Project Life® 2014 | Week Ten + Tips For Adding More Words & Cutting Up PL Cards

Ali Edwards for Studio Calico | Tips For Adding More Words & Cutting Up PL Cards

Say hello to Project Life® 2014 | Week Ten (March 3rd through March 9th). You can check out all the new kits for July (called Penny Arcade) over at Studio Calico here: Scrapbook Kit | Project Life® Kit | Card Kit.

Today I wanted to share a few specific ideas for getting a few more words in a spread without including an insert with paragraphs of text plus a couple ideas for cutting up the PL cards and making them work for you. Both are things I do over and over again as I tell my stories and craft these spreads.

Here's a look at Week 10:

Ali Edwards for Studio Calico | Tips For Adding More Words & Cutting Up PL Cards

I'm continually struck by the everyday-ness of these spreads - especially as I go back and play catch-up from earlier in the year. Sometimes I just write, man I'm thankful for these ordinary weeks. These kind of weeks are what make up the bulk of our lives.

Ali Edwards for Studio Calico | Tips For Adding More Words & Cutting Up PL Cards

CUT IT UP IDEA NO. 1 | Use a circle punch to punch out a sentiment. The "Stay cool" card was punched with a 2-inch circle punch. I often add a little staple to hold it in place.

ADD MORE WORDS NO. 1 | Write directly onto the pattern cards. I did that above in the middle left card. I wrote "let it go" using a Copic marker and then journaled below letting my words follow the flow of the design on the card. The words here simply talk about how the song was on repeat and Jimmy Fallon is awesome. Nothing profound - in fact it's profoundly mundane and a piece of the everyday story right now and I love it.

ADD MORE WORDS NO. 2 | One of the simplest ways to add a few more personal details to your spreads is by hand-writing or adding text directly to your photos. It's super easy to do in Photoshop before printing (or in an app on your phone) and even easier to do with a pen after the photo has been printed. Even just a little something makes it that much more personal. My favorite pens for writing on photos are the Precision Pens, Le Pen, Slick Writers, or the Staedler Lumocolor Permanent pens.

I also used my Messy Weekly Lines for the title card.

Ali Edwards for Studio Calico | Tips For Adding More Words & Cutting Up PL Cards

CUT IT UP IDEA NO.2 | Cut the top piece of one of the cards and stitch it onto another one. On the top of this one I stamped the "I love you more than all the stars" sentiment using Well Red ink. Sometimes I will cut off the top or bottom of a card and then use it on top of a photo for an option instead of writing directly onto the photo.

Ali Edwards for Studio Calico | Tips For Adding More Words & Cutting Up PL Cards

ADD MORE WORDS NO. 3 | Add more words by including words written by someone else. Here I added a slip of paper that was on the back of the photo of Anna holding the chalkboard (from her school auction). I love doing this with little notes she or Simon leave around the house too.

CUT IT UP IDEA NO. 3 | Cut the lined section from a 3x4 card and lay it on top of a pattern card to make room for words. There's always a few lovely pattern cards included in most PL kits. If you don't have any cards with lines you could just cut up a piece of white cardstock and add it to the center of the card to add a few more words to your week.

ADD MORE WORDS NO. 4 | A way to generate a few more words is to ask yourself one of these questions such as, "Why am I including this photo?" or "What's important about this photo?" Sometimes there's absolutely nothing vitally important about the photo and you might just like it. Perfect. By literally writing, "I just like this." you are giving your reader a little context vs. leaving them wondering why in the heck you included a photo of your salad. Other times there might be something important to be said - I added "love your creative spirit" to the photo of Anna painting (top right). I'm so thankful that memory keeping continues to be an opportunity to express and communicate love.

Ali Edwards for Studio Calico | Tips For Adding More Words & Cutting Up PL Cards

ADD MORE WORDS NO. 5 | Go around the outside of a circle on a card to add a few words that personalize your story. Let the sentiment be a prompt to spark some of your own words.

