Pocket Scrapbooking with Project Life

Cultivate a good life and record it.



stories of home – the end result

Can you imagine with me for just a moment?

Imagine you came across a book that had picture of your grandmother’s home from 20, 40, 60 years ago. She photographed the little table in the corner with a hand-crocheted doilie and a lamp passed down from her own mother. She photographed the kitchen sink filled with dishes that she needed to wash by hand. She photographed the telephone, attached to the wall of course – and you would see the manual dial that’s nearly extinct now – because the photo showed that detail.

If you’re like me, coming across this would be an absolute treasure. I would be fascinated with the details, and the stories of her home. I would learn about how their family lived, and would be interested in the anecdotes about how they acquired certain furnishings that were special to them.

This is the perspective I keep when I approach memory-keeping. I want to document what I think will be meaningful for my children. And my children’s children. And so forth. But I don’t just document for future generations. I firmly believe that the very act of documenting life – right here and now – makes you more keenly aware of how blessed you are. And that means greater joy in life.

Last week I shared my Stories of Home initiative. Today I’m following up to share with you the “end result” with this little project. Taking pictures around your house is pretty cool. Really. You may or may not be convinced that this is a meaningful task – but trust me on this one. Sharing those pictures via social media (like I did the other day) is nice, and it allows friends and family (or strangers) gain some insight about your home.

But fast forward 50 years. Maybe I’m still kicking it at 86 years old – or maybe I’m not around anymore. Obviously I don’t know. And technology? Yeah. Things will be different in 50 years – that I do know. What will become of the photos we have stored on computers and hard drives? We just don’t know. Technology is ever-evolving.

Today I want to encourage you to consider printing your photos – especially if it’s been a while. I know, I know. That feels like a daunting task to some. Which is why I’m sharing with you this one little project that is totally do-able, really fun, and absolutely meaningful. Let me flip through the pages of my own Mini Album and then I’ll share tips on getting this done yourself – in a snap.

SOH1 cropped

SOH3 cropped













I’ll stop there. That’s surely going to give you a pretty good feel for how my Mini Album turned out.

Interested in doing something like this? Regardless of where you live, whether you’re in a little apartment or your dream house … this will be worthwhile. Okay – here we go. I’ll share the supplies you need and the steps to get there so you can having one of these sitting on your coffee table in no time.  : )


{ stories of home: 4 things you need }

(1) Project Life® Mini Album – We have at least 8 color options available on Amazon.com right now. I chose Cinnamon. When you go to our Products page just check out the “Binders & Mini Albums” and there you’ll see each of the colors, with direct links to Amazon for your convenience. And … the Photo Pocket Pages are sewn into the album, so you don’t need to purchase any of those. It’s all-inclusive in the Project Life® Mini Album. Sweet!

(80) Project Life® 3×4 cards – Which ones? Where do you find them? A couple thoughts on that: 1) Many of you have lots of Project Life® in your stash. You can certainly pull from what you already have. If this is all new to you (welcome!) … you simply choose the Project Life® Core Kit of your choice (you can see many of them on the Products page) … and pull from that. Good luck deciding! No matter which edition you choose, you’ll still have plenty of cards leftover for other scrapbooking, or notes, or other projects. I chose the Seafoam Edition for my project. I love the simplicity of the designs and felt the colors went well with my pictures.

(1) Stories of Home card set (FREE) – We designed an exclusive set of a few cards, shown in the cover & first page of my own Stories of Home album. You can find the little collection HERE on DigitalProjectLife.com. Don’t let the “digital” part intimidate you if you’re not much of a digital scrapbooker. Simply download the freebie and there’s a PDF ready to print on your own home printer. No quirky tricks or re-sizing or Photoshop necessary. Just print & trim. We even made them black & white in case your printer isn’t a color laser.

(1) Your camera – You already have one. And it doesn’t haven to be fancy. In fact, chances are – the one on your cell phone works pretty great. I personally used my iPhone 5 for every single picture in my Stories of Home Mini Album. And they’re great.


{ stories of home: 5 steps to creating a mini album }

1. Walk around. Snap away. Literally. Just stroll through your house and take pictures of rooms, corners, closets, counter tops, inside drawers … details, details, details. Just about everything in your home has a story. To fill an entire Mini Album, you’ll need (80) 4×6 photos. You may think there aren’t that many pictures to take – and I think you’ll be surprised once you start snapping. Horizontal format is preferred. Notice many of my pictures aren’t necessarily “pretty”. I’m not going for a model home portfolio book here. I’m going for STORIES of our home. The messes, the un-finished projects, the parts we like, the parts that need some help …

2. Print the pictures. Just like you normally do … however you do it. Upload your images online, or run to the one-hour photo counter. Whichever you prefer. I personally have really enjoyed printing my photos with Persnickety Prints. Excellent customer service, great quality, and they’re super quick (in case you want a recommendation). They even have the “Project Life” option if you want the corners to be rounded just like our Project Life cards.

