A Minimalist Project Life

This entry is part 27 of 37 in the series Minimalist Scrapbooking

Every other Friday, I write a post about Minimalist Scrapbooking.

I resisted Project Life in 2011. I have no interest in taking a photo a day, journaling every day, or any other crafty every day thing. I have no interest in buying a kit or using a kit as intended.

I am interested in using my older supplies. I am also interested in scrapbooking in a convenient way. I am storing all of my Project Life supplies in one basket that will live next to my living room chair. I will be able to scrapbook in front of the TV or while my daughter is playing in the living room. I will be able to scrapbook and spend time with my family at the same time. If I’m real adventurous, I can even take this basket in the car and scrapbook on road trips.
An idea was born. I will create a Project Life-inspired album in 2012.

First, I had to assess what supplies I already own that will work for this project. Fortunately, I had bought a pack of 25 divided page protectors from We R Memory Keepers a good four years ago. I still had 23 of these page protectors unused. So the first question I asked myself was, “how many layouts do I want in my Project Life”? I settled on one layout per week. It is possible that some weeks might have more, but my goal is one layout per week. This means I needed to buy more divided page protectors. To make things interesting, I opted to buy a different style of divided page protectors from We R Memory Keepers.

Now, I already own a couple of 12×12 albums that are not being used. The albums, though are either strap-hinge or postbound and I really think that using a 3-ring album will work much better with this project. I went with this 12×12 album from We R Memory Keepers.

I found a few extra supplies to keep in this basket as well. I have a few Zig Writers that I rarely use and an extra tape dispenser. I plan to snag my mom’s paper trimmer and corner rounder to add to the basket as well (she hasn’t scrapbooked in years, so I should be able to borrow them from her for the year).

Now what paper should I use? I used to buy just about every piece of paper that KI Memories came out with. I don’t


anymore (not that I’m no longer a fan, but I just don’t need anymore). I decided that because I have a lot of this manufacturer’s paper and the selection I have is quite diverse, I would use it for my album. I started with my scraps. I cut scraps into 4×6 and 4×4 size sheets so that way they will easily slip right into the divided page protectors. Once I ran out of scraps large enough, I cut into full 12×12 sheets. I also added a nice chunk of brown cardstock, which is leftover from my wedding reception invitations. I’ve been married since 2005. I’m not sure the brown really goes with the rest, but I have a ton of it.

I had a lot of smaller scraps, too. I decided to get out my manual die-cutter and cut some shapes. I used punches, as well. My daughter helped use the die-cutter to create these shapes. I have tags, paper buttons, swirls, diamonds, squares, photo corners, and whatever other basic shape templates I had on hand.

I am keeping a Cropper Hopper storage envelope in my basket with the rest of the KI Memory paper I own. If I need a different size or more paper period, it will be right at my fingertips. I don’t use this line much in my regular scrapbooking, so I don’t think I’ll miss it from my stash.


I even have ribbon that coordinates with the paper. I bought a ton of this ribbon from KI Memories a couple of years ago from their website. It was one of their deals, which means I ended up with like 30 rolls from the deal. The cool thing about this ribbon is that it is adhesive-backed. I just put it all in a ziplock bag to live in my Project Life basket.



I dug through my stash and found these journaling stickers that somewhat coordinate with the paper. I’ve stuck them in a page protector and threw them in the basket. I’m not sure how often I’ll use these journaling stickers rather than writing directly on my paper, but they’ll be on hand just in case.
I thought I might want to use alpha stickers and thought this would be a good project for multi-colored alpha stickers. You can read more about how I rarely use these stickers here. I think they will work well in this project. I think this project might be good to use up letter sticker sheets with only a couple of letters left on them. We’ll see.


The next piece of my version of Project Life is the Memory Logbook. I opted to purchase the downloadable combo and print it out myself. I printed it out in 5.5×8.5 style. I used my Cinch to bind it all together. Ok, that last part is only partially true. I added extra stuff to my book and to bind the whole year together was way too thick. So instead, I bound January through June into one book. I have not bound July through December yet. I have all my extra stuff ready for it, but am going to wait and see what parts work and what parts don’t work before binding the rest of it.

I’ve included 4×6 photo sleeves. These were leftovers from when I put photos in photosleeves instead of scrapbooks. I have done that in probably ten years. I thought the pockets would be nice to store items to possibly include in the project life album. I’m not sure what I might save, but wanted to these items organized, if i do end up with much ephemera.


I used leftover envelopes for extra stuff in another week. Those envelopes went with my daughter’s birth announcements. She’ll be four this summer. Yeah, time to use them up. I’m not sure which pockets will be more useful.



I made monthly pocket dividers for my Memory Logbook, as well. I bought one of those paper pads with like a million sheets of paper a couple of years ago, so I used some of that paper for the dividers. I already owned the file folder tabs and had just enough for each month of the year.

I’m pleased with my set-up for my minimalist version of Project Life. Keep in mind, that for me minimalist means using what you already have instead of running out and buying a bunch of new things. For this project, I bought another set of page protectors, an album, 2012 Memory Logbook and Weekly Challenges. In a future post, I’ll tell you what I plan to record in my Project Life as it will be somewhat distinct from my regular scrapbooking.

Are you doing Project Life or a Project Life-inspired project in 2012? Have you created one before? What have you learned through the process? Let me know in the comments.

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  • Nat

    Project Life isn’t my cup of tea really, but I really like your take on this!  It’s really cool to see you take a bunch of stuff you already have and prep it for this project.  Are you going to be doing any other layouts during the year or will this be it?

  • Thanks! I am happy with this approach to Project Life. I will be doing other layouts. I can’t imagine giving those up. I really am planning on a different approach to this particular album. I’ve bought a weekly challenge book and plan to use those challenges in one of the pockets. I think I will also include some of those random moments where you only end up with one photo. Instead of creating a 12×12 of that one moment, I think I’ll just devote a pocket or two to the one moment. I’ll probably add snippets of my daughter’s art work. She comes home with so much of it and toss most of it. I’m not scanning it and only save a few pieces. I might cut out smaller portions of some this art and include it in this book. I’m still working out exactly what will go in this particular book. I kind of see each page protector as 6-9 mini scrapbook pages and am thinking about it like an old-style magnetic album where you just kind of include whatever you want. I’ll probably include other ephemera I would never (or rarely) add to a regular album, like pieces of mail, a receipt, a recipe, a cut out from a magazine or newspaper, or an email. Some of that stuff makes it into my regular album, but not often. I really see this as a more detailed time capsule compared to my other albums (even though they are organized chronologically). I don’t plan on doing a Project Life type album every year but think this might be neat to do every few years. We’ll see. I think part of me is doing PL as an experiment. Is it all it’s cracked up to be? 

  • I like Ali Edwards weekly approach to Project Life, so I want to try that for 2012.  I received the Turquoise core cit for Christmas and am excited to try it out.  I like the idea of gathering the supplies in a basket.  I’ll try that after we move.  

  • How are you counting your weeks? Sunday through Saturday? I think I’m going to end on Sundays because Sunday evening is the most likely time I’ll have to work on this project. 

  • I want to keep the weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) together since I take most of my pictures at that time.  The first few weeks will be random in 2012, but then I would like to to do Monday-Sunday.  A monthly approach may also work for me.