first scrapbooking project

It’s my first scrapbooking project (if you don’t count the ones from high school, assembled on shoe boxes, with magazine clippings, such as "his small size doesn’t excite her.") As you click through the images, you’ll notice navy blue cards sticking out the tops of some of the pages; that’s the hidden journaling (which is next on my to-do list). Those pages will have small ribbons attached, from which to pull.

I tried to bind the pages using thin ribbons, and it worked fine, but I think the rings are sturdier. I’ll attach some red, white, and blue ribbons to the rings (once I get larger rings). I compiled the book of their first year chronologically, using holidays and some milestones (first solids) as dividers. As for the title cards, I designed the shapes in photoshop, then did a print and cut with my personal die cutting machine, so the labels are actually raised with a bit of pop-up adhesive. The book is 6 x 6, and ideally, I’d make a few more of them. One for each child, one for us, one for each set of grandparents (three in total), but it’s never going to happen. Unless, of course, I miraculously have free time. If I could do it over again, I’d have it all bound at kinkos or office max or some such place.

The details of how it was done: Using 12 x 12 paper (and a printer wide enough to accommodate it), I created a 12 x 12 document in photoshop (use any design program) and arranged 4 photos within it. I then printed the sheet of 4 blocks of 6×6, and sliced them  with a cutter. Next, I used adhesive to glue the pages back to back (these will be the pages). Next, I figured out what I wanted to say on the transparencies and printed the words onto normal letter-sized transparencies. Alternatively, one could use vellum, or could stamp in lieu of printing. The last step was the hole-punching (again, if I could do it over, I’d have kinkos do this as well). Hope this helps. Now all that’s left to do is journal, which I can do as the beans entertain each other by passing blocks and sucking on them. Good times.

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  1. I love this project! Very Martha Stewart! Have you also designed all the other stuff yourself (the labels and such), or are they from a craft store?

    FROM SK: I designed everything myself, including some of the patterned paper. Yes, the labels and such are all mine.

  2. That is fantabulous! I need to get caught up with scrapbooking. I am thinking about doing Holiday Specific Scrapbooks… So, for instance, I would start one for Christmas, with each page (or maybe two pages) dedicated to each year. Maybe do a book for Halloween and Easter also. I'm thinking of doing it in March, starting a "March Month of Memories" page on my blog. It can be my own March Madness, I suppose…

  3. Stephanie, you did such a perfect job on your Bean's 'first year' book. So professional looking, only better. What a treasure to have.

    FROM SK: Thank you. I have a feeling though, that I'll need to make at least one more. It's not fair to expect them to share one. They should each have their own. Sigh.

  4. Wow, it looks amazing! I know they will appreciate it so much one day, what a special gift. My two year old already loves looking through her first year book and it makes me feel so good that she already gets joy out of it! Great job.

  5. Wow – this is your first scrapbook?!? Holy cow, mine makes me cringe. This is absolutely beautiful!

  6. Wow. You truly inspire me. That makes me wanna go out and get all craft! What is the large font printed on the transparency? I just love it!

  7. Oh my how I covet your talent and creativity! Just stunning. You must make at least 2 more…one for you and Phil, and another so each of the babes can have a book to cherish when they grow older. Now I feel like ripping apart my kids photo albums and starting over!

  8. The book is lovely, very professional. It looks like a cross between an Anthropologie and a Pottery Barn Kids catalogue. I can see why you were in advertising. I think this kind of design work is your true talent.

    And yes, you should make one for each of them. I'd love to have something like this (even without the fanciness, just the sentiment) from my mom.

  9. Love it! You can tell you were a designer in a previous life. This is awesome! I have to be nosy and ask, what printer did you use to print the pages? Did you take the pages to Kinko's or print them at home? If you did that at home, whoa boy, that is an excellent printer and I have to get one! I'm a graphic designer also and while I love me some Kinko's for small projects like this; sometimes I'm a bit of a control freak and prefer to do it myself.

  10. Stunning. I would really consider going down the whole Martha Stewart route – you have such a natural talent for design and overall great taste. I'd buy your mag, watch your show – I'm hooked!

