The Scrapbook Diet: FAQs

scrapbook diet(Click here for the original Scrapbook Diet post).

I had the pleasure of being on an audio episode of Paperclipping this week, along with the talented May Flaum, to discuss The Scrapbook Diet and Scrapbook Page Makeovers.

The response has been amazing! Thank you so much for commenting and emailing and pinning!

I’ve gotten a few questions about my approach, so I thought I’d make a post of Frequently Asked Questions. (Actually, it would be more accurate to call it “Occasionally Asked Questions” or “Questions Asked Once or Twice,” but that doesn’t quite have the same ring to it).


The Scrapbook Diet: FAQs

I really want to get rid of supplies but I don’t think I can. I feel so guilty about all the money I’ve spent, and I’m afraid I might need something after I get rid of it. How do I get past that?

I had those feelings, too, which is why my supplies stayed in a closet for three years. Guess what? It didn’t matter how much money I paid for the supplies or whether I put them in a closet or donated them to a school, I still wasn’t using them. At least now someone is using them.

If you’re worried about needing something later, try storing your purged supplies in a closet for now. If you truly need something, it’s still there. If you haven’t needed those supplies in a few weeks/months, you’ll probably feel better about getting rid of them.


Who makes the tan albums in your picture and what size are they?

W R Memory Keepers Memory Dock system – fabric (linen?) covered, 3-ring binders that can hold 5.5×8.5 page protectors. They are marketed as a journaling system with paper and dividers, but I am using them for scrapbook pages.

I found the albums at TJ Maxx a couple of years ago (before any of the current 6×8 scrapbook albums existed), and assumed it was something that had been discontinued. When I wrote The Scrapbook Diet post, I couldn’t remember the manufacturer, but (after much Googling) I’ve finally identified them. Yay!

dock outside

outside view

The inside is covered in kraft paper – it feels like the paper you find on the back of a framed picture.

dock inside

inside view

(By the way, I’m working on a review of all the 6×8-ish albums I can find, and I hope to post that within the next two weeks).


How do you handle one-page layouts that don’t match the facing layout?

Not only are most of my layouts one-pagers, they are sometimes different sizes and shapes as well. It doesn’t bother me (anymore) if the facing pages don’t match – I think the differences make the albums more fun and interactive!

dock pages

example of layouts

stuke clear example

example with a flash card layout and clear layout


Once you cut all that paper down to 5.5×8.5 – did you decide to do some 6×8 albums and did you just have to buy more paper since your paper was cut smaller?

Since I already have several of the Memory Dock albums which hold 5.5 x 8.5 page protectors, I still use that size for “regular” layouts (mostly stories about my children).

I have been using the 6×8 albums for themes such as Christmas or school, and I mostly use the divided protectors.

christmas album inside 2011

Simple Stories 6×8 album with divided page protectors

The only time (so far) that I have encountered the size dilemma is this: I started a baby album using 5.5×8.5 and now I’m thinking about transferring it to a 6×8 album so I can use divided page protectors as well. I will probably sew a strip of cardstock to the side:

5x8 to 6x8 example

example of changing a 5.5×8.5 page into a 6×8 page

I do have white 8.5×11 cardstock on hand because I quickly ran out of the white cardstock I had cut in half.

If I were starting this small album process now – with so many album choices available – I would have cut my 12×12 cardstock to 6×8.5 instead of 5.5×8.5.


I worry that after I purge, I will just go out and buy new scrapbook supplies. Do you find it hard not to shop?

I still buy scrapbook supplies; I just shop differently. I used to follow the rule: “buy first, figure out where to use it later.” Now I only buy something if I know where it’s going.

  • Tracie Claiborne

    Woo-hoo! Loved seeing the inside of the albums. Um, I must own some of those. All my albums are that color tan, by American Crafts, in either 12×12 that I mix page sizes in or 8.5×11. I just love kraft and tan. One reason I asked you about cutting your papers down and then regretting it was that I always cut my scraps to the size of pre-made cards I use, which is 4×5.5 (a bit smaller than the standard size). Well one day I started making 4×6 mini albums and here I had this huge bowl of paper that was 1/2″ too small. Ugh!! So now I cut it all to 4×6 and I’m kicking myself for not doing that from the beginning. Lesson learned! I think you could totally use the 5.5×8.5 size protectors mixed in with the 6×8 pages of divided protectors and the album would still look fine. Not sure if the holes would match up on the protectors though. Wish we lived near each other – I think we could be besties. :) I just love the way you think!!

