create,  photography,  scrapbook

scrapbooking an entire year in five hours

A while back I posted a picture of my finished Project Life 2013 album that I completed in about 5 hours. Later, Becky Higgins reposted the picture to her Facebook, twitter and Instagram and there were many comments that followed. Some didn’t believe that I did it in 5 hours. Some asked how I did it. Others said they could never do it. So, I’m here to give a few tips and tricks on how I did it, so that maybe you feel like you could too.

project life bahamas I’ve done Project Life for 4 years now. I used to do traditional scrapbooking with papers and embellishments, but it got to be too time consuming for me as a wife, mother and business owner. So I started doing Project Life and was instantly hooked. I love how easy and convenient it is, having everything right there in the core kit (minus the album and plastics, which you can choose according to preference).

Project Life cruise project life cruise 2
FAQ about how I did 400+ pictures in 5 hours:

Does your 5 hours include your photo editing time?
No, truthfully I don’t do much editing to my photos because I’m lazy in that way. I usually take the photos as they’re shot in the camera. I organize my photos on my computer according to year and then month (in folders) so I can easily go through the year month by month and put what I want to print into a “print” folder for when I’m ready to upload. This doesn’t take very long, because I’m not editing every picture.

project life warm winter project life snap conferenceWhat prep work do you do to get ready to scrapbook?
I first take my pictures out and organize them by event on my kitchen table. I’m not one to put them in the book in exact chronological order, I do it more by season so that it’s less pressure to get the dates exactly right. I put each event in a pile and then organize the piles by season – once they’re organized by event & season, I stagger them on top of each other so that they’re ready to put in the book. After that I surround myself with chairs from my kitchen table and put all of my different designs of plastics around me. That way I can easily take out what I want.

project life spring project life summerExplain your process:
I take my first pile of pictures for an event (or if it’s just one picture of an event, I’ll put events together to make one spread). Once I see if my pictures are portrait or landscape, I plan out which plastics will work best for those pictures. I cut down any pictures that need to be cut to fit into the smaller spaces and simply slide them in. I used to round the corners of my pictures, but don’t do that any more. Time saver! Once the pictures are in, I do any journaling to explain them. I do very little journaling, most of the time the pictures speak for themselves. And who am I kidding? My kids like to look at the pictures, not read what I write. If there’s something that needs explained or a location noted, I’ll do that. Otherwise I don’t do much journaling, which also saves time.

project life summer 2 project life summer 3Any tips for us?
1. give yourself some time to work so that you’re not dragging out your pictures and supplies over and over. I knew that I had time between lunch and dinner so I cranked my book out!

2. try not to focus on enjoying your pictures right then…I told my son who was very eager to look at the pictures that we’d enjoy them together when I got all done. It’s hard to do, because you want to cherish the memories, but you just really have to focus if you want to complete your book quickly. If you don’t care how long it takes you – then sit with a cup of coffee and cherish your pictures as you put them in your album. I was all about efficiency, so ain’t nobody got time for that when you’re rushing to get a book done before the next thing (laundry, cooking, etc) needs to be done.

3. don’t put pressure on yourself…get done what you can. I have a few pages from previous years that I know still need journaled. I’m just not that worried about it. Those holes will get filled eventually. Right now I’m happy knowing that my years are memorialized in a book that we can all enjoy whenever we want to. We can smile and laugh at the pictures from the past few years instead of dragging out my computer or a box full of unorganized pictures. No pressure. Do what you can do.

4. have fun. The process of memory keeping is supposed to bring a smile to your face. Enjoy what you’re doing, whatever the process or program that you’re using.

project life car show project life swimmingAny other scrapbooking or Project Life questions for me? Leave me a comment and I’ll respond here so everyone can see them! If you’re a PL user I’d love to know that too.

(by the way, this is not a paid ad for Project Life, Becky doesn’t know I’m posting it…
I simply love this product and want to share it with everyone because it’s saves me
tons of time and money!)


  • Ashley Flores

    Thanks for this! I’ve been thinking about doing this but didn’t know if it was worth the money. You really make it seem like it can be much easier than I’ve seen before. With a newborn, I really want to make sure I have her growing up documented in an easy way that we can look back on in the future.

    ((oh, found you through the Power Sheets group:-) ))

    • Amy Cornwell

      So glad you found me! Yes, it’s so easy. You really can make it as simple as sliding the pictures in, writing a few words and done. Some people go all out with their PL albums by adding embellishments and other cool things (like Ali Edwards, her pages are gorgeous) but I’m all about simple and quick. I HIGHLY recommend it and will probably use PL for the rest of my life (seriously)!

  • Michele

    After Creative Memories went bankrupt, the new company that emerged called Ahni and Zoe by Creative Memories is doing something similar. I do enjoy the journaling because I love to write. I would love to get all of my pictures in albums the quickest way possible.

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