Hello! I attended a three day crop not too long ago. I'm a bit of a people watcher so I noticed that lots of people pass the time chatting, shopping or attending classes. However, there is a large group of people who like to visit other tables and check out what people are working on and what products they are using.
Quite a few people stopped and chatted with me when they saw that I was working on pocket pages. They were very curious about my process and the products I choose to use. They also mentioned that they have attempted pocket pages but just can't seem to make them look "right". To which I reply, there is no right way! Everyone's style and memory keeping goal is different. Do what works for you!
With that being said, I wanted to share my process with you to show that it doesn't have to be hard or complicated. Creating pocket pages is fun and simple!
I complete a double page layout each week. Is that excessive? Yes, sometimes. But that's what I like to do. I love taking photos and including them in my scrapbook and not necessarily having to choose the most important moments. Lots of people prefer a monthly approach or creating layouts for special events. Regardless of what style of pocket pages you create, might I suggest that you always start with your photos.
I keep it simple and use the same page protector style throughout my album. This streamlines the process for me. I know when I print photos that my landscape photos will be printed as 4x6s and my portrait photos will be printed as 3x4s. I also dedicate one photo per week as a polaroid photo using my Instax printer. I often print several weeks of photos in one sitting but I always print one week at a time to ensure that I am choosing the appropriate number of photos and I am not over printing.
Once I have the photos printed, I put them directly into the pockets. I don't really care about the photos being chronological, as in Monday's photos go on the left, then Tuesday's and so on. I care more about the balance of colors and the balance of people or items.
I do take a ton of photos of my children, but it is also important to me that myself and my husband are present. I also love to include photos of our dog, family members, flowers, food, landscape photos, etc. It can seem like an overwhelming task to narrow down your photos each week but I pick the highlights. What was most important? What do you want to remember next year, in five years, in fifty years? I can easily weed out some of the photos when I think in those terms.
When I place the photos into pockets I ensure that the people are "spread out". For example, if I have two selfies I do not want to place them next to each other or on the same page. I will space them so that they are distanced from each other. As mentioned, I do take a lot of photos of my children so spacing out their photos is a bit more difficult sometimes, but I do find it helps the flow of the page if you attempt to switch up the subject of the photos a bit.
After photos are in pockets, it's time for the fun part! I choose papers and embellishments that I like and I am excited about. I will often choose one collection and build from there. I may pick two or three coordinating papers and cut them down to size and slip them into pockets. Again, I look to see if there is a balance. Are the colors and patterns "spread out"? For example, I wouldn't necessarily want all my green based patterns on the left side with none on the right. Or I may not want to choose two papers that have polka dots or stripes.
When placing the papers in pockets, I also look for an opportunity to add journalling. Some patterned papers lend themselves nicely to adding written words, but often they are too busy or distracting if you add handwriting into the mix. This is when I would add pocket page cards from kits in my stash. If you do not have any kits, that's definitely okay! You don't need them. A simple white 3x4 piece of cardstock or a grid patterned card will lend itself perfectly to journalling. I often try to include at least one white based card as it allows your eye a bit of a resting place.
After all my photos and cards are in the pockets, I add the embellishments. I love creating filler cards by layering stickers, die cuts, labels and alphas. This is the part that intimidates most people but it doesn't need to be difficult. Find pieces you love or pieces that fit with the story you are telling. This layout is pretty easy because it is Valentine's week so I chose a Valentine's collection, but I started with the donut card because I knew it would be the easiest. I simply took a donut die cut, a sticker and some chipboard alphas to create a little cluster. It doesn't need to be complicated or overly busy. I could have also added a label to tell the story of the donut but I didn't really think it was necessary.
From there I continue to pick pieces from the die cut pack and lay them on photos or cards and just started building from there. Some people like to focus on one card at a time, but for me the balance of the embellishments is really important so I pay attention to where I'm placing embellishments and labels. Are they all in the top left corner? Can I move a cluster to a different location on the photo? Are the different colors equally represented? Did I use puffy stickers on one side, but not the other? These are all questions that run through my mind when completing a layout.
If you want to keep it simple then I suggest sticking to one collection. If you have more time or want to add a bit more interest then play around with bringing in items from your stash or die cuts and stickers from other collections. For example, on the Instax photo below I brought in a pair of glasses from another chipboard sheet in my stash. The colors matched perfectly and it helped tell the story so it was a win-win situation! That's part of the fun for me too. Piecing together these different items to tell the story and using ALL THE THINGS makes me so happy. I like to use what I have!
After I have embellished, I add in some labels and do my journalling on the cards. This is the final step before I step back and look at the layout one last time. Again, I am always looking to see if the layout is balanced. Have I used the products evenly on both sides of the layout? Can I add anything else? Are the stories being told?
I really hope this has helped you understand my process when putting together pocket pages. I think the secret to completing pages weekly, monthly or by event is breaking the process into manageable chunks. Photos first, then papers and cards, next is embellishments and finally the writing. That's what works for me! As with anything, it may not be the same for you, but I hope you will at least attempt to do a pocket page in the near future! If you'd like to see more of my process and how my pages come together, please check out my YouTube channel where I post process videos, album share videos and hauls from the best store around, Paper Issues!
Remember to use the code KRISTIE to save 20% off your purchase. If you have any questions please leave me a comment below. I'd love to help you conquer your fear of pocket pages!