Tutorial Tuesday | Using Color Casts on Photos

Hello everyone! Today I am going to talk about something that we probably don’t see many examples of in the scrapbooking galleries. Have you seen photos with colours that match more closely with other design elements on the page or are colour blocked to give a more graphic feel and wondered how it is done? So, let’s drive straight in.

Colour casts are something that we should be very careful about. They may not work for all kinds of photos and layouts. Of course, there are many ways to do it but I will be highlighting two distinct approaches today.

1. All over photo colour cast to harmonise the layout

This is my original photo that I will play around with.

After usual edits, I decided to overlay a slight blue green tinge. The steps followed are shown in the image below.

Using a solid overlay is the easiest way of adding a cast or a tint. However, if you don’t like all of your photo to be tinted you could very easily use the gradient tool to create a more subtle or dramatic (as the case may be) effect.

As you can see, I have used a gradient so that there is minimal tint on the girls and more on the background.

Once you are comfortable with these basic steps, you can practically play with different blending modes and select the one that suits your photo/layout the most. A couple of other options shown below:

Hue blending mode 47%

Overlay blending mode 50%

2. Overlay a block of colour on photos – partially/in patterns

The colour casts can also be used selectively – for example if used in conjunction with geometric shapes, the effect could be quite graphic. Here is one of the layouts I created to demonstrate this.

So that’s it, some quick ways to add colour casts. Hope you have found this useful. Please share any layouts you make using these techniques in the comments below.

Till next time then, happy scrapping!


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About the Author Shivani Sohal is a donner of many alter-egos. A finance professional by day in busy London, she morphs into a seemingly normal mum of two in the evenings and weekends. She is constantly found with her fingers in too many pies and juggling the metaphorical balls. That is living on the edge for her; aided by the two ankle biters and a darling hubby who define the warm and mushy for her. She is ferociously dedicated to memory keeping — almost immune to any nay-sayers (or equally-disruptive crying children or annoying house fires!); keeping her head down and forging ahead at all times.

Hybrid How-To | Matchbook Valentines

Hello everyone! It’s Tanya here, and I’m excited to share another edition of Hybrid How-To with you here on The Digital Press blog! With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I thought I’d show you how to use your digital stash to create these fun matchbook Valentines.

This is a great project, because you can truly use just about any of your favorite digital products to create these matchbooks. These are really fun to make for a child’s whole class in school, even! Depending on the age/grade of the class, you can repurpose a ton of different digital kits.

SUPPLIES NEEDED:

  1. Your favorite digital scrapbooking products
  2. White card stock paper
  3. Coordinating card stock colors for your printed pieces
  4. Double-sided tape
  5. Fun-size candies (I used M&M’s for this tutorial)
  6. Paper cutter
  7. Stapler

Here’s a look at the kits I used for my matchbooks…

[1] Get Connected, [2] Hello, I Love You, [3] You & Me Elements, [4] You & Me Papers, [5] Zoobilee, and [6] Nature’s Playground

INSTRUCTIONS:

I used the Silhouette Studio software to create the tops of the matchbook, but you can use whatever photo editing program you prefer.

First, I drew out a rectangle 3.15″ high x 2.75″ wide and replicated it to fit as many as I could on my page. Then, I filled each one with papers that I thought would be good for Valentine’s Day. Next, I added some elements from the kits to match the papers…

It was so fun to make the cards! To get ideas, you can google “Valentine’s puns” and you’ll find a bunch of great ideas and inspiration. Here are some of the card ideas that I came up with (I had to stop myself because I could have just to keep on going!)…

For the cards themselves, I was going to use the print and cut feature on my Silhouette Cameo cutting machine… but in the end, I decided it would be just as easy (and maybe quicker!) to use my paper trimmer.