3. Print the Stories of Home cards. Like I said, easy-breezy. Just print the PDF and trim to fit. There’s a little 3×4 card for the cover of your Mini Album, a 4×6 Title Card, and a couple 3×4 cards also designed for the title page. I left my corners square, but if you have the itch to round your corners … remember that the official Project Life® Corner Rounder punch is coming in about a month or so.


4. Slip everything into pockets. Photos + cards. Slip them in. That is all. Super not hard at all. The kids can help. There doesn’t have to be any rhyme or reason to which cards go with which pictures. Don’t over-think it.

5. Write. One card at a time, write a quick story, note, caption, anecdote … whatever you want to call it … about that photo. It’s a little card. We’re not writing essays here. You don’t have to be a specially-skilled writer. Just write what’s going on in the picture. Where did you get that sofa? Who made that wreath? How long has it been since you organized the junk drawer? Which items are most treasured? Why did you frame that picture? Does anyone spend much time in that room? How many years have you had that bedding?


Notice that none of my steps required special tools, crazy gadgets, or a smorgasboard of supplies. That’s because I love, love, love simple. And fast. And done. However … if you are feeling the itch to get creative, or tap into that stash of embellishments you’ve been wanting to use … by all means, go for it.

Are you inspired? Will you do this? If you do, and you want to share the end result with us – anyone is welcome to email a couple photos to submissions@beckyhiggins.com. No deadline. No contest. Just an opportunity to share with us so that perhaps we can turn around and share some of your Stories of Home Mini Albums with everyone.


50 Responses

  1. Theresa says:

    I’m in!!! What a great idea! Thanks for the cards to get started…

  2. Emma says:

    Great idea, we are hoping to sell our home of 12 years this spring. We have been married while living here, had babies, lost parents, been through a terrible tragedy and so many great times. Our home is so worth documenting, Thanks Becky!

  3. Sue says:

    What a fabulous project. And I could knock that off in a weekend. Love love love your system and can’t wait to do this.

  4. Susan says:

    I have already documented my garden so now the house. ! Thanks Becky.

  5. Christin Dukes says:

    Loved looking at your album! Will definitely be doing this project. Thanks for the inspiration Becky!

  6. Karina says:

    One of my goals this year is to make a home book. THis is a great reminder that I need to get started…NOW!

  7. Arlene says:

    Thank you so much for the idea and the Cards!! Just getting ready to document the sale of my house where I raised my children. Perfect timing!

  8. Doorly Winegar says:

    I love this idea! We are a military family and have moved 8 times in 10 years! Yikes!!! I have snapshots of those different homes, but I will definitely start this tradition as I know our moving days are not over. Though it is tedious, I am grateful the military has allowed us to have so many great adventures.

  9. Love it and the cards! Thank you!

  10. amyptucson says:

    Thanks for the adorable cards! I was inspired before to do this project, but now I have that little extra push! Great idea!

  11. Wynell Keel says:

    I love your album & it reminded me of some pictures I took of my Grandmother’s house after she died in 2006, but before anything was removed & it was sold. I spent a lot of hours at my Grandparents’ house…they only lived a block away from our house! This would be a perfect way to record those pictures & the stories they remind me of when I was growing up. The people who bought the house have completely redone so much of the outside…don’t know about the inside. I still have wonderful memories though every time I pass by it.
    We’ve lived in our house 31 years & raised 4 kids here. I’ve taken pictures all along the way in different stages of being! I’ll have to pull all those out & do another album of our house.
    You are so creatively talented & so down to earth at the same time. I appreciate how you share the everyday with all of us.
    Also, thanks for the cards for us to use!!

  12. jerri says:

    I NEED to do this! My dad built our house in 1958 and I have a few pictures of the actual construction as well as throughout the time our family of four lived there. When mom moved into a retirement home (then into a nursing home) 6 years ago, I took many pictures of the way that house ‘was’ at that time as well as how it looked after the ‘stuff’ was gone. It was bittersweet to lock the door for the last time and walk away.

