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It’s Almost Back To School Time

Today I wanted to share with you a fun project to help you organize all the “stuff” that kids bring home from school. If you are anything like me, you might have a big cardboard box stuffed in a closet somewhere, filled to overflowing with your child’s art work, report cards, certificates, and other school papers. I struggled for a solution to this clutter for quite a while. I considered scanning everything and putting them into a digital album. I felt that not only would this be too time consuming, but a scanned version would not be as special as having the original items. I also considered making a full blown paper scrapbook out of the items, but I felt that this could quickly get too complicated and I probably would never keep up with it.

So I came up with what I thought was a good compromise, an easy way to store and display all of the school stuff. An equally easy way to keep up with adding to the album. I created a binder system using the “Off To School” kit.

I started by purchasing a 3 inch D ring binder. I measure the pocket openings on the front and the spine, digitally created covers to the exact dimensions, and had them printed at a local warehouse store. I measured a tiny school photo and made block areas on the cover to adhere the actual photos to as the years go on. My daughter is starting 5th grade this year so I obviously did not have a 5th grade photo of her yet to put on the cover. Plus you technically cannot reproduce the copyrighted images that are school photos, even if they are on a digital scrapbook page. Trust me, I got in a big ugly discussion with the manager at aforementioned warehouse store about this very topic. This discussion did not go in my favor.

After I had the actual binder completed, I made a giant mess in my living room sorting through three kids worth of school papers.

Then I started adding pages. For the individual and class photos, I simply adhered the photos to plain white cardstock and placed them in 8.5×11 page protectors.

I also put everything else that would fit into page protectors, such as report cards, certificates, importants tests, etc

I used a hole punch for anything that was too big to fit into a page protector.

Finally, I added a pocket folder for items that were too small for page protectors.

I was very pleased with the end result and feel that this is something that will be quick and easy to keep up with.

At just a month until all the kids go back to school, I challenge you to take on a project like this. Feel free to share your projects in the comments section or the forum.

PS, sorry about the little black boxes on the photos. You just can’t be too careful with personal info on the net. I hope they are not too distracting.

7 Comments (Add Yours)

  1. Thank you for this post. I am bookmarking it. We had already started a three-ring binder for my daughter but I love the way you personalized it!

  2. Greetings from a Florida gal!
    I like this idea because saving large bits and pieces of life inside a binder using page protector pockets is something I have been doing since I was 14, along with keeping a diary (and THAT was a loooong time ago, when scrapbooking was more like that and not so much like it is today). I also want to say that the 365 gallery at Weeds and Wildflowers is the most inspirational one anywhere – and though my daily page is 8.5×11 and more conventional than digital (rather hybrid), the products and inspiration I find in the gallery are versatile and adaptable. I wish there was a way to tell EVERYONE who posts their creations: You guys rock, and I love your gallery and what you guys are doing with Project 365! Thank you and I wish all of you continued inspiration and joyful living ~ Vianna

  3. What a lovely project, Nicole! A great way to keep all the school memories together!

  4. This in incredible! Each spring around here there is always a frantic attempt to pull together 12 years worth of photos, awards, and memories to decorate a table at the high school senior’s graduation party. This would be such a perfect addition…with no stress because it’s already done!

  5. Nice job Nicole. Your daughter will treasure it.

  6. This is a great idea!!
    I have tons of stuff from my daughters first year, this is a good way to preserve it

  7. This is actually how I got started into scrapping. When I was a teen I made scrapbooks for my highschool years with a binder. It’s very effective.