I used to be WAY into scrapbooking. Creative Memories paper cutters, spending hours pouring over the cardstock section at Michael's, cutting my photos into wild shapes and pasting them onto pages with a gluestick. Somewhere along the way, it ceased to be fun. I think it's when I really got into photography; suddenly I had 100 photos from an event and the whole process of printing photos and then wildly embellishing pages and journaling the entire event seemed like so. much. work.
But! I am so passionate about printing our memories. I think it's incredible that I can access my Dropbox drive of photos from my computer, laptop, iPad or phone anywhere in the world, but nothing compares to sitting down and sifting through a box of snapshots, holding those tangible pieces of memory in your hands. I still haven't found a perfect system for printing and keeping our memories, but I've figured out bits and pieces and one thing that is really working well is Xavier's scrapbook.
I ordered this baby book when I was still pregnant, and absolutely love it. But, I knew I'd take LOTS of photos of our sweet firstborn, especially in his first year, and wanted an easy way to catalog them outside of the space the baby book allows.
I tried Project Life, but the album was way too big and it was too much for me. I didn't necessarily want all the insert cards and all the page options. I wanted simple, streamlined, easy. So here's what I came up with! It's basically a much more streamlined version of Project Life.
I bought an 8x8 scrapbook at Hobby Lobby, the kind with binder rings. This was important, because it's super annoying to mess with the kind with screws. Plus, it's really easy to rearrange pages if I want. I chose insert pages that hold four 4x4 photos. I only ever shoot in square mode on my phone camera, because it just makes more sense to my brain, so 99% of the photos of Xavier are square format. But there are lots of different layout options, so you can choose a variety of layouts if that's your thing!
Whenever Shutterfly offers their 101 free print deal (every couple months or so), I print 101 square photos for free, and only pay $8 shipping! I keep a folder on my desktop of the next 101 photos to print so they're ready to go when I get the email about the offer.
I designed little 4x4 milestone cards and print them out on my home printer on plain white cardstock, and cut them with a paper cutter. I also designed a 4x4 journaling card with lines to write a bit if I wanted. I wanted to keep a very neutral, minimalistic vibe with the scrapbook, hence the black and white and bold pattern of the cards. I made the journaling card available as a download - just click here!
I also made monthly dividers in the 8x8 size to slip into a page protector to separate each month. I'm a very chronological person, so I like that Xavier's scrapbook flows in order of his life. Although we're definitely going to need two volumes for his first year, because the first album is full after only six months! Shutter happy mama problems.
And that's that! Every time the little orange envelope from Shutterfly shows up, I spend about 20 minutes slipping the photos into the pages, create the coordinating insert cards and call it done. It is SO easy and gets those photos off my device and into tangible form. And I love that I won't be scrambling to finish something up before his first birthday party, because it's getting done little by little as we go! I also like that the photos are just slipped into the insert pages, so I can easily get them out if I need them for something. No prying off decades of old glue!
I'm also taking a black and white photo of him every week for his first year, and plan to order a photobook of them all from Artifact Uprising, my very favorite for photo books. Although this project felt daunting at first, I'm SO glad I've stuck to it. Babies change SO much, SO fast, and it's crazy to look back at that week one photo and how tiny he was. I know the book of all 52 weeks of his first year will be so, so precious.
Do you scrapbook for your kids or family? What's your system? I'd love to hear! xoxo!