Call it ‘baby brain’, over-complicating simple things, or blame sleep deprivation – whatever the cause, I had SUCH a time trying to organize my Project Life Baby Edition for Him Album of Max’s First Year. I tried to find example albums and even read through Becky’s post on How to Set Up a Baby Album, but nothing seemed to fit what I was going for. So, as mentioned in my previous post, I completely changed my approach to documenting Max’s first year when he was nearly one. Yikes!
And, in between, I struggled to organize myself. A bad approach in the beginning can be really time consuming to correct. BUT the nice thing about Project Life (and pocket scrapbooking in general) is that you can always change this around if you don’t like it. Just thinking about how I approach everything in life as a work in progress, you can probably imagine that I am REALLY attracted to this feature!
It’s been a year since I revised this album, and – apart from a couple photos to print – I’m DONE. Done. It feels so good. It feels even better, though, because I LOVE it. Like L-O-V-E love it. But gosh it was a struggle!
So if there is even just one other person out there right now trying to complete a baby album, but unable to figure out the HOW, here is how I laid out my album. I hope it helps!
- Project Life Baby Edition for Him (on sale now!)
- Project Life Cherry Core Kit (on sale now!)
- Project Life Month Dividers (no longer available)
- Photo Pocket Pages: Design A (you have to keep this simple, people!)
- Photo Pocket Pages: Design C
- American Crafts Pens
- Binder (similar to this one)
Step 1. Before you do ANYTHING else, insert the Design A Pocket Pages in the 12×12 3-ring binder.
Step 2. Insert “First Page” and “Last Page” cards into respective pages in the binder. The graphics on the back of the cards show suggested placement.
Step 3. Group the cards in a way that makes sense for you. Here is how I did it:
- 4×6 cards – set aside Monthly numbers and Milestones cards, these will be inserted into Design C pocket pages later
- 3×4 cards – separate informational cards (such as “first bath” and “country information”) from blank journaling cards
Step 4. Place each monthly 4×6 card (such as “3 months”) with a blank 4×6 “milestones” card and one 3×4 “stats” card, along with anything else you want to talk about each month, in an individual Design C pocket page. Put aside.
Step 5. Organize the 3×4 cards. Anything that you can answer before the baby arrives goes in the front of the album. Anything that won’t be answered until after baby arrives goes in the back.
Step 6. If you’re waiting for your baby to arrive, now is a great time to fill out the “background” cards. Talk about your family, your partner’s family, and your background. You can highlight where you live and – if it’s ready – the baby’s room. I had a lot of fun doing this part of the album because it helped me look at the “regular” aspects of our lives in a more interested way.
Step 7. Put aside the “go-to” cards. When I’m traveling or really busy, I pick out a few project life cards, place them in a sandwich bag, and have them near my computer. That way, when I think of something I want to remember, I can write it down. I usually write the notes in pencil so that when I’m home I can use neater writing with a pen. In this case, you’ll want to keep blank 3×4 cards and any “milestone” cards (such as “first bath” or “first steps”, monthly growth stats, and “milestone” 4×6 cards) in the same place.
Step 8. Once baby is born, take weekly photos. I organize my photos by date anyway, so when I was ready, I could look through iPhoto and print several months at a time. I chose two photos per week: one portrait of Max, one picture that shows us/what we did. I find portraits to be a little boring, especially if you’re not a professional photographer, so adding variety is nice (and hides photo imperfections!).
Step 8. If you have reached the end of year 1 – CONGRATULATIONS! You’re amazing. And people probably don’t tell you that enough. For the last section of the album, I wanted to keep it open to add notes or special milestones and – mostly – special (not all) birthday cards. Now that the Project Life App exists, this is even easier to do. For instance, when Max turned TWO (yay!), I had the 12×12 spread of his birthday done the following morning. So cool.
*Divide your album into 3 sections:
1. Background (Before Baby)
2. Weekly Photos (Months 0-12)
3. First Birthday & Summary of Milestones
*Organize the informational and milestone cards based on those three sections
*Set cards aside so you can write in them (in pencil) as life happens
*Print two photos for each week, place photos in album, put it together and – DONE!
And there is lots more to come next week.
See how easy that was?!