Scrapbook Sunday: Playing with the Messy Box

Scrapbooking with The Messy BoxHey, friends. Happy Sunday. This week was pretty awesome because the Messy Box launch was a huge success. I can't describe to you guys what torture it is to design something all year long and not really know for sure if you'll even like it or not. This past week was a HUGE confirmation that you guys want to scrapbook with me. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you

I'm so pumped!

So pumped, in fact, that this week I scrapbooked TWENTY PAGES using this month's Messy Box. (giving myself a pat on the back… sorry!) 

So, you wanna see a few? 

Scrapbooking with The Messy Box I already showed you this one, but here it is again (for context). This is our Marriage Year 4 album (I go by married years instead of calendar years), which begins last May. I originally wanted to do a whole book on just Costa Rica, but after looking at my photos, I felt like that was a little too much. So instead, the first 20 pages (well, 10, front and back) of this album are of Costa Rica. The best start ever to a new of marriage… am I right?

This page is simply a 9×12 photo with this 9×12 transparency from Messy Box layered over it. 

Scrapbooking with The Messy Box  I made these pages a while back, and it feels good to finally give them a home in an album. 

Scrapbooking with The Messy Box   Underwater Go Pro photos? Why yes! You get a gigantic spread. 

Scrapbooking with The Messy BookI used the white brads and confetti to make flowers. Fun, right? Also those little word stickers are from Happy Mail this month (and I cannot stop using them… constantly!). 

Scrapbooking with The Messy Book Here's a detail shot of my string art made with the white brads. I just used a needle to stitch embroidery thread on and then added brads over each corner. This technique could be used to add any number of designs, or even text! 

Scrapbooking with The Messy Book  And a little flower detail! 

Scrapbooking with The Messy Box     OMG. I made a journaling card with the gold foil chipboard alpha. I only wish I had 100 packs of these. They're super fun to use. By the way, this graph paper card is from this pack (very useful for journaling). 

Scrapbooking with The Messy Box      This is one of many all photo pages. I love these. For me, the messy book will be a hybrid of a photo album and a scrapbook. I love the create and "play" aspect, but I also enjoyed completing twenty pages in one and a half afternoons! Best of both worlds? 

Scrapbooking with The Messy Box       Name that tune. Hahahaha! 

Scrapbooking with The Messy Box        This page makes me smile! Another all photo page with one little Messy Box card squeezed in there. The full page photo is one of my favorites from the trip. It's actually an iPhone photo. I am so amazed by the quality of printed iPhone photos. It's pretty great. 

Scrapbooking with The Messy Box         This is my personal favorite, of course. It's not that often that we get really good photos together. My man is just a littttttle bit camera shy. So I treasure what I do get (and print it GIANT). 

Emma called the black and white one, "Jeremy's cologne ad". 

Scrapbooking with The Messy Box          #YAY

You guys had better use those golden hashtags! 

Scrapbooking with The Messy Box           And the last page. I am so proud to have completed this, you guys! I have spent so long being ashamed of all my (really special) unprinted photos, and I'm finally getting caught up. It feels awesome… and I want to help you do it too! 

With that said, let's chat in the comments! What do you want to know or learn about making scrapbooks or photo albums? What is holding you back? What should I share here in future Scrapbook Sunday posts? I want to be a resource for you! 

xx. Elsie 

Credits// Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions.

  • I’m embracing the photo album / scrap book album mix as well. . . Kind of an expansion of the three-up travel albums I’ve done through the years. – have ahead loved your scrapbook designs! Congrats on messy box!

  • I LOVE your scrapbook. It’s so unique. I am just graduating from my last year of pharmacy school (it’s 4 years) and I’ve been wanting for a long time to make a book for each year. Thanks for all the great ideas and inspiration.

  • I’m still in two minds whether to sign up to Messy Box or not but you are definitely convincing me!

    A post on the process behind how you re-size, process and print your pictures would be so helpful! That’s the only reason I haven’t started scrapbooking myself yet.

  • I HATE journaling. It’s hard to decide how much or how little to include without it becoming a literal full blown diary. Any tips or tricks about this?

    Also, do you have a tried and true page planning method? As someone who can’t justify the cost of home printing, I find deciding on what size/orientation/page protector to use takes a lot of time and effort.

  • thanks for sharing your pages! i am totally new to scrapbooking and ordered your messybox to help me get started. my grandma was an amazing photo-taker for her whole life and filled many albums which i used to pour over every summer. i want to be that person for my kids! i am very crafty, so i love the idea of your photo-scrap books. one question: did you put the embellishments directly on the photos and then slide them into the sleeves, some i can see you did, but what about the #yay, it looks like it is on top of the sleeve??

    i am looking forward to learning more from you, i love your blog, it is so inspiring!

