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Anatomy of an Album


Here's a look into Simon's 2007 album. It's a good example of what all the mixed-up page sizes look like when they are together in the album. I have also created a new photo album over on the side bar so you can see all the photos in a group.

The album interior you see here is not in date order for the year yet. I grabbed my 2007 pile and put them in randomly before heading to the Portland CKC Convention last weekend. Planning to move them around within the album so that they are as close to chronological as possible (taking into account single page layouts vs. spreads vs. different sizes).

I like chronology in the anatomy of my albums, but am not concerned with it in terms of story telling + creating.

I am using the cloth 3-ring binder albums from American Crafts - you can find them online here and here or check at your local store.

[ Many of the pages below are featured, with supplies listed, in my book Life Artist © 2007 or in my column in Creating Keepsakes © 2007 ]


This layout, created in 2007, shows a variety of different photos over the last few years. Makes a nice opening page.

For more information on divided page protectors check out this post.


The back of this divided page protector (and others you will see below) are currently empty. My plan is to create pages/content to fill in those spaces or just add in photos.


Another back that can be filled in with either a complete story or five different ones (each on their own individual canvas).


One of the big hurdles for people to move away from post bound albums seems to be a fear that 2-page spreads won't translate with the ringed-gap in the middle. I have no issue with 2-page spreads that don't "touch." I find that my eyes automatically connect the two together based on their shared colors, photos, embellishments, and design.



Another common question I receive is what to do about single page layouts. I have been doing a combination of single and double pages since I started scrapbooking. I like having variety. I just stick the single page layouts right into the album (in date order when I am paying close attention). Your children and your family will not even notice that there are single page vs. double page spreads. They are going to be interested in the photos and the stories. Some stories need two or more pages; others need just one. 

And again, one of my favorite things about these sorts of albums is that it is easy to insert new pages and move things around to accommodate new stories you are telling.


This is the back of a divided page protector with two, 6 inch x 12 inch pockets. I am thinking that I will do two individual pages that are each 6x12 for these spaces.


In addition to the purchased divided page protectors, I also have quite a few page protectors that I have simply cut and stitched to fit my page size. The ""today you" page here is one that I ran right through the sewing machine to create the 6 inch x 12 inch pocket.








Such a great helper in turning the pages for me.




Here's an example of a layout where I stitched two page protectors together (which creates a seam that brings the double page layout together). I did this mainly because it was actually a three page layout and I wanted to literally communicate that within the album. Close up:



One of my all time favorites. Words + photos.










Thanks buddy!



Questions? Leave a comment and I will answer them in an upcoming post.

[ Follow up post with Q & A can be found here. ] 

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180 thoughts

  1. Deonne Beron says…

    I've very much been wanting to do this with my albums- sort them out and organize them a bit more. Just looking at yours fills me with the inspiration for the project and renews my desire to go create...I simply must use one of my remaining vacation days to hole up in my creating room. :-)

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  2. lkj says…

    Great album, ali! I like the variation in page sizes - breaks the "all one size" mold, and I can see it would work fine if your albums are standing up. What's most fun for me: I recognize many of your pages from years of following your work. Simon's adorable face is almost as familiar as my own child's. Thank you for sharing!

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  3. Mandy says…

    Ali, this is truly the spirit of scrapbooking. I love, love, love how your books look eclectic and collected. Thank you so much for sharing. It helps us Type A's get over the constant double page LO, with symmetry, same size, same style, drive for perfection, inevitably becomes boring scrapbooking! ;)

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  4. ana smith says…

    I love the look of different size pages. One day I'm going to try this. Thanks for the inspiration Ali.

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  5. Rina says…

    Ali, it's so great looking through these archives. I'm so grateful for your generous nature. It just shows how timeless words and pictures are. So much project life like content.

    Reply 0 Replies
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