Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

April 6, 2009

Anatomy of an Album: Baby (the beginnings)


American Crafts 12x12 Corduroy album in Blush; K&Company Butterfly; Hambly Butterfly transparency ]

And so it begins. A collection of stuff: images, stories, and bits of this & that picked up along the way.

I want Anna's baby album to essentially be a home for a bunch of different things. Some pages will be artsy, some simple, and others will just act as a place to store stuff. Little things (like the hospital bracelets & hat below) will be kept safe and sound inside the pocket of a page protector.

My mission is to selectively keep stuff, tell stories, and create a home for the memories of her first year. 

This is not an album with a master plan. There are no spots to fill in the blanks. It doesn't all match. Rather it is something that is evolving as she (and I) evolve.

I am using is a 12×12 3-ring album from American Crafts in Blush. Inside are four different sizes of page protectors from American Crafts: 12×12, 8.5×11, 6×12, and the divided 12×12 with 6 pockets for 4×6 photos. The pages are intermixed from one size to another which is one of my favorite things about 3-ring albums.


The current first page (shown above) is a divided page protector from Crop-In-Style that is designed as sticker & die cut storage. I am using these page protectors for little things because each pocket has an extra piece of transparency that essentially closes the pocket keeping the contents safe inside. This particular page protector has 5 pockets and holds a hat, the hospital bracelets, a clothing tag, the newspaper birth announcement, and the proof of the hospital photo. I envision that I will use more of these throughout the album.


[ Information and supplies on this layout can be found here. ]

One of the reasons I like to include 8.5×11 (besides that I like scrapbooking in that size) is that it fits standard sized papers – such as a document from the hospital and some information from the pediatrician that will be fun to look back on some day. The back of the layout above is a certificate from the hospital with Anna's footprints stamped onto the page.


[ Information and supplies on this layout can be found here. ]


Cosmo Cricket Animal Friends patterned paper]

The layout on the back of the music 6×12 page is one that documents what was happening around here at week 6. Journaling is from this post.


[ Hambly Onesie Transparency ]

As I mentioned in the beginning, I don't want this book to be just layouts. I want to include more bits of life such as this onesie. It's one of those tiny ones that only lasts a few weeks but is such a great reminder of what a miracle this whole thing is in our lives. Currently it is just sitting in there on top of the onsie transparency. I am not sure exactly how I am going to attach it to the transparency yet – I don't want any sort of adhesive that will yellow the onsie. 

The next couple pages are divided 12×12 protectors with 6 pockets for 4×6 photos. I want to be able to quickly slip in some of our favorite photos that may or may not be scrapbooked in a crafty way. 

It's a start. I am excited about getting some more stories documented – especially some layouts about meeting family, our time in the hospital, etc. I've done a few more 12×12 double-page spreads for Creating Keepsakes that will be coming out in issues later this year and will be placed in this album once they are photographed. There's no particular order to how I am telling these stories – usually it just depends on which one is inspiring me the most when I have the time to put something together.

I'm also planning to add in some 12×12 photo enlargements – maybe one like this:


I'm excited and inspired to get more of her stories told and to give them a home in this album.

I'll share some more interior shots again in a couple months as the album begins to grow.


  • 1.
    Jess said…

    A wonderful start to Anna’s baby book Ali! So creative and simple.

  • 2.
    Asta said…

    Ali,Anna’s baby book is gorgeous. It is a wonderful gift for her. It will remind her of the special bond you share.

  • 3.
    Sue said…

    Love what you’ve done so far. Anna will have a lot of wonderful memoires in that baby book. One suggestion about the onesie – include a photo of Anna in that onesie. You will all marvel at how tiny she was at this point in her life!

  • 4.
    breeoxd said…

    hey, just a quick question. Love the book, but do you notice that the three ring binders get very bulky and run out of room quickly? I stopped using them , tho I like them best. do you have any suggestions? Would love the flexibilty again.

  • 5.
    Steph said…

    It’s just beautiful!!! And, oh my gosh, she looks exactly like you in that bottom photo. How cool!!!

  • 6.
    JennyRebecca said…

    She has Simon’s smile!!!

  • 7.
    Scraptician said…

    This is good stuff, Ali. And though the days of my babies are long gone (my oldest turns 18 next week), I appreciate the opportunity to share in your time with Anna.