I did do some layering with some of them, though, because I love dimension. For this, I just printed out individual elements and used the print and cut feature because I’m terrible fussy cutter…

For the actual matchbooks, I took coordinating card stock and cut 3″ x 9″ strips. Then I scored & folded the cardstock at 1″ and at 5.25″. I have a scoring blade on my paper trimmer, but you can also use something flat like a credit card or gift card to achieve a good, clean fold…

After that, I added double-sided tape to put the printed pieces onto the colored card stock… and then I folded up a flap at the bottom and stapled in my M&Ms (see bottom right photo, below)…

Finally, I completed everything by tucking the top into the bottom, under the flap created by the staple. On some of the matchbooks, I added a little extra dimension by adding double sided tape and adhering the extra pieces I cut out…

Here is a look at one of the finished matchbooks up close…

Aren’t they so cute?! So many possibilities! Here’s a look at a bunch of the different designs I created…

I think I might even give these to my co-workers! 🙂

I hope that you have enjoyed this edition of Hybrid How-To, and that you will give this a try and come up with one of your own matchbooks! Don’t forget to visit the CROSSWORD SECTION in The Digital Press forum, and jump into this month’s Hybrid Challenge if you are thinking of trying this project. You can earn points toward discounts & FREEBIES! I hope that you will join in!


Tanya

About the Author  Tanya is a part of the hybrid team here at The Digital Press. She has been hybrid crafting for at least 15 years now, and loves creating and sharing those creations with others. Her all-time favorite tool is her Silhouette Cameo. She has been married for 28 years to her high school sweetheart, Richard and has two sons: Chris, 26 and Chance, 21. She also enjoys crocheting, photography and woodworking.

Foodie Friday | Rachel Hodge

Hello! Welcome to The Digital Press blog today for another fun edition of our always-popular Foodie Friday series!

I’m Robin, and this week we are featuring TDP Designer Rachel Hodge, and peeking into her kitchen to learn a few of her favorite recipes. This is actually Rachel’s third feature on The Digital Press blog (if you want to learn even more about her, you can find her first feature article from April 2016 HERE, and her second feature article from March 2017 HERE).

Rachel has some amazing recipes to share with us this week. Take a peek…

So, what are these delicious things you see pictured above?

  • Scalloped Potatoes
  • Afghan Cookies
  • Spiced Treacle Gingerbread

Scalloped Potatoes

About this recipe, Rachel says, “I love me a good scalloped potatoes recipe! This one is super easy and super tasty… and it’s a family favorite in my house.”

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 large potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced finely
  • 1 cup grated cheddar (for those who are also in Australia, I use the dairylea block)
  • 1-1/2 cups cream
  • 2 teaspoons chicken stock

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F)
  • Arrange a layer of potato slices in a baking dish and then top with a layer of the sliced onions.
  • Set aside half the grated cheese (this will be for the top layer) and then sprinkle some of the remaining cheese over the onion.
  • Continue this layering until all the potato and onion is used.
  • In a separate bowl gently mix the cream and chicken stock together then pour over potato and sprinkle with the rest of the grated cheese.
  • Cover and bake for 40 minutes, or until potato is tender.

Afghan Cookies

When I asked Rachel about this recipe, she replied, “Oh my gosh, these are the best! This is a favorite I love to have with a coffee or cup of tea. This is sweet, crunchy, and chocolatey… what’s not to love?”

INGREDIENTS

  • 220g butter (at room temperature)
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 185g plain flour
  • 30g cocoa
  • 60g crushed cornflakes

FOR THE ICING

  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 heaped tablespoon cocoa (approx. may need a bit more or less, depending on how rich you like the icing)
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • Water
  • Flaked almonds

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Grease an flat oven tray and preheat oven to 180 C (356 F)
  • Beat butter and sugar till pale and fluffy.
  • Add the flour, cocoa and cornflakes and mix together.
  • Scoop a small amount (around a tablespoon’s worth) onto tray, repeat till mixture is gone and then bake for around 15 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and cool
  • ICING: While cookies are cooling, make the icing. Mix the icing sugar and the cocoa together, add the butter and enough water to make a thick paste consistency.
  • Ice with the chocolate icing and place flaked almonds on top.

Spiced Treacle Gingerbread

While describing these cookies, Rachel wrote, “This is my favorite gingerbread recipe because it’s not a hard recipe (like a lot of them can be), and the flavor is spot on — especially with some chocolate M&M’s added on.

