Week in the Life : Album Creation Part One


I definitely felt like something was missing yesterday. Having a camera attached for seven full days and then taking it away definitely made for a different sort of day.

One of the things I hoped for in doing this project again was to get back into the groove of taking daily photos. It has been awhile since I felt that desire or excitement related to using my camera daily. It definitely renewed my spark and appreciation for the everyday.

This past week I took 247 photos. That is quite a few less than when I have done this project in the past. Monday had the most photos with 83 and Sunday had the least with 14.

I spent most of my working day yesterday figuring out my formula for this album. Here's what I ended up with: two 8.5x11's (also called a spread) with one baseball card divided page protector sheet sandwiched in between. So far I have just completed the basics and plan to do a bit more embellishing (especially on the patterned paper rectangles as the week goes along) - process details to follow below:

NOTE: A lot of information follows. Take a deep breath, read through, and adopt the pieces (if you want) that make sense for how you want to put your album together. This is my album and the way I approach the process is what makes sense to me :) - everyone will be different.

Also, I work fast. Once I get going and decide on a formula I just go for it and don't spend a lot of time wondering if this is the "right" way or if I should be adding this or that. I want to get it done :). This approach is not hard, there are just steps to go through along the way.



[ album: Corduroy American Crafts 8.5x11 (ended up with chestnut); page protectors: Avery Baseball Card Protectors; cardstock: Bazzill Lily White ]






When attacking a project like this I prefer to do "like" things all at the same time. It's basically working in production-mode: doing things that are the same from one spread to the next all at the same time rather than finding yourself jumping back and forth. 

Here's my process:


1. Print out all the daily templates (I am using the 8.5x11 Story of Today templates. A 12x12 version - that could be adjusted to 8x8 for printing at home - is also available). I added my journaling to my templates before printing them out. I simply copied and pasted from my Word document and adjusted the font/spacing/etc.


As you will see, some pages have much more words than others. For these pages I adjusted the height of the title on the Story of Today template to make room for the journaling (this means my photos on these pages will be smaller).

Here's a look at how to change the height of the title to adjust for your journaling (images are from Photoshop CS3):


1. Type or copy and paste your journaling on a new layer (on top of the template).
2. Select/activate the template layer. Using the rectangular marquee tool, draw a box around the title, line, and days of the week. Be careful not to cut into the border as you are selecting this area.


3. Switch to the Move Tool (the black arrow) and the selected area should just include the title, line, and days of the week. Use the up arrow key to move the entire piece farther up the page to accommodate your journaling.
4. Print.


2. Add a stamped date and circle the day of the week on each of the
first page templates. Circle stamp from savvy stamps. Letter stamps are
unknown. Ink is from Stampin Up.



3. Order photos or print out at home. I ended up printing all mine at home today once I established my design formula. I printed photos for the opening page of each day. If you are using the 8.5x11 templates the width of my photos were 7.25 inches (the height varied by the amount of journaling - Monday had the most).

Before adhering I rounded the corners of the photos on the top to mimic the frame from the template. 

There's seven pages finished (six are shown - the seventh is in the album already).


4. For the other full-page part of my spread I decided to do a gathering of photos that would fit into the same Story of Today template frame as the first page. Again, I followed the steps above to move the title to the top of the page (I removed the line and date at the bottom and the days of the week). I printed out seven of those onto white cardstock. 

My photo gathering (created in Photoshop but could be easily done by cropping and arranging printed photos) is 7.25 inches wide by almost 9 inches tall. I varied the placement of the photos (large vs. small, etc) from one day to the next depending on the number of photos. Print, trim, corner round the bottom edge, and adhere to the white cardstock.

14 pages done and in page protectors (even though I plan to go back in and add a few embellishments - most likely word stickers, felt pieces, etc).



1. Print photos 2.5 inches wide x 3.5 inches tall. I chose to go with twelve of these size photos for each day - six for the front of the page protector and six for the back. The other pockets are filled with patterned paper (see below) or pieces of stuff cut to 2.5 inches x 3.5 inches.

Here's a look at the canvas of photos in Photoshop:


To do this and any other sort of gathering I create a new canvas (usually something like 8 inches x 10 inches at 300 dpi) and then open photos I want to use. Each photo is re-sized before adding to the canvas: in this case to 2.5 inches x 3.5 inches (which requires portions of the image to be cropped). I usually set my photo to 3.5 inches tall first which gives me a width of over 5 inches (if you have the proportion lock checked).

From there I use the crop tool to crop the image to 2.5 inches wide. I get to keep a lot of the image that way. After sizing the image I drag and drop it onto the new canvas and print after filling it up.


2. Cut up patterned paper rectangles for the divided page protectors: 2.5 inches x 3.5 inches. I cut seven of each pattern. Here's what I went with (from top left: Basic Grey Recess, Hambly Studios, Scenic Route Claudia Street (this one has big numbers on the back), 7gypsies Life Creme, Bazzill Basics Dotted Swiss Cardstock, and Scenic Route Sonoma Napa Street. Any six papers you have at home will work.

3. Slip a combination of photos and patterned papers into the divided page protector pockets. If you have many more photos you could skip the patterns and go with all photos or if you have a lot of stuff cut up pieces of those things to 2.5 inches x 3.5 inches to fit. Consider adding more pages if you need more pockets.

Some days I had less than 9 photos to crop after doing the photo gathering for the second page. For those places I will be adding more stuff/patterned paper rectangles.

These patterned paper rectangles will be embellished over the next few days.

Make this project as simple as you can for yourself so you will actually DO IT! You have already done so much work in taking photos, gathering stuff, and documenting life. Give it a home.


The pumpkin muffin recipe can be found here at allrecipes.com.


A complete list of posts related to the week in the life project can be found here.