Ali Edwards for Studio Calico | Tips For Adding More Words & Cutting Up PL Cards

CUT IT UP IDEA NO. 4 | Take one of the sentiment cards and cut the words out and adhere them onto a photo (or a grouping of photos like I did here with the photobooth pictures).


  • Ask yourself how you can tell more of the story? Even if you don't want to write paragraphs, what are ways you can add a few more details, memories, thoughts, observations to your pages? Maybe it's writing with pen directly onto your photos or starting to ask yourself what's meaningful about a particular photo and use that as the spark for your story.
  • Have fun. That's it. It's so simple and man aren't we lucky we get to be alive and play with words and photos and stuff?

Have a great weekend!


Click on the images to link to the products.

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.

18 thoughts

  1. Debbie

    2014-06-28 01:46:10 -0400

    Ali, I love these tips for sharing more of our stories!! We are so Lucky To Be Alive!! Have a great weekend!

  2. irene

    2014-06-28 03:53:05 -0400

    Love it. What I like is that al the different ideas come together on this pages. And it's wat I like lots of words in different kind of ways. Love your inspiration. Bye Irene from the Netherlands

  3. Laura M

    2014-06-28 04:47:03 -0400

    This is really helpful! Thanks.

  4. Alida

    2014-06-28 05:04:00 -0400

    And still you have new ideas :) Will definitely be applying them on my pages, thanks.

  5. laura g.

    2014-06-28 08:29:31 -0400

    great ideas!! I just discovered that I can doodle on my pics that are on my phone before I print them up!! I can also turn them into black and white...or color them...before printing them.

  6. Joan

    2014-06-28 09:17:41 -0400

    Thanks for all the great ideas Ali! I'm inspired!

  7. Brenda Grubbs

    2014-06-28 10:50:22 -0400

    I seem to always struggle with journaling and using simple words in my PL. You have inspired me and given me so many great ideas to get my story "written". Thanks, Ali!

  8. Andi Walsh

    2014-06-28 10:56:35 -0400

    Love these tips!

  9. JenniferS

    2014-06-28 11:17:11 -0400

    This is EXACTLY what I needed to get more words onto my page. I sometimes only jot little notes about what happened, but not the why it's important part. I love your tips for including these small thoughts!

  10. Paula

    2014-06-28 12:01:35 -0400

    Your ideas are spot on, as always! Brilliant and shiny! Thank you!

  11. Amanda

    2014-06-28 12:56:28 -0400

    Great post Ali! Thanks for helping break down "your style" into some manageable tips and techniques that we can all apply to our own projects.

  12. Christen

    2014-06-28 13:25:32 -0400


  13. Shawna Zervos

    2014-06-28 15:55:18 -0400

    Thank you for sharing ideas (and for allowing me to see that I'm not the only one behind on Project Life. My favorite thing was the picture of Anna with aspirations of being a teacher. As a Pre-K teacher, this melts my heart. It means her year of school was inspiring and wonderful and that she had a strong teacher to aspire to.

  14. Jennifer K

    2014-06-28 20:48:41 -0400

    Just finished my week 6, I had remembered you cutting up cards before and I used pieces of one as journal spots at the edges of some photos. Such a great idea! I love label stickers, but this is great (one card=several matching journal spots!).

  15. Rachel K

    2014-06-30 09:37:33 -0400

    Thanks for sharing these ideas! I struggle with including enough words at times, so this was very helpful!

  16. Essential Reading – Campfire Chic

    2014-07-04 08:00:34 -0400

    […] Ali Edwards shared 10 tips for adding more works to your Project Life® layouts […]

  17. P@

    2014-07-04 16:23:49 -0400

    WOW! I haven't been able to read your blog in quite a while, and I'm SOOO glad I got to today! This is JUST what I need! I turned to PL because I am not very creative and while I wanted to scrap, it was more fun to buy the stuff than to do it. But I still WANT to. These were GREAT tips and examples I can try to do in my PL scrapping. THANK YOU for sharing your wonderful gift of creativity! P@

  18. Sharyl Olson

    2014-07-24 03:35:13 -0400

    Loved this post .... Hope you will share more ideas.

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