INGREDIENTS

  • 140g unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 treacle
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1/4 cup self raising flour
  • 3 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda

FOR THE ICING

  • 1 egg white
  • 1/3 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • Food coloring

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Lightly grease two baking sheets. Beat the butter and sugar with electric beaters until light and creamy, then beat in the treacle and egg. Fold in the flours, spices and baking soda. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, knead for 2-3 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 10 minutes.
  • Divide dough in half and roll out first half in between two sheets of baking paper to about 4mm thick. Repeat with 2nd half, and lay each on a tray to chill for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 340 F.
  • Use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes, place on trays and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool before icing.
  • ICING: Whisk egg white till foamy. Add the lemon juice and sugar and beat till glossy. Add desired food coloring, then place in piping bag (or a small plastic bag with the tip cut off in one corner), and ice away…

Don’t all of these goodies look delicious?! After simply seeing these pictures, my youngest son has asked to make them this weekend. I’m sure he will love these as much as Rachel does!

Meanwhile, it wouldn’t be a designer feature week without a fantastic sale and a special Free-with-Purchase offer… so you’ll be excited to see what Rachel has in store for you! Not only is her entire shop marked down 30% OFF throughout her entire feature week (sale prices will be valid through 11:59pm ET on Thurs 2/1)… but she also has the following awesome deal available in her shop all week long, as well! Spend $10+ in Rachel Hodge’s shop at The Digital Press and get the following bundled collection completely FREE…


Robin

About the author  Robin is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. A wife of 25 years and a mom of 4 crazy children (3 in college and 1 still at home), she says that her life occurs mostly in the car as she transports said crazy kids to their many, many homeschool activities. When not driving, Robin loves to make her family cringe by pulling out her camera again (and again, and again…).

Tutorial Tuesday | 5 Tips for Sports Photography

Do you sometimes find it uninspiring to scrapbook sports photos? As a busy mom of 3 boys I have spent countless hours on the sidelines of almost every sport and have thousands of sports photos to prove it! The majority of those photos will never make in onto a scrapbook page, but the stellar ones that take your breath away, those will!  Today I am sharing my top 5 tips to help you capture stellar scrapbook worthy sports photos!

1. Nail the shot with sharp focus – It helps if you have a particular person of interest playing the game because then you can follow this person on the field of play with your camera. This is especially true with continuous movement sports such as soccer and basketball. If you don’t have a person of interest, you can focus on a position such as pitcher, batter, quarter back, etc.

Consider using a continuous focus mode so that you can focus on the action as your kids move around. In your manual it’s called AF-C (Nikon) or AI Servo (Canon).  You’ll thank yourself for making the switch when you’re photographing kids indoor sports because it’s so much easier to follow the action than moving around a single focus point.

2. Anticipate the Action – Knowing where to stand is one of the most important parts of sports photography.  Each sport is different and the games have their own flow of action.  Photographers want to be where the action is going, not where it has been.  Each sport generally offers a ton of options as far as where a photographer can stand. Get to a game early to find the best spot or move around as the play continues to get different shots from multiple spots.

3. Capture the emotion – photos showing the emotions of playing the game are the most rewarding and memorable. Sports offer a variety of photo opportunities aside from the action on the field. While the expressions of the players involved in the action are usually great, don’t forget about the players not involved in the action or the coaches and fans. The sidelines are great for shots of players interacting with each other, coaches instructing players, and sideline portraits. Don’t be afraid to turn away from the action during the moments to catch the emotion in the bench area.

4. Tell the story with composition – A sporting event is rich with storytelling ideas and opportunities for great composition. Use the lines of the field or the movement of the player to tell the unique story of the game in action. Use items that would sometimes be considered an eyesore to creatively frame your photos. A simple baseball fence can become a unique frame for your subject if you shoot close enough to it:

5. Take multiple shots – Use a continuous (burst) shooting mode to capture several frames in succession. Depending on how fast the games move, you’ll be able to capture a great series of images of your child in action. Use a zoom lens to get in close to your player, so it feels like you are right there with them on the field :

Don’t expect every photograph to be a game-winning shot. The best way to get better with any photography is with perseverance and practice, and before you know it you’ll start to see more consistent results!


JenniferHigniteJennifer Hignite is a mom of three boys and new homeowner with her fiance in the mitten state of Michigan. When she is not scrapbooking, she enjoys photography, watching her boys play sports, decorating, and shopping at Target.

Foodie Friday | Dunia Designs

Hey gang, and welcome to this week’s edition of our Foodie Friday series on The Digital Press blog. Have you guys been trying the recipes so far this year? I’ve definitely found a few gems that have made it into the permanent rotation at our house. And it’s always nice to get easy fresh ideas at the end of a week, right?!

