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Scrapbooking the Year in 9×12

Last year I set out in January to create an 8.5×11 album for my year. I enjoy making layouts in that size and wanted to try my hand at incorporating pockets as well.

It just didn’t work for me. I am a lazy scrapbooker and I don’t like Macgyver-ing my supplies. Cutting down 3×4 cards and fusing new pockets was not fun for me.

Just give me simplicity, please.

I transferred my pages into a 12×12 binder and am still adding 2015 stories to that album. I’m also still feeling a little frustrated that it didn’t work out.

To cope with those feelings and to give myself an official do-over, for 2016 I’m trying the 9×12 size. My album is in Purple Rain from Studio Calico’s new Color Theory line.

Scrapbooking the Year in 9x12

Scrapbooking the Year in 9x12

From an ease perspective, 9×12 is very nice. Fewer pockets to fill mean pages come together faster. Standard pockets means no fussing over sizes.

I’ve done my cover page, my January spread, an insert for my Refresh workshop, and a layout so far.

Scrapbooking the Year in 9x12

I’m mostly using cards and supplies from the Ali Edwards Story Kits, which I’m finding incredibly versatile.

Scrapbooking the Year in 9x12

Scrapbooking the Year in 9x12

Scrapbooking the Year in 9x12

The main negative to this size is lack of 4×6 spots in the page protectors, but I can see spanning multiple pockets and including more full 9×12 photos in this album.

Scrapbooking the Year in 9x12

Scrapbooking the Year in 9x12

The 9×12 size is an interesting one for layouts. It doesn’t quite feel like 8.5×11 because there is more space, but the taller aspect ratio makes composition more like 12×12.

This page was created on 9×12 cardstock, but I do plan on making some pages on 8.5.×11 and then mounting on 9×12 patterned paper.

Scrapbooking the Year in 9x12

Scrapbooking the Year in 9x12

Next up is creating dividers for the Library of Memories categories. I’m still loving using those themes to break up my album. My Project Life spreads go under “Things We Do”.

Where do 2016 stories fit into your overall album framework?

Scrapbooking the Year in 9x12

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42 Responses to Scrapbooking the Year in 9×12

  1. Gab February 16, 2016 at 6:04 am #

    I’m loving your pages so far. And that album is such a cool colour!

    • Jennifer Wilson February 16, 2016 at 8:11 am #

      Thanks! This is definitely the year of purple for me.

  2. Brooke February 16, 2016 at 6:32 am #

    I also tried and didn’t like 12×12 pocket pages, even though I love to do 12 X 12 traditional layouts. In 2014 I decided to try a 6×8 album by Simple Stories and that is perfect. It uses standard size supplies, is quick to put together, not overwhelming to the eyes, and comfortable in the lap to look through. Like you I was puzzled about not having any vertical 4×6 spaces, but I switched to printing all of my PL photos at 3×4 (after reading this idea in a blog post by Melissa Stinson, aka Scrappy Jedi). For ideas I search on Instagram for #ProjectLife6x8.

    • Jennifer Wilson February 16, 2016 at 8:13 am #

      I actually really do like 12×12, but the albums are just so large and awkward. Printing more photos in 3×4 has definitely been the key to enjoying pockets more. Generally I do phone photos in 3×4 and DSLR in 4×6.

      • Gina February 16, 2016 at 8:14 am #

        Good idea – printing all in 3×4. thanks for sharing!

  3. Cathy Caines February 16, 2016 at 7:26 am #

    That’s interesting – I am doing the 8.5×11″ this year and so far so good but I could very well be where you are by the end of the year. I am using largely Ali Edwards story kit cards and I couldn’t agree more how valuable it is.

    • Jennifer Wilson February 16, 2016 at 2:34 pm #

      My main frustration was having to cut down 3×4 cards, create new pockets with the Fuse, or use the WRMK page protectors that have some odd-sized pockets.

  4. Jennifer February 16, 2016 at 7:40 am #

    I have also decided to do the 9×12 size! I love it so far. Where have you found is the best place to get your 9×12 page protectors?


