DESIGN BASICS (and how that relates to supplies)
One of my biggest tips for putting together an album is to develop a formula and stick with it for each day. Formulas are key to making this a manageable project. By formula I mean setting up a basic design and repeating it for each day of the album. Don’t reinvent the wheel from one spread to the next. Keep it simple. One of the goals of this project, along with celebrating everyday life, is to actually finish an album.
So what are you going to use to hold all this stuff together? First decide what size you want to do: 12×12, 8.5×11, mixed up sizes, 8×8, etc. Will it be paper or digital or a combination? Album or photobook?
There are tons of different ways this can come together.
1. Use a photo album. Maybe something like this. This is a great option if you are sticking with just words + photos. Slide the photos in, add a couple journaling cards (4×6) and call it good. You could print out these Days + Months journaling cards to use in this project. You can take this idea one step further and add in a bit more craftiness by embellishing/decorating those printed journaling cards. Consider paint, patterned paper, etc.
2. The square-punch/collage route. This is one of my go-to techniques when I am working with large quantities of photos. You could choose to simply create a collage of square punched photos for each day. This is a great way to showcase an overall sense of pieces of the whole. One side of your two-page spread could have a favorite shot (or two) and the other page could have a bunch of square-punched photos. The end result of this project does not need to be complicated.
3. The mixed-up, 3-ring album. I am going to go with an 8.5×11 Amercian Crafts Courdory album and potentially use a variety of different page sizes (depending on the amount of content). For page protectors I will be using a combination of Avery Trading Card pocket pages sandwiched between the page protectors that come with the American Crafts album (I will have one of the trading card pocket pages for each day as well as the 2-page spread). I may add in some others as well.
I am considering doing an enlargement of my favorite photo from the day for the second page of the spread. I think it would be cool to contrast that with the smaller photos. That first page of the spread will likely include a collage of photos – some square punched and others cropped.
One of the reasons I like going with a 3-ring album is that if you end up with tons of content (words + photos + stuff) you can always add in more page protectors or pages in different sizes. So much of this will depend on how much you have to work with at the end of the week. Additional divided page protector resources: Fancy Pants, We Are Memory Keepers (2-up, 4×6, 8.5×11), We Are Memory Keepers (6-up, 4×6, 12×12), see other We Are Memory Keeper options here, or you could go with an album + page protector system from Scrapworks (this is the album I used in the beginning when teaching this project).
PRODUCTS TO CONSIDER
Story of Today Overlays: these can be used digitally (created to work with these layered templates – you can buy them together here) or printed out and worked on/added to with other traditional embellishments. This is going to be the first page of each of my spreads. I released a new set of these in 8.5×11 format at Designer Digitals this past weekend (much easier to print if you don’t have an oversized printer). The layered templates would be great for use in a photobook.
Days + Months Title + Journal Photo Overlays (see image above under #1): one of the cool things about these overlays is that they can be used on top of photos or as journaling blocks. You could download these and use them for your journaling for each day of the week (a cool way to use a digital product in a traditional album).
For this sort of project, and for much of my work, I look for products that are universal which can be used on more than just this creative adventure. The ones below all have to do with “everyday” themes, three of which are stamps that can be used again and again.
Heidi Swapp Days of the Week Journaling Spots (adhesive backed weekday labels)
7gypsies Life Creme Patterned Paper (could be my favorite paper)
Hoping the above ideas will give you a jumping off point for creating with photos + words + stuff. Remember, this is a project that has many, many different solutions. Trust your own instincts and allow your content to guide you as you begin thinking about how you want to put this together.
Keep it simple. Let the content be the star.
A complete list of posts related to the week in the life project can be found here.