This week I talked with Dunia of Dunia Designs, and together we came up with a couple of our favorite recipes. We each have a favorite “lighter meal” recipe we’d like to share — both of these could work for either lunch or dinner — and then I wanted to share my very favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, as well! I know, I know, chocolate chip cookies have been done. But these seem to come out perfect every single time, and I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve searched for ways to ensure that happens (I think the secret of this recipe lies in the different types of flour that are used)!

This is actually Dunia’s third feature here on the blog; if you’d like to learn more about her, check out her previous articles from September 2016 and from April 2017.

Today, however, we’re all about the food (!)… and so without further ado, here’s a look at what we’re cooking up…

[ photo credits: [1] & [3] TDP creative team member Shannon Collier, [2] TDP designer Dunia Acuan ]

So, what are these delicious things you see pictured above?

  • Salmon Nicoise Salad
  • Sonoma Chicken Salad
  • Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

SALMON NICOISE SALAD

This is a recipe that I (Shannon) found on cookinglight.com but I’ve adapted it to include one more element — roasted potatoes. Since I like to make a meal that will last for a couple of days, I make of the “pieces” of this recipe separately, and store them separately in the fridge, and then when it comes time for another meal, I’ve got everything I need ready to assemble. I hope you like it!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 (8-oz.) pkg. French green beans (I’ve also used fresh)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (12-oz.) salmon fillet, about 1 in. thick
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 head butter lettuce, torn (about 6 cups)
  • 3/4 cup chopped English cucumber
  • 1/2 cup fresh yellow corn kernels
  • 1-1/2 ounces pitted kalamata or Niçoise olives (about 1/4 cup)
  • 4 small radishes, cut into 1/2-in. wedges

FOR THE POTATOES (I revised the recipe & added)

  • 2 cups chunked red potatoes (about 2 medium potatoes)
  • 1 tablespoon Penzey’s Northwoods seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

FOR THE DRESSING

  • 2-1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

INSTRUCTIONS

  • I start with the potatoes since they take a bit of time and can been cooking while you prepare everything else. Preheat oven to 375 F. Leaving the skins on, cut potatoes into bite sized pieces. Toss the potatoes and onions with the seasoning until well coated. Then toss with the oil. Pour the potatoes into a 13×9 baking dish and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes during that first half-hour. Then, bake uninterrupted for an additional 30-40 minutes (or until potatoes are nice and brown).
  • While the potatoes are cooking, bring a medium saucepan filled with water to a boil. Carefully add eggs to pan; cook 6 minutes. Add green beans; cook 2 minutes. Drain; plunge eggs & beans into a bowl of ice water. Let stand 3 minutes; drain. Peel eggs, and cut into quarters.
  • Heat 1-1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Sprinkle fish with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add fish, skin side down, to pan; cook 7 minutes. Turn, and cook 3 minutes. Remove fish from pan; break into large flakes with a fork.
  • To make the dressing, combine remaining 2-1/2 tablespoons oil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper, vinegar, parsley, and mustard in a bowl.
  • Divide lettuce among 4 plates; top evenly with eggs, beans, cucumber, corn, olives, radishes, and fish. Drizzle with vinaigrette.

 


SONOMA CHICKEN SALAD

This one is from Dunia’s kitchen, and is one of her favorites. She told me that it is actually one of the recipes that Whole Foods uses and she was really excited to discover the recipe for her own use at home.  I’m so excited to try it, as well!

INGREDIENTS

Dressing

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 5 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Salad

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup pecan pieces, toasted
  • 2 cups red seedless grapes, halved
  • 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, poppy seeds, salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use. This can be prepared up to 2 days ahead.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 F. Place chicken breasts in one layer in a baking dish with 1/2 cup water. Cover with foil, and bake 25 minutes until completely cooked through. Remove cooked chicken breasts from pan, cool at room temperature for 10 minutes, then cover and refrigerate until cooled.
  • When the chicken is cold, dice into bite-size chunks and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in pecans, grapes, celery and reserved dressing.

