I dropped my hard drive and it crashed in December 2012 and I lost all the photos from Adeline’s precious little life. Thankfully Gillware recovered them and I decided it was TIME to get going. I used the Project Life baby core kit (girl edition) for this project.
Why the baby core kit?
The baby core kit is really wonderful because it has many adorable designs specific for the first year, which makes putting a baby album together a breeze. Three different kits are available – boy, girl and gender neutral. If you have ANY baby photos you would like to get in albums, I highly recommend scooping this kit up. You can’t beat the price.
So far I have gotten through her first three months. I still have A LOT of journaling to do, but getting those pictures printed and in pages is such a wonderful feeling! I have looked through her baby album probably a dozen times since Saturday. It is just so lovely. I love Project Life!
I’m only sharing the first few spreads today. Another day I might do a video sharing more of the album.
The great thing about Project Life is that you don’t have to get fancy. The cards + photos + your words are enough. I didn’t add anything extra in my album.
- Number of pages: 42 pages
- Page style most frequently used: Design C
- Number of photos: 348 (crazy, I know!)
- Primary kit used: Becky Higgins Baby Edition for Her
- Break up your photo selection in small chunks: Thinking about 12 months of photos can be overwhelming. I focused on the project in one month increments, which was easy to do since I store my photos by month. I simply went through the photos one month at a time, starting with Adeline’s birth. I created a folder called Adeline and dragged all photos to it from my hard drive that I wanted to print.
- Don’t waste time planning pages: I did not plan my spreads ahead of time. That is much too time-consuming for a project like this. Instead, I printed everything I thought I would use, knowing that some photos would not make it into the album. In my opinion, it is better to print everything you might want, even if that means you spend a few dollars more of developing for photos that don’t make it in your album. This is a big time-saver.
- Batch print your photos: I printed the photos in two batches. This allowed me to get a good deal on photo printing and have a large quantity of photos to work with (once you get going, you won’t want to stop). After the first batch, I realized that I should edit my vertical photos to 3×4 because in the first batch I felt like I was too limited in the page designs I could use (There are just a few designs that accommodate vertical 4×6 photos.)
- Print 3×4 photos when possible: For the second batch of photos, I had three 19×13 pages (printed at home) full of 3×4 photos. This really helped in the layout of my pages.
This is what those 19×13 pages looked like.
Here’s one spread where you can see I incorporated several 3×4 photos. It would have taken A LOT more page protectors if I had used 4×6 photos instead. (The right page is a 6×12 on top of a 12×12 page)
Putting together my pages
- Organize photos by date: After getting my photos, I organized them by date and began inserting them in pages.
- Use page protectors that will allow you to use what you have: Since I had so many horizontal photos, I used a lot of Design C pages, which allow for six 6×4 photos per side. I don’t typically use this design in my regular family Project Life pages, but found it to be perfect for this project.
- Stick with Becky Higgins products: I found that I mostly needed 6×4 journaling cards because I used so many Design C pages. I quickly used the designs in my core kit, which is heavy in 3×4 cards, so I ended up using cards from a few other kits in my stash that I felt coordinated with the baby core kit.
A few other things worth mentioning
- Add extra bits to your album: I slipped Adeline’s hospital bracelet and hat right into the page protectors in the album.
- Big envelopes are awesome: I added a 12×12 Becky Higgins album to the back of the album to hold the newspaper from the day Adeline was born. You could also do this for greeting cards, but I have them in a keepsake box.
- You might need more than one album: In total, I think I will have 3 albums for Adeline’s first year. This first album is already pretty full, but there were A LOT of photos from her birth and newborn shoot to include.
- Add the story leading up to your child’s birth: The core kit provides cards to do pages about the parents and family, maternity photos, baby showers, etc. I have all of that, but am more concerned with getting her first year done. I figure I can come back to that!
Surprised by Motherhood
Today is the perfect day to share Adeline’s book because it is the release day of my dear friend Lisa-Jo Baker’s book Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected about Being a Mom. As I worked on Adeline’s pages, I couldn’t help but be so nostalgic about those first weeks and months. The newborn haze. The overwhelming love and exhaustion. The gratitude for a daughter.
Lisa-Jo articulates those feelings and so much more in Surprised by Motherhood. This book is for every mama out there. While Lisa-Jo uses her motherhood story as the foundation for the book, I don’t know a mom that wouldn’t relate to this incredible book. I had the honor of reading an advanced copy and it moved me to tears. You must order a copy of this book – for you, for your neighbor, for your sister, for your friend.