Pocket Scrapbooking with Project Life

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what to do with holiday cards

Becky Higgins Christmas Cards

Happy New Year, friends! I know many of you are cleaning up from the holidays. I enjoy decorating for Christmas with my family, and I really enjoy taking it all back down and packing it away because it means the house is back to less clutter. Anyone else with me on that?

The one decoration in our home that does not come down immediately after Christmas? Holiday cards! It’s one of our favorite traditions – to hang these on the wall (I just use plain Scotch tape) so we can see our loved ones’ faces & greetings. I love it so much that I usually leave them up through the month of January and sometimes even until Valentine’s Day.

Welcome to At Home with Becky

Today is the first official “At Home with Becky” post – a new series for the new year. As I mentioned on Monday, this weekly series will really focus on stuff that’s not related to scrapbooking or Project Life®. However, today is an exception (most of you won’t mind) … and you’ll see why.

Once the holidays are over and everything is put away … what do we do with all the greetings/cards/photos from our loved ones? Some options:

  • throw them all away
  • keep them in a box or container
  • create traditional scrapbook pages with them
  • punch a hole in the top corner of each and connect them all with a ring
  • keep a few favorites on the refrigerator, toss the rest
  • put them all in a Project Life 12×12 Envelope Page to place in your album

Everyone’s going to do what makes the most sense for them. For example, I used to save & store all those greetings. But several years ago I looked at all those ziplock baggies full of cards that I never ever looked at … and decided that I was done keeping those. I tossed them all. I love those people, but it really was clutter. Throwing those bags away was liberating and I don’t regret that. But I’m ready to do something with this year’s cards.

A solution

Today I’m sharing another option that I’m the most excited about: Get those greetings into Project Life pages! I know what you’re thinking: But they won’t fit! All those cards are different sizes and the pockets on most PL pages are 4×6 and 3×4. Well, stick with me. This is what I have in mind. This is what I’m going with OUR greetings when the cards come down in February.

For the purpose of blogging about this sooner rather than later (because many of you are cleaning up right now), I asked my friend Karolyn if I could do this with her collection of 2 or 3 years’ worth of greetings she’s been hanging onto.



Get all the greetings in one place. Toss any that aren’t keepers. For example, I always toss the cards without pictures. They’re only sentimental to me if there is a handwritten message inside from grandparents or something. This is a good time to be sure that all the tape that might be on them gets peeled off. Be careful, as some paper types are more prone to tearing than others.



I’m talking about Project Life Photo Pocket Pages, of course. Most of you already have these on-hand. You may only need to use a few pages. I can’t tell you which page design works best because that completely depends on the cards you are working with. I keep a variety on hand for this reason. What I ended up using for 2-3 years’ worth of Karolyn’s greetings? Designs A, B, C, F, and V.



Just like what it sounds, you’re going to take each photo and trim it to be either a 4×6 or 3×4. Some will be better horizontal, some will be better vertical. This means you’ll be cropping some words, some background, maybe even a shoulder or the top of someone’s head. That’s okay. The point here is that by trimming the photos to these sizes, you are now able to quickly and easily slip ALL of the photos into Photo Pocket Pages so they’ll be forever preserved instead of not enjoying them at all.

The trimmer shown here is the one from American Crafts.



That’s the beauty of Project Life, of course. Simple, simple, simple. Helpful tip: You may want to trim all the photos first, then place them into piles like this: 4×6 horizontal, 4×6 vertical, 3×4 horizontal, 3×4 vertical. Then at the end of that step, you can be even more efficient as you grab the pages you need for the trimmed photos you have.



No problem. Those can be trimmed down too. Just select a portion of the card that you want to keep – and cut that out. In most cases, this would be the one that shows the whole family, as opposed to the individual pictures.


You can then use adhesive on the back of that little photo and attach it to a Project Life 3×4 or 4×6 card (I prefer white for simplicity) … or you can use a little strip of cute Washi Tape at the top! Did you hear that we are now offering official Project Life Washi Tape? Oh yes. That will be hitting stores in the next little while (the ETA is TBD). If you missed that announcement about the brand-new announced PL accessories, you can see all of that in the Dec. 19 post.



That’s it, my friends. Trim the photos. Slip them in. And you’re done.




