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Afternoon Craft Project :: Sorting Scrapbook Pages into Albums

afternoon craft project :: sorting scrapbook pages into albums
sorting scrapbook pages into albums
You know those projects you save for a rainy day? Well, it’s raining.

And for some reason, I decided this was a window of opportunity play a game of Tetris involving scrapbook pages, page protectors and albums. I’m down to just twenty-three layouts left, which may sound a little ridiculous, but they shall each have a home this evening and for at least a day I shall feel like a scrapbooking Tetris champion. Hurrah!

I know we all have our own systems that work for us, and I would love to hear how you organise your pages. I have to admit, I think I have it easy for organising pages since it’s just the two of us – no trying to figure out what goes into a family album versus albums for individual members of the family. But I do have a system for what goes where. Most of my albums are 12×12 three ring binders with black fabric covers. (Specifically, I use these by American Crafts.) Each year gets a general album. It’s called ‘Our Lives’, which is completely hokey but simple enough that I just stuck with it. All the day to day stuff and events from the year goes in that album, in chronological order – though I don’t make the pages in chronological order at all. When an album gets too full, I just start another album for that year, call it volume two and keep the story going in date order. That’s part of why I love three ring binders: because it’s so easy to move the page protectors from one book to another.

Some times there are events that were just too photogenic and I end up with an inordinate number of pictures, so if I scrap quite a few of them, they will make the everyday Our Lives album for that year look totally silly. Case in point: SJ’s tea party last summer: I’ve probably made twenty different pages about that day, and three other layouts for the rest of that entire month. So if I included all those pages in chronological order, you’d pretty much think we did nothing else last summer except dress as Alice and the Mad Hatter. So events like that actually get their own album. I don’t plan it from the outset or anything – I never set out making all those pages thinking I wanted an entire album of Wonderland. I just enjoyed scrapping those pictures to the point that I ended up with a big stack of layouts that would fill an album on their own. It’s like promoting an event from the everyday to the something special. Those events also give me an excuse to use something prettier than a black fabric album. I love the different patterned albums from the same range, so I pick a different pattern for each of those special events. I have two from 2010, one from 2009 and one from 2008 – though admittedly 2008’s is our wedding album, so I always assumed that would have enough pages to make its own album (or two or three).

Then there are red albums – and those are for trips. If we go somewhere and I only do a few pages, then it stays in the black album at the right point in the calendar. If it’s a big trip and has enough pages to be promoted, then it gets its own red album. The earliest trip I did this for was 2006, when we went to Iceland. Since then we have travel albums for the Pacific Northwest in 2007, our honeymoon in 2008, a family trip to Cornwall and our holiday to Hawaii in 2009, and then the start of the big 2010-2011 journey, which will need several volumes. Within each album, everything is pretty much in chronological order, from the beginning of the trip to coming home again. Sometimes I add extra perspective pages at the end of an album, like if I’ve been thinking of a place a year later or something in the news has made me think of a certain memory and sometimes I’ll close the album with a sort of top-ten list about what we loved about a particular trip, which tends to summarise everything that is there in chronological order.

Then I have a few other albums thrown in the mix that were purposely made as a complete album, like Christmas Journals and some other albums I’ve made in classes. (Two of my Christmas albums are 12×12 – the rest are 9×9 and live in separate spot that is better for that size.)

scrapbook albums
The album system itself isn’t really new – this is pretty much what I’ve been doing since we moved to this flat and I dedicated a certain spot to albums. But I hadn’t made my system as easy as it could be, so over the last month I’ve been trying to get that right. So far, I have…
…moved the albums from on top of the bookcase to the bottom of the bookcase. I am short and couldn’t get to them without a chair! As a result, I would just let the layouts stack up instead of putting them away.

…added labels. I love that all our albums are very uniform, but I didn’t have them marked. And because I scrap out of order, I would pull four or five different books until I found the right one. Clearly that was daft. So I went for a very popular option – circle tags stuck on the spines. I had plenty of those and they aren’t going to disappear from the world like a collection that gets discontinued after a year. The labels make it so much easier to see exactly the right album, so I’m hoping that means I will put pages away rather than waiting until the job because a big chore.

…made it easy to get to page protectors of all sizes. I keep pages of all sizes together in 12×12 albums. And I had a storage spot for page protectors. Except it was a spot that was a pain in the neck to get to, so again, I would put it off. Seriously, how difficult was I trying to make this? So I’ve moved them all to somewhere easy and I added a few extra page protectors to all the albums I’m actively adding things to at the moment, so I should just be able to open the album and add the page.

…got rid of the box where I stacked all my layouts waiting for a home. I had this from the days of the magazine when everything came back months later, but most of my pages are just photographed here now rather than sending them away, so I have no excuse to let pages wait months before they have a home. The box has a new purpose in another room – hurrah.

