Bigger Isn’t Always Better

by Kelsey Norwood

in Crafts

leather scrapbook-albums

I have recently become an 8 1/2 x 11 scrapbooker again. I did the smaller size during my high school years and then switched to 12×12, but I’ve found my way back in the last few months. I find that the smaller size is much easier for my brain to handle – 12×12 is just so big and I always ended up with awkward looking layouts because it was too much space for me to organize.

I hesitated for a long time because 8 1/2 x 11 paper selections are poor and I didn’t want to “waste” a 12×12 piece by cutting it down. I finally realized that cutting a 12×12 piece down isn’t a waste at all! I get a page and 2 big strips left over to use as scraps.

You can also put your normal 8.5 x 11 sheet in the printer and do journaling right on the page without having a special printer or going digital.

Sheet protectors are easier to find and cheaper since you can get them at Costco, and I can focus more on telling the story behind a single picture rather than trying desperately to fill a huge area without having awkward spots.

If you’ve been thinking about it, it’s time to take the plunge. You won’t be sorry!


1 Baba February 25, 2009 at 9:57 am

I agree. The smaller size just works better for organizing.

2 Pattie's passion March 2, 2009 at 1:10 am

I’m the same way. Started with the 8×11, when it was just stickers, mats and journaling. Then went to the 12×12, which I loved because you had more room to create and journal. Then, I also found I didn’t have the space for the 12×12. So, now I like the 8×8. They fit on my shelf, easier for my GS to hold and I can make my own albums with unique covers. I won’t even talk about the 24×24. LOL I’d have to use that as a coffee table. Just add legs and you can look through the pictures as you drink your coffee… LOL


(Pattie’s passion)

I Scrap So All Moments Are Remembered!!

3 Sue D March 2, 2009 at 10:31 am

I’ve only done a little bit of scrapbooking but have bought all kinds of albums in all different sizes. I think I will have more success with the smaller albums–the 12×12 just seem too big to me. I will use the ones I have to make albums for my kids growing up but I think I will enjoy smaller themed albums better. I agree about the 81/2×11 sheet protectors being cheaper and easier to find.

4 Karen L March 4, 2009 at 2:02 am

I started out with 8 1’2 x 11 as well, but I never see any albums in that size anymore. What do you use?? I don’t like the look of 3-ringed binders..prefer post-bound…… I’m kind of stuck with the more common 12×12.

5 Susan Driggers March 4, 2009 at 6:21 am

i’ve always done 12×12, but have always thought that it would be easier or quicker to do a smaller size. i just can’t bring myself to do it. i need one of those d ring albums and page protectors in different sizes, maybe then i will do it.

6 shannon March 4, 2009 at 9:22 am

I agree with you on the 8 1/2 X 11. I’ve only scrapbooked a little, but I prefer the smaller page. 12X12 is too much space and I can’t justify all of the expense with what a 12 in book requires. I like the idea of 8X8- I might have to go that route someday.

7 Annette March 4, 2009 at 11:14 am

My friends only do 12×12, but I find there is just too much negative space on the pages. Currently I am working on a 10×10 (yes, odd size) book. It was part of a kit and a gift from a friend. I think I like it and will try 8×8 or go back to 81/2 by 11 next.

8 tammy b March 9, 2009 at 8:30 am

i’ve always been a 12×12, 8×8, or 6×6 scrapper…untill recently. i decided to mix it up and am including all those sizes AND 8.5×11 in one book. i really like the eclectic mix

9 Carolyn S March 9, 2009 at 12:44 pm

I also started out using an 8.5×11 scrapbook, but quickly moved up to a 12×12. It’s funny when you look at the scrapbooks when you first started, and the ones you do now, just how much things have changed in the scrapbooking world, but even those were worlds away from my old high school scrapbook with the black pages and the black photo corners and everything just stuck on the pages. Anyway, I use the 12×12 still, but I am running out of room for them. I recently saw a friends 8×8 hybrid scrapbook and I think I am in love. I am looking forward to trying this size and think the smaller size would be better suited for storage or even laying out on the coffee table for guests to meander through.

thanks for all you do

ceashark at aol dot com

10 Kimberly R March 9, 2009 at 4:54 pm

I have often thought of doing a smaller scrapbook but have not yet given it a try. Maybe after I finish my sons – I could do one for my husband and I.

11 lisa J March 16, 2009 at 6:12 pm

I’ve always done 12X12 , I just switched from post bound to 3 ring binder so I can put whatever size page I want in. I got this idea from Stacy Julian from Big Picture Scrapbooks I am taking her Library of Memories class right now and am learning sooooooooooo much!

12 Vicki Winterton March 27, 2009 at 11:27 am

As a professional organizer, I too am a 8 1/2″ by 11″ scrapbooker for two reasons. (1) I think the scrapbooks sit better on a storage shelf. (2) It is the way I started 27 years ago and I know that uniformity is always more pleasing to the eye.

13 Cassie Griggs March 14, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Where do you buy your 8-1/2 x 11 scrapbooks? I used to by mine from Creative Memories, but they now only have three colors to choose from in that size. How boring!! Anyway, I like 8-1/2 x 11, but it seems that they are more difficult to find.

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