The New Rules of Scrapbook Projects

by | Projects & Processes | 9 comments

Pause just a moment for me, OK?

Stop and think about a project that is not yet finished. Recall why you started it and how the creative process has unfolded.

Has it gone smoothly or have there been false starts and frustrations?

In my book The New Rules of Scrapbooking I encouraged memory keepers to stop banging their heads against the proverbial wall, by intentionally choosing project approaches that feel easier and more fun to complete.

Our hearts will consistently pull us towards more, but we can meet that yearning with solutions. We can lean into authenticity to create with more meaning and make conscious choices that will help us get the most important stories told.

This is the time of year when thoughts of new projects and how to adjust existing approaches reaches a high. But why is it so much harder to follow through with ease, than to dream about the possibilities? The answer is simple: you’re still following the old rules.

So, what’s the next step?

Thinking about new projects? Scrapbooking is easier and more fun when you follow The New Rules.

I’m kicking off a new content series, where I’m going to show you how to apply The New Rules to your scrapbook projects.

I can’t guarantee that you’ll never feel frustrated, but I will promise that you’ll feel more confident personalizing your hobby and more capable of making sustainable decisions.

The series will focus on how to seamlessly combine pocket pages and layouts in a single album, while exploring various tips for finding your own perfect-fit project approaches. Here’s a primer:

1. Your stories will outlive all the trends.

As the popularity of an approach rises, it can feel tempting to follow along with the crowd. By all means test the waters and embrace a playful, experimental mindset, but always turn inward to ask whether this approach fills you up and fits your life.

2. You are the consistency in your projects.

Your life is not perfectly uniform and color-coordinated, so why do you have such high expectations for your albums? Your style, technique, and composition preferences provide the perfect touch of creative consistency to overcome perfectionism.

3. Choose the simple and satisfying option.

With so many options today, it’s possible to select a format (or combination of formats) that’s not only simple, but also meets your storytelling and creative needs. This begins with accepting that your project library may also not be uniform.

Leave a comment and tell me:

What’s the single biggest challenge you have with annual album projects?

Did you find this post helpful?

We believe simple is not how your page looks, but how your scrapbooking hobby works. We have a free workshop called SPARKED and it is the best way to learn more about Simple Scrapper and start creating consistently.


  1. Shannan

    The biggest challenge for me is just keeping up the momentum or interest in the project. I find that for an ongoing project I need to be less crafty and creative and stick to a very simple, repetitive approach where I don’t need to make too many decisions beyond which photos to use.

  2. Susan

    Figuring out which stories to tell, giving myself permission not to use every picture

  3. HelenH

    Gee, I just put layouts with current photos in an album. When the book is full, I start a new one. After listening to criticism about chronological scrapping, the Project Life craze took over pushing us to tell MORE chronological stories in a MORE up-to-date fashion! Why??

    • lora davidson

      Me too! I just find what ever pic I want and scrap it. It goes in the book and there’s never been a chronological order. I do use pocket pages for events but they also just get stuck in whatever album is open at the time. I have Christmas 2017 between a pic of me at 4 and a pic of hubby and I from last week. Do what makes you happy!!!

  4. Carol White

    I have so many uncompleted projects! I’ve forgotten a lot of the stories that go with the pictures. Here are just a few: middle daughter’s wedding album, middle daughter’s college graduation album (insert middle daughter complex in right here!), granddaughter’s album, last year’s December Daily, last year’s gratitude album, this year’s gratitude album, etc. etc. etc.

    I’m not sure that was an answer to your question! Annual albums…just determining what to include, keeping up with the stories, getting the pictures printed (I have yet to get a consistent handle on that workflow), which album to use. For 2017 I may decide to finally break things up; a vacation album, a Christmas album, etc. I’m anxious to hear your next post on LOM. That may be my answer, we’ll see.

    • Trudelmj

      Hi Carol, my advice is you have too many theme albums. Why don’t you do only a double page for your daughter’s graduation for example for your daughter’ general album? X x

  5. Jennie

    Time is my single biggest challenge!! With today’s technology, there is no shortage of photos to scrap and ideas for inspiration. The biggest problem is finding the time to actually sit down and take the scrapbooking from the ideas and the photos into the actual scrapbook pages – and then into the actual scrapbook album : )

  6. Angela Dabb

    The single biggest challenge I have with my annual albums is the redundancy. The events are the same, birthdays, holidays, etc. I find it can become mundane and uninteresting to scrapbook. However, I prefer this style because the theme has been chosen – everyday life. My creativity with this style is telling the story and capturing the silly things that made this one different than all the other events in prior albums.

  7. Chris Reister

    I don’t do annual albums. Instead, I keep:
    – “family” album for each of my 2 children (the idea being they will take this with them when they move out someday)
    – one main family album (for me to keep, then hand on to one of them later)

    I do “themed” layouts in each album: i. e. Christmas in a bunch (multiple years, & label the year, ) Halloween in a bunch, Pumpkin Patch in a bunch.

    For some “themes” like a family vacation, I just do a layout for the family album, & maybe (but not necessarily) one layout for each featuring photos with that specific child, or any “special” photos.

    I do not use all of my photos, so those will remain in digital format, currently by years.

    Each child also has a:
    -baby album (up to basically 1st birthday) &
    -a school album

    My biggest challenges are: is ACTUALLY scrap-booking as part of my everyday! I only do it ONLY 2x a year at my bi-annual girlfriend getaways, so I forget where I’m at, take a long while to get speedy on those weekends, forget what supplies I have, forget stories, ETC.!!

    Simple Scrapper appeals to me because I NEED:
    -an intentional methodology to record stories, in real-time, so that when I get to scrapbook the actual event, I have the story captured &
    -dare I say, would it be POSSIBLE too actually scrapbook the real event within say, 2 weeks, of it happening???
    -need to finish the UNFINISHED, which is a LOT!


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