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.


  • 101.
    Kristin Rutten said…

    I love how you mix page sizes … do you happen to know of a source for 12×12 sleeves that hold 6 4×6 pics vertically (w/o turning the album)??? I’ve been looking for a while without much luck…

  • 102.
    Anne Alley said…

    Anna’s album is looking beautiful! I love that it’s a mix of elements, like the tiny hospital hat. Those are some of the things my son loves to look at, he can’t believe he was ever that small! The photo of Anna smiling is so lovely.

  • 103.
    Artemis said…

    How come you didn’t use Becky’s KOTM baby kit? It has lots of divided page protectors, etc.

  • 104.
    Edys said…

    Ali… I read your interview for the Creative Scrappers Forum. Love it!!!!! Love your creations!
    Kisses from Brazil

  • 105.
    CD Muckosky said…

    Great start to her book Ali!
    I Love her sweet little smile in that photo, what an angel :)
    She sure looks a lot like you hey?
    Take care and enjoy these precious times,

  • 106.

    Hi Ali
    You simply amaze me…. just a thought on attaching the onesie.. Maybe sew ribbon to the side of the onesie and simply put that in the rings of your album and don’t attach it to the transperany. This way stitching etc won’t rip the transperancy and pins won’t rust. Just a thought. Simply love Anna’s album, you have given me lots of ideas for my album for my little angel Mackenzie (now 5 months – oh where has the time gone??). Keep Inspiring
    Regards Paula

  • 107.
    erin said…

    just an idea . . . to attach the onsie – you should sew a few little hearts onto it through the transparency, or maybe even a few “a’s”, i think that would be super cute!

  • 108.
    carla said…

    I love this idea!! I have a bunch of those crop n style pages, what a way to use those for baby memorbilia!!

  • 109.
    Jeanne said…

    You have already started such a beautiful memory book that she will treasure her whole life! What child wouldn’t love looking through that! My children (daughter especially) loves looking through all our albums.

  • 110.
    Casey Maupin said…

    I think sewing would be your best option for the onesie. You could use the small Cropadile punch to make two small holes on each side of the transparency, then do one or two stitches through, anchoring the outfit. Just a snip would release it in the future. Beautiful album!

  • 111.

    Your daughter is just so precious…
    and I adore the amazing memories you are treasuring for her :)

  • 112.
    Chris Dodaj said…

    oh Ali, that album is just stunning.
    And that picture, just melts my heart – what a beautiful baby girl she is!

  • 113.
    Darlene said…

    On the onesie I would cut out a “form” for it to fit on out of cardboard/chipboard.. kinda like they do for mens dress shirts etc. you would make it so that it shirt hangs on it flat? am I explaining what I mean? I can see it in my mind.. but this way it would lay flat and you would not have to pin or attach per se. I just finished my little one’s book and did it the same way however I also had blank 12×12 calendar pages that I would decorate at the beginning of each month – hung it on the wall and randomly would write notes to her.. then at the end of the month I used the free program Photosheet and would just put 12-16 photos (turns all those into one jpeg) and would upsize it to 12×12 and that would be the complimentary pg.. I did not realize how much I would enjoy it. Maddie is now 18 months and last night I realished going back over those notes and glancing at the photospreads.. they grow up like lightning! now I am just chasing her everywhere! enjoy!

  • 114.
    Melissa said…

    OMG! She is so so beautiful! Her teeny little face with that smile! Her album looks great- I love the font you used for her name!

  • 115.
    Deb Jones said…

    I like your eclectic albun for Anna. I think it will be very special because of th neat things you are including. That’s a great picture.

  • 116.
    Deb Jones said…

    Your eclectic album for Anna is a winner. I think it is so special because of th different things you are putting in it and the way it’s so not everything the same. That’s a great picture too.

  • 117.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Love the idea of including a calendar. Thank you.

  • 118.
    Anna said…

    …how about laying a clear transparency on top or bottom sandwiching the onesie in between the two transparensies…then machine stitching around the outside of the onesie?

  • 119.