    THANK YOU for the idea and visual of how to do this!

  13. Shawni Reynolds says:

    Super excited! I must now do this with every home we live in from here on out.. yay Military life! :P

  14. Whitney says:

    Love, love, love this idea! Oh how I wish my Gram had made a scrapbook like this! Tomorrow is my birthday, so I think my present to myself should be to buy one of your albums and make one of these books! Thank you for the great inspiration an for the free cards! You rock!

  15. PInk Ronnie says:

    Wonderful idea, Becky!
    Ronnie xo

  16. Joy Deaton says:


  17. Caroline says:

    LOVE the idea!
    I’ve been inspired by these cards to use the Project Life system to create an album about our house renos. Now to find some other PL style cards that are renovation/house themed ;)

  18. Michele says:

    Such a great idea. It is sooooo important to Print pictures and this is such a great record if every day life.

  19. Missy says:

    In 2006 both my mother and grandmother died within months of each other. The morning after each of them died I took a camera and in every single room I stood in the 4 corners and took photos. No one had been there, no one had changed or moved anything. The houses stood, just as mom and Nonnie lived in them the day before.

    I have scrapped both of those houses and the subsequent repairs and selling of them. They are some of my favorite photos ever.

    I always say, it’s the little things in life that mean the most. I also encourage my daughter, when she goes to church camp, to take photos of the dorms, the lunch room, the bathrooms…she will remember the experience better with silly pics like that. 4 years later she is beginning to believe me.

  20. Ruth says:

    What a wonderful idea! I’ve lived in my house for 8 years and it’s the only home our son has ever known, yet it only appears as a background to our lives. Time to rectify that. Thank you!

  21. Vivian says:

    What a great idea. Thank you for the jump start with the cards.

  22. dawn says:

    I joined you on this day too and love my pictures. What a great album this is Becky, I love the freebies your sharing with us for it, THANK YOU!! Can’t wait to get started on making our little “home” album.

    Read thru these comments above and so touching and special some of them were, thanks for inspiring so many of us!!

  23. Brenda R says:

    I’ve been taking these sorts of pictures for years, now I just need to take a few more and I finally have a place to put them all! Such a fabulous idea, thanks again Becky!

  24. Debi Griffin says:

    I just bought a house built in 1941 and am doing lots of before/after pictures. This would be a great way to create my before/after album to show off my work! :)

  25. Jacqueline R says:

    I love this project! Thank you so much for sharing your album and the free printables!

  26. Ebony says:

    Thank you so much for shaing this Becky! It’s such a great idea and I’m gonna have to had this to my project list:-)

  27. LinhC says:

    We moved a lot when I was a kid, and I often wished that I had photos of what our homes were like.

  28. TZ says:

    Becky ..
    I have to say you absolutely AMAZE me … I loved looking at your pictures last week of your home and I have to admit I laughed at some of them … my husband has never been able to understand the piles on the stairs (or at the top) and yet boom .. you have those piles too!!!! Your photos made me feel normal on those “everyday” organizational piles “around the house”. Juggling a household / work / kids is such a challenge!! What has amazed me today is the book you put together since last weeks photos were posted … I have to ask the question that I bet everyone on your post is wondering: when do you put these books together? You have 3 kids & a booming business that clearly keeps you very busy. how do you squeeze it in?

    I work full time and have 2 kids .. i printed photos 2 weeks ago & there they sit! I am determined to switch to PL & have 4 kits and still saying “when am I going to fit this in” with the exception of staying up all night? Do you have any hints you can share: do you spend an hour a day? after the kids are tucked in? during the day?

    Thanks for sharing (and letting me share too :-) )


  29. deb says:

    Pictures Taken!
    Download Complete!
    Album – will purchase tomorrow!
    Photos will be printed at my fav spot, Archivers!
    Cards printed!
    But here’s my question, they printed on a full 8×11 and not the PL size. Whats the trick?

  30. Alison says:


  31. Leanne in CA says:

    I love this! It will be totally cool to see it 50 years from now. Wish we had something like this from 50 years ago. Thanks for sharing!!

  32. Nancy C. says:

    I totally love this! And you are so right, what a treasure it would be to go back and look at the homes of our ancestors. In fact, over the years I have taken many miscellaneous pictures of my Grandma’s home and things in the home because those are the treasured memories I have. She passed away last year and this is perfect for what I had planned in my mind but wasn’t sure how I would do it! This is perfect! Thank you Becky!