  • This is AMAZING…! It all looks so beautiful, you’re a real talent 😉

    I really want to start scrapbooking myself, but I normally don’t take that many pictures.. It was one of my new years resolutions to take more pictures, but still… Not enough! So time to renew that new years resolution and just do it!!

  • Thanks for sharing your pages. It’s so inspiring. I have a giant box of things to scrapbook spanning about 8 years!!! I can’t wait to get started on all my scrapbooking and get all these memories into books.

  • i love the pages you did! do you print your own pictures for the small pictures or do you print them in 4×6 and cut them down? i tend to shy away from using the smaller pockets for prints because i can never get the size right. I’d love to know your secrets!!

  • I absolutely love your scrapbook Sunday posts! They are so inspirational and have helped inspire me in so many ways. I just ordered the 12 month subscription to the messy boxes, can’t wait!!

  • I am so excited to have found this site. This post has inspired me to start scrapbooking. I’ve always wanted to do it but it seemed like something that was not so cool. You guys make it so modern and fun. Can’t wait for my messy box and binders to come in 🙂

  • Would love to start scrapbooking. My questions are around how to get photos the correct size to include in albums. Any advice if you are not going to use a home printer? Loving the new messy books!

  • What holds me back is actually getting around to getting the photos printed (or the cost of a new printer/ink/paper if going that route), deciding on sizes to print, which ones to print… basic organization of the technical side. I’m also not sure I could make as cute of layouts with the stickers and little details!

  • I love the 9×12 concept. My 3 books look so weird on the shelf. I am now tempted to shave off 3 inches of my pages some how to make this work. Nice job. Definitely motivated to keep scrapping.

  • Love these scrapbook posts and was inspired to start my own! I’d like to know more about sizing photos….seems like whenever I order to get them printed, there are only a few standard sizes available (4’6/5’7). Also what iPhone do you have cause my phone photos never look anywhere near that good!

  • Help with page planning—especially when using the page sleeves that have all different sized slots. How do you plan your pages ahead of time, knowing they’ll be fitting into different sized boxes?

    I love to scrapbook, but get so tired of working within static page sizes, like 9X12 or 8.5X11. So I’d love tips for how you incorporate the different photo sizes/styles/formats, because it really makes the book so much more dynamic than the scrapbooks I’ve made in the past.

    If we’re not printing at home, what’s one of the best ways to print photos for dynamic pages?

  • I’m trying to put together a scrapbook for my best friend (who’s turning 17 in May) with pictures and wishes from all her family and friends. Any ideas on layouts or fun details to add?

  • I have two issues – 1. the daunting task of going through photos. I take *so many* of my puppy and when I go on vacation, but just narrowing down to the best is so overwhelming!! 2. I legitimately don’t have a space to keep a printer in my cramped home. Do you know of any high-quality alternatives to printing at home? I’ve tried some online photo services in the past and was super disappointed in the quality.

  • Just beautiful! I’m inspired to work on some layouts this afternoon.

  • This is just so beautiful! Scrapbook Sundays have quickly become my fave on the blog!

    I was wondering: You posted several times about the printer you use, what would you reccommend to use when a person doesn’t have their own printer? Invest in one? Because getting the pictures printed at Walmart or the likes really stifles the process, but… printers aren’t cheap.
    Also, how do you usually decide what pages/pictures get a design? Like the hashtag?
    Are you ever afraid of ‘ruining’ the picture or the overall look by adding lettering or something?

    Thanks for sharing all your beautiful pictures with us!

  • I really want to do a scrap book but feel like I need to learn more first! Please teach me!

    Becca xx

  • I decided to start scrapbooking using your new album (can’t wait for it to ship!). The thing is, I don’t have my own printer, so I have to get my photos printed through Target or somewhere. What are your suggestions to make sure I print sizes that fit in your photo sleeves (like the 3×3 in the Monroe).

  • Would love to know more about printing photos! Can I get 9×12 prints from Costco or Wallgreens?? Thanks!

  • What do you use to edit your iPhone photos, especially your non-square ones (as I know the app makes you crop all your photos square)?

  • I love your style! I love your sort of Project Life style pages but I’d like to see some more traditional scrapbooking pages too. I’ve heard of your skillz and would love to see them in action! Speaking of action, maybe some start to finish process videos! I would love that! 🙂 Thanks for all the inspiration, doll! xoxo

  • I adore this scrapbook look — it is very different, retro and modern at the same time. Seriously, your swim caps are amazing! My husband and I just returned from a trip to Belize and it was amazing too. Can’t wait to revisit.