    Anna’s album is going to be perfect! How about hand stitching a couple of stitches on the shoulders and legs of the onesie? Maybe in pink thread even. Have fun I look forward to following your album.

  • 120.
    Ali Edwards said…

    I may use some pieces from that kit in addition (the page protectors are great). I like a more eclectic/non-matching look.

  • 121.
    Stephanie said…

    LOVE the album:)
    If it were me, I would sew two 12×12 (undivided) page protectors together on three sides (leaving the top open) creating a pocket and slip the onesie down inside. Then you could add some journaling or a small picture or something inside of the top page protector so that it’s on top of the onesie while still preserving it???
    That might be overdoing page protectors and I’m really not sure what it would look like?
    I wouldn’t add any stitching or pins to the onesie…that would for sure ruin it.

  • 122.
    Shannon Davey said…

    This is just gorgeous! Anna will treasure it. I haven’t read through all the comments so sorry if I am repeating. Are you using this album like a store bought one for trinkets and things, and will she have her own album of just scrapbook pages too or is this it for the first year! I love the whole concept it is fantastic. I love the onsie in the album I have kept some but that is a great place to store them!
    Thanks for sharing, look forward to watching Anna grow and seeing what you choose to document.

  • 123.
    creatingorder said…

    As always, Ali, your album (and your baby) are beautiful. I love that you’re keeping things “selectively”. As a Professional Organiser, that’s what I try to convey to my clients – that not stuff has the same value. The beautiful wedding photo does not have the same value as the 5th blurry photo of your holiday destination. By getting rid of the blurry one, you are not dishonouring it, you are honouring the beautiful one.

  • 124.
    Débora Prass said…

    Makes me want to do my kids baby album all over again! I had never tought about puting it inside the album! What a beautiful picture of your little girl…

  • 125.
    Ali Edwards said…

    This is just the first year :) .

  • 126.
    Joan said…

    I always love your layouts and albums. The one for Anna is just wonderful. She is so cute!
    It’s funny, but I still have my daughter’s baby hat (she’s 20 and in college now) and it looks just like Anna’s! Must be the standard hospital baby hat!
    Thanks for sharing all your great ideas.

  • 127.
    tchrtiff said…

    So creative, you are Ali. Love what you’ve shared with us thus far. Has given me motivation to work on my son’s album (he’s 2 now).
    Also love your music/cd idea. I’ve always kept a collection of songs in my head that I’ve called ‘Allysa’s Songs’ but I had never thought to put them on a cd. Duh! I think I’ll make the CD with some notes on why I chose each song.
    Love the photo of Anna & you. Definitely need to print it up very large.

  • 128.
    katie said…

    Beautiful! I don’t have time to read all of the comments, so this my be out there already…I would attach her onesie to the transparency with some safety pins. Cute & simple!

  • 129.
    Kimberly said…

    Just wanted to remind you that you are a ROCK STAR!!! I think you are doing a great job!! I didn’t have a single thing actually in my daughter’s (or son’s for that matter) albums until well after their first birthday. In fact my dd turns 4 on Easter and her album needs a lot of attention!!! Great job using your time wisely!!! I need some lessons!!

  • 130.
    karine said…

    Thank you for always sharing all your wonderfull ideas with us! I wish you and your family a lot of happyness!

  • 131.
    Thinkie said…

    maybe you can attach the onesie with a few stitches trough the plastic and stick something (a layout?) on the back of the page protector to cover up the stitches and keep the plastic from tearing up where the stitches are. Or stitch the onesie to cardstock and slide it in the pageprotector.
    Don’t forget to include a photo of the whole family!
    It’s already becoming a great album!

  • 132.
    Lara said…

    I love it! Such a treasure!!

  • 133.
    Susan W said…

    Thanks for jump starting my desire to scrap again. I ordered some different sized page protectors yesterday. I am going to look into a new album today. A big 12×12 so I can fit lots of fun things into it. I have lots of things saved from my little guy. this will give me a chance to tell some new stories. Before I forget them.
    Thanks again!

