Photo Album Scrapbooks *10 Tips*

I received an urgent email from Lisa M this week. Lisa is getting together with her mom this weekend and mom has consented to give photo album scrapbooking a try! How can I not help? Mom is extremely well traveled and just returned from a trip — so, for Lisa and her mom and anyone else who wants to dedicate their "labor" this weekend to a totally doable approach to scrapbooking, here are 10 Tips.

note: you can click on any of these photos to see a larger version.



Select a photo album that is a good match for your content. Consider color, size and style. If you have LOTS of photos you might look for a good sturdy two-up album with a capacity of 200 or more photos. I used one from Pioneer for my Puerto Rico PAS


It looks like this inside — bound in black pages designed to hold two 4×6 horizontal photos per page, hence the term, "two-up"


KIT1 copy 2 

Pre-select your pattern papers and embellishments and then pre-cut your papers into 4×6 pieces. Keep everything in piles in front of you and REFUSE to use anything that isn't in your piles. This will save you time, streamline the whole process and result in a design that is more harmonious and therefore more pleasing to the eye.



After you've selected your photos (and NO you still won't be able to use ALL of the photos you took, so be selective) focus your efforts on creating simple 4×6 pages. You've pre-cut your papers and if you're extra brave, you've pre-cropped your photos — so just start assembling mini-pages without worrying where exactly they will go in your finished album. AND DON"T FORGET … you can simply add a strip of ribbon, an accent, a brad (whatever) right to a 4×6 photo and call it a page!



If you realize your album has way TOO many pages, remove some. I've figured out how to carefully tear or cut (using a craft knife) pages from most styles of bound photo albums. It's a little scary at first, but it gets easier.



It's OK to CROP your photos – I haven't met very many photos in my day that couldn't lose an inch or two off one side. A small crop here and there will allow you to add touches of color and texture that will create both visual interest and a sense of continuous flow.



It's OK (and in fact, it looks good) to not include photos and/or journaling in every pocket. Some pockets can display just pattern paper. Looking at page after page of nothing but  photos is not very interesting, so break up the flow of your photos and your story with colorful places where your eye can rest.



Don't worry about 4×6 vertical photos that don't seem to fit. You can simply "slice" them at the 4" mark and use two pockets to display them.



Please avoid the tendency to over plan. You'll likely want to use 4×6 text boxes to type up several detailed entries of the stuff you most want to remember, but after that, it's time to "let go" and start assembling your album. As you do this leave a blank pocket here and there, so you can go back and simply use your handwriting to insert a random note or memory.



Don't get confused. I just switched albums on you. This is a page from my London PAS. The more photos you have and want to use, the more SIMPLE you can and should make your pages. If every spread in your album has a touch of pattern paper to provide some continuity then slide an un-cropped 4×6 photo into two or more pockets to simplify the process! My London album is much less involved than my Puerto Rico album!



Once you've started a PAS, keep everything together in a materials file. This will make it very easy to grab everything you need to work on your album. Photo Album Scrapbooks are SUPER easy to take to crops, because you don't need to concentrate on layout design — you can just crank out dozens of 4×6 pages using your pre-selected materials and then assemble as you gab with your girlfriends.

Good luck Lisa and thanks for reading my blog!


  1. I love these albums! (hopefully Lisa’s mom will, too!!)

  2. I am bookmarking this entry — wowo — thanks for the step by step directions — love what you did with the vertical shots.

  3. I love this concept! I have now done several albums this way and am ready to start our summer vacation PA next week, after the kids have settled a bit in school. Thanks for the wonderful ideas!

  4. Dear Stacy,
    You are SUPER GENIUS!
    This tutorial is divine.
    Can I be just like you?
    Love, Emilie

  5. BEAUTIFUL – what a perfect way to scrapbook quickly, but still creatively. i can’t WAIT to give this a try – i’m years behind in my scrapbooking because i feel like i don’t have the time to make 12×12 creative pages!

  6. I’m Lisa M and I know this is gonna work out great! I actually dug out the SS issue with the original idea (Jan-Feb 2005, people!) but couldn’t find the online article. Isn’t Stacy just SUPAH for responding within 24 hours to my question? I told her I owe her dinner or some babysitting, next time she’s in So. Cal.!
    Stacy, thanks again!

  7. Awesome!! I think I may do one of these for my parents of our Florida trip this year!
    I’m sure they are old, but where can I find those white flowers from the PR album? They are so cute!

  8. I started doing these after I saw you do one before (I don’t remember where – tv or internet). They are some of the best albums I have done! They are quick and guilt free and FINISHED! Thanks so much for changing the way I look at scrapbooks :)

  9. Stacy – you are FABULOUS and inspirational! This is not my preferred way of scrapping but I might just have to try it out! I have cruise photos and a hawaii trip that I’ve been wondering what to do with. This is PERFECT! Thanks 100 fold!

