A Process for Project Life – Paperclipping 234

paperclipping 234

Do you ever feel like you’re battling with Project Life?

I know Project Life is designed to make scrapbooking simple, fast, and easy. And I believe it does that for people who have not been scrapbooking a whole lot like you and I have.

When I look back on the years I’ve tried on and off to do PL, I realize I’ve been battling with it —

  • battling with its colored cards to keep everything from looking chaotic and disjointed
  • battling with the pocket orientations
  • battling with the time it takes to get it done

But the battle is over.

Over the past year I’ve figured out solutions to all these problems and I want to share them with you. These tips are not rules and they’re not the only way to make your Project Life pages look awesome. These are the tactics I’ve come to love as the way that I make the pages attractive, while letting my photos shine, and still keeping it simple and manageable.

Three Tips for Minimizing Chaos with Project Life

(For the scrapbooker like you and me, who may be a bit of an over-achiever when it comes to memory-keeping).

1. Limit Color

Here are options for how to use color that have consistently given me Project Life pages I love…

  1. Use one color per 2-page spread.
  2. Use two colors in small amounts as accents, with black and white being dominant.

I’m not referring to the photos here. I’m talking about the cards, papers, and accents. In the image above from my video tutorial, you can see that I did the two-color accent option, with black and white being dominant. It’s fresh and energetic, but doesn’t distract from the photos.

2. Use the same 3×4 card across your spread.

I got this idea from my favorite pages in Izzy’s Project Life album and I shared an idea for doing it with washi tape from my December Project Life pages as a way to reduce chaos.

If you have more than two or three journal cards across a spread, you’ll want to break up the repetition with one contrasting card for variation to make it look interesting. Here’s why this looks so good (in addition to keeping it simple and easy!)…

  • It unifies the page.
  • It leads the eye across the page.
  • It won’t compete with your photos.

When you vary each card, especially if they’re all a different color or design, you’re adding contrast. Everything that contrasts is trying to get your attention.

What happens when you have lots of different kids all trying to get your attention? Overwhelming? Yeah — that’s how those pages can feel, too.

3. Use embellishments as a solution, not a problem.

Don’t add embellishments only for the sake of adding embellishments. That leads to all kinds of problems and frustration. Think of embellishments as a way to solve design problems. You’ll still have pretty pages and embellishing, but you won’t overdo it and make your pages chaotic.

Need help with some of these Project Life problems?

You can see it all in action on video! I made a tutorial this week where I go through a month of pages (3.5 spreads), and show you how to do all three of these tips, plus additional ones!

It is because of these tips that my most challenging page ended up being my favorite.

I also share my process for completing a month in a quick, simple way that still leads to attractive pages.

You must be a Paperclipping Member to watch the video.

CLICK HERE for info on a membership!

Members can watch the video in the Member’s Area and on iTunes.

Shine On,

  • Great video!

  • Teresa S

    I was more interested in Project Life when Becky provided EVERYTHING in one kit. The whole point was to simplify a process of documenting life in a quick and easy manner. It seems to me now companies are taking the popularity of this concept and expanding it to the point of over saturation. (It almost reminds me of the days when celebrities where slapping their names on scrapbooking products.) I don’t understand why something that started out as an easy process had to become complicated that it can cause a struggle to simplify it again.

    As always, thank you and Izzy for another great video. I always look forwrd to seeing what the next topic will be. Please consider producing one for fussy cut items. Sometimes I get the urge to go back to my childhood days when I would cut the models out of the Sears catalog. I like to cut designs out of busy patterned papers and would enjoy seeing different ways they can be used as design elements on layouts.

  • Looking forward to watching! Wanted to thank you for the videos – I used your tip from “Multiply Your Color Medium” to spray my project over a blank piece of card stock to catch the overspray for a second project. I just used the 2nd/overspray piece and love the way it came out!

    The first project was spraying the sunburst for this card base: http://clickychickcreates.com/2014/01/20/fusion-you-make-me-happy-feeling-crafty/

    The second project (overspray page) was used for this background: http://www.flickr.com/photos/conniehanks/12283551145/in/pool-2367107@N24/

    I usually spray right into my cardboard box and sop up excess with a clean sheet (getting the reversed stencil/image) or a roll of paper towels and just waste it. Sometimes I’ll use scraps to cover any parts I don’t want to get spray on, and will use those colored scraps to punch / use as embellies, but I’ve never done it to create an entire background page. I certainly won’t be “wasting” the overspray anymore!

    Thanks for all the awesome inspiration!! You are amazing : )

  • I love it!! Both of those are so much FUN!! Thanks for sharing. :)

  • Katherine Kelley

    Connie, those are great designs!

  • Katherine Kelley

    Teresa, I agree with you re: the evolution of Project Life. I don’t believe that the change is from Becky Higgins though. I feel it is from several factors: humans constant tinkering with things and processes, Becky’s recognition of ‘fancy folks’ or ‘crafty tinkerers’ and their desire for More, folks not always comfortable with doing a process/craft different than what the Jones’ across the fence are or thinking there are rules, and the ability of companies, manufacturers, groups, etc to make income from the “gilding of the lily” and/or instruction, demonstrations, etc. (BTW, I don’t think that income is a negative or we wouldn’t have Paperclipping for instance).

  • Thank you Katherine!!

  • Thanks Noell! I appreciate your kind words : )

  • geezee

    I have some of the same feelings about PL and have used Becky’s products from the beginning. I also struggled with the pieces of the kit that became redundant like the date stamp that came in the first kits also the date stickers and arrow stickers . I used a color I liked and had so much left over that I still have some from the first kit. I understand that Becky’s business evolved and they have been very responsive to the customers. Maybe they just had so many people that kept coming back and wanting piecemeal to fit their needs that it was in the best interest of their business model to grow in that direction. I sometimes wish for the days of one box had everything I needed, but I am ok with getting a baby kit to give as a gift. I have also grown to like Design F page protectors that did not exist in the beginning so I will continue to support this company and this philosophy that has filled a desperate need in me to scrap simple one day and embellish the next.