Travelers Notebook, DIY, Scrapbooking

Scrapbook For Less

Being a Stay At Home Mom I am motivated to make my Scrapbook hobby time effective and affordable. Let’s be honest, there is so much to do everyday as a mom and around the home so unless its simple and fits the budget, its not happening! When starting a new hobby, it’s so easy to want to jump in and buy everything. Plus, there are so many gorgeous products out there so its very tempting to buy it all, however most people do not have the budget to do so. Although it may seem overwhelming at first, it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips to get you started and help save you money.

Documenting life is preserving a legacy, if we don’t record it, it is forgotten.

The key to starting is figuring out why you are doing this and if scrapbooking is for you. For me, scrapbooking is about preserving memories and documenting life with my family. My kids are still so young, and I want to have something to look back on when they are all grown up. Documenting life is preserving a legacy, if we don’t record it, it is forgotten. That is why I have made it a priority, I never want to forget those precious moments and milestones with my loved ones.

Since we are a one income family, I knew I had to gradually build my supplies to keep it affordable for my family. Finding time is also key, however, for me, it has become my form of “self-care” so eventually I made sure to set the time aside to do it. Seeing the results and how my craft improved, book by book, gave me a huge sense of accomplishment. If you enjoy journaling, crafting and preserving memories through photos then scrapbooking will suit you. Before you get started remember this, it’s about Progress not Perfection!

It’s about Progress not Perfection

Let’s Get Started

To begin, I want to discuss how to get started on a memory book or scrapbook and maintain cost efficiency and time efficiency. This will take the guess work out of the process for you so you can get started right away.

First, you need a scrapbook to document and record memories. The way I have done this is to make my own Travelers Notebook inserts. #travelersnotebooks I discovered these about a year ago and am loving every minute of using them.

Check out the instructions to create these beauties here.
I made these for about $1.50 each.

The size of these books are 4.25” x 8.5”. They are a compact size so you don’t need a lot of patterned paper and embellishments to complete the pages. I used white printer paper for the inside pages, and patterned card stock paper or brown kraft paper for the covers. You can also add your patterned paper on the inside. If you have double sided paper then each side would provide a different look for each layout.

Second, you need some tools to get to work! There are lots of fancy tools out there, but these are the main ones you need to get started. I use these the most and couldn’t scrapbook without them. One thing to remember when purchasing supplies is to make sure they are acid-free or over time your photos will discolor and your books will be ruined.

Key Tools

  1. Paper Cutter
  2. Glue Runner
  3. Corner Punch
  4. Fine Tip Pens

Photos

Photo printing can be pricey, so I have opted to print my photos at home. I use an HP Envy Printer and subscribe to the HP instant ink service. This system is a dream! Whenever my ink is low, HP sends me a new ink cartridge in the mail. I always receive it before the ink runs out. I use 4×6 HP Photo Paper to print and it comes in 100 pages per box. When I calculated it, it worked out to be $0.15 CAD per 4×6 photo. The other nice thing with printing at home, and using the #TN size is that I can print multiple 2×2 pictures on one 4×6 sheet. The size of picture I use most in the #TN is 3×4, and I print two per sheet. This also saves a lot on printing, and I can print photos as I need them. So as I view the photos and see what I have, I plan out my layout then print what I need for that layout. It cuts down on waste big time!

To print 2×2 and 3×4 pictures, I use the Becky Higgins Project Life App. It was a game changer for me. It’s so easy to use, you can import your pictures from your phone and print them as a 4×6 photo with whatever size pictures on the page. It gives you options for various sizes and layouts to print.

The box below shows my favorite sizes to print. All three of these layouts print as 4×6 photos.

Documenting

Life gets busy and on any given day you’ll end up having so many photos to choose from, then wonder what the story was from those photos. My solution to this is to use the Collect – Photo, Journal Diary. It allows you to upload a photo and document the story for that photo on the specific day. When I got behind on my scrapbooks and just couldn’t find the time to sit down and work on them, I opted to document photos this way and it allowed me to easily go back and finish those albums. It’s a free app however it is only available on the iphone.

If you do get behind, and are finding it hard to document photos regularly in your albums, this is a very efficient way to stay on track. Another bonus with this app, is that you can print the photos with journaling and date in a 3×4 format. This was another game changer for me. You can export the photos into iphoto and they will print as two 3×4 images on a 4×6 paper. So I print them all out for that month, cut them into 3×4 and organize them by date to start catching up on scrapbooking that particular month.