  • 8.
    Renee said…

    Have you considered using those cute baby safety pins to attach the onesie to the transparency?? Like the ones with little ducks on them? That would be cute and then you wouldn’t have to use any adhesive at all.
    Love what you have done so far. I have no kids, and live vicariously through others. LOL

  • 9.
    SueB said…

    Love the album and especially the smiley ‘n Mom pic at the bottom of the post – it’s a keeper! TFS!

  • 10.
    Jan Connair said…

    Anna’s album is shaping up nicely!
    I wonder if you could just put the onesie into a large Ziploc bag and 3-ring punch the sides of the bag, or staple it onto the Hambly transparency. I have my kids’ first outfits in Ziplocs in what we call their “keepsake boxes.” My oldest 2 sons are 23 and 21, and the outfits are still in great shape–not yellowed at all.

  • 11.
    Michelle said…

    This album is precious! I love how you are mixing page sizes and items all into one concise album. A beautiful keepsake to treasure for years! Thanks so much for always sharing your process with us.

  • 12.
    Karen Kennedy said…

    Thanks so much for sharing your journey. I always am so inspired by your creativity. I have my little one’s hats and clothes in a keepsake box, but I really like the idea of putting them right in the album so we can marvel at the miracle. I am working on my 2 year old and 9 month old’s books and using AC 3 rings too. I started with posts and quickly moved to 3 ring because I love adding the different page protector sizes. Thanks again for sharing your life!

  • 13.
    Elise Blaha said…

    Ali, I love this.

  • 14.
    Cyndi said…

    You could sew the onsie on.

  • 15.
    Susan W said…

    It is beautiful. Makes me want to have another baby :)

  • 16.
    Nicky from Canada said…

    Love it Ali – it is a perfect baby book – she is so cute.

  • 17.
    Staci Miserlian said…

    Ah, I see I was not the first, but I would suggest stitching the onesie on with white thread – not all the way around, just tacking down key areas.
    This looks like a wonderful, creative remembrance book.

  • 18.
    Marty said…

    You are such an amazing,creative artist. Such neat ideas and precious memories. I am in awe!

  • 19.
    Vera said…

    This is perfect. I have a box of these baby items and I have photo albums. Thanks for the ‘permission’ to put them all together! : )

  • 20.
    Katie said…

    This album is adorable…and so is her little face. I’m inspired to finally start an album I’ve been putting off for a long time.

  • 21.
    Michelle said…

    HI Ali-
    The album is so precious! I have another onesie idea- try sewing it on with embroidery floss, maybe a cute tiny butterfly design in certain spots to tack it into place. Safety pins would be cute, but I think they would leave a “rust” mark after a while.

  • 22.
    texasgirl said…

    Love how your album is coming together. That picture of her is just way to cute!

  • 23.
    Danielle said…

    I love what you are doing with Anna’s album it’s going to be a beautiful book for her and for you!

  • 24.
    Noell Hyman said…

    I use these same corduroy AC albums (LOVE them) and I haven’t felt like they were getting full too quickly…makes me wonder, though. What did you switch to?

  • 25.
    Noell Hyman said…

    I love this idea of the safety pins. I was also thinking you could add clear stitching to certain areas–just enough to keep the outfit flat–like packaging for dolls.
    Both of these options would allow for removal in case you ever want to, without doing any damage to the outfit.

  • 26.
    Jane Schneider said…

    I’m embarrassed to admit that I don’t have an official baby book for either of my boys. I’ve got thousands of pictures and hundreds of scrapbook pages, but no “book”. This is so inspiring to me that I think I may actually FINALLY make them. I was always put off by it having to fit into one of those cookie-cutter books and this opens the door for various sizes, content and info.
    Also, the page you made with Anna with the 3 little embellishments has inspired a great book I’m working on for my 7 year old – “About a Boy, Ages 0-7″. I took my 50 favorite pictures of him over the 7 years and sent them to print in 5×7 format. Then, created a basic Word template to print the text & have started cranking out pages. Each picture has a brief story and the last sentence is in a color to match the picture/embellishments. I love it because it is quick (seeing progress=motivation) and it sort of helps me use up odds and ends in my stash. Thanks for sharing so much of your talent and life with us! You certainly do make a difference!

  • 27.
    Noell Hyman said…

    I love the new layout we’re seeing for the first time…the 6×12 on the back of the cd covers page. Thanks for sharing your album progress so far. I always love seeing the realness of your stuff.

