September already! Life just continues on at rocket speed, doesn’t it?
While I’ve been a bit quiet here recently, lots has been happening behind the scenes. One of the main things I’ve focused on is how to take the aspects of the Project Life process and translate it to the smaller scrapbooking size that I thoroughly enjoy right now.
I jumped on board with the 12×12 size in 2012 – thinking if everyone liked it so well, maybe I could transition to it. Wrong. I bought the album, the page protectors, core kit(s), and jumped in. But the size remained a stopping point for me. I understand the reasoning behind 12x12s, but I found myself sighing heavily when dragging out these monsters that need over two feet of table space to open. A full one I use for some of my research photos for Yellowstone weighs in at nearly 10 lbs! No wonder it feels like a chore.
I need to be true to myself and downsize to a smaller size – basically the half sheet binders, but in searching online, I never quite found one that satisfied, so I created the ones I wanted – and am selling them in my Etsy Shop. But what to do with all those lovely page protectors? How can I make them work in this lighter size?
Time to slice and dice!
The first thing I wanted to do is to measure exactly what sizes do fit. The album itself measures 8.5″ wide by 9″ tall with a 2.5″ spine. Inside there’s a 2″ D-ring that has 3 rings spaced in the traditional half sheet hole spacing. To measure how wide anything added can be, I measured from the center of the binder rings to the edge: 7.25″ – you’ll also notice that I’ve painted the chipboard here – it’s my hands-down favorite way to start customizing it. (I’ve used Martha Stewart’s craft paints in satin here).
Wanting to not have to rethink this multiple times, I created a reference book for myself, starting with cut sheets of cardstock (my new favorite is the Office Max Bristol brand – good for sketching as well as a base for photos) to see how they match up with the album.
Next, gathering together all the plastics (page protectors) in one spot, I started to slice and dice them, and fill them with cards that will help me remember which ones I used to create the various types:
I got two of the above types out of one page protector. The other side left needed some extra added to it so there was room to punch holes. Washi tape works great for that.
To punch new holes in plastic, first fold over a sheet of paper and insert the plastic. The paper on both sides gives the punch enough ‘purchase’ to grab hold and cut cleanly. Works like a charm!
To finish using the Design A pattern, I had two 4×6 pockets left from the bottom (or you could cut the bottom ones if you wanted to flip the look of the one in the photo above.). I chose to just fold them over to fit.
So they could be opened up.
Moving on to another type I have in my stash, I pulled out a page protector from the Design I pack – three 4×4 pockets, cut off one and punched new holes:
Leaving one 4×4 pocket that can be added in by itself:
Next up was Design F. You can see in the photo above, that I cut out the 4×6 pocket on its own (punched new holes for it). Then I was left with all those vertical 3×4 pockets. Two were cut on their own that had the extra 1/2″ to punch the new holes in:
And then I took four pockets and added a washi tape edge (the butterfly washi tape came from Michael’s – think it was a store brand) and punched it. It could be left open, but in this case, I folded it over.
The next page protector I pulled out was one made for sports cards – these fit 2.5×3.5″ photos or cards. Half of a 3.5 x 5 photo, which might be a system to consider for this size, but so much of what is out there right now is 4×6 or 3×4. Again, I had 4 pockets, then two more left and punched new holes and added washi tape as needed.
Next up, Becky Higgins’ vertical 5×7. Fits fine, but needed new holes punched:
And then, the We R Memory Keepers’ 5.5×8.5 page protectors. These are designed for the smaller binders and the holes worked perfectly. These also match up on the outside edge with the Field Journaling notebook paper.
And I’ve purchased some of the Simple Stories items – they work, but come to the edge of the Field Journaling binders – not a big issue for me, but using them means I’ll need to either be OK with making tabbed dividers that will stick out on the side, or I can put them on the top where they’ll still stick out a bit, but not as much. Or just not worry about tabbed dividers.
The one thing about the Simple Stories 6×8 size is that it’s not actually 6×8. I put the dotted cardstock behind an actual 6×8 so you can see. It’s actually fits the same size as the field journaling paper: 6.25×8.5. Persnickity prints has a 6×8.5 as one size they offer.
And finally, I pulled out a 6×12 page protector – this one from American Crafts. They actually leave almost an inch for the hole punch area when most manufacturers usually leave about 1/2 inch. This, though, solves the problem for them that the Simple Stories one doesn’t of that slight bit of extra space.
With this one, I sliced it off at 8.5″ and then Realized that it won’t actually fit a 6×8.5″ sheet – a tiny bit hangs over because of the tiny bit that is used at the bottom to seal it off. It also fits snugly along the edge of the binder. Just something I’ll need to know when choosing this option.
So with all of these smaller options coming out, is this the wave of scrapbooking future? Or just a passing fad? Not sure myself, but I love having these options and don’t mind at all making things work for this lighter and smaller size of scrapbook. It makes it feel like it’s fully my own.