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.


  • 51.
    Annette said…

    The album is wonderful and inspiring as always. I love the last photo of Anna looking at you. such a treasure.

  • 52.
    stripeydots said…

    You’ve inspired me once again, thank you! I love that you use different page sizes and include not just layouts but other keepsake items in the album. Both of my boys’ keepsake items are currently in cute boxes but I’m now inspired to change that and create an album like yours for each of them.

  • 53.
    {vicki} said…

    My son had that same hospital cap when he was born 9 years ago. We put it on the christmas tree every year along with his first pair of mittens.
    Yes, I like the 3 ring binders for the same reason as being able to use different size page protectors within the album.

  • 54.
    Grace Keith said…

    Just a thought on attaching the onesie. I think if you used your smallest hole punch and punched 2 holes into the transparency at both shoulders and maybe another set down by the snaps, you could use adorable baby pins to attach it. Jo-ann’s has some baby pins that have little rings attached for beading but I’ve been using those little rings to knot different textures of ribbon. It would be super cute on her onesie!

  • 55.
    Tracy Rizzo said…

    maybe you could punch small holes in the transparency and stitch the onesie on with thread?

  • 56.
    Liana said…

    Question, for the newspaper clipping…do you use archival spray?
    and a suggestion for the onesie…maybe a few small well placed stitches to adhere it to the page?

  • 57.
    Lindsay R said…

    BEAUTIFUL book! i’m loving the simplicity, yet thoroughness of being able to include non-paper goodies. that last picture of anna looks sooooooo much like chris (is it the eyes, maybe?). thanks for sharing!

  • 58.
    Jenni said…

    I love seeing how you’re documenting Anna’s life. I too have a new baby girl and have just been getting started on her album. The hardest thing so far, besides finding the time to work on it, is actually ordering pictures. I have sat down at my computer three times to pick some pictures to order so that I can start on some pages, and instead I get sucked in and just look at the pictures.
    I’m using Becky Higgin’s baby kit for my daughter’s album – I just needed something where I had everything othewise I’d spend too much time trying to decide on papers and embellishments and never get anything done. But I think I’ll also use your idea of having some page protectors that are divided into 4×6 sections. And I’m definitely doing a page like the one that is currently first in your album. I was trying to decide what do with our hospital bracelets and her hat and that is the perfect place for them!

  • 59.
    Dianne Nelson said…

    What about putting the transparency and the onsie together in a page protector? No adhesive needed that way…
    The only other idea I have is brads…
    What a great book! I love how you are putting it together.

  • 60.
    Noell Hyman said…

    Molly–my babies spit up so much that I never had a onesie that wasn’t stained after the first use–unlike Anna’s perfectly white onesie in the photo (so lucky).
    I did save favorite outfits from each of my kids to give them when they have babies. Trinity was just asking to see them yesterday. Amazing how seeing those little outfits fill me with so many memories and emotions.

  • 61.
    Noell Hyman said…

    Cool. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

  • 62.
    Michelle said…

    Hi Ali-
    I have an I-tunes suggestion for you. I know you are a big U2 fan- check out “Strung Out On U2.” U2 songs performed in a classical music genre. Beautiful and soothing, perfect baby music!

  • 63.
    liz a. said…

    aaahhhh! isn’t she just too sweet. i love when they start smiling at you; it is so from their little heart! sigh! enjoy her every day, and thank you so much for sharing all your good ideas, you are too kind.

  • 64.
    SchoolMommy said…

    Love the idea of making the baby book home to more than just photos! My “baby” is almost 13, but I still have a lot of baby stuff tucked away without a home and your example really inspires me. Thanks for sharing.

  • 65.
    Maureen said…

    How about attaching the onesie by adding eyelets to the transparency and using diaper pins? you might have to bend the diaper pin slightly to get it to work, but it sure would be cute, and it certainly fits the theme! Two eyelets (spaced not so closely together) for each pin would help discourage the bulk.
    A paper tagger used alone might gradually tear the transparency.

  • 66.
    Tona said…

    What a wonderful start you’ve made on the her album. Including other elements will make the book so much more interesting to look through down the road.

  • 67.
    Andrea said…

    I just wanted to say how much you have just inspired me. I am working on my daughter’s baby book (she’s almost 3) and while it is from a kit (the Becky Higgins one) I love the idea about the page with the onsie. Right now all of her baby clothes are in a box and I’ve been looking for a special way to display them…what a great idea!!

  • 68.
    cindy barriga said…

    One word… BEAUTIFUL!
    Thank you for letting us see such a personal album. :D

  • 69.
    Andrea said…

    I have the BH kit and I put her hat and bracelets in one of the 6×6 envelopes on the “your arrival” page.

  • 70.
    ShellyJ said…

    An absolute adorable boook! I can’t wait to see more of it in the future.

  • 71.
    Amy B said…

    I love it! Just perfect!

  • 72.
    DeVonne said…

    She has Simon’s smile! So sweet! Love the idea of the hospital hat in the album.

  • 73.
    Shelly VanWormer said…

    I thought there was 2 transparencies made into a pocket that the onesie was in. Although, that is now an idea, make a transparency pocket. Thanks for sharing.

  • 74.
    Daphna said…

    Ok I just have to say that photo of Anna smiling at you is precious! It’s moments like that that make motherhood so amazing!
    Thanks for sharing. as always, wishing you continued happiness.

  • 75.
    Heather Woodbury said…

    The most incredible baby album I’ve ever seen.

