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.
Here are some stats about the 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
Here are tips for creating a Project Life baby album, as well as how I approached the project:
- 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!
Overall, I did everything discussed in two three-hour sections. Project Life really makes it so easy.
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.
Sarah K says
You’re right Jess. I totally LOVE this. Well done my dear.
LOVE you so so so much Jess.
You are my sister in so many ways that I will always be grateful to our Father God for. Thank you for how you have cheered and championed this book into being. I love love love you.
I am in no way a scrapbooker, never even had the inclination to do one. However, this on has me wanting to dig out all the photos and mementos from my son’s birth seven years ago. It’s so lovely. Well done!
Thank you so much. That is what it so great about Project Life. The system really does make it easy – and fun!
Alia Joy says
Love it. I have yet to finish my 13 yr old’s baby book let alone my other two kids. I started it when scrapbooking was all the rage with stickers and funny cutting scissors and made a crazy mess hacking into my snapshots and pasting them into an album. I quit a quarter of the way through but this looks so much cuter and doable.
Brittany Bartkowiak says
This looks awesome!. I am pregnant with our first and really want to get back into scrapbooking and Project Life definitely seems the way to go. What products do you use for cropping photos? Do you print majority in a 4X6 and crop to fit the layouts?
I use photoshop to edit my photos, but there are lots of free options out there.
And yes, Project Life is the way to go!
Thanks for sharing this. It’s a great reminder that it’s never too late to start on a project. Off the subject, but it’s amazing how much Adeline has always looked like Adeline! Your kids are adorable.
While I was working on the album, we kept saying the same thing! Newborns sometimes change a bit (Elias did), but Adeline has looked the same since coming out of the womb (literally!).
And yes, it is never too late.
i am playing catch up so I have years of pics aready printed that I will just have to cut down, but for future printing, what software do you use to print 3×4’s together. ( i print using walgreens, snapfish, shutterfly, not on a home printer). And what home printer do you use, how does this cost compare to getting pics for 9c a print? thanks i love your simple but perfect pages.
I use photoshop to edit them together.
I typically print my 4x6s at Walgreens and my odd sized/over sized on my home printer. Home printing is more expensive, but since I do it only for special photos, it is worth it. I have an Epson R2880. You can read more about it here: https://www.themomcreative.com/2012/10/thoughts-on-my-large-format-epson-printer.html
Your album looks great so far! My daughter just turned 3 and I need to get going on her album this weekend. I have the Project Life baby cards in the slots I just need to edit and order pictures.
Christina @ The Scrappy Housewife says
Which binder did you use? I’m working on my OWN baby album (third kid always gets the shaft haha) now that my mom has passed on and I’m using the Dear Lizzy HSN mini kit and album, but I’m realizing I need a 3 ring to really get everything in.
I use American Crafts D ring, cloth albums. I love them.
Mrs. G says
This is exactly how I did my daughter’s album. She is 2 now and I love to look back and see how tiny she was. When we found out we were expecting number 2 I ordered the core kit the week after we found out he was a boy.
Oh my word! I never thought to use project life for a baby album. I bought a kit almost 4 yrs ago and never did anything with it. I’ve also never done my son’s baby album (even though I printed his first yr of pics). I’m motivated to start THIS very weekend to get to work!! Thank you so so much for always inspiring me…..all of us!!!!!
Mary Cardini-Anderson says
I have both the Baby edition for her and for baby. Love them both. I also bought another PL baby kit from Amazon for my step-daughter who is expecting twins. What a great deal. I enjoyed looking at all of your baby photos and the pages that you have made.
Mary from NH
Thanks so much!
I just started project life finally and found your linky through a group I am in on Facebook. I see that it is closed however 🙁 How long is it open? I would love to start sharing! You only post once a month right? I figured it would be open all of that month.
I just had a son six months ago and want to do project life. I’m having a hard time trying to print my photos somewhere that are 3×4. I don’t want to get a home printer. Any suggestions
I photoshop my photos – two pics on one 6×4 canvas. Check out this video tutorial: http://aliedwards.com/2012/01/video-tutorial-printing-two-3×4-images-on-a-4×6.html
You can also get 3×4 photos from Persnickity Prints