What the heck is Project Life scrapbooking?

Since posting my experience at Crop and Create and my intentions to use Project Life to document our first year of marriage, I have received a number of questions from friends and readers on what Project Life is and how to start. I’ve created this mini series to help those interested in Project Life learn more and perhaps start a book of their own.

This is the first post in a series of three on Project Life scrapbooking.

What is it?
For those of you who don’t know, Project Life is a pocket-style scrapbooking technique created by Becky Higgins (long-time scrapbooking superstar) in response to her need for a quick and effective alternative to traditional scrapbooking.

She came up with the model of pairing photos and stories to record her family’s memories, and created the  pocket pages to make it easy for anyone to document their lives simply.

By placing photos and journaling cards into the pre-determined pocket pages, it allows you to take a step back from overthinking the process with layouts, sketches and the like. It frees up your time to make even more memories to document, rather than spending hours completing one page as I used to when I did more traditional scrapbooking. It’s also easy for anyone to do and is instantly gratifying to see the finished product.Project Life2

How does it work?
Project Life Albums come in a variety of sizes. The pocket pages live in a ringed binder, allowing you to add, rearrange and remove pages as you desire There are a number of different combinations of pages, but all the pockets are based on the fact that photos are typically printed in 4X6 dimensions. This means that pockets are either 4X6 or 2X3 in size and can be landscape and/or portrait., making it easy for anyone to adapt to.

Becky has a team of very talented designers to create the journaling cards, which come in a variety of different sized packages and some even include embellishments such as gold foil, wood, chipboard, and transparent embellishments. This is great for someone who is used to the more traditional style of scrapbooking and who might not be fully comfortable finishing a page without adding a little extra flare (such as myself).

Project Life Home Album2

How do you document?
As Becky Higgins told me when I met her, there is no right or wrong way to create a Project Life album, as it is a personal journey. For our first year of marriage, I chose to document one week per page, for a total of 52 pages, but if there are very special occasions that warrant more pages, I have no problem creating more pages. You can document life chronologically on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis, or by theme, event or even with no rhyme or reason at all.

Project Life layout2

One thing that blew my mind was someone recommending that you fuse the two styles together and add in some traditional scrapbooking pages to your binder amongst the Project Life pages. It is really up to you how to do it, but either way, it gets done quickly and is something special to share with your family or even just to have for yourself.

Now that you have an understanding of what Project Life is, the next post will explore tips and tricks on getting your own Project Life album started.