If you pay much attention to scrapbookers on sites like Instagram and Facebook (group pages), you have noticed the trend: Fewer people are making entire albums of 12″ x 12″ layouts for their scrapbooks, and more are making smaller sizes, including travelers’ notebooks, 6″ x 12″ pages, binders of pages of various sizes all mixed together, custom mini albums and more.
In some ways, I get it.
- The albums are adorable.
- The pages come together more quickly the smaller they are.
- With the mixed-size approach, I have heard people say that by flipping through an album and stumbling upon a page that doesn’t match the size of the other pages, they are instantly drawn to that page; it’s an appealing distraction.
I have also heard people lament that 12×12 binders and albums are too big and heavy to manage easily, especially for kids’ small hands. On the flip side, smaller albums are easy to grab off the shelf, no matter who plans to flip through them.
Here’s an example of a traveler’s notebook. It’s cute, right?
And here is a super-cute mini album. Again, it’s adorable! I love the look!
I just can’t get there. For me, the 12×12 is the gold standard, and I’m not willing to let go of it just yet.
Why? There are two main reasons:
My brain likes things to be neat and orderly, and storing a bunch of small albums is actually kind of a pain, in my opinion. I have made mini albums in the past, and, while I do love the finished products, the non-standard sizes mean that they don’t line up together neatly on a shelf. In fact, they all are in a basket stored on my shelf — a basket that keeps things tidy but doesn’t catch my eye or invite me to come and grab a book to stroll down memory lane. They’re hidden behind the confines of the basket’s walls. I completely forget about those books!
On the flip side, my 12x12s fill the vertical space on the shelf and stack together nicely. They’re eye-catching, and my type-A, everything-organized mindset prefers this setup a thousand times more than the tiny albums.
The real estate of mini albums doesn’t fit my style. I LOVE to journal and include lots of pictures on my pages, generally speaking, and small layouts mean I have to both reduce the numbers of photos I scrap of a certain memory and write less about it. That just doesn’t work for me!
I love having large page canvases (read: 24″ x 12″ for a two-page layout) on which to work with my photos and journaling. I can use some photos nice and large and others small, which is a design practice that directs the viewer’s eye throughout the story. I also have the freedom to choose whether I want to use just per layout or many. I can write a tiny bit or paragraphs upon paragraphs. The freedom to do whatever I want on a layout — without the limits of a tiny canvas — is part of what I love about this hobby. And keeping most stories to a single layout each, rather than several small layouts, works well for my desire to take in a story all at once.
So, will I create a small album occasionally? Of course! But will you find me creating travelers’ notebooks as my go-to, standard, everything album? Heck no. Give me the 12×12, and I’m a happy scrapper.
So, what about you?
(Win a free month of Story Squad membership!)
How do you feel about 12×12 paper foundations (or 24″ x 12″ two-page spreads)? How do you feel about the smaller sizes? And the mixed-size approach? Tell me what you think, and you could win a free month of Story Squad membership when we launch!* I’ll give away up to five free months — one per commenter — so tell me what you think, whether you’re with me or against me. I’d be curious to know why you love, hate or are indifferent to the smaller sizes — or the 12x12s!
*If fewer than five people comment, you will all win a free month! If more than five people comment, you’ll all be entered into a random drawing to receive one of five, one-month-free memberships. You’ll receive your discount via coupon code. Be sure to include a valid email address when prompted while posting your comment, so that we can email you if you win. Also, check the comments on this post Jan. 2 for winners!
Journaling from above layout:
to add a comment to have a chance at winning a free month of Story Squad membership!