  • 134.
    michelle said…

    amazing… what else can be said! thank you for your always wonderful inspiration.

  • 135.

    Fabulous approach to a baby keepsake album! This was yesterday’s most Scraptagious link on Congrats!

  • 136.
    karen said…

    Smiling Anna just melted my heart! I hope to someday be a grandma and hold a baby just as beautiful as Anna.

  • 137.
    Melissa said…

    For the onesie page, couldn’t you punch holes in the transparency and run some ribbon through the holes to tie the garment in place. Sounds like it would work and there wouldn’t be any need for adhesive. Just an idea.

  • 138.
    Amy Hayes said…

    Ali, what a wonderful album for Anna. She will treasure every page. I love the idea of using a variety of page sizes in a 12×12 album. Thank you for the inspiration!

  • 139.
    MsCheeks said…

    awww alli! My little grandson is just days apart from your anna and he is smiling also…so sweet just melts me…..xoxox

  • 140.
    Hannah Brockett said…

    Hi Ali
    I love your baby book and having recently had a baby (she’s 4 months now) I wonder if I should do the same kinda thing… just wondered did you do something similer for Simon.. I ask as I have a 3 year old and I didn’t start scrapping till he was 1? Should I feel guilty about not having one for him and try to create one or am I worrying too much…

  • 141.
    LizT said…

    Hum… just had a thought, maybe you could vaccum seal (like those meat/veggie sealers or the ones used for clothes/blankets.. assuming you could work with both)the onsie and then attach it to the transparency. That way nothing has to touch it and it’s protected as well.
    Just a thought..
    Fabulous album!!

  • 142.
    Chris Wenzel said…

    the kerjink (sp?) or the tagger is a great way to attah. It is like the one in the clothing store.

  • 143.
    Irene said…

    It melts my heart to see the dedication you have in preserving your little girl’s memories.
    Sorry, I can’t help myself. You could cut out a body shape out of cardstock and slip it inside the onesie for support, cut slits in the transparency and attach the onesie to it with organza ribbon as if it were a gift.
    Maybe even use one of the ribbons from the baby gifts.
    Cheers, Irene :)

  • 144.
    Kbscraps21 said…

    I think she looks just like you….so sweet.

  • 145.
    mitchmac said…

    Hi Ali,
    This album is simply georgous. I have only recently started reading your posts, but it has inspired me to create and album for each of my daughters first 5 years as I have a stash of the beautiful AC window-albums.
    I especially love the way you have embellished the front of the album and just had a quick question – how did you create the little box in the window with Anna’s name on it – i would love to do this for each of my daughter’s albums.

  • 146.
    Yvonne Stehle said…

    Ali, i so love making these albums and later looking through them. I was very diligent with the album of the first child and less so with the second and third. I also included some envelope with shopping list and bills to see wht we bought and where and how much it did cost then (we,ve been living abroad so this was very interesting). An I added stamps and some lists of people who were “famous” back then.
    Now talking about this I thik I have to get my hands on the ones for the second and third child…..
    Have fun doing more of all the great things you are doing!

  • 147.
    Yvonne Stehle said…

    Ali, i so love making these albums and later looking through them. I was very diligent with the album of the first child and less so with the second and third. I also included some envelope with shopping list and bills to see wht we bought and where and how much it did cost then (we,ve been living abroad so this was very interesting). An I added stamps and some lists of people who were “famous” back then.
    Now talking about this I thik I have to get my hands on the ones for the second and third child…..
    Have fun doing more of all the great things you are doing!

  • 148.
    Shannon Davey said…

    Would love to know the same, there are some that hold both horizontal and vertical in same sleeve, but I would love some that are all vertical. Love my horizontal ones! Just find I take lots of portrait shots.

  • 149.
    Laura Melohn said…

    What a great albuM!

  • 150.
    Maggie said…

    Stitching is a cool idea–I also had a thought that a fast solution might be a tag gun with the little bitty tags–they come in a nice soft pink. Love my tag gun for bulky items. You could even put grommets behind the page to be sure they didn’t pull through.

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