1. In case you’re wondering, I put together a total of 16 pages (8 actual pages, each is double-sided) with Karolyn’s 2-3 years’ worth of pictures. Want to see them all? I’m sharing a 15-second video on facebook & instagram today, so you can see them all there. ***Update: Facebook is giving me a hard time about sharing the video, but it works just fine on instagram so you can see it there. If you don’t use instagram, no worries. Just click HERE and you’ll see the video.

2. As I hand these pages over to Karolyn, she can add names & dates to each photo if she wants … or not.

3. If you come across a 5×7 card that you just don’t want to crop, remember that we have 5×7 Page Protectors, too (vertical and horizontal), and they fit right in with the 3-ring albums just like all the other pages.

4. When you put your pages together, you’ll likely have a few pockets where there’s not a photo. Easy-peasy. Just add a festive PL card in those pockets, which only helps to emphasize the holiday theme. We have a Merry & Bright Mini Kit and also a Christmas Themed Cards pack, both of which can be found in many stores right now. Both items are also coming to our own online shop, once that launches.


41 Responses

  1. Becky says:

    I’ve been working on this exact project for the last two week….19 years of Christmas cards from Ziploc bags into Project Life pages. I’m so excited to finally have a place for them!

  2. Alice Sell says:

    Awesome idea! I ALWAYS wondered what to do with my greeting cards, especially the photo ones. I almost always end up just storing them all in a box and they just sit there for eons. I must have years and years of photo cards stored up. I’m going to get them ALL out, crop, put them in your photo protector pages, and buy a special album just for them. That way I can see Christmas of my friends/family through the years! What a special album that will be! Thanks soooo much for the idea! Love PL!

    I am a newbie to this but cannot wait to get started this year! I received a new photo printer for Christmas, as well as one of your kits/pages. So, I’m ready to go! Yes!

    Happy New Year!

  3. Kim Lockhart says:

    I cropped my cards this year and they are ready to use as fillers for any Christmas pages and/or to use with the Christmas family photos we receive. Or, for some of the larger card images, I try to use them as dividers in my planner. I love the cards I receive and always have to keep a few each year.

  4. Foxy L says:

    I have used cards over the years in many different ways, some have made their way into spreads, but mostly storing – you know, for when I will “look back at them someday,” but this is a great way to see how everyone changes from year to year and to get rid of the clutter! What a great idea. I will be purchasing an album to do just this and then we can actually enjoy them.
    Thanks for the great idea Becky ~ Happy New Year!!

  5. I’ve been wanting to do this ever since you talked about it during your Creative Live class. Such a great idea!

  6. Kari says:

    Thank you so much for publishing this blog post, I had just put my cards from 2013 in my office trash can, but promptly got them back out to find the ones that had pictures or were from family and put them in my new PL binder!

  7. Anika says:

    I put all my cards in an envelope page, but now I realized, they can be seen & enjoyed much better in divided page protectors! I used to unclude postcards from weekend-trips and from our summer vacation before this way. Why not cut and display all the warm hearded Christmas wishes? You’re absolutely right… Thanks! Greetings from Germany, Anika

  8. thank you so much for this tip. i usually just punch holes on the side of my fave holiday cards and then insert into the album. but this time i’m gonna do the photo pocket route! =)

  9. Megan says:

    I ABSOLUTLEY LOVE this idea!! I was the one who hole punched them onto rings and I like that for regular cards that I save but will be doing this for the photo cards! Thank you so much. So excited for these tips!

  10. I too have many photo Christmas cards from this yer and many years gone by. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful idea. My photo cards can now come out of the boxes I’ve stored them in.

    Mary from NH

  11. Irene says:

    Don’t throw the non-picture cards out! Cut them to 3×4 or 4×6 too and use them as filler cards next December (or this if you are behind). I also use them as fillers for my December Daily book I do in conjunction with PL.

    Finally, another thing you can do with them is make small ring boxes. They are easy and super special.

    • Skasten says:

      Irene, what a great idea. I also do a Dec. Daily along with PL (where I will include picture cards) but now I will cut the non-picture cards as fillers for the Dec. Daily. Never thought of that. Thanks!

  12. Cheryl says:

    These pages are beautiful but I just don’t have it in me…mine will just get tossed in my never-ending quest to eliminate the clutter. Besides, I’m so far behind on PL I know this would just get added to my to-do list. :)

  13. Tobie says:

    Question: Do you put these pages at the end of your PL album, or do you make an album only for Christmas cards?