  • I am so excited to get my messy box! Scrapbook Sunday’s has become one my favorite post’s of the week. I would love to learn more about how you store your scrapbooks, and how you organize all your supplies.

  • I love what you’re doing and your photo-heavy style helped get me back into scrapbooking. Not sure if it works with your Canon sponsorship, but would love to know fave online sites for printing. Love the new boxes!

  • Do I spy with my little eye a page of square pockets?? Is that a Messy Box thing or did you score that elsewhere? I’m doing a year-long photo-a-day project on Instagram (#whatdidIgetmyselfinto) and I’d like to make a book but cannot for the life of me find square pocket pages. Thanks!

  • Where did you but those plastic maps you put your pictures in.
    I adore them, and your whole scrapbooking. Goals!

  • “You guys had better use those golden hashtags!” #obsessed.

    i love your fresh, current spin on scrapbooking. i made one scrapbook back in 2004 because I was forced to as a member of my pom pon squad in high school as a senior gift. since then i’ve been scarred for life of the scrap book world. slowly you’re starting to convince me that it might be a fear i should get over.

  • I love this! Great inspiration to go back to using photo albums (in a scrapbook format); I have a couple and love taking the time to sit down and flick through them. Digital photography is great for being able to take photos with phones etc and carrying photos around with us all the time, but it’s a shame we rarely take the time to fill albums now (or is it just me?!).

    I would love to hear more on how you organise digital photos! I’ve been wanting to get into scrapbook for a long time but I’m one step behind – my huge photos of unsorted folders are so daunting, I’m scared by the idea of having to go through that every time I need to find scrapbook-worthy photos..

  • Hpw do yup edit your iPhone photos, specifically the non-square ones! (I know that your app makes you crop all your photos square so wondering how you edit the other ones!)

  • Awesome! gotta try it at home hihi. btw, sometimes when i want to try some of your tutorial, it’s so hard to find some equipment that you suggested in my country.

  • It feels like I have been saving all of my pocket scrapping energy for when I just knew you would create a line. I cannot wait for my MESSY BOX to arrive each month!!!! #abeautifulmessrocks

  • I agree with Jess, that would be an awesome post. Also do you print all the photos at home or do you get them printed elsewhere

  • Wow! Looks amazing! I saw that full page photo with your feet that you posted a while ago and it inspired my to try this way of scrapbooking!
    Was thinking about ordering the Messy Box but I’ve got ‘a thing’ for taking square photos that I can’t shake and so my albums are 12×12… Is there much in the box I could use or is it all for 9×12 books?
    Again, awesome job Elsie! X

  • I love physical scrapbooking but I too struggle with photo printing. I don’t have a great printer at home so it’s kind of
    hit and miss with planning layouts and getting photos printing. Could you maybe do a cost breakdown on how much it would realistically be to print at home?
    For anyone wanting to do more digital/app based scrapbooking the Project Life App is great!

  • Love your pages! I laughed when I clicked on today and saw the “love song” quote. I just finished a painting using that same one. Such fun stuff…

  • A processing and printing post would be great, maybe with recommendations for what type of printer to get if we want to print a lot of photos!

  • I look forward to your Scrapbook Sunday posts all week (and loved learning more about stamping with you on the livestream). I cannot wait to get my messy box! Congrats on the launch!

    I have about 10 years of digital photos that I am slowly printing and preparing to scrapbook/put in albums. I’d love to hear your favorite places to print in bulk (either by ordering on-line or going in somewhere).

    I also love all of your fun ideas for adding embellishments to the photos themselves. Using the embroidery thread to sew letters is a great idea and one I will have to try as soon as I get over my fear of ruining the images or detracting from them. (I can always print another if I mess it up, right?) I’d love to see more ideas for how to add fun pattern to the images themselves.

  • I love scrapbook sundays and I am so excited to receive my messy book. I would really like to see a video or post on how you use photoshop to resize your photos to fit some of the less common sized photo sleeves. I feel that may be self explanatory, but I have not used photoshop in the longest and am curious to see how you go from resized photo to print.

    thanks 🙂

  • I would love a post about how you plan your pages – like how do you decide which photos will be which size, colour combo’s, colour photos vs. b & w, art cards and filler vs. all photos, etc.

    Thanks for the inspiration, your layouts are beautiful!

  • I have never been a scrap booker… but I always love the stuff you guys do on ABM and I often wondered where to start… it can be expensive to start a hobby like this and for a newbie it can be intimidating. It looks like the messy box eases a lot of the angst I have. I also love how these feel like photo albums so they will get me to print stuff. As soon as I get my home office space organized I am definitely going to go for a 6 monther. great job on these!

