School Albums – Part 2: Making a Plan

I’m back with my next step in getting School Albums started. If you are anything like me, you have stacks of school memorabilia in bags or boxes in your closet and just need a system for starting! I did the first post on organizing and photographing artwork in June. Find it here.

Now, we get to the fun part, making a plan for all this stuff! I really like the idea of creating a design that includes everything I want to see in a school year and then repeating it, each year. Today’s post included the first page, front and back. I chose to use pocket-style pages. They will be mostly hybrid, but some may be full 12×12 prints of layouts, as well. This all stemmed around the fact that I had been buying an 8×10 school picture and 8×10 class picture each year starting in pre-kindergarten. I really wanted to stick with 12×12 page layouts, and not add in an 8×10 insert for those. I wanted them to be part of the pocket page layouts.

Enter Stage Right: The Fuse Tool. I kept thinking about it and would it be worth it, creating custom pocket pages to make my idea work? I loved the idea too much not to try it. I played around in Photoshop Elements to see what kind of two-sided pocket page would work well and then got to it.

I watched some YouTube videos to get some tips for my first trial with the Fuse. I decided to also invest in the glass cutting mat and a longer metal ruler since I would be working with full 12×12 protectors. (Note: I bought a 12″ ruler, but I suggest getting a 15″ ruler) I inserted an 8×10 photo into the protector and positioned it where I wanted it, then fused a pocket around it. From there, I continued to complete my pocket page design. (HINT: When printing your other cards, measure the pocket and adjust your card size).

This two-sided page will be my first page each year. Here is the front. It has the 8×10 portrait school photo. I made a little title card to go in the bottom skinny pocket that showcases the grade and teacher’s name.

I used a “Wonderful You” paper for a background to put the 2nd Grade title on, which is from “Through the Years.” The teacher’s name is spelled out with the “Blackboard Alpha“. I chose to make a 4×6 card with photos of her two main teachers this school year in the upper pocket, again using “Wonderful You” paper and elements.

The bottom, right pocket is a “Wonderful You” pocket card that had lots of fun info to fill in about the school year.

I had to make a decision to be okay with the back page being read sideways. This type of thing typically bugs me, but I loved the custom pocket page idea so much that I got past this. So, the landscape class photo backs up to the school photo and here, I put in a “first day of school” picture, along with another card from “Wonderful You” that I will have Audrey fill out (now, because she just finished this grade!).

I’m pleased with this set up and plan to repeat it for each year for each child. Hope this gave you some ideas! I will be back soon with more progress on this album set-up. We have to do something with all those photos of school memorabilia that we took….

I’m Holly. I’m a stay-at-home-mama of three wee ones. It’s a busy, chaotic life since leaving the architecture world. And I’m documenting the heck out of it. My days are full of museum and zoo trips, playgrounds, play-dates, school happenings and feeding this family of five. My husband and I still love to travel; now we do it with kids.

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