  14. Love this new addition to your blog!!! I really missed your usual holiday posts/ videos this holiday season! Looking forward to reading your posts! Happy New

  15. Jody Spiegelhoff says:

    Great post Becky. I love this process!!!

  16. Tokishia says:

    Thank you so much, your ideas listed are great options!

    • Amy says:

      I tackled eight years of cards this weekend. I was a bit hesitant to cut them down because I didn’t want to lose the cards’ designs, but I realized the reason I’d saved the cards for all these years was for the faces of friends and family. Loved cutting the clutter!

  17. Marilyn says:

    I have been doing the same thing for years; and post the pages up on my fridge and then put them away in the album. Keep up the good work!

  18. Rachel Tomlinson says:

    We don’t use photo cards in the UK too much, but I love to keep a record of cards that I’ve made, and handmade cards that I’ve received, so I take pictures of them, then put them in a collage (via Picasa or something similar) then print the photo out – whichever size you like, but I could get from 6-12 cards – at least – on one 6×4 photo – which is perfect for my PL album – but doesn’t use lots and lots of pages!

    • Pamela McGillin says:

      I do the same, whenever I make cards or layouts, a picture of it goes into my PL. Plus I keep a folder on my computer called “My creations” just to remind me that I can & do create beautiful things & not just gather stach :D

  19. Denise says:

    I have kept every Christmas card that I have received since I was in my very first year of school! and between my mother and myself we have saved every birthday card since I was born! I can’t wait to put them all into the one place and look back over the years!

    Thanks for the inspiration Becky!

  20. Sarah Damm says:

    I have wanted to do *something* with my years-worth of Christmas cards for SO long! I LOVE this simple solution! Thanks, Becky!

  21. Sabrina says:

    Great idea! It looks great. I particularly like to take pictures of the greeting photos with my phone so I can save them electronically. Thanks for sharing.

  22. Pamela McGillin says:

    Another alternative is to scan the cards you can’t be to cut up & just resize them in your photo editing software. If it’s only one or two cards (like birthday cards), I love using the 6×6 page protector & adding a journaling or filler card at the top, which keeps the cards from moving around.

  23. Steph Armstrong says:

    I’ve been scanning mine and putting them into digital project-life templates, I have them 3/4 done, the rest are waiting to be scanned and “scrapped”.

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  26. Laura says:

    What a great idea!! I just might try it this year!

  27. Aprile says:

    I used my cards last year in my December Daily Album. I loved adding those to my book! I’m planning to do the same this year. I may go back to some I have kept over the years and add project life pages to my finished pages! Great idea!

  28. Norma Gaston says:

    Another cool way to use those cards is to use punches and cut out the faces of those I like to remember for their birthdays! I adhere them to our family calendar ! That way I don’t forget their birthday…….,usually!

  29. Jean says:

    Instead of tossing your non-picture cards you can recycle them here:
    Year-round, we happily accept used all-occasion greeting cards.
    Please review the following tips before sending in your donation.
    Only the card front can be used (please check to be sure the backside of the front of the card is clear of any writing, etc.)
    We can not accept Hallmark, Disney or American Greeting cards
    5″ x 7″ size or smaller is preferred
    To mail large quantities in the least expensive way, use a USPS (United States Post Office) Flat Rate Box (available at your local Post Office), which holds up to 70 pounds
    Mail donations to:
    St. Jude’s Ranch for Children Recycled Card Program
    100 St. Jude’s Street
    Boulder City, NV 89005
    See more info at: https://stjudesranch.org/about-us/recycled-card-program/

  30. Janelle stout says:

    Well problem solved for the sympathy cards when my mom passed away several years ago. I am not currently a PL Scrapper but I think this will be perfect thanks

  31. Angie says:

    Just bought my very first PL album and the Big Variety Pack 1 to start this project. I’ve been looking at this blog post and thinking about this solution for WEEKS! Can’t wait to get started tonight on the last 8 years worth of cards since we got married. I think my husband is going to enjoy it as much as I will! Thanks, Becky!

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  33. Sue Ellis says:

    I love this idea, really makes fabulous pages…however, sadly, here in the UK we don’t tend to send cards with photos on like you girls do, over the pond. It’s such a lovely idea that I hope it will catch on here soon:)

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