    • Jennifer Wilson February 16, 2016 at 8:15 am #

      I ordered mine from Studio Calico along with the album. You can also get them from the A Beautiful Mess shop. They have a weird hole configuration, so if you were to cut down 12×12 you would need to re-punch. That’s what I did with the 3-up 6×12 insert you see.

  5. Gina February 16, 2016 at 8:14 am #

    I love that you’re enjoying this size. Thanks for sharing with us. I considered the 9×12 this year to move to a smaller size that’s more manageable. I’m thinking the 12×12 albums are going to be so cumbersome (it actually makes me wonder where that size came from!?! Why has that always been the size for scrapbookers?) One thing I wasn’t sure about when I was looking at the 9×12 was that I couldn’t find page protectors with 3 4×6 photos. Maybe it was just me but I could only find 2 4×6 on a page. I’m interested to see more of your pages as the year goes on. thanks again

    • Jennifer Wilson February 16, 2016 at 9:07 am #

      I cut down a PL 6 – 4×6 on 12×12 and re-punched the holes. I believe that 6-up only came in a combo pack, but you can check BH to be sure. I think WRMK has a 3-up 6×12.

      • Gina February 16, 2016 at 1:07 pm #

        That’s a good idea! So you cut the holes off and repunched the left side and that side was open? Or do you use the fuse tool?

        • Jennifer Wilson February 16, 2016 at 2:35 pm #

          No, I re-punched the holes within the original hole strip. I cut off the right side just beyond the seam, so I didn’t need to use the Fuse.

  6. Deanna Ridgway February 16, 2016 at 8:29 am #

    Is there a way to print directly from your phone to your printer in a 3×4 size? I have recently concluded that I am more apt to scrap stories more often if I print the photos from my phone instead of downloading them and then printing or sending to a printer. But I haven’t found a quick way to print anything other than 4×6 from my phone to my home printer (which has the 4×6 photo tray). Thanks!

    • Jennifer Wilson February 16, 2016 at 9:08 am #

      You can use the Project Life app or a collage app to put two 3x4s on a 4×6. That would allow you to print 3×4 from your phone.

  7. kathleen February 16, 2016 at 8:43 am #

    Love your pages and the album color is SO pretty! I have a glass slipper one, but I might just have to get this color, you know…just incase I need it ; )

    • Jennifer Wilson February 16, 2016 at 9:10 am #

      Not to be Debbie Downer, but I usually recommend only buying albums when you have a specific and near-term purpose in mind. But I get it, these colors are pretty.

  8. TheresaGonet February 16, 2016 at 9:46 am #

    I used 8.5 x 11 albums (we r memory keepers) for about 10 years when I would scrap every move my kids made! I loved that size for the way I was scrapping at the time. Before kids I used post bound albums from Hallmark because they had such pretty covers! But the page size was 10 x 12.25 – weirdness! My kids moved out last year, empty nest time! So I decided it was time to downsize my scrapbooks. I am currently using smash books, pages approx 7×10 and I print most photos using HP snapshot app since most pics are now on my phone. Love it!

    • Jennifer Wilson February 16, 2016 at 2:36 pm #

      I love how you’ve found a compact size that works so well for you!

  9. Anna February 16, 2016 at 9:57 am #

    You’re inspiring me to try this with my artsy digital approach to memory keeping 🙂

    • Jennifer Wilson February 16, 2016 at 2:36 pm #

      Wow, there must be something special to this size then! 🙂

  10. Kim Smith February 16, 2016 at 11:17 am #

    I love your pages and this size is one I am exploring along with 6×12, adding both to my 12×12 albums. I have too many of those not to use them :). But I have also embraced 6×8 albums….

    I think the photo of you and Steve with all of your kids is just wonderful!!

    • Jennifer Wilson February 16, 2016 at 2:37 pm #

      Thanks Kim. We think it’s actually the first photo of all 5 of us together.

      I really like having 6x12s in my 12×12 albums.

  11. TMS February 16, 2016 at 12:30 pm #

    I’ve looked at the Messy Book option from a Beautiful Mess, as it is also 9×12. Just not sure I could move up from the 6×8 size I use now (love it).

    • Jennifer Wilson February 16, 2016 at 2:38 pm #

      I found 6×8 too small, but if you love it then I would totally continue to go with that! I think it’s so awesome that we have choices, so scrapbooking is super customizable today.