…culled a handful of layouts that I didn’t like in any way and weren’t helping to tell the story. Most of those were things I did for assignments with really specific requirements and they just didn’t feel like me, and usually I had scrapped those photos again in a way I liked.

…dedicated an afternoon to getting all homeless pages into the right place, in page protectors and in an order that makes me happy. There were a few things that I also patched up along the way – mostly old chipboard letters that didn’t keep their adhesive qualities or layouts I had done on either glittered or flocked cardstock and other elements just didn’t want to stick to that paper. Everything else was pretty much fine, barring the odd bent corner here and there. If all the letters were there for the chipboard, I reattached with stronger adhesive; if the letters had gone missing I replace the whole word with a different set of stickers. And things on difficult papers I just stitched with the sewing machine so they aren’t going anywhere in the future.

Now I’m left with a couple things I still want to do. I would like to make a sort of summary layout for each album. Something that goes inside the album that gives an overview of what was happening. I did that when I first started scrapbooking but somehow stopped several years ago. I noticed it most in our 2004 album. That’s the oldest album I display, and it’s the year I met The Boy. The album includes the months at the beginning of the year before we met and then suddenly there’s just this new face on my pages, and there’s no real explanation. I think that would be so much more clear if I added a page at the beginning that explained 2004 was the year we met, he finished his MSC, I relearned how to drive… and maybe even mention things that are obvious to us but not to anyone else (our ages, where we lived) and some things that give perspective to the bigger life story (like our jobs). I think those pages would be quite easy to add and would help make things make sense if someone sat down with the album. So it’s a thought.

The other job on my to-do list is adding a few photo pages to each album. Two photo protectors in each album would include up to twenty-four more 4×6 photos without lots of bulk. And if for some reason those photos really inspire me in the future, I could always swap them out of those protectors and give them their own page, and just fill the gap with another photo, some patterned paper or more journaling.

But now comes the big question: will I actually conform to my new system and get pages straight into the albums once they are finished? Give me a week and I’ll report back!

So… how do you organise your pages? I would love to hear! And now I just have to wait for a guest at our house to actually ask to look at a scrapbook – because it would be safe to grab any album off the shelf!

Even if it is rainy where you are, I hope you are having a lovely Sunday!

xlovesx

PS: Don’t miss this weekend’s giveaway from Rob Ryan!

05 June 2011



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26 Comments for Afternoon Craft Project :: Sorting Scrapbook Pages into Albums

  1. ShelleyW Says:

    Oh gosh – I’ve had a bit of a nightmare with this! I started with different albums, but was converted to the D-Ring ones a while ago. However, I have too many LOs for the page protectors, and so have been ordering more when I can but still don’t have enough d-ring albums (only 2 compared to 4 others) or page protectors, so I have about 50 LOs waiting, and I think my other albums are too full. You reminded me I need to go through and repair various pages, especially from when I didn’t know what particular adhesive to use when I first started out. My aim? To get all d-ring albums, store the LOs in chronological order (tend to do major events/holidays in smaller albums)and have enough page protectors!! Need to have a small lottery win I think. Thanks Shimelle for the reminders! :)

  2. MissSmith Says:

    I am going to steal your system. Sorted. Thanks for sharing as “organise my big stack of homeless pages” is one of my 25 things to do before I’m 25.

  3. wendy Says:

    omg Shimelle couldnt believe u wrote about this today. i have spent time this afternoon organising my pages/albums today ok so not years n years worth but the ones from a 3 week trip i did to thialand, aussie n HK. Up till now thialand was lucky enough to have the pages go straight into an album as i did this part of the trip more or less in order (how did i make 25 pages relating to 1 and 1/2 days!! ) but the others were just going into 12*12 bags and an artbin box. So now the are still in bags but in order of the trip with a list of whats missing just waiting for photo order to arrive. As for my year album its 12*6 and i try to cover each months event (have to love the pogo printer for instant pictures) as they happen and put them straight in. As for where i put them the 12*12’s on bottom 2 shelves of a book case with the 12*6’ and and other sizes on the shelf above

