Pocket Scrapbooking with Project Life

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organizing plastics

If you’re gathering quite the collection of “plastics” (Page Protectors, Photo Pocket Pages), you’re probably ready to get them in some sort of order. That’s me for sure. I was starting to feel like if my plastics were better organized and therefore more accessible, it’s just a more convenient and smarter system. Right? So this is what I did … and perhaps what some of you have done as well.


The Classic Faux Leather Album, as seen in our CHA-Winter catalog (found on the sidebar of our Products page), will be available in May. The Scrapbook Dividers are currently available on Amazon, and also coming to stores in May. The package of 15 dividers comes with the label stickers. You can see that I organized the plastics by having each size/design in its own labeled section.






That’s it. Easy-peasy. Simple. Organized. I took these pictures half-way through my organizing, so you’re just seeing the different sizes of Page Protectors. I will fill a second album with all the Photo Pocket Pages and the labels will be labeled with A, B, C …

PS – The Project Life Slick Writer pen? That shows up in May too.  : )

Anyone else have an organizational tip for storing plastics before they’re filled and placed in a scrapbook?


51 Responses

  1. Cat Mitchell says:

    I keep all my PL stuff in a crate and the plastics go at the back. Since I have a few small boxes in there, it makes the plastics stand up. I took 12 x 12 paper and made tabs at the top for labels (design A, etc.). It works better than an album for me since everything I need for PL is in my pretty crate. Check out the end of this post for some visuals on my system. I hope this helps someone else get organized to do PL!

    • Alison says:

      Cat, thanks for sharing a link to your blog. I loved browsing and enjoying your creative inspiration. Alison, Australia

    • brandi@beckyhiggins.com says:

      Super cute Cat! Your system looks perfect for you, since you incorporate other scrapbooking supplies too.

  2. Brenda says:

    Hi Becky,
    You just organized your plastics the way I’ve done it since the start. It works great. It’s so much easier to grab a page protector this way than trying to find the right package and then fidding with the plastic around it or the boxes. Great system.
    Brenda in Canada

  3. Kait says:

    Awesome idea! I have an extra binder right now so I’m totally going to use it to store my extra plastics too! I have had a dedicated drawer for just plastics but it has lacked organization. Thanks for the tip!

  4. Kristen says:

    Omg, such an awesome idea!

  5. Shannon says:

    Will there be a WHITE slick writer too?!!

    • Sandy says:

      oh! yes, i white slick writer, that would be awesome. it’s so hard to find a good white marker

  6. Missy says:

    Well, how clever is that!!! Awesome, practical and easy. I have mine stacked in a crate, so I have to pull each one out to find what I am looking for. Then you have to open up the package sleeve each time. If you take them out of the sleeves then they slip and slide on top of each other. I already have extra dividers and a binder. So there you go! Thanks for sharing!

    I have noticed something on the last order of sleeves I purchased with the Seafoam edition. The texture of the Design A box of 60 is very different. It almost has a “tacky” feel to the plastic. This does help prevent them from slipping and sliding on one another, but they feel like there is something on them and they need to be cleaned- if that makes sense. This batch also has a very strong odor. I have purchased oodles of plastics from you, but this last batch was very different. The quality is still very good. I just wanted to provide that feedback. This is my 5th year of PL! Lovin’ it!

    • Kelly Fergie says:

      I found my new plastics to be the same Missy! I wondered if it was due to the new manufacturer or a faulty batch?

    • Cat Mitchell says:

      Mine had the same feel too!

    • Cheryl says:

      Mine are the same way!! They stick together and are not smooth and glossy like the other ones. I don’t like them at all. I put them aside and will only use them in case of emergency.

    • Ali says:

      I too noticed that. The plastic is very different, almost glassine like. I have only just started using them and I am still unsure whether I like them or not.

    • Minnie says:

      Yes I have found the same, got to say I don’t really like that too much. I preferred the ones with a ” cleaner feel”

    • Sheila says:

      Mine were the same too. I even ordered a second box (thinking the first was a bad batch) but they were the same. The smell disappeared after they aired out but I’m not sure I love the feel…

    • SueTR says:

      I had the same thoughts as well…thought it was just me (!)

  7. Stacy says:

    This is an awesome idea! I’m gonna have to get some extra binders, but this would make things much easier than sifting through loose pages while I work on my book. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Karen C says:

    Love this idea! Thanks for sharing.

  9. Jennie says:

    Pure AWESOMENESS! Thanks for sharing!

    • MB says:

      My sister has the same system (that I’m going to steal) but her additional piece is that she added a mini-picture of each plastic on a postit for each in addition to its name (A, B, C, etc.) It works well.

  10. Rhonda O says:

    I have mine in hanging file folders that accommodate 12×12 paper and such. Of course each hanging file is labeled with the size. This way, I can simply thumb through and pull out the plastic size I need. Convenient if you have this available to you and feel it save an extra step of opening and closing the 3 ring album.

    Another option is keeping the smaller packaged plastics (not the box of 60) in the sleeves they come in but keep them open (or take them out and use stiffer packaging material as dividers) and put in a cropper hopper “magazine type” holder or get a US Postal box cut to mimic it and stack them in there. Take the plastics out of the box of 60 and insert in between the stiffer smaller packaging to “hold them up.” Label the sections and have easy access to your plastics.

    Thanks and good luck organizing :) Rhonda

  11. Rosa Neno says:

    Very smart idea. Neat & organized.

  12. Judy N. says:

    I really like this idea! I have all my page protectors in a project box and I have to dig through them for the ones I want. I’ve been trying to think of another way to organize them and this looks like it will be perfect. I love Project Life! I’m getting old photos in albums AND staying caught up on my week-to-week current pics as well. Thank you!