  • 28.
    pam said…

    Such a beautiful start to the album. She’s adorable. I was going to suggest tacking the onesie on with stitching but I see others had the same idea.

  • 29.
    Tiffani said…

    Thanks for sharing the album! Cute! I’m sure she’ll treasure it as an adult, and her own childen will delight in it as well!!! She is just precious.

  • 30.
    MichelleJ said…

    This was my suggestion – simple white thread in key places. Not sure how the clear elastic thread will hold up or contribute to yellowing over the years, and safety pins over time can rust, simply with humidity. I always pooh-poohed the idea of taking metal off of clothing I was going to store and hand down in just a few years and had no problem between daughter #1 and #2. But by the time my 3rd daughter wore my fave pair of mini striped blue overalls, the metal hooks and buttons had stained the fabric straps :( .

  • 31.
    Ali Edwards said…

    I haven’t really noticed that as an issue. I actually think I can get many more pages in them than a post-bound album…my pages do tend to be flatter in general though. What are you using instead?

  • 32.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Thought both were great ideas too :) . I think I may do a little of both.

  • 33.
    Ali Edwards said…

    That’s good feedback Michelle.

  • 34.
    alexandra said…

    So lovely!
    Such a treasure trove of beautiful memories and fabulous keepsakes!
    I like the idea of having everything together – I have keepsakes in a special box but it would be wonderful to revisit things and incorporate everything together. I feel a project in the works!! Thanks for always inspiring!

  • 35.
    Geralyn Gray said…

    aaahhhhh Ali—-how beautiful is your new baby girl and the book to remember her by is just as lovely.

  • 36.
    Molly Irwin said…

    great idea, Noell. I always envision my daughter placing her own onesie on her children some day. *sniff* … though considering her diminutive size, it’s doubtful another could actually wear it.

  • 37.
    Molly Irwin said…

    so pretty and tactile, Ali! Once again … i love the varied page size. makes complete sense to this add-pages-as-she-grows approach.

  • 38.
    Molly Irwin said…

    Also, I really like this new comment format. I always like to think of blogging as a conversation. This way it REALLY is.

  • 39.
    Linn Woodard said…

    I love it! I’ve been scrapping with all sizes of page protectors for a while now and I love the flexibility that it offers.

  • 40.
    Rhonda Steed said…

    LOVE that cute photo of Anna at the bottom. And love that you are making Scrapbooking realistic for moms with new babies. :) Great work.

  • 41.
    Megan said…

    She does have Simon’s smile…:) beautiful book. I still add pages to all my kids books, and they are 21, 16, 14.

  • 42.
    Teresa said…

    I love the elegant simplicity of the front cover of Anna’s album. Just beautiful. About the onesie maybe you could tack it down to the transparency by stitching it in four of the corners or to a piece of paper then slide it in the protector.

  • 43.
    ChanelD said…

    what brands and texture of white cardstock do you use?

  • 44.
    Bella said…

    Love the onesie transparency and actual clothing inside the album. Very inspiring! Darling photos of your baby girl!

  • 45.
    krystal said…

    this is beautiful, thanks for sharing.

  • 46.
    Lora said…

    You are so inspiring. I am expecting our first girl (we have three boys) in 39 days and hope to do an album like this…It’s simple and yet full of the details you really want to remember! I LOVE that last photo! Thanks for always sharing with us!!!

  • 47.
    Ali Edwards said…

    It’s gotta be realistic for sure…I am totally living it!

  • 48.
    Anika said…

    Love this! What made you do a pink album for her.. all your albums are brown right even your sons? I love it though I may switch to this blush I have the AC regular blush but i love the courdory! May also do a cord album for my son ( 14mos) I am now working on his baby album! Great ideas.
    Also do your books hold up well.. mine seem fimsy I have ac d ring albums was considering switch to wrmk..any suggestions?

  • 49.
    Ali Edwards said…

    My favorite is Bazzill Lily White. Not sure which actual texture it is…but it is my favorite by far.

  • 50.
    Ali Edwards said…

    I am planning that just this first year album will be pink and then move to the brown ones that I use for Simon, Chris & I, and my family (siblings + parents) books. You can see those here: /2008/05/q-a-albums.html
    My American Crafts have been holding up really well – no complaints.

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