AE Project Life® | Basic Supplies

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I've been doing Project Life® for a few years now and figured it was way past time to do an essentials/what I use most guide. I've gotten a few emails from people recently asking about my go-to items and I'd love to have a simple place to link them to in the future.

Here goes:

1. 12x12 ALBUM | I've used both We R Memory Keepers and American Crafts albums. Both are great. I'm partial to the We R Memory Keepers. Mine are all black. I'm thinking, though, for my travel album that I might branch out to a white or other color.

2 . DESIGN A PAGE PROTECTORS | One of the ways I keep it simple is by always using the same base page protectors. Some people might find this boring and I almost did but as I make my way through this year and some of last year I'm super happy to have this decision already made for me each week. I can always add in inserts for more photos in different configurations if I need them on a particular week.

3. CORE PROJECT LIFE® KIT | Usually just one at a time. I picked up Midnight recently and I love it. I've also used Seafoam, Clementine, and Turquoise.

4. STUDIO CALICO PROJECT LIFE® KITS | Another thing that has simplified the process for me is working just with the supplies from a monthly kit. Each month over the last year and a half I've shared one week from my Project Life album that has been created only using products from the Studio Calico Project Life® Kits. I enjoy the process of cleaning off my table and only working from the kit. In addition there is a ton of inspiration over on the Studio Calico site for ideas on working with these kits.

5. CORNER CHOMPER | I am one of those people that likes to have the corners rounded so I do it on almost every thing that I insert into the pockets if they aren't alreday. I started that way and I still love it. What I love about the Corner Chomper is that it can cut through thicker material as well - like chipboard or plastic. I also did just purchase the Project Life® corner rounder to check it out.

6. PRECISION PENS | The .03 Precision Pen is my go-to. I use these to write on journal cards and to write on my photos. I also sometimes use Slick Writers (all of the weights).

7. TINY ATTACHER | The Tiny Attacher is another one of those products that I use just about every single week. The staples are smaller than a regular sized stapler and I use it to attach all kinds of things to my journal cards and photos: sequins, die-cuts, tickets, small embellishments, etc.

8. FISKARS TRIMMER | You can definitely do Project Life® without a trimmer but I still use mine frequently for cutting digital cards or photos. This trimmer from Fiskars continues to be my favorite.

9. AVERY INDEX TABS | On just about every single insert (page protector) I add to a week I include one of these 2-inch Index tabs. They make it super easy to identify why I've included an insert (like "beach weekend") or to simply add another senetiment ("remember this"). I often pair these tabs with this stamp set: Just Awesome. Check out an example of how I use these here: 2014 | Week 8 or 2013 | Week 13.

10. ADHESIVE FOAM SQUARES | For anything I want to have stick-up off the page a bit, these little foam squares are my go-to.

11. MARTHA STEWART GLUE PEN | This glue pen has come in handy for adhering really small items like sequins or fine-line cut items from the Silhouette.

12. DATE STAMP | A traditional rolling date stamp is such a simple way to add dates to your album. I also love these little rolling sentiment stamps: Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm Roller Stamp, Wanderlust Phrase Roller Stamp, and Cut & Paste Amy Tangerine Phrase Stamp.


Project Life® is a product and a system and a lifestyle created by Becky Higgins. It can be anything you want it to be. The core pieces used in my album are available here. If you live outside the US check Becky’s site for more information on sources. View all my posts about Project Life® here.

19 thoughts shared

  1. J3SS1C4

    2014-03-04 12:34:21 +0100

    Thank you for sharing. It's always fun to see what other people use for projects like this! I was to try out this paper trimmer... I've had no luck with trimmers in the past and currently use a craft knife and metal ruler to cut things down, but it is so tedious!

    * edited 08/08/14 11:55PM
  2. Jessica @The Mom Creative

    2014-03-04 13:04:52 +0100

    I love seeing what others consider their go-to Project Life supplies. Thanks for the post, Ali!

    * edited 08/08/14 11:55PM
  3. Sam

    2014-03-04 13:15:21 +0100

    Love this!!! Thanks!

    * edited 08/08/14 11:55PM
  4. Alida

    2014-03-04 13:35:07 +0100

    Great post. I'm so glad you're "sticking" with the Design A page protectors. Not boring at all, and it really simplifies decisions when taking a photo as well.

