How To Get Caught Up On (Or Start!) Scrapbooking

Documenting Life

April 8, 2019

Girl taking a photo of her scrapbook with an iPhone

Was the last time you made a scrapbook in 4th grade? If yes, I’d say that’s the same for most people! Scrapbooking has been one of my favorite hobbies as a kid and it’s always stuck with me. I made photo albums with pages for every event- trick or treating, birthday parties, friendships, and field trips. I brought a disposable camera with me everywhere (I even had the underwater ones!). It’s no wonder I ended up being a photographer!

My scrapbooking process has evolved over the years (you can read more about my process here!). I’ve settled on a simple system that allows me creativity without being overwhelming. When life gets a little crazier, I do fall behind on creating new pages. I’m currently getting caught up on all of 2017 and 2018. I wanted to give you a little update on where I am with my scrapbooking now and how I plan to tackle these two years.

Starting from scratch on a scrapbook is totally intimidating! I went through a period where I fell so far behind on my yearly albums that I thought I’d never catch up! When I took the time to look at what I really needed to do to catch up, I realized it wasn’t so overwhelming. Here is what I’m currently doing to complete my 2017 and 2018 albums while also organizing for 2019’s!

Detail shot of a scrapbook made with Project Life albums and page protectors

Get Started!

If you want to get started with scrapbooking, your first step is to buy an album, page protectors, and filler cards. I use Becky Higgins’s Project Life system and Studio Calico‘s albums and page protectors. For each new year, I buy a 6×8″ or 9×12″ album and about 30 matching page protectors. I also buy a Core Kit from Becky Higgins about once every other year (they last a while!). These are the decorative filler cards that make your album super pretty and give you room to journal and document stories.

Time to Organize!

The first step in my process is to get organized! For each year I make an album, I create a folder with the months on my desktop. Within each month’s folder, I drop iPhone photos and photos from my professional camera that I want to use in the album. 

This sometimes takes a little digging, especially if you are catching up from previous years! For my iPhone shots, I plug my phone in and use the program Image Capture to drag photos into monthly folders. This program clearly shows you the dates you took the photos, so it’s easy to drag and drop them into the correct folders. 

For my professional shots, I go through any personal shots I’ve taken in the year I’m focusing on (usually this involves getting out an old hard drive!). I also pick a few photos from shoots I’ve done for clients that I particularly loved and want to remember.

Detail shot of a white divided box to organize scrapbooking supplies

Edit & Size Photos

Now that you’re all organized, it’s time to do some photo editing! If you’ve edited your iPhone shots on your phone, you likely won’t need to edit. I typically save my editing for the computer. I use Lightroom to do quick edits on white balance, exposure, and contrast and Photoshop to place images into a 4×6″ space that’s ready for ordering. 

For the photo page protectors I use, all of the horizontal spaces are 4×6″, and the other spaces fit vertical 3×4″ photos. In Photoshop, I create a canvas that’s 4×6″ and place two 3×4″ vertical images next to each other to create one 4×6″. When I upload to order prints, it’s all ready to go! 

If you don’t have Lightroom and Photoshop, there are plenty of other apps to use! I love Photoshop Express on my iPhone, and the Photos app on your Mac is a great option.

Girl holding a Project Life Core Kit scrapbooking card

Order Prints

I keep my scrapbook prints really easy and cheap! Because I print so many photos and they’re not framed meticulously, I don’t mind that the prints aren’t top quality. I’d never suggest this if you’re ordering your family or wedding photos, but for scrapbooking it totally works in my opinion. I typically order from either Shutterfly or Snapfish, depending on who’s having a sale! 

Get Organized- Again!

Once my prints arrive (yay!) I start organizing again. It’s so fun to go through an entire year of my favorite moments! Typically they’ll arrive somewhat in order, but it always takes a bit of organizing. I start my using my tiny paper cutter to chop the 4×6″ prints with two 3×4″ images in half. I then place the photos in monthly piles, just like I have them on the computer! 

Time to Scrapbook!

Placing your images and filler cards together is the fun and creative part (my favorite!). I do my yearly albums chronologically, so typically I just start with the beginning of the year and go from there. It’s so exciting to be creative with mixing and matching cards with your photos and memories. I sometimes add other physical mementos like ticket stubs. Even if you just do one spread a week, you’ll soon have a full completed album! It’s the best feeling to have a collection of memories all in one precious spot.

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