How-to Guide – Project Life |Sheena Rowlands

Hi there Magpies, Sheena here again x

For my next 2 posts I’m going to share with you my take on Project Life. I apologise now as there is quite a lot to read so if you fancy making a drink to enjoy whilst reading this would be a good time x

Firstly I will admit I’m no expert but I have been making my version of this concept for the past 10 years now & plan to continue. There is no right or wrong way to record your memories but I plan to share some tips I’ve learnt over time with you.

I see my Project Life as a photo diary as I’ve learnt we can’t remember everything and PL is a great way of recording all things big and small. I am sharing this with you now as generally PL runs yearly so by thinking if this is for you, you could be prepared for when 2020 comes around.

I’ll start by tackling the questions I get asked the most.

How do you start PL?

It does take some thinking about and a little preparation I find to do this project. Things to consider, what size format to do & where you will be making this. I use 2 -12 x12 albums for each year and  the same split page protectors for every month. I tend to create it in a place where I can leave it out as it’s ideal when you have a short amount of time & you want to be creative to achieve some of this.

How do you keep up?

This does take some organisation at first but when you find a system to suit you it becomes part of your normal scrapping. I tend to  work 1 month behind. So at the the start of October I start to sort  September out.

But remember who you are doing this for… it shouldn’t cause you stress or anxiety.

What are the benefits?

For me I love it when the family go through the albums and find lots they had forgotten about. Also as I’m recording our lives in PL I feel it gives me the freedom to scrap anything I like as my stories have already been documented.

How to make it easy?

This has been my biggest challenge over the years & I feel I really have found a way to suit me. During every month I keep a rough diary list by my bed & add on it anything that happened that I would want in my PL. I do this as not all stories have photos to go with them & I don’t want to forget.

Then at the end of the month I use this to help me draw up a quick plan to see how many page protectors I will need as I vary the number depending on how busy we have been. We are a family of 5 & regardless of whether they live with me I still include them in my PL spreads. I know these both look messy but they are not normally on show & these quick jottings are a great jump start to get me going recording our month.

I also collect a small pile of ephemera from each month in a set place so its easy to find and incorporate in to my album. Then I  contact my kids & get them to send me any photos from their month, I do lift some of theirs from Facebook or IG if needed. Then I start printing my photos. I do this at home but they could easily be professionally processed. I limit the shapes and sizes of the photos I use as less choice means less time for indecision. I usually do 6″x4″ and 1.75″ x 2.5″landscape, 4″ and 2″ square and 4×3 portrait plus a 6″ row of 2″x3″ photos using an app, but you could always crop your photos different sizes if you wish. These sizes give me enough variety but also remain consistent throughout my album.

To get more photos into my album I use 2 apps to make photo colleges on my phone. There are more out there but these are my favourites.

Am I putting you off?

I hope not. Lots of what I’ve listed above can be done from the comfort of your sofa or on a car journey or sitting in bed with a cuppa … planning your pages, sorting photos to print, making photo colleges…  we don’t want it to feel like too much hard work.

Once I have the photos I trim them to size if needed & I pop them in the page protector pockets so I can see any gaps, if using a few page protectors I’ll number them to help me get things in order. I always leave the first pocket free on the first protector to add which month it is.

I use patterned paper to fill my pockets rather than cards. I find a range with say 3-5 12×12 papers left or a 6×6 pad or even papers of a similar colour and cut them to 6×4 size. The papers are only for sticking your photos to so I’m not too concerned about my choices.

When I found the papers I want to use I cut them into 6x4s and add them to the pockets behind my photos. For September I’m using Happy Days by MME & I even have a few stickers left in this range too.

So my photos are in & are all backed with patterned paper in all 4 page protectors , I already love it and can’t wait to carry on.

Join me later this month when I finish off my Project Life pages & if you have any queries in the mean time please ask away on our FB group.

Till next time x

Supplies used

American crafts Albums

American Crafts Page Protecters


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