how to set up a baby album
Quite a while ago we released the highly-anticipated Baby Editions of Project Life®. What a thrill to see so many of you preserve your baby memories with this back-to-basics system. We love, love, love the gorgeous designs by Lili Niclass but knew it was time to refresh the design work for the baby theme. While these are sold out in most places, no worries!
Baby Editions are still here
1. We still do have the Baby Edition for HIM Mini Kit and the Baby Edition for HER Mini Kit available. With 100 cards per Mini Kit, you can still get your hands on these awesome cards, even if it’s not a full Core Kit.
2. You can still get the Baby Editions in digital format. Those aren’t going away anytime soon!
3. The Baby Editions have made it to the Project Life app! Oh yes. New mamas are loving this ability to scrapbook on their mobile device, no question about it. Haven’t really seen how the app works? Check out this video.
4. We have re-designed the Baby Editions (two different color palettes – one for boys, one for girls) and we’re just weeks away from the big announcement about those collections that will be arriving in the spring. We’re bursting at the seams to tell you WHO designed these and simply can’t wait to share the awesomeness with you. So hang in there… those are coming soon!
Setting up a baby album
We get lots of requests for help in setting up a baby album. We’re in the business of helping people have success with their memory keeping, so keep reading! A while back (and before I had an in-house photographer taking much better pictures for me)… I wrote a blog post that walks you layout to layout and how I would recommend setting up the album and how I designed it to all flow and work together. Because of some technical / backend issues, we’re not able to successfully link to that old post, so we’re just sharing it again. What’s old is new again, friends! Here you go!
How this post applies to you
There are a few ways to look at this information / inspiration. One of these will likely apply to you.
1. I have a friend who would love this as a gift.
2. I have a baby and want to document his or her life along the way.
3. I’m going to have a baby soon and this would be perfect for me.
4. I have a baby (or babies) … that are now much, much older (not a baby at all), but I’d still love to go back and get those photos + memories into an album.
5. I am interested in getting my own baby pictures into an album.
That said, I want to share with you my own personal experience of putting together a baby Project Life album as a GIFT. I did this whole thing in less than two hours and it’s completely ready to slip those pictures into the album, start to finish, without having to do anything other than jot down the notes and memories and stories about Baby’s First Year.
Before I dive in, I want to emphasize that the Baby Edition – just like every other edition of Project Life – is designed with flexibility. This means that once the product is in your hands, it’s yours to do whatever you want. Leave it simple or get creative. Do what motivates you to actually do it. That’s the key.
When I designed the organization + content + functionality of the Baby Edition, there was a great deal of thought and several revisions that went into that process before I even had our wonderful designer Lili Niclass work on the graphic designs and color palettes. I’ll spare you the details of that process, but I think you’ll LOVE that there are so many details in the Baby Edition of Project Life that will HELP you recall those baby memories you want to record — particularly the journaling prompts sprinkled throughout the cards.
step by step, one layout at a time
As with any other Project Life album, there are three components you need – and nothing else (unless you WANT to add more): Album + Project Life Core Kit + Big Pack of Photo Pocket Pages (which comes with 60 pages, a perfect fit for 1 album).
Step 1: Place all the Photo Pocket Pages in the album and open your Core Kit.
In every Project Life Core Kit, you’ll find a list of contents so you’ll have an overview of what’s there.
Step 2: Place all the First Page cards + Last Page cards in the respective pockets. There are (8) 4×6 cards and (8) 3×4 cards on the top of the stacks that are designed for the First Page and Last Page of the album. You’ll know because they’re indicated as such on the back of each of those cards and therefore look different than all the other cards in the box.
Step 3: If you have a place to spread out (remember – it’s temporary if you want to knock this out in one sitting) … spread out all the cards that are specific Prompt Cards. These are different than typical Journaling Cards because instead of just having lines and designs, they actually include a prompt on the card.
Step 4: As for the rest of those cards that are “just” Journaling Cards (no prompts) … go ahead and get those out, too. Because there are several of each of those designs, I like putting them out in little stacks so I can have an overview of all that is available to me at any given time while I’m slipping cards into pockets. You may notice that I even flipped over most of those to see a glimpse of what the back of the card is since I always have the option with each and every card.
