10 #ProjectLife Tips & Techniques!!

Before we get started, real quick; this post is part of a paid campaign with American Crafts, but all opinions are my own. I would only share items I would recommend to my family and friends, and believe me, I have talked their ears off about this one!

I have been swooning over Project Life since the first time I saw it! I have been scrapbooking for a while, and I do not prefer any one method over another, I actually like the idea of having different scrapbooks done in different ways. It breaks it up and keeps me interested, so when I saw and new method that was both quick and easy and perfect for the beginner or the advanced scrapper- I was IN!

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It is no secret that I take hundreds of pictures a week, if there is a special event, it is almost certain that I could take a few hundred pictures in a couple of hours. I love to document, but keeping up with that type of photo volume while also having, you know, a life, means I inevitable fall behind. I used to think just having the pictures on my computer was enough but I was talking to my Grandma one day and she was explaining why she only ever wants a stack of actual photos because computers to break but her albums won’t. I understood but just went on taking pictures and loading them on to computers, and then, one day, the external hard drive that had Avery’s whole first year crashed and my dad just barely recovered all those photos. That was enough for me to commit to printing pictures on a regular basis so that I would have them just in case- but still there was the whole falling behind issue again.

In walks Project Life. Seriously people, with the same amount of effort as just putting pictures in a regular photo album, you can have an entire scrapbook- an impressive scrapbook. This is why when I opened my box from American Crafts and saw the page protectors, scrapbook and Vintage Travel Core kit it was not only a surprise but a reason to jump for joy.
Please believe me when I say, I literally jumped for joy, I might have even thrown in a little cabbage patch and running man too- for good measure.

I immediately got too it, I was determined to catch up on my 2013 scrapbook. By that I mean, start it and then get caught up to date. So I went to the computer, sent pictures from the whole year to be printed and picked them up the next day. Once I started scrapbooking with Project Life, I couldn’t stop and I was caught up- 8 months and 17 layouts later and it only took me a weekend! Of course you can scrapbook each piece of cardstock before you put it in the protector but I loved the patterns and colors of the Vintage Travel Edition so much I was happy with the clean look of photos, cardstock and journaling. Plus not having to mess with the glue, scissors, adhesives and cleanup was an added plus.

I am by no means professional scrapper, but I did have a lot of fun playing with this Project Life kit and thought I would share 10 things I did in my album that you could use in yours too!

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1. Label photos with date: This is something I swear by, it makes my life so much easier. Whenever I load pictures onto my computer, instead of labeling them with name of the event {like ‘birthday’ or ‘zoo trip’} I label them with today’s date. That way I don’t have to worry about pictures being loaded with weird titles that don’t make sense {like photos for a blog tutorial being called ‘zoo trip’}. But the true bonus is when I print my pictures and they put the name of the image on the back of the photo- since it is the date all my photos are accurately dated and easy to organize. That made putting them in order for this album a thousand times easier.

2. Edit photos to match core kit: Once the photos are loaded, it may be fun to use an editing software to make your pictures work even better with your core kit. In the Vintage Travel edition that I have, there are deep blues, reds and neutrals  and lots of trains, planes and automobiles {that Avery loves} and they look great with the sepia and vintage washes you can find in most editing programs. It is not necessary as this kit looked great with all my photos, but it was a nice touch!

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3. Print all your pictures at once: If at all possible, go through your images and send a large batch, all if you can, to get printed. It is so easy to get on a roll with Project Life that you want to make sure you can keep going and won’t have to stop!

4. Place pictures in the layout first: I found this to be the easiest for me. I put all the pictures where I wanted them and then I put in the cardstocks and then last did the journaling.

5. Angle photos towards the middle: This is something I learned way back in yearbook camp from middle school, we were taught to have, whenever possible, all people in the photos and their eyes looking towards the middle of the page. This keeps your eyes engaged on the layout and not drifting off. Sometimes it is not possible to do this, but most of my pictures have either the people in the photos looking towards the middle or another photo. It is not something people will notice if you don’t do but it is a nice touch to a put together page.

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6. Don’t be afraid to split pictures: This was another tip from putting yearbooks together, when working with books,  you are allowed to split pictures over the ‘gutter’ {center of a book} but not if you would be splitting someone’s face. I applied that same rule to cutting pictures to fit into two of the smaller pockets in the page protector, I just never cut through a face, because, well, that would not be very nice!

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7. Streamline process by using the assembly line method: I usually get excited and like to do things quickly, and this was no different. I was so excited to get the whole year caught up, I found that by going through and placing all the pictures was the fastest way to create my layouts. Then, once that was done, I went back and added all the cardstock. After that, it was time for journaling which I did on the couch with a glass of wine. Wine optional, of course.

8. Play with add-ins: There are lots of fun sizes in page protectors in Project Life but I found myself looking around the house for things that would work too! I had made my snow layout and then stumbled upon another stack of great pictures that I just had to add, but the layout was full! I, didn’t think I had enough for a whole extra layout but I wanted to add the pictures, that is when my coupon binder jumped into my head and a went over and grabbed one of the baseball pages and put it right in, it worked perfectly!

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9. Don’t be afraid to add a layout: If I didn’t have that page protector, or did have enough pictures for an extra layout, adding another page is super easy. Because there is not glue or adhesives, it is super easy to just pop the pictures and the cardstock out, ad a page, put them back and there you go!

10. Journal last: This is just something I find to be easier, I like to put everything together and then go back later, usually in the evening after kids have gone to bed and then work on the journaling. I prefer to do it when  I am relaxed and not in a rush.

Are you ready to go out and get your own set? Well, you are in luck, you don’t even have to wait for it to be shipped to you because you can just go down to your local Michaels and pick one up! They have one of the largest selections, including two exclusive kits and many exclusive albums for you to choose from!

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2 Responses to 10 #ProjectLife Tips & Techniques!!

  1. Vi August 13, 2013 at 4:28 am #

    These are great tips! I’ll definitely be using them to get caught up on my own album. Your pictures look amazing–I especially like the sepia with the vintage travel edition. That wouldn’t have occurred to me. Well done!

  2. Kara August 19, 2013 at 2:55 am #

    Love your tips, you expert you! I LOVE the idea of splitting a pic…why didn’t I remember that from jr high yearbook?!! And you are so right…I just need to upload and print a huge batch at once and just plug along.