  • 76.
    Melanie said…

    She is just so gorgeous! Of course you know that, but I had to say it … the book is fantastic (as always!) I want to do something like this also (my baby is now 9 months old! so hard to believe).

  • 77.
    Rakel Shideler said…

    Hi Ali,
    I LOVE LOVE your blog! You’re so inspiring and I always leave your blog feeling happy and sooo inspired! Anna’s album looks amazing! My daughter is 7 years old, and I wish I would have made her an album like that when she was a baby. I might start on it now and make it slightly different, as I don’t have the newspapers and stuff. I know little Anna will treasure her album forever! But Keep up the good work girl!
    Best wishes from Italy xxx

  • 78.
    Carrie P said…

    Love the look and feel, thanks for including little things like onesies. Enjoy your beautiful daughter!

  • 79.
    Liz Ness said…

    LOVE that you’ve kept a onesie in her album! What a great idea! It has me looking at the box of Duncan’s little clothes. Hmm…
    Also, I love the photo of you and her and that cute smile! Your kids are sooooo cute (such great smiles, both of them)!
    Thanks for sharing and bringing a smile (and awesome idea) to my morning!

  • 80.
    kelly said…

    How about little tiny clothes pins to attach the onesie to the transparency?

  • 81.
    Just a girl said…

    Beautiful…Sweet and simple…LOVE the photo of Anna…Adorable…
    love you sweets!
    kiss kiss

  • 82.
    Heidi said…

    it is all completely lovely. i really love how you keep things simple yet everything seems to turn out perfectly. congrats on your new little one, she is just precious!

  • 83.
    Giselle said…

    Hi Ali.. I came across this song today, and I remembered that I saw this post of yours about music for baby Anna..
    The song is: I hope you dance by Lee Ann Womack.. It’s a very very beautiful song, that I think every mother wants to sing to their childrens.. By the way, great start on Anna’s baby album, love it..!! Hope you like the song,
    Giselle xxx

  • 84.
    Shannon said…

    What a wonderful way to share all your memories with your little one. Times go by so fast, treasure it when they are this small. Thanks for sharing :)

  • 85.
    Glenda said…

    She may have Simon smile but she looks like your Mother :o )thank you for sharing. Have a blessed day

  • 86.
    4JJM said…

    Ali- I am slowly switching all of my 25+ 12×12 albums to D-ring. I love the idea of mixing all shapes and sizes of layouts into one album. Thanks for the idea – it has opened up a whole new world to me!

  • 87.
    Kathy F said…

    I love ANNA’s BOOK! :) I simply love your layouts…some are simple, some are very artistic, but all are BEAUTIFUL….Thanks so much for sharing with all of us! :)

  • 88.
    Sarah said…

    Thanks for sharing this Ali, I can’t believe you’ve had time to do so much already! That last picture of you and Anna is so precious, congratulations on your new blessing!

  • 89.
    Nancy said…

    Really like what you have so far… I like the idea of putting the memorabilia/things right in with the other pages – I have this little box thing someone gave us and I didn’t like the paper it was covered in, so I started decoupaging over it. Not surprisingly, it’s still half-decoupaged, the baby stuff is in various places and my kiddo is 4, LOL. This, I could do and everything would be in one place. :)

  • 90.
    erin said…

    she is so beautiful, ali!

  • 91.
    Lanette said…

    Please consider the safety pins might rust. My mom gave me some of my baby clothes, some were safety pinned and they rusted on to the material. She lives near the ocean so the moisture I’m sure played a part.
    I love this idea of putting the baby clothing in the album, I have no wall space for a shadow box, so this idea is fabulous. My babies premies clothes are so small they’ll fit in an 8 1/2 x 11 page protector.

  • 92.
    Lanette said…

    I like that idea of the hat on the tree. I have little bunnie booties from my twins that would be perfect on the easter tree. I was just looking at them yesterday with the girls and wondering what to do with them. Fabulous idea Vicki.

  • 93.
    laura said…

    you may have gotten this already, but you could poke a few holes in the transparency and “sew” the onesie on.

  • 94.
    Shelly Kettell said…

    Oh my gosh she is SO CUTE!!!
    and of course the album is looking good too!
    Thanks for sharing!

  • 95.
    Linda Beeson said…

    Is that photo totally sweet! Fun stuff to capture! LOVE the album, jealous that you are so on the ball!!!

  • 96.
    Anika said…

    I love this book. So beautiful. I love this book you are using. I have the AC regular blush album fo rmy daughter But I love this as a future album for her ( she is 4 working on book year 2) My son is 14 months I am now starting his book and I love the idea of the AC corduroy albums. What made you switch to pink. I saw taht all your books were brown, even your sons. What do you think about the ac courdory compared to the cloth. And can you get a good amount of layouts in it Mine is a little wobbly.

  • 97.
    Anika said…

    sorry i did two comments oops

  • 98.
    Christine Drevo said…

    Hi Ali-
    Love Anna’s book she is absolutely adorable. Love your ideas and everything is so girlie I love that. As far as attaching Anna’s onesie have you considered using a clothing tag gun? I think they sell them at

  • 99.
    Alisa said…

    This is just beautiful…..I love the idea of including the little onsie….might you be able to somehow stitch it to the transparency?? It might add a cute element to the whole thing….
    blessings Alisa

  • 100.
    Lynn said…

    So cute so far! I didn’t read all of your comments so this may have been suggested…but maybe you could get another onsie transparency and attach them together on 3 sides and use as a pocket for the onesie. It’s amazing how fast they grow. My little girl will be 22 this month. She was born in Portland at Emanuael. I miss that city! Well, thanks for sharing Annas book, love it!

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