Project Life Organization

Hello and good morning to you! As I sit here with Sesame Street on in the background, I long for warmer weather so we can play outside! Anyone else have cabin fever? Having a non-stop toddler has made this winter seem longer than normal, that’s for sure. While we’re stuck indoors, I’ve been lucky enough to do indoor activities that I often don’t make time for once it’s nice outside.


Memory keeping is one of those tasks for me that can be fun but also seems necessary. It’s actually beyond necessary because I have this fear that I will get Alzheimers young and not be able to remember how wonderful my life was. On that happy note! I wanted to share with you how I take that first step in working on my Project Life album, which is, beginning.


I have a lot of scrapbook supplies. A lot is an understatement. This is why I’ve tried to keep my Project Life stash small to limit my options while making the album.

My Supplies:


I have a really systematic way of organizing my photos. I just add them to a folder until they get too full and then I put them in scrapbooks. I used to use Shutterfly for printing my photos. They were the most true to color for the best price. I’m now using the Canon Pixma which has significantly better photos but is also more expensive in the way of ink and paper. If you have this printer, get your photo paper from Costco, it’s the cheapest but equal quality to Canon’s paper.


I’ve had my embellishments in all sorts of different contraptions for organizing and I’ve found that the clear compartmentalized bins work best for me. I try to use up what I have before buying more. In my current case I have room to spare but won’t be buying any until I use up more of this stash. I usually get embellishments from the clearance sections of our craft stores or receive them as gifts. Studio Calico has amazing kits filled with coordinating filler cards and embellishments that I’ve splurged on once. I highly recommend getting coordinating kits if you wallet allows.  I also suggest following them on Insta or Twitter because they often have sales.


The Heidi Swapp craft mat is silicon based so you can easily wipe it down for easy clean up. This is great for me because I usually craft on my white desk or white kitchen island and end up getting paint, sprays and dyes all over the place. It’s also helpful when you have little paper scraps or glitter because you can fold it in half and dump it in the trash for quick clean up.


My favorite part about Project Life, as opposed to regular scrap booking, is the simplicity and relatively easy clean up. With scrap booking I leave all my supplies out for large stretches of time because there is so much. With my Project Life album, I’m continuously adding to it when I’m able, and keeping everything minimal for easy access/clean up. In the photo above, you can see there are holes in my album. It’s a continuous project that I feel ok with leaving holes.


My current album is every single physical photo I own (that’s not already in an album) up until today’s date. I had a lot of photos from when I was a child and when Jeffrey and I met that wouldn’t fill a whole album. I’m using this book as a way to just get these precious memories in a book for safe keeping. I will usually make a book for different vacations and time periods of my life but I like that this one will be ongoing.


I also love that it’s not all perfect photos with a perfect color scheme. So many Project Life crafters that I follow have such beautiful albums with color schemes and matching embellishments. It took me a long time to start filling my album because my standards were set so high. I’ve realized that I’d rather have these photos and my journaling down in a book rather than it being such a piece of art that I’m afraid to mess it up. I’ll mix rounded cards with square cards and even monochromatic photos with full color photos. I kind of love it that way.


After following a lot of pros on Instagram and knowing some friends who do Project Life, (Lisa and Sarah) I’ve gained the confidence to start making sure all of my photos are displayed in a book. I’m liking my process and the minimalistic aspect of this way of memory keeping. How do you keep track of your photos? Have any good brands you love for scrap booking? I would love to see your books!

For more scrapping ideas, check out my Pinterest board!
Follow Shelly |DIY Mama|’s board scrap. on Pinterest.

9 thoughts on “Project Life Organization

  1. Wow, you are not kidding — that’s a lot of scrapbooking supplies! I think your tip about the crafting mat is really great — all the mess is one of the things that I dislike about paper crafting. The super embellished pages are beautiful, but I’m more interested in getting photos into albums. And YES to leaving holes! At some point I want to finish an album and move to the next, but I’m ok with having it be a work in progress for a while.
    Sarah @ Beauty School Dropout recently posted…Charlotte, the female CEO you left behind in the AmazonMy Profile

    1. Oh Sarah! You just made me shake my head in shame! That’s just my Project Life stuff! My actual scrap booking supplies is at least 10 times this! 🙁 Hi, my name is Shelly and I’m a craft supply addict. You should definitely put the mat on your birthday/christmas list! I remember you saying that you don’t like all the scraps! Your current book looks amazing btw!

  2. I love this! I wish I had the time and organization skillz to do this because it’d be so worth it! I read an article about the “digital dark age” where the technology changes so fast that the digital formats we currently use will be obscelete and everything we have stored on our hard drives and even in the cloud will be lost. So his advice was to print some stuff out so we don’t lose that information.
    Gracielle recently posted…I Forgot My Baby’s NameMy Profile

    1. Oh my goodness! I can’t fathom a time without at least a cloud backup?!? We’ve lost enough in the past that every photo, song and video we own is on Dropbox. If we had a fire, the photo albums would be the only thing I’d grab (knowing my family was safe outside). I love looking through our albums from when I was young and thankfully my dad took tons of video so I can hear us!

  3. Nice work Shelly! Way to go for getting photos into albums as a priority! As for holes, I’ve got them too, which I like about PL because I can go back & fill them in when I want. I finished J’s album over 3 years (with embellishments to be added) and haven’t gotten very far with O’s. I’m hoping to make time some evening to get started.
    lisacng @ recently posted…Never say neverMy Profile

    1. Gracias! I SO wish we lived closer so I could see J’s album!!! He’s such a doll! Getting started is the hardest part, which you know, so once you start you’ll feel better about O’s book. 🙂

  4. Great post! I have been thinking about starting back st scrapbook ing so I can have all my photos printed & in one lovely place. But the thought of it, scares me since it requires so much time! I am seriously thinking about doing project life. I may just pick some supplies up & go develop pics this week. Thanks for extra motivation to get it done!

    1. Scrapbooking does take a lot of time and space. The only difficult thing, for me, about PL are that the layouts are already set. For example, if you have a 2x4x2 layout, you’ll need 4 portrait photos that will be small along the middle and 4 landscape photos for the top and bottom. In the end, I think it is easier to print them and then put them in the album rather than planning out which photos will go where ahead of time.

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