When I first began scrapbooking, way back in 1997 when the 12 inch trimmer had yet to be mass produced and stencils were the new "it" item of scrapbooking, I used to scrapbook all 8.5 x 11 sized pages. Luckily, after my hiatus from the hobby, many improvements to the album choices had been made. At the time, I had one plain black, leather album that was a huge three ring binder. It was not pretty on the eyes, let me tell you.
When I got back into scrapbooking in 2004, the 12 x 12 size had become the standard fare for supplies, trimmers, and luckily, albums. Since then, I have been using Pulp Brand Scrapbook Albums. I love Pulp albums because they have the quality of a handmade item, and they are wrapped in a variety of colorful canvas patterns. One thing did not changed from my initial foray into scrapbooking, however-I still use a three-ring binder style album. It's an excellent choice for people like me, who have committment issues.
Here is a link to the Per Annum website, where you can peruse the plethora of colors available in the 3 ring binder style album: all those pretty colors!
As my collection of scrapbook pages grew from the one 8.5 x 11 album I had managed to scrape together in those early days into a catalogue of our daily lives in photos, my scrapbooking albums began to overtake the space. Layouts would pile up in and out of their page protectors and sometimes, they would get damaged before going to their final home (GASP!). When my husband and I moved into our first house, I decided it was time to remedy the album storage problem. Luckily, we live in a large city with an IKEA nearby, so I decided to keep it simple (and cheap!) and go with the 2 x 4 Expedit to hold my albums.
The great thing about the 2 x 4 Expedit (69.99) in my opinion is that not only will it hold a huge amount of supplies or keepsakes, it will also provide a surface for your room. A third benefit that led me to choose the smaller sized option is that by keeping a low profile of large pieces that sit on the floor, my standard-sized bedroom would not feel closed in or overwhelmed by the furniture.
Unlike many scrapbookers, I store my layouts chronologically. I am a pretty type-A person, so I tend to reference events in my mind by date. I love looking back at my older albums and reminiscing about those early school days. There are some pretty funny scrapbook pages in there from the late 90's era of scrapbooking!
Although I store my layouts chronologically, I jump all over the place in terms of when I actually scrapbook an event, special photo, memory, or reflection. Often, I will go back and forth between years when choosing photos. I think this is why the 3-ring albums work best for me-I can just toss my new layout into whatever album it belongs in, and not worry about undoing an entire album. Because of my tendencies toward perfectionism, post bound albums and strap hinge albums make me feel like I have to complete an entire album's worth of layouts before I can store them in the album itself. That's just too much pressure!
Once I put together the Expedit and got all of my albums into it, I noticed that I was still searching through album after album to put a layout away, so I decided to add these little tags. Notice, I used the same tags on the albums as I used on the punch bins from this post. Having a handful of tags sitting at the ready really makes labeling everything a breeze!
Since I tend to have multiple albums for each year, I also label the back of the tags with the months that are covered in each album. I don't stress about this too much if it changes, since it's on the back of the tags-I just cross out the months and adjust as needed when my album grows.
Finally, I have one cube of the Expedit that holds a few empty albums. I have found that having a few empty albums helps to prevent layouts from piling up. Also, since I love a good sale, I can purchase albums as they go on sale and not at the last minute when I am desperate to put those errant layouts somewhere.
I don't make many mini albums other than for gifts, but I do have a metal basket that holds the couple that I have made over the years. Sometimes, I find myself in a nostalgic mood, and I will sit in front of this shelf, looking through this collection of memories. It's so great to have them all in one place!
Hopefully you have enjoyed this "all about albums" post. Now I am curious-how do you store your layouts? Do all of your albums come from the same place, or do you have a variety of styles and colors? Please share your album advice in the comments.
Be sure to check back in tomorrow for a feature of one of my new favorite ETSY stores!