Pocket Scrapbooking with Project Life

Cultivate a good life and record it.



now that you have a project life bundle

First of all, please know that there’s a certain level of scrapbooking experience that you need to have before you keep reading: Z-E-R-O. Okay? Okay.

So … what’s a bundle?? You likely think about the phrase “bundle of joy” when you hear that word, and I assure you we ARE talking about joy here. Specifically, we’re talking about a Project Life® bundle! This consists of 3 things:

1) 12” x 12” album

2) Big Pack of Photo Pocket Pages

3) Project Life® Core Kit

And what’s so special about these 3 things as a bundle? Since the inception of Project Life, I have believed and shared and pretty much preached that scrapbooking CAN be quite simple and that pages don’t HAVE to be elaborate to be beautiful. The whole premise of Project Life is that if you want to put scrapbooks together quickly + easily, you CAN. And the only 3 things you need to have (in addition to your 4” x 6” printed photos + a pen, of course) to complete an entire 12” x 12” scrapbook are the Album, a Big Pack of Photo Pocket Pages, and a Project Life Core Kit. Anything else you might want to add is optional but certainly not necessary.

This philosophy remains in tact all these years later. I forever + always continue to evolve in my personal memory-keeping efforts and we as a company continue to evolve in our product offering and business model, but at the end of the day, this system is still true to the way it began. This blog post is 100% focused on helping you to know WHAT to do with a Project Life bundle.

NOTE: Because what I’m sharing is particularly helpful for those who are new to all of this, I invite you to share this blog post however you feel compelled to share. We’re all trying to be successful in our memory-keeping efforts (it’s one of my biggest life quests) … and sharing is caring.  ; )


Question of the century, right? Where does ANYone begin if they’re just starting out with scrapbooking? I’m actually working on a blog post that will address that very question because I have so so so many thoughts + tips to share that are really big-picture and it will cover several memory-keeping ideas, but for now I’m going to answer with laser focus on … the bundle, specifically.


Here’s a quick cheat sheet of “the list” so when you come back to this blog post for reference, you can conveniently see this toward the top. But for sure keep reading.

1) Know your vision.

2) Buy the bundle.

3) Create a plan.

4) Gather your photos.

5) Put the scrapbook together.


Or said another way … Begin with the end in mind.

Doh! Who called it? Who knew I was going to go there?? (LOL) To those of you in our online community who have been following my work / this brand for a while, you know I refer back to this (Stephen R. Covey) principle over + over + over again. You know why? Because. it. makes sense. It applies to scrapbooking!

Alright, so what does it mean in this context? It means that before you even buy your bundle, it would be good to envision the end result — the completed album — so you know what to buy in the first place. If you already have the bundle (perhaps you picked it up without a specific game plan or you received it as a gift), that’s perfectly fine! Keep reading.


So let’s go there. Of ALL the topics / themes / time periods / occasions you could scrapbook … and yes, I know the list of desired scrapbooks is probably long … I want you to zero in and choose ONE thing. Keep in mind that we’re talking specifically about a physical 12×12 album. This is a relatively large size and it will hold a LOT of pictures — 480, give or take. That’s a lot. What is something in your life that warrants that many photographs being brought together in one album?

I’ll list some ideas to get your brain juices flowing:

  • baby’s first year
  • several year’s worth of a child’s life
  • summarizing an entire childhood
  • a seriously huge / monumental trip
  • wedding (everything from dating to engagement to wedding and honeymoon)
  • gift album for someone’s retirement
  • family vacations (several trips in one album)
  • ongoing family memories, whether in chronological order or not
  • personal “this is my life” type of photo journal

For real, I can keep going … but this is personal. This is YOUR project and what I want you to do right now is pay attention to your feelings. Sure, you want to do a lot of different scrapbooks, but the point of what I’m sharing isn’t to overwhelm you. It’s to help you FOCUS. So pay attention to the feelings you’re having because I bet you’re emotionally connecting with something more than the other things. What’s that one thing / topic / season / trip / theme / whatever? What has you feeling the most motivated and excited?