  • I love this photo album!!! I just have my photos in normal photo books right now, but I really want to do this! I’d like to learn some more tutorials for fun little designs (like the flowers)!

  • Getting pumped to scarpbook myself. I’d like to know more about those other alternatives squares. The ones that aren’t photos.

  • I adore scrapbooking! It’s one of my favorite things to do. I love how unique this is! 🙂

    Unique Geek

  • I’m in love with those underwater Gopro photos! They turned out so well. I also like the addition of white brads – I never thought of using them as decorative pieces. I can’t wait for more updates on Scrapbook Sunday!


  • Beautiful book! I love the idea of a messy book that’s part photo album, part scrapbook, part art journaL.. i LOVE that it can be whatever I’m confortable with. I’m still considering messy box, but I like a lot of consistancy in my books… Will each messy box be completely different? Will I be able to coordinate with them?

    Thanks for keeping me inspired to keep taking photos!

  • I think I prefer to adhere my photos to scrapbook pages instead of in pocket pages. do you have any suggestions for beautiful albums that you recommend? also I’m so torn on page size. 😡

  • Well, first off I don’t take much photos which I guess is a habit I should change. And as for scrap booking I adore the idea I just always figure it is a bit of a costly hobby :/ I dunno if that is any true but You know…
    Also, My man’s is allergic to cameras HAHA! He just simply will not take a photo (I am more than ok with that as He isn’t comfortable in front of a lens, but well makes it hard to put Him in there)

    But You know what? I think it’s simply that life is hectic with senior year in university and also the thought of having to spend lots on supplies right now isn’t too pleasing :/

    Adoreeee the book though ^_^ You make it creativity seem so natural!

    The Chronic Dreamer

  • Same here! I’ve been stuck since December because I just can’t get my printer (I have a Canon, too) to print in the size I want. It’s been such a headache, I can’t even look at the printer anymore.

  • Aw, that look so much fun! I really like to see others’ scrapbook, not because I’m nosy, but because I enjoy seeing how they relate to the space they have. I like the idea of all the little photos with a bigger one divided in two, it doesn’t break the grid, but gives a little twist. And the combination of journaling with photos.

    Here in Italy scrapbooking isn’t very famous, I just discovered it myself, but I’d really like to try too. Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  • For those of us who don’t have a home printer, where would you suggest printing great quality 9×12 prints?

  • Ditto to many – a post about how to resize images and such for home printing AND for sending them out would be great! Home printing isn’t currently an option for me, and I’m guessing many others. These Scrapbook Sunday posts are a favorite! Thanks, Elsie!

  • This album is fabulous! I love the Monroe Photo sleeve! I soooo need to get scrapbooking again. Maybe I should start scrapbook sundays too!

  • I second this! It’s the exact reason I haven’t started any albums as well.

  • Wow!! This has inspired me to create my own scrapbook! I love how your scrapbook is a twist on the usual. Can’t wait to start my own!

  • You are so talented! I love these Scrapbooking posts – I really hope there are more in the future. I especially love when you give us tips for making our own cards or customizing products.

  • Do you know of any place online that does 9×12 full page prints? I’m really excited about Messy Box (ordered the 12 months) and love all of your full page photo pages. Unfortunately, a new printer is not in my budget at the moment. The only site I could find was mpix. Has anyone used that? Is it any good?

  • Yes! I would LOVE to learn how to print multiple pics on one page. I just got a Canon printer and am still trying to figure this out. I want to use all those pockets!! 🙂

  • Agree!! I would also like to know how you all print larger photos (9×12)

  • I had the same problem with my Epson. I was so frustrated that I returned it. I’ve just been going to Costco to print my pictures, but it takes longer to get my pictures done.

  • Hey Meagan,

    I feel weird about journaling too. Some things are okay, but some feel too personal to share with every one that looks at the book. I think I’m going to start typing on paper and then adding a tab, so it’s tucked under photos. I found something similar in the photo ( I think it adds detail to the page and hides entries you don’t want to share. I hope that helps!


  • I’m starting my first Messy Box (YAY!) book and I am wondering… did you go back and turn all of your Marriage Year 1 – 3 photos into this size/format or photo book, or are you planning to? I’m kinda that way, and am looking for validation 😉 Just curious on your thoughts… I have a chance to ‘start fresh’ as I am new to photo books and am only a few weeks into my first Project Life… and 12X12 is a B.U.M.M.E.R. Even with the Sunshine Kit 🙂 What are your thoughts on having all of your photo books be the same size? xo hil