 


PERFECT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

As I mentioned earlier, these tend to come out perfectly for me every time… not too flat, perfectly soft, and chewy… ooooh I could eat a whole plate of them! Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons cake flour
  • 1-2/3 cups bread flour
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1-1/4 cups unsalted butter
  • 1-1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
  • 1-1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks, at least 60 percent cacao content
  • Sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
  • Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds.
  • Drop chocolate pieces into batter and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
  • When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
  • Scoop six 3-1/2 ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, about 13 minutes.
  • Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough… or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day.

 


Both Dunia and I hope you enjoy these recipes! Let us know if you give them a try.

And of course, because Foodie Friday is also a designer feature, Dunia is throwing a fantastic sale in her shop and also offering a special Free-with-Purchase item for all purchases of $10+ from her store. Her entire shop is marked down 30% OFF throughout her entire feature week (sale prices and FWP offer will both be valid through 11:59pm ET on Thurs 1/25).

If you spend $10+ in the Dunia Designs shop at The Digital Press you’ll get the following product completely FREE!


ShannonAbout the Author  Shannon has been completely addicted to digiscrapping since she began in early 2016 (though she’s been a scrapper since 2000). Her early morning ritual of a few quiet hours of scrapping while sipping a chai tea is her favorite part of each day. She is also the owner of a web design company, and when she’s not at the computer designing websites or digiscrap layouts, she’s probably hiking one of the local mountains in her hometown of Phoenix, Arizona. 

Tutorial Tuesday | Highlighting a Photo Using Strokes

Have you ever been working on a scrapbook page, been framing up your photos and feel like your page is coming together and looking awesome,  but you know, it needs just a little “something.” Perhaps you’re like me and you use the same framing technique over and over and sure, it works great, you love it, but for the page you’re working on you want a little different look. Personally, my go-to method of framing a photo is to apply a style to my photo mask (a textured white stroke). Again, I love the clean look, but sometimes I feel like a photo could use a little more “oomph.” When that happens oftentimes I’ll add a stroke either around the photo or inside the frame of the photo. It’s easy to do. Let me show you how.

First off, here’s a clean and simple page I scrapped this weekend using Fete papers, elements and stamps by Sahin Designs here at The Digital Press. I was happy with the page with the warped shadow and my standard white frame, but I felt that keeping it even more simple, by removing the white frame and adding a stroke around the photo as well as inside the photo would give the page a little more pizzaz. Let me tell you how I go about adding strokes to my pages.

Here’s my side-by-side “Before” and “After” images:

HOW TO ADD A STROKED FRAME INSIDE A PHOTO

Before we begin, let me note that for my page example I first chose to delete the style that created the white textured frame. I wanted to just use the inset white stroke and the outside black stroke.

As you can see from my layers panel, I’ve got my photo clipped to a rectangular shape that I created with the marquee tool.

Step 1. Highlight the photo mask

CMD+Click (or CTRL+Click) on the thumbnail of the photo mask in the layers panel. Marching ants will appear around the photo mask.

CMD-CTRL Click

Step 2. Create a new blank layer ABOVE the photo in the layers panel

Click on the photo in the layers panel so that the photo layer is active and then create a new blank layer. Following are three different ways you can create a new blank layer:

(1) Click on the folded paper icon at the bottom of the layers panel, or

(2) Press CMD+SHIFT+N (or CTRL+SHIFT+N) and then click OK, or

(3) Press Layer > New > Layer > OK.

Step 3. Make sure the new blank layer is the active layer

You will want to apply the stroke to the BLANK layer you created in Step 2 (NOT directly on the photo), so make sure the new blank layer is the active layer in the layers panel. To do that simply click on the blank layer. You will be able to see that it’s the active layer because it will be highlighted in the layers panel.

Step 4. Contract your selection

Press Select > Modify > Contract. At this point you will choose how much smaller you want your selection to be for the stroke you are creating. I chose to contract by 25 pixels. Choose your desired number of pixels and press OK. You will see that the size of the selection of the marching ants will have gotten smaller.

Step 5. Create the stroke

Press Edit > Stroke

A.  At this point you will choose the size of the stroke you want to create. I chose 10 pixels. (I usually choose between 3 and 10 pixels.)

B.  Choose the color of the stroke you want to create. It will default to the foreground color. If you want a color other than the foreground color click on the color box and choose a color using the color picker. I chose a white stroke for inset stroke over my photo.

