Everyday Life with the 3-2-1 Formula!

Have you ever heard of the 3-2-1 Formula for Scrapbooking?
Well, if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to scrapbook some photos, this may be the perfect project for you!

Let me show you the basics of how to create (10) two-page 6″ x 8″ layouts using a super speedy scrapbooking technique known as the 3-2-1 Formula.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 5 sheets of Close To My Heart patterned paper in your choice of coordinating patterns
  • 4 cardstock sheets that coordinate with your patterned papers
  • 10 White Daisy cardstock sheets
  • Coordinating embellishments of your choice

Step 1: Creating Base Pages. 
The very first thing you’ll cut are the base pages from the White Daisy cardstock. From 10 sheets, you should be able to get 20 6″ x 8″ pieces.

Step 2: Cutting Patterned Paper.
Cut your patterned paper so that you have 2 sheets measuring 6″ x 12″ plus the Zip Strip. The ‘Zip Strip’ is the .5 border piece along the top of the page that we will cut off next.
Next, this is where the 3-2-1 comes into play. Cut your 6″ x 12″ sheets of patterned paper into strips of 3″ x 6″, 2″ x 6″, and 1″ x 6″.

3, 2, 1 Scrapbooking Formula

(Each one of Close To My Heart’s patterned papers has a double-sided design, for additional creative flexibility. In this photo I’m simply showing 2 papers from a single pack.)

Step 3: Creating Photo Mats from Cardstock. For a more polished look, let’s add photo mats behind most, if not all, of the photos.

Cut each cardstock sheet into six 6″ x 4″ rectangles. You should have a total of 24 when you are done. If you’d like to have a few 3″ x 4″ mats, simply cut these in half during the decorating process. Also, Please note that the photos you will be mounting on these mats will have to be trimmed down .25″ in both height and width to fit.

Step 4: Putting It All Together. You’re going to need a bit of space for this, so make sure to clear your table or a place on your living room rug or somewhere else you can keep your project safe. It’s time to lay out all 20 White Daisy cardstock base pages!

Next, let’s distribute the strips of patterned paper and cardstock mats. Each page should get one 4″ x 6″ photo mat, or two 3″ x 4″ mats, and one strip of each size, 3″, 2″, and 1″. I also like to randomly add the Zip Strips into this process. Keep in mind that if you’d like for the pages that will be facing each other in your album to match, you will want to pair up page 2 & 3, 4 & 5, etc. This will also give you a title and a back page to your book.

Lastly, decide how you want to arrange all the pieces to your pages and get to it! Experiment with different arrangements by moving the components around until you are happy with your pages. You’ll also want to consider whether you want 3″ x 4″ or 4″ x 6″ photo mats on the layouts, or a combination of both.

Step 5: Embellish! Using coordinating embellishments add your finishing touches!

Here’s an album that I designed using the Good Vibes Paper Pack:

Instead of using the recommended 5 sheets of patterned paper, I used just 3. Basically a half pack of af Patterned Paper from Close To My Heart.

Good Vibes 1
Good Vibes 2
Good Vibes 3
Good Vibes 4

I also used the Good Vibes Sticker Sheet, the Stamp Set #D2067 All Day Every Day, and Alphabet #Z3760 Simple Serif Uppercase Thin Cuts to embellish my little layouts. I still need to fill in my journaling and I will most likely come back and add a few sparkles to my little book as well.

As you can see, by simply following the 3-2-1 Formula you’ll have a pretty awesome album when it’s finished. You will also have a lot of creative freedom to add your own flair to each of your pages and future 3-2-1 Formula projects. After all, no two albums will ever look the same, unless you intentionally make them that way.

Have fun creating my friend!


As a reminder, the Good Vibes Paper Collection is available through May 31, 2022 on my Close To My Heart Website. After that, please be sure to check my Studio Stash for additional availability.

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  1. This is such a great concept!!!! I will definitely give it a try, Especially with my older, Hoarded B & T and cardstock! Your 3-2-1album turned out great!! Thank you for the inspiration and instruction!

  2. Cute album. I just finished making an album for my granddaughters birthday using the 3-2-1 method. You are right, it came together quickly and it was fun to make. She is moving to Texa@ next month and I wanted her to take some of my memories with her. Thanks for sharing all your inspiration!

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