Got it? Okay. That’s it! THAT is the one thing I want you to choose. And I want you to put everything else OUT of your mind. You know the saying … “put on the blinders.” Yes. That’s what I want you to do. Focus ONLY on the one topic that you’ve chosen because if you keep thinking about all the other stuff you want to do, you’ll go back to those feelings of being overwhelmed and paralyzed. You don’t have time for that, k?  ; )


Now that you have your chosen album topic, let’s be sure you’re picking up the right things for your scrapbooking project. Like I said, it’s all about the bundle. The simple answer is to pick up those 3 things I mentioned. But you’ll want to be intentional about these items that are going to bring your scrapbook together so that they help you with your END GOAL. (Remember: You’re beginning with the end in mind!)

A note about WHERE to buy our physical Project Life® products: Our stuff is sold in Michaels, JOANN, and Hobby Lobby in the U.S., some major retailers outside the U.S., thousands of independent retailers around the world, Amazon (U.S. and several other countries), and always, always at ShopBeckyHiggins.com.

When you purchase these 3 bundle items together in our online shop, you automatically get a discount. That 20% off happens magically at check out, and basically it’s like a big, squeezy hug from us. Total cost on the bundle is going to be a range (it depends on what kind of album you get), but the most expensive album is the faux leather and a complete bundle with that faux leather album and after the 20% discount totals $75.98. Plus … free shipping when you spend at least $35 in our shop so … HELLO! *Continental United States only.


A Project Life Core Kit is a box that includes literally hundreds of pre-designed journaling cards — more than enough to fill an entire 12×12 album. These cards are designed to be versatile and a fabulous complement to your photos. They are meant for journaling / captions / short stories, but sometimes, when there’s nothing to say, just flip that card over for a stylish design.

Pictured: Wander Core Kit

There are dozens + dozens of options for the STYLE of these collections, and the way that you can choose “the one” is by tapping back into your original vision. Remember your theme or topic. Got it? Now — what do you want this album to FEEL like? Vibrant and lively? Soft? Bold? Elegant? Simple? Artistic? We’ve got something for everything! You will want to choose a collection that feels like a good fit for the theme and for your personal taste. There is no right or wrong in scrapbooking. Don’t overthink this.

Simply browse the shop by clicking on Core Kitsand you will get a general sense of each collection as you click through pictures. Want to see the details of every card within a collection? No problem. You’ll see a link to those references with most of our collections right in the product description. Pretty cool.


Once you’ve chosen which Core Kit will be the best fit, you’ll then choose an album. There are a few things to consider:

1) Does the album go well with the Core Kit? It doesn’t have to be so matchy-matchy (although many of our collections have a coordinating album), but it would be nice for there to be some harmony between the album and what’s inside the album.

2) Consider where this album will be stored. In your family room? On a bookshelf in the home office? Somewhere else? Picture the album where you imagine it will “live” so you can feel good about the choice.

3) Do you prefer a faux leather (most durable, wipe-able) or a linen-like material or a printed paper-based cover material? We have options!

4) Solid color or pattern? Again — lots of options.

*Shown below, left to right: Faux leather, printed, linen.


For ultimate simplicity, stick with a full Big Pack of Design A, our most classic Project Life page design. Keep in mind that this works best with horizontal 4×6 photos. You can see that here and also notice those 3×4 pockets. Those are perfect for the little Project Life cards.

Want options? Of course we have options! We have several different Big Variety Packs. You only need ONE box to fill a 12×12 album. Don’t overthink it. Just choose one.


Alright, your stuff is ordered. It’s on its way. You began the project with the end goal in mind. Now, let’s make a solid game plan! It’s really quite simple. Regardless of your subject matter, you know that you can fit approximately 480 photos in an album, which is going to hold about 60 pages. Just do the math and you’ll have some clarity and direction!