  11. Your scrapbook looks fabulous! I only wish I could do something like this. Thanks for the tips. I need a better printer…

  12. That's really beautiful. What really added to it was seeing pix of the beans looking through it. If I were you I would have been terrified that they might have destroyed it after you obviously put so much time and effort into it. It shows how laid back you are. Very impressive.

  13. this is beautiful. I hope your peanuts enjoy looking at this as much as I've enjoyed the ones my mom made for me. it took me a while to appreciate them, but there's nothing like that chronicle of your life, strung together by the person who knows you and loves you most.

  14. Wow. Your kids are going to be so lucky to flip through all this when they are older. What a cherished treasure. Would you mind telling us what fonts you used?

    FROM SK: For the AMERICAN DOLLS cover, I used "ChopinScript." For the title cards, I used the "fling" font, a la Blueprint Magazine, which I see everywhere these days, and am relatively sick of, but it won't be "everywhere" in years to come, so it's fine for projects like this. I paid for the fling font, but I'm sure there are imitation fonts out there that are free to use. For the transparencies, like the LUCAS and scrambled ABIGAIL, I used a font called "didot."

  15. I love it. I want to do one that celebrates my time as a single girl in her twenties!

  16. Simply Gorgeous! I specifically love that you used so many full size photos and didn't waste a lot of space with embellishments (which I did on my first son's baby book.) I used to think the super-decorated scrapbooks were cute but lately I've come to appreciate the simple, photo-focused scrapbooks.

    FROM STEPHANIE: I think there's a balance. In the future, I'll probably add a bit more elements, but not simply for element's sake. They need to be functional, serve some kind of purpose. Like the buttons on my cover… they serve a purpose… they cover up a mistake! The whole punches were in the wrong place, so I masked them with buttons. I also wish the album were bigger so I could include some of their time spent in the NICU. When I get bigger rings, I might just expand it to include that time, too. Perhaps even a sonogram and a pregnant photo or two.

  17. Looks amazing! And phil looks super cute in his thanksgiving picture with lucas :)

  18. This is beyond amazing. Sure beats the heck out of our childhood albums with their cellophane page covers and terribly discolored pictures, glued down for all eternity. Your children will cherish this; you are so very talented!

  19. Off topic- but, how psyched are you about Lost coming back on tomorrow night?! I can't wait! They have a recap show tonight, that is supposed to have hidden clues or something. Gah, I am loving Wednesdays. My DVR is going to be in full record mode. Lost, Project Runway, and Are You Telling the Truth. Good times, good times.

    FROM SK: YOU HAVE NO IDEA! I am not watching it live with commercials. I will watch it via DVR as well. I can't wait!!!

  20. When I have children, would you mind doing a book like this for me???

    I'd pay to have something as beautiful as what you've done for your children!!


  21. Stephanie,
    Your scrapbook is beautiful. Since you're doing that, writing, keeping track of the kids (and other things) have you been able to find another nanny you like? What was your and Phil's decision on that?

    FROM SK: WE STILL HAVE NO NANNY! It's hard to get work done. We're looking for help.

  22. So envious, not just of your talent, but of the patience and motivation you have to complete such a priceless piece. Seriously, I cannot motivate myself to paint my toenails neatly, and I have no children to raise or house to manage. Been waiting to see this ever since you posted the "Day in the Life" video. I want to be Stephanie Klein when I grow up!!

  23. How lucky those kids are to have a mom who is this thoughtful about documenting their lives, all those moments that can only be captured once or it's gone forever, and who does it this creatively. Will you adopt me?

  24. This is truly impressive. I tried doing my wedding albums on my own and wound up just compiling an album at ofoto.

    On a side note, it's just so neat to see how the beans have grown. I feel like the time has flown by (and I don't even really know them) – I can't even imagine how you must feel! Thank you for letting us all share in their amazing story.

  25. Stephanie you are the man!!! When you first mentioned that you will be creating a scrapbook for the twins, I imagined a black book with pictures and other sentimental objects taped on the pages. I should have known better!

