Hey Little Magpie Blog

Project Life – My process

core kit

Are you thinking about starting Project Life? With the New Year fast approaching so is the perfect time to start Project Life. I thought I’d take you through my process, the basic requirements and give you some tips along the way.

OK, let’s start with the basic requirements.

  • an album.
    • The most popular type is a 12×12 D-ring album, but this year smaller ‘handbook’ (6×8) size albums have been introduced. You can check out the Becky Higgins Project Life albums here. Personally, I use two 12×12 albums per year, some years these are by Becky Higgins, other years by American Crafts.
  • divided page protectors.
    • There are several designs available and it’s personal preference as to which you will work for you. I always use Design A, which is the most commonly used. If I have a special week with lots of photos and stories I’ll add a divided page protector of a smaller size as an insert.
  • a core kit.
    • These are specially designed kits which contain 4×6 and 3×4 cards to insert into the divided page protectors. There are many different types to suit all styles available now, from the large core kits to value kits (which really are great value for money). The new Project Life value kits also include co-ordinating embellishments, fabulous idea!

dream big

In addition to the basics above I find the following things are my ‘go to’ items when putting together a Project Life spread.

My Process.

1. Planning the spreads.

  • I plan my weekly spreads in a notebook so that I know which photos/stories will go where and which groups of photos I need to make into photo collages.
  • Modern technology is great. I say this because I find these days most of my photos are taken with my iPhone. I post my favourites on to my Instagram feed (@jobo74), use the app Momento to organise my social media feeds into diary form and the Becky Higgins Project Life app to place my photos into templates ready to be printed.

2. Printing and trimming the photos.

  • Having placed my photos into the ready made 4×6 templates in the Becky Higgins app I upload these to my computer and print them at home. I can get two photo strips in a 4×6 print and I resize the individual ones to 2.25×2.25 inches. I used to use Photoshop Elements to make photo collages and crop photos.
  • I trim my photos.

trimming photos

  • Round the corners of 4×6 photo collages.

corner rounder

3. Choosing the insert cards.

  • Having trimmed my photos and collages I place them into the divided page protectors and think about what insert cards will go with the colours in the photos.

divided page protectors

  • I’ve simplified my process here by using the same 4×6 inserts (with the exception of the week opener insert), usually this will be woodgrain patterned paper or cardstock, something neutral cut into 4×6 and corners rounded. For the spreads I’m sharing here I’ve used Woodgrain embossed cardstock by American Crafts in dark kraft and nickel (other colours are available).

core kit

  • Using neutral cardstock for the 4×6 slots allows me to use more colour in my 3×4 insert cards and coordinate that to the weekly opening insert. I’m using the new Notes & Things value kit in my Project Life spreads today. (NB. These are currently out of stock, but you can sign up for an email notification as to when they’re back in stock)

4. Adding titles and journaling.

journaling spot

  • Then I add titles on to these 4×6 inserts using little letter stickers. (I used Teresa Collins for these particular spreads)

header card

  • With the help of the Momento app I write the journaling to go with the photos.

journaling

  • and finally I add embellishments!

embellishments

Here’s my two Project Life spreads for the second half of November.

w47lhs

w47 rhs

w48lhs

w48rhs

Remember, Project Life is about recording everyday life over the course of the year. My spreads are double page for each week, but you could do one page per week, or a double spread for the month. You certainly don’t need to add as many photos as I do, one photo per 4×6 insert would considerably simplify the process. This is just my process and spread design that works for me. I hope you feel inspired and not overwhelmed!

4 Comments

  1. Claire

    What a lovely record to have – and great to see how you put them all together .

  2. Julie taylor

    Great post Jo, I’m always in awe of people who do project life & the finished result is fab

  3. Natty

    Fantastic pages Jo, and really interesting to see your process. 🙂 I really need to investigate the Becky Higgins app for next year if it means I can collage photos easily for printing as I especially like the pockets with multiple photos and it can be a real pain to work those out a few months down the line (or 8 in my case!) and keep the flow of the page! 😉

  4. Ida Rosberg

    This is soon great! It is always fun to see someone else does project life! I’m starting to think that my pages looks too similar to each other… I have to mix it up some! Thanks for great tips!