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157 thoughts

  1. Peggy says…

    I love that you finished this already. I just finally downloaded everything last night, I will order the pics tonight or tomorrow.
    My 4 year old took some pics on Saturday at a Halloween festival and they are some great shots, I must have a budding photographer in my future.
    Thanks for doing this.
    I hope to do something similar in December.

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Hannah says…

    Ali, this project is turning out great!!! I'm working on mine today!!! Thanks so much for the inspiration! (love the PP's you picked out, those are some of my favorite colors!!!)

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Melissa says…

    YAY for you, Ali!!!!
    I am just learning PSE6 so I spent the majority of my day resizing & distorting photos into your DD 8.5x11 overlays!! 'Not sure how to "un-distort" them w/o redoing them...*sigh*
    I am wondering if anyone can tell me where to have .psd files printed out; none of the online photo developers are recognizing them.
    I've said it before, I'll say it again: THANKS for getting me 'moving' on this. My mojo had taken a hard hit lately and this will get something done and, hopefully, moving again. :-)

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Rachel M. says…

    Wow...amazing! I am so inspired, as always!
    Thank you so much for continually sharing your time, life and creativity with us! :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Nicky Anderson says…

    Love it Ali - have started to figure out which pictures I will do as my main and then which ones to add. Love the process, Can't wait to get mine done. With a houseful of company for thanksgiving this weekend - I am going to at least organize my pages this week, then create my picture spreads in photoshop (which now that I am getting the hang of - I love)
    Can't wait to see the finished product.
    Can't wait to get mine done.
    Thanks again for the inspiration!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Ophélia says…

    Great Great album.
    Are you doing the same template on 8,5*11 landscape size?
    I have a old AC album in landscape size and i am thinking to do my week in a life album in here...
    Thanks a lot for this fabulous project, and sharing your work.

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Heather says…

    This is awesome -- I love the way your are organizing -- I had a hard time wrapping my mind around the end product. I may do this way when I do this project again in the spring (for this year I am going to try to do a fall, spring and summer version). For this time I made photo composites that I plan to put in a 5x7 album-- or maybe a 6x6 and inlude the story on the facing page -- we'll see, I am picking up the photos this morning and will try to workon it today/night. :) Heather

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Danielle says…

    I love that you are encouraging us to keep it simple you are so right if things get too complicated I would give up on it. Yesterday I put together a photo collage of each day so I have 25 snapshots of each day and then today I'll print those and start putting my pages together.

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. telisj says…

    Ali-this is so super cool! I love it!

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Kim says…

    Oh sure, you've already done your album for an entire week and I have yet to even download my photos from one 24-hour period! LOL!
    Although I didn't photograph the entire week I did get a bunch of great shots, this was a really fun project and it was great to see you "week in the life of..."

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  11. Becky Swisher says…

    Hey Ali- love it! If you have Any Photoshop Elements users that can help with the redesign of the templates I would be eternally greatful! Just let me know.

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Jamie Rex says…

    Ali, it's been awhile since I "tuned into" your blog. I've been away from daily scrapbooking, and focused on my garden. I had to say, I'm so glad I peeked when I did. My husband is getting ready for a second deployment overseas. He'll leave in 2 months, and I think I will do a one or two of these week-in-the-life albums for the kids to look at while he's gone. Last time he was deployed we made laminated pictures, and videos, and this time we'll do it again, but the addition of a story about everyday life with daddy should really help them not lose sight of who he is while he is gone. My kids are 2 and 4, and they love to look at my scrapbooks. Thanks for the inspiration as always. Your art is, as always, fantastic!

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Laura B. says…

    I was so excited to start this project. Prior to this week I hardly ever used my camera. My husband was always the photographer. Hopefully I can spend tonight putting my game plan together for the finished project. Love the look of yours.

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. jennyg says…

    Your album looks great! Can't wait to start pulling mine together!

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Maria says…

    Thank you, Ali, for all that you do to encourage us and make us appreciate our lives all the more - God Bless! Maria

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. simply says…

    wow! I love it...now how would you do the "mini" card part if you didn't have a printer at home??
    any ideas?

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. alexandra says…

    This is seriously fabulous!
    Can't quite figure out why it made me weepy to look at it - I'm either sleep deprived or totally inspired by your creativity - come to think of it... it's both!!
    Thanks, Ali!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. amy says…

    I have loved this project. I didn't do it this week but plan to next week. It is so inspiring.

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. tracy says…

    amazing. wow.
    You have already accomplished a lot and I just love how it flows together.
    I am going all digi and did what I hope are my first two pages (well, I need to do an intro)but like you, might add a few embellies. it is here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7652520@N05/2920067136/
    I am running off to a meeting but will include the materials I used sometime today.

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. tania says…

    way cool! i love how simple, yet GORGEOUS this is!

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Christine_H says…

    I love your finished album Ali!! :) Totally inspired to start this project. Thanks for sharing :D

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Maggie says…

    Whoa. That is some serious work. Not a good project week for me, being Fall Break...that's why I posted so many finished pages as I went last week. I got through Tuesday or Wednesday with that approach. Maybe i can print and add...not even sure on the size of my album for sure yet, though. Still mulling. Love that quote "give it a home!"

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Molly says…

    super, super cool, Ali. I love seeing the process and the project. What a keepsake!

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Mish Gasser says…

    Your album is really coming together nicely...clean lines, lots of words + photos. :-) I really like the idea of putting the baseball card holders in the middle of each day to hold the "goodies". I'm still collecting those things from the week. Can't wait to see more.

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Becky in VA says…

    Question: Are you including original receipts or did you copy them and print them out? I'm wondering if the thermal printing will hold up. Also, are you incorporating the newspapers you saved at all?

    Reply 0 Replies

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