Using PL kits vs. using some of your own supplies?

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Posted 9/22/2013 by maslex3 in General Scrappin'


PeaNut 219,857
August 2005
Posts: 346
Layouts: 0
Loc: Northeast Connecticut

Posted: 9/22/2013 4:06:26 AM
I am VERY new to Project Life. SO new, that I haven't even done one layout yet.

I have heard of PL for a couple years now but really never got into what it was actually and I thought that it was a great way to incorporate a lot of photos onto my pages.

The only thing I have purchased so far is an assortment of PL photo sleeves. I don't plan on doing "PL albums" (like how some do daily layouts or weekly layouts or monthly) I plan on still doing my regular 12x12 layouts but also using the PL photo sheets as well within the album.

With that said, I've never been much of a "kit" person. I find that I don't use a lot of what is in the kit and it seems to go to waste. Same goes for those big paper packs. I have bought a few of those over the years and notice that I don't use but a couple of sheets.

Just wondering if you go crazy buying all the different PL kits or do you actually use your own stuff? Maybe use up some of your scraps? Stickers? Maybe make some embellishments on the Cricut, etc. If you do buy the PL kits, how much of it do you actually use?


PeaNut 594,724
September 2013
Posts: 273
Layouts: 0
Loc: Australia
Posted: 9/22/2013 5:06:03 AM
I'm the same Maslex3, I'm making my first divided page album atm, and am incorporating regular layouts in it. I've never bought a kit, I just use my stash. While a kit might be a bit quicker, I have a ton of stuff already, so don't need to spend money on even more supplies.

A lot of the kits I've seen have quite a bit of stuff that I wouldn't use and if I have to take the time to alter them, I may as well just make my own.

And at least some kits have lots of the same thing in them. I heard about one well known core kit that has 10 of each thing in it. Why pay all that money for 10 repeats of the same design?

Having said all that, I can see how kits would make it easier for scrappers who work outside the home or have young kids and don't have time to make their own, so they do serve a useful purpose - just not for me.


peaing from down under


PeaNut 365,303
March 2008
Posts: 2,198
Layouts: 102
Loc: The Sunshine State

Posted: 9/22/2013 5:54:36 AM
I use the Becky Higgins PL kits, WRMK, MAMBI, 6 mo of SC PL kits, and my stash!

I like variety lol.

The nice thing with the actual kits is I have bought the majority on sale, so at that price point I feel like I am getting a lot for the cost. I have been known to mess up on journaling, so I don't feel bad if I boo-boo on a card or two because I know I have more in the kit. I use the cards on regular layouts and a lot of the cards I make too.
I feel like 50% of the cards get embellished from my stash and the other half go in as is. This keeps them looking different and me happy too with end product.

Because the full size kits are so big, I sold off 1/3 of all my kits and still have plenty. That alone paid for about two of the kits.

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PeaNut 544,018
February 2012
Posts: 2,407
Layouts: 1

Posted: 9/22/2013 6:56:31 AM
Well, I do PL exactly, but I have an album about my DH & I that uses divided page protectors, as well as 12x12. I don't buy any kits, I always just use from my own stash and make cards and embellishments with what I have.

*Stop the glorification of busy*

Going Up

PeaNut 579,055
January 2013
Posts: 2,048
Layouts: 91

Posted: 9/22/2013 7:11:20 AM
I've bought a variety of cards that I felt mix and match well. The 2 core kits I bought, I split and sold/gaveaway so that I have a reasonable amount left to use. I use whatever embellishments and alphabets I have on hand. Very seldom will I make my own cards, but am going to try to more often because I have 6x6 pads on hand.

As far as monthly kits go, I know I wouldn't use most of what is compiled, but that's just me.

If your not going to be adhering to a schedule, but like some of the kits, I'd consider purchasing partials from the FSOT or just making your own cards. Have fun!


PeaNut 260,218
May 2006
Posts: 2,153
Layouts: 31
Loc: Missouri

Posted: 9/22/2013 7:16:29 AM
I buy cards and kits bc I like variety and don't find enjoyment in making my own cards. I do a weekly PL album and still scrap 12x12 on a regular basis. I don't want to waste my scrap time making cards when I can just select a pre made card and move on.


PeaNut 593,439
August 2013
Posts: 4
Layouts: 24
Loc: Singapore
Posted: 9/22/2013 7:24:44 AM
I bought the honey and blush project life kits and keep 2 sets for myself, the remaining cards I trade with my friends for other kit collections. I like to use a mixture of my own stash with the project life cards. Some brands I like to use are Simple Stories, Echo Park Paper and Mambi. Also, whenever I see patterned papers that have journaling or space for you to journal I will just cut them up and use them. Each of my spreads have like either a theme or colour combination. I find that I like to see a mixture of designs and colours within an album and its not so boring. I'm not a big fan of re-using the same cards/design because if there are too many it looks like the same. For me, I use what I have, if I find that this pattern paper fits and work for this particular spread's theme, I'd just add it in. Use whatever you feel comfortable and what works best for you. No pressure, just have fun


PeaNut 578,104
January 2013
Posts: 448
Layouts: 4

Posted: 9/22/2013 7:36:42 AM
I am pulling from my own stash and I am so happy using what I already have. I started with scraps and now I am making my own "kits" from the paper in my stash. This has me now leaning more to the divided pocket page method for the majority of my scrapbooking. I put inserts in the album in a variety of sizes including 12x12, 8.5x11 and 5x7. I like the chronology, which I never did before. And I also document things that would be soon forgotten if I didn't capture them.