  4. Natalie Says:

    First of all, I want to say, “hurray for chronological order!” I feel like recently I’ve been innundated with the idea that keeping scrapbook pages in chronological order is a “bad” way to scrapbook, which upsets me. I’m decidedly Type-A, so I love order and structure, and chronology provides that for me. I’m so glad to hear of someone who keeps her albums that way, too!
    I use strap-hinge albums because they don’t require page protectors. (I love dimension, pockets, hidden journaling, flaps, etc. on my pages, and plastic page protectors feel stifling to me.) In some ways this is unfortunate: it’s hard to find strap-hinge albums any more, and the LOs are “permanently” adhered to the pages in the album, which makes it pretty hard to move stuff around. So I have to plan ahead. I keep a sort of master list of things I want to scrapbook—in chronological order, and I actually make little marks to plan out how the pages will fit into two-page spreads (I told you I was type-A!). I am actually well on my way to “catching up” (another supposed evil of scrapbooking) 2006 (when the list starts) through 2010 (I took a “break” from the list last year, choosing to do Project 365 rather than keep the list), but so far, all of my layouts are in a HUGE pile waiting to be put into albums. See, the problem with my system is that my list starts with my wedding, and my wedding scrapbook scares me!! Now that I’m typing all of this out to you (seriously, I’m sorry it’s so long!) I am realizing that it’s time to get these pages into albums. I’ll fit the wedding/honeymoon into its own albums later!

    P.S. I love the idea of 3-ring albums. Do you happen to know of any that do not require page protectors?

  5. Rachel B Says:

    I use those albums too, I have so many different albums with different topics but that makes more sense! Do you have an album for pre 2004? For example childhood layouts?

  6. HazelG Says:

    Love this post – I love all things scrapbooking and I like organisation, storage and things. As for my pages – I tend to buy an album for a specific project and then work on it. Now I’m thinking I’d quite like to just go with the flow and scrap anything as the mood takes – I think I’ll find it more inspiring than having to do a specific page to finish a project. Very inspiring – thanks!

  7. Alana Says:

    I keep a simple system…one albumn each year, start another if I need to. I did try the family, holiday system but as you say i spent half my time deciding which album to put them in.

  8. tilla Says:

    Great to see I’m not the only one struggling to keep up and to a system !
    I had a really big sort out last weekend, sorting pages into albums & finishing off plenty of incomplete projects ! Yeah – got most of it done this weekend. I have family albums which run chronologically, albums for both the kids – also chronologically, but excluding school stuff which I hope to some day do digi, seperate Xmas albums (thanks to JYC class) and still hoping to do a very special album of our trip to Rio Carnival in 2009 – 6 days, 2500 photos – is it a wonder that its all still sitting on the hard drive !?
    Some good tips here – thanks Shimelle ! Wish I could have all consistant albums, but also need to win the lottery before that will happen !

  9. Daphne Says:

    I pretty much put every page in it’s album right after making a picture of it! So nothing gets dusty or lost. I use the AC albums as well, but have to mix the colours b/c red is not always available in my OSS. I only started scrapbooking last year in February and filled already five albums in the first year, now I started my third one for 2011. But I continued the last album with some LOs from our January walk round the fields – so the last album contains 2010 and 2011. To mark the albums I use black foldback clips with a tag where the month and the year is written down. I have two special albums (both pre-bound with just 20 pages): The album when DH’s sister was visiting – and my best friend’s and my visit to a concert (and the pictures of that concert). Minibooks are there as well, but not that much.
    In recent times I sort out my pictures before ordering them online; so I only have that amount I really want to scrap. I always put them into the page protectors – in pairs or single – in that order they should be! But I don’t scrap in that order! Never could do that – I go with the flow.
    Nearly forgot: I have another album I put in some LOs I made this or last year from older times (childhood, Friends, …) but it is still very empty!

    So, thanks for sharing your system behind your layouts Shimelle! Very interesting!

  10. Lynn Says:

    I love reading how people organise! I don’t scrap in chronological order but do store the layouts that way. I currently have three albums – one for each of my girls and one family. However I am wanting to change this – am going to use AC albums and combine them all.

  11. Sarah Says:

    Personally I cannot scrap chronologically, but file so. I would love drings, but have to settle for postbound albums as sore fingers and choice words will vouch. I have family album – like your our life ones which I like as a title. Then there are albums for the boys – if I can get a couple of years or more in one of their albums then I am really happy, but of late it is a struggle to get 1 in!!! Mine are stored in rubs in a stack in my bedroom, and my DH says I need more, no perhaps and extension……….I says no more lol

  12. pauline Says:

    I store my LOs in chronological order (except in my album about me!) but dont scrap necessarily in chronological order. As I only started scrapping in 2004 I didnt have opportunity to scrap my life in order, so as and when I come across photos (not many from childhood) I scrap them. I have a Here, There and Everywhere album which is travels and where we are living. If it is a big hol then it may get its own album! My sone and daughter each have separate albums (2 volumes each so far!!) I have a home & life album and a Family, places and one-off events album….. Yeah I know confusing, but it works for me!! I have a couple of mini easels and display recently made pages for a while before being relegated to the albums. I am hoping to make up some magnetic canvases to display LOs better for a while, but we’ll see.

  13. Lisa-Jane Johnson Says:

    Gosh that does sound organised! I have about 5-6 albums now and I just literally file as I finish the layout so they are chronological in terms of their completion! I must get around to sorting them but they are all so different. Do you find that you have things next to each other that look very different in style because of when they were scrapped? And can I ask where you got those circles for the labels as they are just perfect. Love that black and white patterned album too.