Note: for my #TN I made one for each month.

Layouts

To complete the layouts in the TN I use stamps. Stamps are great because you can use them over and over, and create different designs and layouts by changing the ink color and position of the stamps. My favorite stamps to use are from Studio Calico and Scrapbook.com.

Stamp, Scrapbooking
My first Studio Calico shipment of stamps in 2018. My stamp passion begins!

Here are two examples of how I used stamps in my #TN and different color patterns to create layouts without using any card stock.

I have even been able to transform some of the Creative Memories layouts designed for 12×12 pages, into #TN pages. It’s so fun to get ideas and inspiration from their layouts. I absolutely love their paper as well! It’s double sided and thinner so it works well in these books. It’s not cheap, but you don’t need as much of it when using a TN size page. I’ve done multiple layouts using just one paper pack.

I’ve also found some nice thin paper from Walmart for $6.97 CAD a pad. It’s not double sided, but it works great on the printer paper because it doesn’t bulk up the book too much.

From front to back, that is how you make and design your own #TN albums for a super low cost. So far it is my favorite style of scrapbooking and has been the most budget friendly. I have even made them as notebooks for my kids to draw in or make an album of their own. My son made his own March album, we made picture stickers on photo sticker paper and he designed his own album. He also loves using stamps! It is so fun to be able to share the joy of scrapbooking with my kids and to document our life together without breaking the bank!

I hope this inspires you to try it! Now more than ever is a time to document our lives! There is no perfect way to do it, you just have to start!

I’d love to hear about what you are creating and if you’ve ever tried this #TN style before. Contact me or Comment below!

We are Created to Create!

-Whit

Disclosure: If you click on the links you will be redirected to an affiliate site where I will receive a commission upon making a purchase. Opinions and reviews on this site are my own.

DIY Travelers Notebooks

I started making Travelers Notebooks in 2019. I made one for each month, so 12 in total. For my #TN, I used multipurpose printer paper with a patterned cardstock cover. The size of my notebooks are 4.25×8.5″, its the perfect size to document and record your story. Each book cost me about $1.50 to make.

You will need

I used the tutorial from the List Lab girls to make these #TN. The key to making these is the Long Arm Stapler.

My own personal tutorial is COMING SOON! For now enjoy these instructions to get you started!

We are Created to Create!

-Whit

*Disclosure: If you click on the links you will be redirected to an affiliate site where I will receive a commission upon making a purchase. Opinions and reviews on this site are my own.

My Creative Journey

Photography

When I was about 10 my mom gave me her old 35mm camera, it was grey and pink and I couldn’t wait to get some film to use it. That camera inspired the beginning of my love for photography and recording life through pictures. I started out taking pictures of my pets and friends, then when I went on a trip with my Dad my love for photography took off! I photographed our journey driving from Manitoba to British Columbia. It was so scenic and we had so many fun adventures along the way. He took those pictures and put together a picture book for me, very simple, with pictures on that sticky back paper and plastic over top, and below he documented the events and funny memories we shared. It’s exciting to realize that both my Mom and Dad had a hand in my scrapbooking journey. They inspired me to document life and to cherish the moments we are given. To this day, I still find so much joy in looking back at pictures that showcase the cherished memories with the loved ones in my life. 

Discovery

I first started traditional scrapbooking when I was 13 years old. I was biking in downtown Brandon, MB and I happened to see a store called Scrapbookers Safari so I went in and I was in awe and wonder. I had always loved crafting and sketching, but this was next level. All of the fun products and materials made me so excited. I spoke to the ladies there and I was inspired. I went home to tell my mom all about it and we went back together to get some supplies. I still have some of those supplies to this day, 20 years later. That winter I had my birthday celebration there and we all did a scrapbook class together where the products were supplied and it was so much fun! I was excited to discover a new way to showcase my photos. A picture is worth a thousand words, but without some context or documentation about the picture, the story behind the picture is lost. This is where scrapbooking came in for me. I got to use my artistic side, along with my love of photography to create artwork which showcased my cherished memories.This experience ingrained in me the importance and value of photography, especially the photos and moments shared with our loved ones. 

