With the plethora of product and inspiration on the web, Project Life can seem overwhelming if you're just starting out, but it wasn't meant to be. In fact, the reason why I love this album system so much is because it's super easy and, well, who doesn't love a good grid?
Below are my top 5 Project Life essentials. These are tools and supplies I use every time I sit down to work on my album. Sometimes I get fancy, but I'm perfectly happy limiting myself to these items and when I do, I can usually knock out 3 or 4 layouts at a time.
- My Printer - I use a Canon Pixma iX6520 and I'm very happy with it. Before I started printing at home, I scrapped much less frequently and felt restricted in the size of my photos. For example, my favorite Project Life configuration includes one full size 6x8 photo and not many labs offer that size. Cost was also a factor for me and, in the end, I find printing at home much more practical.
- Dropbox - Since the introduction of automatic photo uploads, this amazing application has kept my images organized across all my devices. Photos are automatically renamed with the date and time created and filed away in a single folder. This is especially helpful after a trip when you've been using both your phone and camera to capture images because photos from both devices are filed away chronologically in one place. And all if this happens automatically!
- Project Life Cards - By far, the funnest supply to shop for. If you really want to keep costs down, check to see if your local scrapbook shop has coupons or regular promotions and then pick up a Project Life Core kit. For example, at Michaels you can buy a year's worth of cards for around $20 with their weekly 40% off coupon. Better yet, buy a digital kit for even less and print them out at home. One of my absolute favorites is the Sunshine Edition by Elsie and Emma of A Beautiful Mess. With the digital collection, I can use the pretty patterns for a lot more than just Project Life (take a peek here and here).
You might also want to think about a monthly subscription of curated cards and embellishments coordinated specifically for Project Life. Studio Calico offers a great service and, of course, I love the Gossamer Blue kits. This is my first month on the GB Design Team and I cannot wait to share my layouts using the September kits :)
- Small Embellishments - Just one or two types of tiny pretties should suffice. I like sequins, enamel dots, wood veneer, paper clips...you get the picture. Again, it doesn't have to be anything fancy. I found some star shaped confetti at the drugstore that I've used on a bunch of layouts. I've also used little bits and pieces meant for nail art (usually $1 or $2 on Amazon or EBay). And honestly, little embellishments aren't really necessary, I just think they're fun. I like the added texture and visual interest they add clustered together in small groups on my photos and cards.
- Adhesive - I have 3 favorites. I use Avery Glue Sticks for paper because they're cheap, archival, and cover a large surface area. This glue stick also has great staying power. For embellishments, I use Tombow Mono Multi Liquid Glue and I've never had a problem with anything falling off my page. And for the really teeny tiny things, like sequins, I use Zig Memory System Glue Pens…so great for detail work.
These are my top 5 essentials, but all you really need are photos and some good stories to get you started. Thanks for stopping by and feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions about the supplies you see photographed!