For example … if you have a teenager and you’ve never scrapbooked any of their childhood stuff, and you’ve decided that preserving their entire childhood in ONE album is the goal (yes, it’s completely possible) … then the math might look like this:

18 years. 60 pages in a 12×12 album. That’s 120 sides. 120 divided by 18 = 6 or 7 page sides per year. That’s it! So if each side holds about (4) 4×6 photos, that totals about 24-28 photos per year. THAT, my friend, is all the pictures you need to print per year and the result is a very condensed version of a childhood, which is wonderful! Get it?

Another example: Let’s say you’ve gone on a massive travel adventure and you visited, say, 6 different areas / cities. Simple math tells me this would be 10 pages (20 sides … 80 pictures) per area / city. Great!

Whatever your plan … putting it in writing can be helpful. You don’t have to be a list maker to appreciate this step of mapping things out so that you really know where you’re heading.


You’ve done your math. You have a plan. Print your pictures! In this gathering process, I want to share just a few quick thoughts with you.

1) Don’t overthink it. Remember that something is better than nothing.

2) When you’re looking at your library of pictures and you’re choosing from so many pictures, just select ones that stand out to you. The reason some pictures will stand out to you more than others is because you have some sort of emotional connection to them. The reason you have that connection with some pictures over others … well, it doesn’t even matter. What matters is they tell a story for some reason.

3) Should you find choosing pictures on the computer to be more painful than you expected because you just can’t decide, perhaps it’s easier for you to print “too many!” Perhaps spending $20 more on the photo printing is worth your sanity because you might find it easier to be choosy when the prints are in your hands.

4) Where to print? Wherever you prefer! There are so many photo printing options these days so if you have experience with a great online or local lab that suits your needs, go with them. If you have no clue because it’s been ages since you’ve printed photos, I’ve really liked mpix.com.


The final step is putting the album together, of course! This is where you’ll likely have the most fun. The hardest work has been done. Now it’s time to gather your bundle + photos together in one place. Find a great working space. Clear that table off. Be sure you have good light. And, with your game plan in place, it’s time to knock out those pages! You know how it works? You slide your photos in the pocket pages. You slide the journaling cards in the pockets. Rearrange things if you need to, but again — don’t overthink what you’re doing.

TIP: When I put a page together I usually spend a moment arranging my photos and cards how I like them (shown here at left) and THEN slipping everything into pockets (right).

Once my page is all put together I then pull out one journaling card at a time, write out my captions and thoughts, then place each card back in the pocket.

Remember your vision. Remember your math. Remember that you began this project with the end result in mind and also remember to have FUN! Be flexible if you feel the urge to change things up. At the same time, embrace simplicity for what it is … and how it helps you to get this album DONE! For the love, please don’t overthink decisions. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of completed pages and ultimately, a completed album.

Also — turn up the music! Whatever music fuels your energy for a memory-keeping project, that’s the music you should listen to. Or don’t! If you work best in silence or chatting with a friend or family member who’s hanging out in your space … do what floats your boat, seriously.

I’m cheering you on. I’m 100% confident that you can do this! One last reminder of the steps to creating a scrapbook with a Project Life bundle:

1) Know your vision.

2) Buy the bundle.

3) Create a plan.

4) Gather your photos.

5) Put the scrapbook together.


6 Responses

  1. JuneS says:

    Did this exact process when I placed my order NSD weekend. Except when I went to organize and print my mess of pictures the printers I wanted to go through would not allow me to sync/upload from Flickr which is where my only copies of pictures from a certain time period is located! Still working on relocating pictures so I can continue to #5!!

  2. Sarah says:

    What happened to Persnickety Prints? In the past you’ve always mention them as the place to print

    • Becky Higgins says:

      Persnickety Prints is still around! I’d be willing to bet they still do a nice job with printing. We are not affiliated with Persnickety and there are soooo many printing options out there.

  3. Trena says:

    Approximately how many page protectors will your 6×8 album hold?

  4. Julie says:

    I really really love this blog post. The little math section is super helpful and I’m going to share with a few friends who I know have been overwhelmed about *how* to put together an album of their child’s life. This makes so much sense. And while I mostly use the Project Life app, I now want to do this too!!!