Project Life: Zambales with DIY Project Life Cards

I finally finished one Project Life! Learning this has been a challenging journey. I really thought it would be extremely simple but I found it harder than scrapbooking(!). Though I think this is mostly my own fault. After all, what makes Project Life easy is the ready-made sets of themed Project Life cards.

But since I found the card packs too expensive for such limited design options and quantity, I decided to make my own. And no, this doesn’t mean printing ready-made cards found online (mostly because I had the same “available designs don’t fit me/my personality” problem plus I didn’t like the idea of the amount of ink wasted printing cards for the PLs I had planned would consume). So I chose to DIY Project Life cards.

I wish someone was there to stop me when I made this decision. I’m not an artist, so the learning curve was steep. I not only had to create cards, I had to learn how to create Project Life layouts that is aesthetically pleasing (for myself) which included balancing elements, colors, and such to create the whole layout. But hey, it’s been an interesting journey.

Anyway, on to the cover page!


All photos are taken with a Samsung Galaxy S5, with minimal editing on my phone’s VSCOCAM app (mostly just +1 on contrast). I resized the photos and added titles on Photoshop. This layout is influenced by Liz of Paislee Press. Love how simple her layouts are.

For the 2×2 squares, I used Typo Gift Wrapping paper. The wooden embellishments are from Typo as well. I chose black and white so the side elements wouldn’t take away from the beautiful blue sea.


Here’s the start of our adventure on the left. I wanted a photo-centric Project Life, so there’ll definitely be more photos than cards.

DIY Cards:

  • For the 2×2 slots on the left, I used a sea/sky image I cut out from a magazine. I did some journaling on the magazine with a Uni-ball Signo white pen.
  • The ‘SUMMER’ 4×4 card is handwritten on an index card using a Marvy LePlume Brush Pen.

On the right, are photos of the place we stayed in.  I chose red 2×2 squares are from a Pink Paislee paper pack to match the red from the resort’s roof. Then, I used Marvy LePlumme in Black and Yellow for the SUMMER card, to anchor the right page to the left. I wrote one color in title case and the other in cursive for contrast.

I was amused at the resort’s pool–it lights up at night in different colors and is officially named ‘COLOR POOL’ (there is literally a sign at the entrance that says this). COLOR POOL = COLORFUL. Deserves it’s own journaling LOL card, that I made from a recycled gift wrap + Typo B&W Polka Dots Gift Wrap + Paper Stone Red Felt stickers. I need to learn how to incorporate QR code videos into my PL so I can add my quick video of the wonderful COLOR POOL.


More shots of our resort, the resort’s interesting WiFi pasword, and Bem goofing around. I’ve learned that repetition is key in making a layout cohesive, so I duplicated the card I made from a used wrapper I got from Christmas + Typo Black and White Polka dots gift wrap and just added a speech bubble wooden veneer, also from Typo.

The next day, we headed to Potipot Island. Keeping with my mainly blue + black and white theme, I desaturated and cropped our photos for the 2×2 photos on the right side.


I buy a ton of embellishments but I’m still a traditional photographer at heart. I just can’t put embellishments on my photos!

DIY Project Life Cards

DIY Project Life 2×2 cards:

  • Chevron 2×2 cards made using an index card, Heidi Swapp stencils, and a black brush pen
  • Beach Therapy and Potipot Island cards were made using a magazine and a Uni-ball Signo white pen (random, unimportant trivia: these two were the first cards I made for this album).

Bem and I were on a That Thing Called Tadhana hangover, having just watched Angelica Panganiban and John Pratt’s hilarious interview on Gandang Gabi Vice.

When your friends can’t join you on your trip, you buy turtle keychains and give them all your friend’s names.


Closing the album with a sunset, our search for good food within the island, and creepy strolling at night with Dugong.

Cards for this page are Typo Gift Wrappers and a magazine with lettering (My Gel 0.7 in Gold and Uni-ball Signo in White). I’m going to stick some seashells on the black wrapper once I find a good glue to use for it.


Next challenge: tackle color! It’s a big challenge for me to use colored cards and colored photos and have it look seamless and cohesive. Any tips?

If you plan on making DIY PL cards, hope this post was helpful!


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