I love using my own stash to make my own journaling/filler cards and the embellishments too (using my die cutters, stamps, etc.). I treat each card as it's own mini layout and I get so much enjoyment from that. I'm finding uses for stickers and stamps I didn't know what to do with before. I am trying techniques that I see on videos like Glitter Girl Adventures. And to be truthful, when the experiment or new technique is a disaster, I have no heartbreak at throwing away a piece of 3x4 paper, and trying again.

I have purchased a few supplies including some of the Me and My Big Ideas Pocket Pages cards, Pebbles, and the Becky Higgins grid cards. But, I cannot see myself buying a full Becky Higgins Project Life kit because it just doesn't work for me (far too many cards).

But, I think the reason this method is so popular is how flexible it is. From the ultra simple method (no scissors or glue using Becky Higgins kits) to as creative as you want to be.

Do what works for you!


PeaNut 267,997
July 2006
Posts: 1,491
Layouts: 16
Loc: Minnesota

Posted: 9/22/2013 8:28:19 AM
I use a little bit of everything (PL kits, other sets of cards, stash). I've used coupons for the core kits and then split them with a friend, so that helps too.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 108,542
September 2003
Posts: 7,155
Layouts: 0
Loc: ND

Posted: 9/22/2013 8:49:34 AM
Project Life is just a brand name created by Becky Higgins. Scrapbooking with divided page protectors has been around for a long time. There are tons of companies who now make 4x6 and 3x4 cards to fit in divided protectors. Obviously using pre-made cards can greatly speed up the scrapbooking process, but since there are no rules you can put together your album(s) any old way you want.


"When was the last time you did something for the 1st time?"

AJ Pea

PeaNut 412,748
February 2009
Posts: 861
Layouts: 0
Loc: Central Illinois

Posted: 9/22/2013 8:50:39 AM
I love the kits primarily for the journaling cards. I would suggest finding a kit with colors you like and add your stash as needed. You may not be as quick to use your stash, though, if you keep it in full sheets. I would recommend getting a kit and then go through your stash, find pieces that you think would coordinate and cut them into 4x6 and 3x4 so finding what you want to use is easier.

In 2011 I used Amber...but a couple weeks into the year I was itching to use my own papers, twine, stickers, etc. so I kept the cards the same and added in coordinating pieces from my stash.

In 2012 I just used my stash...but it was more work and I saw that I wasn't making journaling a priority because I didn't have cards specifically for this purpose.

In 2013 I split a kit with a friend and added in coordinating papers from my stash and was good with it..... until the new kits were released in May. I have several kits now and use cards from them all. I like it...but it's more work deciding what to use.

Go Tarheels!

PeaNut 90,289
June 2003
Posts: 10,379
Layouts: 0

Posted: 9/22/2013 11:18:20 AM
Since they've been available, I've included 8.5x11 & divided page protectors (usually 6x12 or 12x12 horizontal 4x6s) among my traditional 12x12 layouts to hold extra photos/memorabilia (e.g. school awards/certificates. Sharing with friends (who exclusively pocket scrap), I've picked up a few versatile cards from PL core/mini kits that I incorporate into traditional pages.


PeaNut 157,644
July 2004
Posts: 3,609
Layouts: 593

Posted: 9/22/2013 11:46:28 AM
I've been doing a little bit of it all, I am finding I'm using my cricut a lot more since I started a disney pl style album I've made a bunch of cards with mickey heads on them and even 4 x 6 with stars across the bottom that turned out adorable.


PeaNut 268,110
July 2006
Posts: 3,699
Layouts: 37
Loc: New Braunfels, TX

Posted: 9/22/2013 4:19:54 PM
For the BH kits - I use those pretty much exclusively. All my add ons are my own, I raided my stash for stickers and embellies and set up an Iris box just for PL. I did one last year with only my stash and felt like I took so much longer on it. Too many decisions and pressure to be creative! I want my PL to be quick and dirty, since I also do standard LOs as well. The kits have helped me "get it done".


Perfectionist Pea

PeaNut 23,809
October 2001
Posts: 17,028
Layouts: 386
Loc: Just a short drive from Nashville, TN! (Yee-Haw Ya'll!)

Posted: 9/22/2013 8:58:22 PM
I call my album Project Life no matter who makes the product. So for my PL...
I have 1/4 of two different PL kits and then I just buy the cut-apart journaling sheets, like this:

I look at PL as a way to use up my little doo-dads and bits and bobs. I love pulling out my embellishments and finding the perfect little touch. I also love using sticker labels on the edge of a picture.
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