  26. omg…this is such an amazing creation!!! and its so inspiring (i have about 2 years of back-booking to catch up on). the plan was to start organizing some pics tonight for printing…but this is just shelved on some other level!!!

    what a beautiful keepsake for lucas and abigail to have as they grow up! thank you for sharing!

  27. Forgive me for my stupidity, but is your book 12×12 or 6×6?

    It's fabulous!

    FROM STEPHANIE: If you read the post, I put all the info in there… specifically how I went about creating the 6×6 album by printing 12×12 pages (could also be made on a standard color printer)

  28. My god, Stephanie, I'm not one to gush but that is absolutely gorgeous. I'm in awe after looking at the pics and mistakenly thinking, "Surely she must have used lots of pre-designed elements." What a gift you have.

  29. What kind of printer did you print this on? I want one!

    FROM SK: Actually, you could print what I did on any color printer (that can print photos) because I did it 6×6. My particular printer is an HP Officejet Pro K850. What I don't like about it… it doesn't print full-bleed, so I must always trim off white edges.

  30. Wow, what a creative and beautiful scrapbook. It really beats the cookie cutter scrapbooks.I LOVE how you have one photograph per page. The traditional scrapbook is always too busy. They never put enough focus on the photographs.

    Way to go!

  31. Stunning. Simply stunning. It is making me ache for a craft room. And a die-cutter. Congrats on such a beautiful creation (and the two beautiful creations who provided content!).

  32. Don't mind the commotion. It's nothing, really. Just several hundred thousand women rampaging through craft supply stores all over the U.S. after seeing your "scrapbook" and realizing that all the diecuts and textured paper on this planet will not give them the design talent to create something of this caliber. Maintenance to fabric floral aisle, STAT!

    I'm actually planning a scrapbook project: my divorce. Do you suppose there's a font called Cheating Bastard sans serif?

  33. Absolutely gorgeous! May I ask, what kind of printer are you using?

    FROM SK: HP Officejet Pro K850 (read my response to Amanda)

  34. wow. i wish i could enjoy looking at your scrapbook without overwhelming feelings of guilt – why don't i have the time or creativity to do this? seriously. i can barely put together a regular old slip in the slot picture album. now you've inspired me to at least catch up on that. how do you have TIME WITH TWINS for all this? they must be fabulous nappers.

    FROM SK: I do it at night, when they're asleep. Their bedtime is 8pm, so anytime after that until bedtime, which is often midnightish. Though during times when I'm writing on deadline, I don't have as much time to scrap, but I always keep my photos organized… and am just starting to organize photos from my past (actual prints in boxes), that I'm moving into photo-safe storage. Not a glamorous task, but it makes things tidy and easier down the line.

  35. It is gorgeous, wow! I am not creative…at all, but I love persons who are able to use their "imagination" to create something so special. Really compliments!

  36. I know everyone seems to like it but I have to say I can't see the attraction. Yes it is arty and pretty but it just seems so much like you are trying to make them into 'dolls' dressing them up all pretty and cute looking. It seems kind of superficial. I personally like a first year book to be about the photos which speak for themselves and don't need dressing up. That photo of Phil and Lucas is beautiful in itself as it says a lot, the look in his eyes as he holds his cherished son – no need to try and make it stand out as it does all by itself. I think maybe when they look back they will think oh – she really was dressing us up to look like little dolls, really trying to make us stand out as cute, the clothes etc. Obviously looks are important to her.

  37. I am in the middle of deciding which photo printer to get — do you like the one you use? I am looking for one that prints large sheets- like the one you have. would you recommend it? what is it? thanks.


  38. Just saw an informercial for a product called Cricut. Have you ever heard of it? Looks like it would be right up your alley.

  39. Have you seen these? Seems like the kind of thing you'd incorporate into the capturing of life. You get the actual art piece and also can request the digital image of the same. (DNA eleven)

  40. You really can do it all! Fabulous! Im feeling inspired! (doesnt mean that anything will come of it tho! lol!) Really, beautiful job.

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