  10. Perfect timing for this super helpful post, I am doing my Mexico trip in a similar way & had hit a stumbling block. Now I’m off to finish, finally. Thankyou!

  11. Amy Curiale says:

    Question: when cutting pages are you cutting from the middle or the back of the album or both?

  12. You are awesome Stacy! I’ve known about PAS since LOM but I love this explanation too! I particularly love how you incorporate the vertical photo by slicing them! I never thought of that! Thanks so much!
    Joanne T
    Photo Frredom contributor!

  13. I love this concept too! After the article in SS and the follow-up online article, I made one of these of my grandson’s first year.

  14. Can I be just like you too?
    YOU are amazing!
    I continue to love your simple approach and can’t wait to pick up my scrapbooking this fall.
    THANKS for all the inspiration!

  15. Cynthia B. says:

    This is AWEsome! I’ve been pondering how I’m going to scrap our family reunion this past Aug. – this is perfect! Thanks so much for sharing these ideas!!

  16. Thank you so much for taking the time to “step by step” your plan for PAS. You always make projects so doable! By the way, who manufactures the white outlined flower you used on the first page you showed us on your blog? Was it a rub on? Thanks in advance!

  17. I’m pretty sure those flowers are made by Prima — they are a sheer fabric with an ‘edge’ that feels like puff-paint. Make sense?

  18. Amy,
    I have cut some here and there in some of my albums and in my Puerto Rico album, I cut out one entire section near the back.
    Hope this helps.

  19. I think they are from Prima and you are right that I’m not very good about just using the “new” stuff.
    I LOVE all stuff.

  20. OK adorable emilie — but then who would be YOU?
    Can you imagine the world without you?

  21. Hey Joanne …
    So good to hear from you!

  22. Stacy this is just the reminder I needed to get going with my PAS-ing. OK printing them out would be a good first step. I even have the same green album from Pioneer, its lovely. Thanks for all the inspiration you give, as always! scrappysue

  23. Just love the idea.
    Sometimes I have a bunch of pics from a single event and I feel overhelmed thinking about making either 2-3 double spread LOs or a mini, this is just perfect for that!!!

  24. Ngaire in the UK says:

    Thanks so much for the PAS post. I have to admit I haven’t done much album scrapbooking since a workshop you did in Syndey, Australia almost 2 yrs ago (oops was that out loud!). I am so inspired to get into this again for our Summer Vacation.

  25. I absolutely love your PAS’s & have fallen in love with making them since trying one in LOM class.
    Could you elaborate on how you remove the extra pages? I’ve done a cute album of our trip home for my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary, but there are a lot of extra pages in the album.

  26. I keep saying I’ll start one of these… Good motivation. I’ve lived overseas and would like one for each country.

  27. Thanks for sharing–I especially like the tip using the vertical photo. TOO COOL!

  28. Stacy, even though I have taken LOM and read about this in the past for some reason your blog today just made it click and I can do this. I particularly liked the pictures of what to do with vertical pictures. Thanks so much!

  29. Stacy
    Thanks for this info broken down into steps! YEAH!! You are so helpful and inspiring!! Thanks for all you share! LOVE your blog!!

  30. thanks for the great tips. i a working on a photo only for our trip to scandinavia and i will definitely be using tip #7.

  31. Do you put your brads/flowers and some of the ribbon – onto the photo/paper and then into the “sleeve”? I understand that the file tabs and the parts sticking outside the sleeve/album are obviously attached on the outer part.

  32. Thank you Stacy, you have just given me permission to NOT create involved 12×12 albums for all of the coutries I’ve travelled to. This has just “clicked” for me and now I’m looking forward to recording my fabulous travels instead of the dread I’d been having over how was I going to get the time to do it.

  33. Stacy,
    I’m going down to see my sister in Texas this weekend and will be giving PAS a try for the first time, which will also be the first time that I try to scrapbook. I’m very excited!
    Question, how did you attach the metal rimmed tags to the pages?
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  34. This was awesome! Thank you so much for sharing. :) I need to do one of these. I have a few albums that need filling up… :D

  35. I did a PAS with some Rafting Pictures from father’s day. We had 32 in our group so lot’s of photo opportunities. It is my FAVORITE album to date. Thank you for sharing!!

  36. I think my photo album scrapbook of a trip to Paris was my favorite project in your Have More Fun class that I took last year on BPS. I’m going on a cruise in a couple of weeks and I think I’ll do a photo album scrapbook of that vacation! Thanks for teaching me how, Stacey!

  37. Thanks for tip 7. Beyond brilliant idea! I would never have thought of doing that. I have left lots of pictures out of albums because they are “the wrong way round”. I can go back now and have a bit of a re-do.
    Thanks Stacy.

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