Step 5: Place the rest of the cards in pockets. The following layouts show you what I had in mind for the entire album, layout by layout. Like I said, you don’t have to follow this, but for those of you who appreciate some guidance … this is for you. ; ) NOTE: Every space that is WHITE represents where a photo goes.
Your Heritage. This layout gives an overview of those who came before Baby, so Baby has a little background on his or her ancestors. Obviously, the Baby Edition is just as popular for adopted children as well. This can be applicable as you see fit. Include pictures of grandparents and beyond, if you want.
Story of Us. This layout is dedicated to Baby’s parents and gives you the chance to add pictures and anecdotes about Mom and Dad. They’re a pretty important part of Baby’s story, too, after all.
Our Family. Whoever Baby’s family is … that’s what this layout is for. Think cousins and other extended family … of course siblings and immediate family.
Expecting You. Those months leading up to Baby’s arrival, including, of course, the pregnancy.
Being Showered. If there was a baby shower or celebration in honor of mom-to-be, great. Even if there wasn’t, this is a great place to include any service that was rendered to the family during those weeks and months leading up to Baby’s arrival.
Gifts. You know … like the stuff people gave to Baby and the parents-to-be – before or after the arrival.
Birth Day. Speaking of arrival … this layout is for the big day. I think it’s a great place to “set the scene” of that day before getting to the pictures of Baby actually showing up.
Your Arrival. NOW Baby actually appears in his or her Baby Album! You see, everything to this point tells the story of the people and circumstances that led to this beautiful little person coming into the world. Now we’re focusing the majority of our attention in the album on Baby.
The Day You Were Born. A little more on the details about that very special occasion.
Your Very First Days of Life. Bringing Baby home from the hospital or in some cases for some babies – perhaps an extended period of time at the hospital.
First Home. About Baby’s first home, first town, first surroundings.
Your Bedroom. Maybe Baby had a decked-out nursery or maybe they slept in Mom & Dad’s closet for several months. Plus, we are now getting to the Time Capsule (right side). All the little details of when Baby was born and what the world was like at that time. If you’re going back to past years … no problem. Just google that year and there are lots of sites that are literally time capsules of main events, headline news, popular people, books, movies, fashion, cost of living, etc.
Blessing/Christening. If this is a religious practice in your family and part of Baby’s life, we have a card for each occasion. Take your pick or just don’t use these 2 cards.
Miscellaneous. The Baby Core Kit comes with plenty of Title Cards that are generic – not specific. Same with some of the prompts that are not necessarily “time specific” or pertinent to any sort of “chronology” of the story. Use those however you want to fill in details of Baby’s story.
Month 1. Now we head into the month-by-month layouts for Baby’s First Year. If you’re going back to your own babyhood, chances are you don’t have pictures for every month of your first year … or at least they’re not likely labeled accordingly. No problem. Just don’t use the month cards. But if you’re setting this up for your baby (or a friend’s), you can plan to just have a single layout per month which would be an overview of the highlights, memories, milestones, etc. from that month. Or – of course you can add additional layouts. NOTE: “Month 1” can mean the first month or at the month one mark or whatever makes the most sense to you. I like to use these cards as “this is the first month in your life, this is the 2nd month in your life…”
This is an example of extending beyond just one layout. You’d simply have pictures and journaling cards as needed.
Month 2. I’m just repeating the same idea here. Title Card in the upper left, the “Highlights & Milestones” card in the bottom right (there’s one for each month), and all the pictures and journaling cards in the other pockets.
Again – this is just “another” layout that doesn’t need a title because it’s part of “Month 2.”
Month 3. Same thing. Repeat, repeat, repeat until you get through Month 12. Then any other “filler” layouts you want. There will be special occasions that might warrant a full layout, for example. Whatever you want to do.
Last Page. This is it. The end to the album – but not the story, of course.
You truly can summarize Baby’s First Year in one album. I know some of you have hundreds of darling pictures of your baby that are just so cute … and how can you possibly narrow down!? You can. Begin with the end in mind. It’s just the first year. Baby will undoubtedly be so grateful that he or she has an album FULL of pictures and stories. You can totally narrow down. And if you just can’t … well then, spill into a second album and that’s okay, too! It’s YOUR Project Life.
If you’re interested to see how I personally used Baby Project Life with actual pictures (for our son, Crew), you can catch that on You Tube.