  13. Lynnsey says:

    Just did this exact thing last weekend! It took about an hour for me sort thru all my plastics and organize them in an extra PL binder I had. I also had some extra dividers I wasn’t using and I just put Washi tape on the tabs and used a marker on the tape to write the letter. I put them in alphabetical order.

    I did some scrapbooking on Sunday and I can’t tell you the time this project has saved me!! Having all the plastics in a binder was very useful, I can’t think of another way to organize them that would make more sense. I wish I had thought of it earlier because I too was shuffling thru each individual plastic pack everytime I needed something. I was waiting for the day when I would have access to individual drawers in a special cart I was going to buy to organize these – but this works much better – and cheaper!

  14. I feel like a freakin’ GENIUS right now! I’ve been organizing my plastics this way for almost a year! WOOT WOOT! ;)

  15. Dionne says:

    This is how I’ve got mine organized as well. I’ve been doing this since I started PL and it’s been working great for me.

  16. marci357 says:

    I have mine stacked on a shelf in the 12×12 boxes…horizontal.
    I cut one flap of the box so it will lift up….
    Write on the flap the letter of the page…
    and have a chart on the door of the shelf unit that shows me the Letters with the formats.
    It is easy to just flip up a flap and pull out the sheets I need without ever moving the boxes.
    And because I have ordered so many times… I have lots of EXTRA 12×12 boxes available for this project :)

    • Ali says:

      I do something similar. Having done PL for a few years now I have a couple of the boxes from the 60 page protector sets. I keep all my PPs in their original packaging (I cut off the sticky strip as it’s annoying on a day to day basis!), and I write the types of PPs (ie sizes) on the outside of the box. These boxes sit underneath my various PL kit boxes.

      For me to use a binder and dividers it would cost me almost $60 (USD) as I am an international customer and we pay higher prices plus shipping than US customers able to buy on Amazon….

  17. Sara says:

    I totally did the same thing a few months ago when the white binders went on sale. I’m feeling really smart now!!!

  18. Laura says:

    Do you know what stores will carry Project Life??

  19. julie says:

    i sorted my plastics just this last weekend, i had many of them in their mixed 12 x 12 boxes and some in a binder, but it sometimes annoyed me having to open another big 12 x 12 album to get out a wee 6×6 sleeve, so i went with magazine style holders from Stampin Up ( they do both 12 x12 and 81/2 x11)
    I used cardboard as dividers and wrote the letter of the design and a wee sketch of the style on a circle that i added at the top like a tab – looks tidy and i think it will be quick to flick through.

    thanks for making SO MANY great designs for us all :> Julie

  20. Megan says:

    I LOVE this idea! Can not wait to use it :) Thanks for sharing so many of your own organizing ideas & tips.

  21. Ali says:

    Oh, and another idea I had was to print the illustrations of each page protector’s layout onto a sheet of paper, and then I wrote the identifying letter next to it. This is pinned above my desk and so I find I use a variety as this sheet inspires me to mix up my layouts.

    Maybe Becky could create a PDF of the different layouts so we could all pin this up?!

    • Alanna N says:

      I created a PDF recently. Am happy to share it with you. I tried to submit it to Becky’s FB page but I was unable. I’m only new to PL so it might not be complete, but it has all the designs and then a list of the non-divided pages as well. If this will be of help to you – please let me know your email addy and I am happy to send it to you :)

    • Ali says:

      Hi Alanna
      Thanks for your offer. I have created my own and find it super useful. You should email your PDF to Becky as I am sure it would be useful for lots of PLers

  22. J3SS1C4 says:

    I love this idea… I organised my page protectors like this about 3 years ago when I was first getting into different sized pages in albums, and I’ve loved it ever since! I don’t acutally use the divided tabs, since I love the different sizes in the album anyway

  23. Becky you just demonstrated how I have always organised my plastics. It has worked wonders for me. Great minds think alike. :)

  24. Chris says:

    I organize mine like this as well, however I placed a full size 12×12 sleeve in between each design and drew a picture of how the pockets were so I can flip thru and figure out what I want. I can’t keep the names of the designs straight. I also keep the ones that are not 12×12 in a separate smaller binder so if I want a full sheet I go for the big binder and for an insert sheet I go for the small one.

  25. Felicia Young says:

    This is an awesome idea! I am getting a collection and I was wondering what I should do. Thanks for the idea!

  26. Julie Staub says:

    Since I made the commitment to Project Life as our overall scrapbooking/memorykeeping system, I have a LOT of plastics. Just decided to use stacking 12×12 paper trays to hold page protectors. I can label the ends of the trays and it is an easier “grab and go” than reopening each box as I work.

  27. SueTR says:

    I did EXACTLY the same thing a few weeks ago…I was ordering a number of Albums off of Amazon and found the cheapest 12×12 I could get my hands on and ordered that for keeping my plastics in (bonus is it’s still a great useable album) I have tons and tons of plastics so the big 12×12 go in the 12×12 album and I have a regular notebook sized binder for the smaller plastics. The full size 12×12 and the envelope pages I just keep flat in their boxes on a shelf but it makes such a difference to have them not sliding around in a big pile!

  28. […] as many Project Life examples as well as other everyday things.  She recently posted about an organizing system she uses for her page protectors, and it seemed so simple but SO much more organized than what my system is.  I need to get to […]

  29. […] Becky Higgins has a great piece on sorting/storing Project Life plastics […]

  30. Tina says:

    I have purchased my first project life & can’t wait to get started! My question is can I just start with current photos? I know it is meant to be started in January but I don’t have those photos organized.

    But I feel strange starting mid year. Is that ok to do??



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