  33. Scrapflicka says:

    Love this. This is the reason why I don’t have “pretty” pictures in my PL album but picture that will document the true story. I want messy backgrounds, people without make up, piles of laundry in there because that is part of what I want to remember. If I snap a photo of us having breakfast I don’t crop it so you can only see our faces. I want the milkcartons, our everyday china and the not so nice wallpaper in our old kitchen to show because they are worth remembering too and I know the kids will love it when they flip through the albums in 30 years from now.
    I will definitley do this in our house but also in my parens as they still live in the house where I grew up.

  34. Vi says:

    This is a wonderful idea!

    I’m about to move in with my boyfriend of almost 3 years in our first apartment together. I think I will do a mini album documenting our momentous move-in, and then another album after we’ve lived together for a year, telling all the Stories of Home we’re sure to have accumulated.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  35. KatieK. says:

    Simple project with lots of meaning – can’t wait to try out my new Zink printer to get it done fast. Thanks Becky for sharing both.

  36. Tracy says:

    Thank you for the cards Becky…this is a great idea! My mom passed away last November…my Dad still has the house pretty much how she kept it. I’m heading over there to take all kinds of pictures for my kids ( in their early 20’s) to remember Grams house the way she had it. Then I’ll do our house. Thanks again.

  37. Robyn says:

    Love this idea! I’m also going to include pictures from our yard, and save some spaces for Holiday photos as well. (Halloween, Xmas, Easter) to include!

  38. Vickie says:

    I’ve been snapping photos this morning. I even went downstairs and took pictures of some pretty scary places! This is going to be a fun project. Thank you for the idea and for the free downloads. I’ve got the Dear Lizzy/Blush mini album from HSN. Hopefully the pink will look okay for this type of album.

  39. […] wonderful ideas about capturing memories on her blog. I just read a great post on her blog about stories of home. If you ever are looking for inspiration on capturing life, you should check out her […]

  40. cindy b says:

    I LOVE this idea about making an album about our home… however, it will take me forever to clean my house to take pictures because it always, always seems to be in “tornado mode!” :)

  41. Nicole says:

    Love what you have done here. I know looking back on some of the pictures I have of myself as a kid, I can see the stereo or TV in the background, and point them out to my kids. They are shocked at some of it.

    I love the reality you photographed. Not model home, as you say. And I love that you used your own handwriting (and cell phone). Thanks for sharing this.

    One question, is there a Project Life mini album option on Shutterfly?

  42. pamela says:

    Just started Project Life this weekend and it’s going to be a busy year, heavy investment but the return is just so so worth it! Looking at lots of great inspiration around the blog!

  43. Rhonda says:

    Becky – this is such a great idea! I can’t tell you how much I wish now that I had taken pictures of all the places (dorm rooms and apartments) I lived in while in college (30 years ago!). For all you young ones out there, you should do this! (And moms of young ones…encourage your kids to do this!! )

    I also wish I had pictures of the home I lived in up until age 8. I still have memories of this bunk bed room I shared with my sisters, but to my knowledge there are no pictures of it! I wish there were some pictures that show the room and the mess that was always there with the old toys, etc.

    Thanks again for the inspiration!

  44. L.B. says:

    a beautiful idea. Thanks for the freebie cards for this.

    I always take pictures in front of the house, in bedrooms and in front of the cars to remember those things, but this idea just explodes it. Fantastic.

  45. […] Stories of Home mini album. I’ve been thinking for a while of making a book to document the around here of this […]

  46. Shannon says:

    I absolutely LOVE this idea! I am going to do this. Although, I don’t think we are moving at any time, I still love the concept. This is awesome. Once I finish, I will definitely send some photographs, if they aren’t too scary!!!!

    Thanks for sharing!

  47. Joelle says:

    Since we got married 12 years ago, we’ve lived in 7 homes in 4 countries. I’m so glad you “finished my sentence” on this because a few months back I suddenly got the idea to do screen shots of Google Maps of all of the homes that we’ve had. A far away (for example, showing the whole of the UK) then closer to the county we lived in, then closer for the house itself in satellite view. But I printed them months ago and haven’t done anything with them. THIS project is absolutely perfect for those pictures! Thanks for the ending to my thought!

  48. Gina says:

    I am sooo glad I was able to watch LIVE today and learn about this. I’m walking around the house takin pictures and just ordered the free cards. Thank you!

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  50. […] year Becky Higgins came out with a FREE set of “Stories Of Home” Project Life cards that you could print out and use to document a house tour. You can see her blog post about that […]