    • Lisa Moorefield

      Well at least the 4×5.5 can be used for 3×4 journaling cards! :) I would love to mix the 5.5×8.5 with 6×8, but the Simple Stories and Studio Calico albums have different holes that don’t match up. :( However, the new 7×9 BasicGrey album is 3-ring and matches up perfectly! Very excited. :) And thank you!

  • CB

    I found your site after listening to the Paperclipping Roundtable episode, and I am SO inspired! I absolutely love your story-centered approach to scrapbooking, and the smaller page size is so much more intimate and approachable.

    I’ve always focused on the photos first, and figured the bigger the page, the more photos I could fit on it. Now I see how much more powerful it is to focus on the story first, and then thoughtfully select the 1 photo that best tells that story (if there even is one… it may not need a photo!). Loved the examples of how you cropped 12×12 pages down.

    Your approach is so fresh, and I’m so happy to have found your site. I can’t wait to read through your archives! Thanks for all of the inspiration and creative ideas you share here!

  • Lisa Bailey

    Where did you find the American Girl (sticker?) included on your Christmas 2011 page? My daughter just had an American Girl themed bday party- want to dedicate at least three A.G. bday pages in her current scrapbook- other than computer images, have not been able to locate American Girl decor. Any ideas? Thanks:)

    • Lisa Moorefield

      Hi Lisa, I just made the American Girl logo with a font (Times Roman?) and a star symbol. But Michael’s craft store has lots of American Girl crafts and stickers and some scrapbook items. They are in the craft section, not scrapbooking.

      If you don’t have a Michael’s near you, try Amazon:

      At least you can get an idea of what’s available.

      Hope that helps! :)

      • Lisa Bailey

        Very helpful! Thank you for quick response. Purchase most of my material at Michael’s- good to know they carry AG decor. Very eager to complete this SB for my daughter. When she was born, my goal was to scrap and document every moment possible. As days went by, very quickly realized that was not possible. Lost interest completely by her 4th bday. Reading about your new approach has helped so much! Closet of supplies went untouched for a year. Back to SBing frequently. Thank you for your inspiration, Lisa. :)

        • Lisa Moorefield

          Thank you! And I’m glad you are back to scrapbooking. American Girl has some cute stuff. I never got to use the stickers on scrapbook pages because my daughter always kept them for herself!

  • Joanna

    I listened to the PRT you were on a while back (a year ago? no, more recently, I’m sure!) and I’ve had this idea percolating in my mind ever since. I have a few post bound 12×12″ albums that I keep up on a closet shelf. There’s no space for them in my living room (which is why I do Project Life in 6×8″). I just looked through these older 12″ scrapbooks and they’re more like photo albums. They have lots of pictures and some small captions, but a lot of the back story is missing. I like some of the pages. But some of the papers I used are ugly! I’m really not sure if I should accept them for what they are and add in the stories – maybe just some typed pages? Or if I should rework them somehow like you have, adding the stories, and putting them into a smaller format. I don’t have (and won’t have) kids, so there’s part of me that even wonders why it even matters… I guess the answer would be to do whatever I like!
    Do you have any thoughts or advice for me?

    • Lisa Moorefield

      Hi Joanna! Yes, do whatever you like! :) It may be best to leave the older albums “as is” since they are already done. Re-working pages is a big commitment (and one that I may not have tackled if I’d had completed albums instead of a big mess). It sounds like you’ve already moved on to a smaller size, so maybe the old albums can just be a nostalgic reminder of the old days of scrapbooking. :)

      Another option would be to scan or photograph the pages and print them in a smaller format (such as a digital photo book). You could add stories as well.

      Good luck with whatever you decide!

      • Joanna

        Thanks for the encouragement :) I have been thinking and blogging through this question, especially because my albums don’t feel complete to me. I think I’m going to reprint some key pictures and make a smaller album/photo book with stories and fewer pictures, leaving the existing albums as is. A couple of years ago I did a scanned layout photo book (with added stories) for another couple of albums from some time I spent overseas and that worked out well, but I was happier with those layouts. I think I have accepted that I’m not going to get rid of my old 12″ albums, not unless I really have to. But I’m excited to create a better storybook memoir. Thanks for the inspiration and “permission” to do something different!! :)

        • Lisa Moorefield

          Sounds like a fantastic plan! Kind of like an album of highlights. I love it! :)