  14. Madeline Says:

    I have no system at all Shimelle. HEy maybe that could a new class for you LOL
    I love how you have the albums stored in the book case too, mine are all over the place :(

  15. Julie Jeavons Says:

    My pages get put away as soon as I photograph them (strange since everything else seems to get left lying about LOL).
    I have two specific albums for the two cruises I went on with my family, both of which are in chronological order. I even try to make sure that the events within a day are in order: I must have a secret librarian trying to get out! Last years cruise album I think I will need to extend. I have one LSNED album (6X6 – chronological) and JYC didn’t quite happen for me. The album I made for my parents of their 50+ years together is in chronological order. I’ve just started a new scrapbook for my Mom of her garden, which may be organised by seasons, but everything else has no system – I just put them in the album as they’re done and sometimes I move them around if I think that goes with that or whatever.
    The first album I ever bought was a K&Co gate fold album, which I extended twice. It has empty page protectors but really the spines couldn’t take any more – my pages are too chunky. I stocked up on some albums from TKMaxx and I’ve filled one so far this year and started on my second. I was thinking of sorting them but I’ve not quite worked out how just yet.
    Rainy days I tend to scrap, rather than sort. But I have a reason to sort through this month – maybe they’ll get re-arranged at the same time.

  16. Lisa M. Zepponi Says:

    LOL! I did this page organization last weekend! I have one book for each year of my son’s life, one for “family; immediate & extended” I have a Christmas and Easter album(s) w/ multiple years. I also made one for my 40th b-day and I have started one just for me (I only have 3 pages…it is going very slow). I agree with you…if an event has 10 pages+ LO; it becomes its own book; otherwise it is chronological all the way! Great topic!

  17. Beth Says:

    Chronological in one (events, holidays stuff for everyone), stuff about me in one, I have a pregnancy sort of one, and SmallC has one of her own. I have a couple of small albums, and they get used for whatever I make that is that size, and I have some complete albums from project days and stuff like that. I store as I go….but if you’d seen my house, you’d know why L Plus..I don’t have as much time to scrap as I’d like so it’s not so hard to do that….

  18. Zahra Says:

    I tend to put mine away as soon as I scrap them, but full postbound albums stop me from doing that as I would like!! Have got several D-ring albums (some full) but wonder if other people suffer from them ‘falling out’ the bottom when the alumb’s not full yet? Also, have got some really textured and thick LOs recently that seem to be ruining the rest of my pages – what do you do with the thick pages? And, Shimelle, how many albums do you have in total and where do you store them? (if on display, can we see?! ;))

  19. Andrea Says:

    I love all the organising ideas. I’m only now starting to scrap on 12×12 paper and just ordered my first album. Before I mainly did minibooks which are easy to organise as they are a book in itself :-)

  20. Melissa Stinson Says:

    I totally agree with Natalie that it’s refreshing to see another influential scrapper who organizes their layouts chronologically. I was beginning to feel a bit beaten down by all the anti-chronological talk that’s been going around lately. I wasn’t planning on changing the way I scrap and store pages because of it, but it is nice to hear another voice of agreement. :)

    As for how I store my pages, my system is almost exactly like yours (right down to using black cloth covered 12×12 D-ring albums for yearly scrapbooks and other patterns/colors for special albums). I, too split out pages into special albums based on whether they were from a particular vacation or event that deserves its own book, or if I just have a lot of pages about something.

    I totally loved this post!! I read another similar one by May Flaum last week and wrote a roundup of various album organization posts (that I’ve read over the years) that will be published on my blog on Thursday. I added yours to the list of included posts. :)

  21. Ladkyis Says:

    I tend to be chronological with storage simply because I have been scrapbooking for such a long time. I have kept scrap books since I was in my teens, more than 50 years ago. I also put big events into their own album while scrapping the usual days out and birthdays into the annual album.
    I make an 8×8 album for Journal your Christmas and a smaller one for Learn something new everyday. Those I keep in the guest room so that people who stay will have something light and different to read before they go to sleep. So far they have proved a great success.

  22. Jodpea Says:

    An outsider (i.e. a man) reading this would probably think ur a loon, going to all this effort but there is something SO satisfying about everything in its place isnt there? Its good to hear u’ve done away with your to-be-filed box, I currently have three trays/baskets of half finished cards and they glare at me everytime I go near my desk. I did have a tidy up on Sunday (altho it wasnt raining) but I’m still nowhere near on top of it!!

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  24. Melissa Says:

    I have an album for each of my boys for all their activities. However, they each of a school album also. I have a family album where I put all of our holidays and such. Then if we go on vacation, that gets a separate album.

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