    * edited 08/08/14 11:55PM
  5. Michelle t.

    2014-03-04 14:10:49 +0100

    Thanks for the list. I always want to know what others are using. Michelle t

    * edited 08/08/14 11:55PM
  6. Jo-Anne

    2014-03-04 14:24:55 +0100

    THANK YOU Ali for sharing this with us!

    It has been a great help for me to reconcile what i am currently using and what i am missing.

    * edited 08/08/14 11:55PM
  7. Laura Turcotte

    2014-03-04 14:27:09 +0100

    Very interesting!I haven't started PL ..yet...but have been purchasing a few starter items...page protectors have been confusing to me. This helps. Thanks

    * edited 08/08/14 11:55PM
  8. Allison

    2014-03-04 16:22:31 +0100

    Thanks Ali. This is similar to my list, though I need to get back in the groove. My favorite part is when you talk about using black but maybe branching out to a white. I laughed at first, but then realized that's kind of me. Ha!

    * edited 08/08/14 11:55PM
  9. Amanda

    2014-03-04 16:48:55 +0100

    Love this Ali, thanks for sharing your go to PL supplies!

    * edited 08/08/14 11:55PM
  10. Melissa

    2014-03-04 16:53:47 +0100

    Fantastic list. Keeping it simple is the key to getting it done!

    * edited 08/08/14 11:55PM
  11. Michelle S

    2014-03-04 16:59:55 +0100

    I still think you had a hand in this whole project life thing with your make your own divided pages :)

    * edited 08/08/14 11:55PM
  12. Sherry

    2014-03-04 17:09:02 +0100

    Great post Ali! I always like to see what other people are using to see if there is something I can do to improve my process. Looks like I could use a couple of new items. Thanks for sharing.:)

    * edited 08/08/14 11:55PM
  13. Karen

    2014-03-04 17:49:00 +0100

    Thank you so much Ali!! I love seeing how your mind works which is so helpful. Time to buy some new products ....loving the corner chomper.

    * edited 08/08/14 11:55PM
  14. Nancy

    2014-03-04 18:33:39 +0100

    Ali - what finish do you use for your photos? I am wondering because you say you use the precision pen on your photos - does it write on glossy finishes? Or, do you have to use a slick writer on a glossy print? Thanks!

    * edited 08/08/14 11:55PM
  15. Patricia

    2014-03-04 20:00:23 +0100

    Thanks for sharing this summary of what you use . It is so helpful in knowing that some of these great standard products do not go out of style and are still so useful.

    * edited 08/08/14 11:55PM
  16. Natasha

    2014-03-06 06:31:29 +0100

    Love everything you have to share. I have always wondered how you resize and print out the small vertical photos. What is the simplest method to print them at home or have them printed elsewhere? Is the quality the same? Also, how do you resize your photos to 2x3? Do you print two images side by side on a 4x6 to save paper? Can you send something like this to a photo shop to be printed for you? I would love to get started with PL but have been held back by printing and sizing photos for way to long. Finding it difficult to find something that would make this process easy.

    * edited 08/08/14 11:55PM
  17. Carrie

    2014-03-09 07:19:26 +0100

    Great Ali, thanks for sharing. Would love to learn what you use to adhere the Avery index tabs to your page protectors. Can it be as simple as a glue stick??

    * edited 08/08/14 11:55PM
  18. Friday Favorites no. 019 // old + new links | amelia writes.

    2014-03-14 04:31:16 +0100

    […] A nice little list of basic Project Life supplies. […]

    * edited 08/08/14 11:55PM
  19. 5.5 Tips For Beginning Memory Keepers | Ali Edwards

    2014-04-21 15:49:52 +0200

    […] TWO | Start simple. Don’t go out and buy a bunch of craft supplies or feel like you have to have a whole room set up to document your life. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with everything that’s available. Start with the basics: an album to hold your photos or your layouts (those might be 12×12 or 8.5×11 or 6×8), some pens for writing your story, some paper or journaling cards and something to use to take pictures (I use my iphone probably more than 60% of the time these days). You can see my list of basics and things I recommend here. Also my list of Project Life basics here. […]

    * edited 08/08/14 11:55PM
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