C.  Choose the location of the stroke you want to create. Your options are inside, center or outside. I chose “inside.” I find that if you choose “outside” that the edges won’t be as crisp and I like a crisp edge.

D.  Click OK.

That’s it. You’ve created a simple white stroke over your photo. It adds a nice touch, don’t you think?

Now let’s talk about creating another stroke, this time around the outside of a photo.

 

HOW TO ADD A STROKED FRAME OUTSIDE A PHOTO

The steps to create a stroked frame outside a photo/shape is very similar to the steps above, with just a couple slight differences.

Step 1. Create a new blank layer BELOW the photo mask in the layers panel

Click on the photo mask in the layers panel to make sure the photo mask layer is active and then create a new blank layer. NOTE, in my case I had a warped shadow layer beneath my photo so I created a blank layer beneath that. Following are three different ways you can create a new blank layer BELOW your current layer:

(1) CMD+SHIFT+Click (or CTRL+SHIFT+Click) on the folded paper icon at the bottom of the layers panel (adding the SHIFT is what places the layer below the active layer), or

(2) Press CMD+SHIFT+N (or CTRL+SHIFT+N), click OK and then click and drag the newly created layer below the photo mask, or

(3) Press Layer > New > Layer > OK and then click and drag the newly created layer below the photo mask.

(NOTE, it really would be ok for your blank layer to be above as well, I just like to see it below as I’m moving about in the layers panel. Yup. Weird, but that’s the way it is. 😉

Step 2. Make sure the new blank layer is the active layer

You will want to apply the stroke to the BLANK layer you created in Step 1 (NOT directly on the photo layer), so make sure the new blank layer is the active layer in the layers panel. To do that simply click on the blank layer. You will be able to see that it’s the active layer because it will be highlighted in the layers panel.

Step 3. Create a shape larger than your photo

Using the Rectangular Marquee Tool (Hotkey M) drag out a shape larger than your photo, keeping in mind you will be applying a stroke INSIDE that shape.

NOTE: Using a similar procedure to Step 4 above, but choosing Expand Your Selection will NOT work if you have a shape with sharp corners. Even though you may have sharp corners on your photo mask shape, the corners will be rounded when you expand the selection.

 Step 4. Create the stroke

Press Edit > Stroke

A.  At this point you will choose the size of the stroke you want to create. I chose 10 pixels. (I usually choose between 3 and 10 pixels.)

B.  Choose the color of the stroke you want to create. It will default to the foreground color. If you want a color other than the foreground color, click on the color box and choose a color using the color picker. I chose a black stroke for the stroke outside my photo.

C.  Choose the location of the stroke you want to create. Your options are inside, center or outside. I chose “inside.” I find that if you choose “outside” that the corners won’t be as crisp and I like a crisp corner.

D.  Click OK.

That’s it. You’ve created a simple black stroke around the outside of your photo and along with the white stroke on top of the photo I think it adds a nice little extra punch, don’t you?

Here are some other ideas for adding a stroke for emphasis:

1. Add a black stroke immediately inside a framed photo. I like to do this on accent photos. On this page if you look closely you’ll notice I added a black stroke directly inside the white frame. Also, since I had a thicker frame, I contracted my selection just a little bit and added a gold stroke that showed up on top of my white frame.

2. When you add a stroke directly on top of the paper, as in my tutorial example, I like to play around with the blending modes so that the stroke interacts with the paper rather than floats on top of the paper.

3. Tilt your outside stroke to change things up a bit.

4. Create a stroke around a different shape. In this example I created a stroke inside AND outside the numbers I used to mask photos for a page celebrating my daughter’s birthday.

I just looked at my post and is it ever photo intensive! 🙂 As you can see, I’m a big fan of using simple strokes to add just a touch of pizzaz to my pages. I’ll look forward to perusing The Digital Press gallery to see how you use strokes on your pages!

Happy scrapping!


BarbaraAbout the Author:  Barbara is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She’s a mom to two adult “kids” (a 21 year old son and an 18 year old daughter). Seriously, when did that happen? She hasn’t gotten any older, really! In her free time (since her kids are adults, like it or not she has plenty of free time) she loves to tell her family’s stories through her scrapbook art, learn all she can about Photoshop and Lightroom, take photos, travel and hang out with her family. Life is good!