Sentiment

Cherishing photos and memories of loved ones hits a whole new level when you lose someone you love. Upon that loss, the memories are strong, but over time they fade. I experienced this with the loss of my Grandmother at the age of 5. We lived with my Grandparents so she was like a Mother to me. Over time the memories of our time together faded, but I still felt her so close to my heart. She didn’t like pictures to be taken of her so there weren’t many, but the ones I had, I held dear. Therefore, I cherished all the photos I had of her to remember her by. Since then I have enjoyed taking pictures of my loved ones, to cherish their memory and story in different stages and seasons of life. As memories fade the stories are harder to remember so that’s when I realised that documenting along with photography is so important. 

Currently

Fast forward 20 years and the birth of my children, my wild little loves, inspired me to start scrapbooking again. Entering into the world of scrapbooking or memory keeping so many years later was a challenge in that it had changed so much. I felt I had so much to learn and was excited for that new challenge. I discovered so many ways to document life, and was inspired by the new style of modern scrapbooking. It captured my heart for creativity. Documenting our life together has helped me cherish the special moments, seasons and stages I have had with my family. 

We all have a story to tell, our stories are valuable and the people that are a part of those stories are important to remember. This is the story of my journey so far, and your journey matters too! I’d love to hear about your creative journey and how you got inspired to scrapbook or what got you to the creative outlet you do.

Please subscribe below to join this journey and stay up to date on new projects and inspiration!

We are Created to Create!

-Whit

My Project Story

My journey back to scrapbooking was when I discovered a version of modern scrapbooking or memory keeping by watching a YouTube video by Ali Edwards on documenting life. I was inspired by her methods of memory keeping and it sparked something in me which reminded me that I am a created being who loves to create. The idea of creating a picture journal, documenting life on a daily, weekly or monthly basis was of great interest to me as a Stay at Home Mom. 

It inspired me because I wanted my time at home to count and be recorded. I already had SO many pictures of me and the kids doing all kinds of activities, but what was I supposed to do with all those pictures? I didn’t want to forget this amazing journey at home with them, all the ups and downs, everyday moments and exciting milestones.

I began by pulling out all my scrapbooking supplies I still had from when I was 13. If you want to hear that story check out: My Creative Journey. It was like being in a time warp seeing all the stuff I had once used to create and record my life almost 20 years ago. I knew I wanted a different style than my previous work and Ali was doing Project Life by Becky Higgins, so I thought I would start there!

My first “Modern Scrapbook” album using Project Life was in 2018. Initially I attempted to make my own 12×12 pocket pages with the We R Memory Keepers tool that I borrowed from a friend. Entering into this art of creativity allowed me to connect with people that I otherwise wouldn’t have had a chance to connect with. I am ALL about making connections, so it was very exciting to open up this whole new avenue for me. My pocket pages didn’t turn out the greatest so I invested in some brand name ones and decided to commit to this style of memory keeping. Project Life was a joy to do and I was able to find many resources to print my own card inserts and design the pages I could enjoy looking back on in years to come. 

Side note: its 2020 and I still haven’t completed my 2018 album #scrapbookingmomproblems

That same year I decided to try Ali’s December Daily album using all of her products. It was fun to use her products for that project which had all the supplies I needed. It allowed me to fully embrace her style of memory keeping while adding my artistic spin on it. It was so much fun and challenged my brain in a whole new way. I was able to do more artsy stuff that I had never tried before. Her Facebook Group pages were so inspiring and the connection to others in seeing their creations left me so encouraged.

The next project I tried was with Travelers notebooks inspired by Studio Calico. I did a series of 12 Travelers Notebooks, one for each month of 2019. I also invested in stamps from Studio Calico where I attempted to do artwork on the pages with stamps and photos, as well as patterned paper. I started my first Travelers Notebook with a Webster’s Pages insert. This was a whole new style of memory keeping which allowed for a smaller medium and more compact size to store later, and I was able to construct my own Travelers notebooks for each month. So far this method has been very fun and efficient to complete. To better document my pictures with quotes or journaling, I used the Collect App and printed my 3×4 photos with the quotes on them. It has really helped looking back to see what happened that day as everything is documented.

I haven’t started my project for 2020 yet. I am planning to do a Heidi Swapp Storyline album this year. Why not try another artistic style and learn from another amazing artist in the Memory Keeping world. I intend to share that journey with you once I begin and hope that my creative projects will inspire and encourage you! 

A quote that has kept me encouraged to press on from the beginning is this one:

You don’t have to do it every day or follow some prescription. EMBRACE imperfection, and there should not be any guilt involved.

Ali Edwards

We are Created to Create.

-Whit