  12. Mandy Elliott February 16, 2016 at 1:00 pm #

    I just love this Jennifer. I’m also doing 9×12 and feel like it fits my personality, style, and minimal approach best. It allows me more room than 6×8 yet isn’t as big and clunky as 12×12. I had considered 8.5×11 too but after reading your post, I’m glad I didn’t attempt it! haha. Thanks for sharing and enjoy – I’m looking forward to seeing more of your album in the future.

    • Jennifer Wilson February 16, 2016 at 2:38 pm #

      Yes, exactly. It’s a nice happy medium. I do wish there were more albums in that size, with standard 3-hole rings. Maybe someday!

  13. Sonja Gortzak February 16, 2016 at 2:10 pm #

    Oh Jennifer, I feel exactly the same as you about the 8,5 x 11 pocket pages being to complicated and I had therefor not yet switched my son’s A4 album with some old school photo pockets over to a proper PL type album. But I do want to because it will mean less DIY-ing to make the cards fit. For the new school year I will definitely switch to 9 x 12. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jennifer Wilson February 16, 2016 at 2:39 pm #

      My pleasure!

  14. Tracie February 16, 2016 at 3:17 pm #

    I thought I would be lazy as well with the 8.5×11 albums but this is my second year in using them. I love them. I was thinking about 9×12 but went against it.

    Enjoying your pages 🙂

    • Jennifer Wilson February 16, 2016 at 5:33 pm #

      That’s cool 8.5×11 is working so well for you!

  15. Kelly Jean February 16, 2016 at 5:26 pm #

    I’ve only ever tried 12×12 pocket pages, but this year, I am trying to get back into traditional layouts, and am doing so in 8 1/2 x 11. 12×12 traditional layouts are overwhelming for me. There’s too much space! I love your pages so much and how simple they are. Of course, as is your message, the photos and stories shine through and I love this. Thank you!

    • Jennifer Wilson February 16, 2016 at 5:34 pm #

      Thank you for the sweet words Kelly Jean. I can’t wait to see more 8.5×11 pages from you!

  16. Terri February 17, 2016 at 12:27 am #

    I am going to try digital pocket scrapbooking the year in 12×12. I’ve been doing a few small projects learning my My Memories Suite software and feel with everyone’s support here that I can do this project. I have really enjoyed the digital scrapbooking more than I thought. At first I thought it was almost heresy, lol, but it’s easy and fun. There’s a ton of fun stuff out there and I can do hybrid if I feel the need to add something physical to the page. I bought some stitched pocket templates today. Not sure how to use them yet. A bit nervous, but I’m running with it!! I really enjoy seeing what everyone’s doing.

    • Jennifer Wilson February 17, 2016 at 7:32 am #

      How fun! There is so much flexibility and variety in digital. Enjoy the process of learning and creating! I love how we have options today – and can even combine them.

  17. Honoré February 18, 2016 at 4:28 pm #

    Thanks Jennifer for helping me make a decision today! I’ve spent the PM reading blogs, thinking about downsizing PL from 12 x 12 to 6 x 8 and/or 9 x 12. 12 x 12 is the magic size in that it accommodates ALL sizes but it’s also so big/etc…I’d pretty much decided the 9 x 12 was better/best if I wanted to mix up pages…and since I do 99% of my full page LOs 8.5 x 11, that was just another tick in the YES column …then, I read this post and saw the purple album…and now I am $45 and some odd cents poorer – I also bought a pack of 6 x 12 page protectors.
    I’m delighted with my decision!

  18. Jennifer Wilson February 18, 2016 at 10:31 pm #

    Yay for a thoughtful purchase!

  19. Elizabeth March 1, 2016 at 9:24 am #

    Quick question-What do you think of the album quality?


  20. Linda August 17, 2016 at 10:55 am #


    Please what material is the album?


    • Jennifer Wilson August 17, 2016 at 11:04 am #

      This is a cloth-covered album from Studio Calico.


  1. The Size Question | Simple Scrapper Member Site - December 10, 2016

    […] Scrapbooking the Year in 9×12 […]

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