Scrapbooking Twins: Keep It Simple

My sister is about to have twins and is trying to figure out their scrapbooks. Rather than texting her my thoughts, I said I’d write a post on the topic.

I scrapbook for myself. My priority is not to scrapbook for my daughter. I have, however, made scrapbooks for her. I also made her a baby book.

Before she was born, I bought a fill-in-the blank baby book. I am pleased with the book. I added more photos than the pre-printed spaces. I added stickers. I added details from her first year that were in addition to the pre-printed prompts. I liked having the pre-printed prompts. It helped me think of things that I otherwise would have missed. I also added more writing than the pre-printed prompts.

The baby book was easy. While I added some extras and photos, it is mostly writing. It was easy to pull the baby book off the bookshelf and quickly add information.

Now, what about scrapbooks?

I don’t print out duplicate photos and recreate pages for my daughter. I don’t create the same topical pages for her albums as I do for my albums.

What I do is more along the lines of this:

I tend to print out more photos from an event (for lack of a better word) than I will actually use in my scrapbook. I don’t really do this intentionally. It happens because I often can’t decide which photo I like the best just from my computer, but want to see the print. I generally have an extra photo or two from most events. Extra photos go one of three places: (1) I either stick them in a photobox to be stored, (2) I make a layout for my daughter’s books, or (3) I give it to my daughter to make her own scrapbook pages.

I might make a 2-page spread for my own album about a trip to the zoo and then a 1-page spread for her album with the extra photos. I tend to use the same papers and embellishments when I do this. I do not create a duplicate page, nor do I reinvent the wheel. It usually takes just a few minutes to make a page for her after I’ve already made a page for me using this method. I do tend to use the same title and usually the same exact journaling, but photos, design, and embellishments tend to vary. Easy. To be clear, I do not do this for everything I have extra photos for.

Some photos only go in her scrapbook albums. For example, formal school photos of the entire class. While her classmates are adorable, I don’t need her class photo in my scrapbook. It’s her class, not mine. Now that she is nearly six, she does more things that are just hers, such as attend birthday parties. Again, these are her friends, not mine. Any photos from the parties go in her albums.

So, I do make scrapbooks for my daughter, but they are not my priority. At some point, I’ll just hand the extra photos to her and she can make her own scrapbook pages if she wants them. Or, perhaps we’ll make a scrapbook together. We are going to do that this summer with her kindergarten photos. Her teacher took around 30-100 photos of the class every month. I have no need for most of these photos in my own scrapbooks. I’m also not going to make 12×12 layouts for my daughter’s album. Instead, I bought a K&CompanySmash Folio, Doodle Red and printed out about 125 of the photos. We are going to put them in that book. This way, she has a yearbook of sorts and she can look back at her friends and memories. Plus, this is something we can do together.

If I had to do it all over again what would I do differently?

While I have been critical of the pocket-page systems, I would probably select one of these systems for a baby book. You can quickly add photos and the journaling cards would be great to add the random bits. One thing that I found with scrapbooking pages about my daughter was that I would end up with random photos–photos I wanted to scrapbook but really only went together because they were of her. I think random photos could fit well in a pocket-page system.

Which pocket-page system?

While there are several pocket-page systems out there (Project Life, Simple Stories, and We R Memory Keepers), I would probably go with Project Life. If I were doing it for me, I would start with:

Project Life Core Kit – Baby Edition (complete collection)

My sister would probably prefer this collection instead:

Project Life by Becky Higgins Core Kit – Baby Edition for Her (complete collection)

Why the Project Life system? From what I can tell, We R Memory Keepers Albums Made Easy does not come in a baby-themed version. While themed-product isn’t always that helpful, I think it is in the case of a baby album. Simple Stories Snap System does have baby-themed inserts. I’ve worked with Simple Stories pocket pages before, but I think the Project Life system is better for someone who intends to scrapbook beyond baby’s first year because the product line appears to be wider and offers plenty of generic options. I’ve never worked with the Project Life products (beyond some of the page protectors).

My preference would also be for a system that I could buy locally (whether at an LSS or big-box), so that I wouldn’t always have to wait for shipments….though if I were having twins, I would probably just go with whatever can be shipped to me. (FYI…I’ve observed some stores only selling parts of each system and not the whole system. If you buy locally, make sure you can get all parts of the system from that retailer because the page protectors are not interchangeable without you having to modify your photos.)

One concern I have with this approach is that depending on where you get your photos processed, your prints may be “true digial print” size (4×5.3) instead of a true 4×6. If your goal is to just slip in photos, then you will need to either crop your photos before printing to fit on 4×6 or mount your photos on a 4×6 piece of paper before slipping it into the pocket. I did a bit of googling and couldn’t find anyone having this issue but that could be that most people who are blogging about one of these systems is printing at home or using Persnickity Prints to get Project Life 4×6’s.

I would also stick with mostly the same page protector design, like Ali Edwards. This is probably less of an issue if you are a mom of a singleton like myself. If I were the mom of multiples, I would do everything I could to keep things simple. One page design, keeps things simple. One caveat is that you will have to think about the page designe when taking photos. Once I became a scrapbooker, I became much better at turning my camera to get both vertical and horizontal photos. With an iPhone, I take even more vertical photos than ever before. I think with pocket pages, a person may want to make a concerted effort to take more photos that are horizontal (landscape) so you don’t have to cut photos down or crop them and print them in a non 4×6 size. Remember, keep it simple.

I would also just make one album. I would not attempt to make one album for each baby and one for yourself. I would most likely make one main family album. I might stash away any leftover photos and put them in a photobox for each child. Or, I would very selectively make pages for each child for their own album. I would not start intending to make three albums and certainly not three identical albums.

Keep it simple.

Ideas for Using Project Life for Baby:

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  • Great topic Stephanie! I love digital because I just print duplicates but with memorabilia pages I am not sure what I will do. Right now Edward’s first flight ticket is in the family album about our trip. I’m about to print off 4 copies of his baby book for grandparents us and him (yes I actually let our little ones ‘read’ their albums as it’s easy to print a new copy)

  • Yes, digital would be good for this, too. I’ve scanned memorabilia for digital albums before. R’s first plane ticket is in her baby book. The pre-printed album did not have a spot for it, so I made my own on the back of a page. That was probably the best part of that baby album: each page was blank on the back so I could do my own thing or add more photos, and so on to the back of every page.