Hybrid How-To | Halloween Countdown Decor


Hello and HaPpY OcToBeR!!! And Happy Digital Scrapbook Day! Arielle here and I’m so glad you stopped by today! I have a great project that will get you all scrappy this weekend – snipping and gluing and layering – oh my! I’m going to show you how I designed this little Halloween Countdown decor, and give you some tips on creating your own Halloween decor!

Here are the supplies I used:

  • Digital Kit – Magic Hour by Mari Koegelenberg
  • Thin cardstock
  • Adhesives (I used an ATG gun & dimensionals)
  • Scissors and paper trimmer
  • Other embellishments such as buttons and twine.
  • Base material – you can adhere your decor to an adhesive magnet sheet to use on your fridge or a filing cabinet or you could mount it to black foam core.


Step One – Design your project! I like to pick my kit and completely design my project In Photoshop before I print out the elements. That way I know everything will work together and I will only print what I need for the project.

I found this antique~y frame in another kit and blew it up, adjusted the threshhold settings and superimposed it over the star paper. I used some free spooky fonts, as well.


(Once my design is complete, I divide all the elements onto separate sheets for printing. I usually throw in some extra elements in case I mis-cut something or I decide it needs a little something extra!)


Step Two – Print your elements and gather your supplies! It’s always a great idea to add some buttons, gems, ribbon, twine… you get the idea – mix in some real stuff. It will be fun & you can’t get it wrong. I promise.


Step Three – Trim out your elements. Yes, you could think of this as tedious… or you can realize it’s really therapeutic! I just love cutting out cute little things!


Step Four – My frame paper printed really dark, so I went back in with a white pencil to add a little definition. Don’t be afraid to grab paint, glitter or other media to layer onto your project! It adds another dimension to your hybrid work!


Step Five – Start layering! Pop up different layers with dimensional adhesives. It’s great when you can find them at different heights. Add some different textures, I used buttons and twine. (I added a couple enamel dots to the cat’s eyes, too!)


(I made my own Halloween “sticker” by just leaving a white border as I trimmed around the word. I used a craft knife to cut out the space in the “H”. I added some depth to my paper flowers by pressing them into my palm to push the petals up!)


Here’s the finished project! I still can’t decide if I want mine on my fridge or my wall, but I have both magnetic sheets and black foam core when I do! I’ll just trace around my frame, and trim the backing to size.


Craft stores also sell all kinds of blank signs you could use as a base – canvas, chalkboard, wood, burlap. You could also make a hybrid Halloween banner or bunting, on paper or fabric. hey, you could even print out a bunch of these and let your kids decorate a tin can pencil holder or a cute garland!

Now it’s your turn! Want to try your hand at some hybrid Halloween decor? It can be as easy and as simple as you want it to be! Please come join us in The Digital Press’s forum for a fun challenge related to this tutorial! You can create an amazing item for yourself or someone you love AND earn points doing it! Points can later be cashed-in for discount coupons to the shop at the end of the month if you participate in the challenge system at The Digital Press!

Tutorial Tuesday | PART 3: Use Products from TDP to Scrap on Your Phone



Throughout the past few weeks, we have showed you how to use products from The Digital Press on your mobile device (using the Project Life app) to make quick and easy Pocket Pages on your phone using your own digital stash. If you missed the first 2 posts of this series, be sure to check out PART 1 HERE (full of great tips to get you started with using your own digital stash in mobile scrapping) and also PART 2 HERE (in which we explain how to add journaling/text to cards that come from your own digital stash).

Today, we’re here to share PART 3 of this 3-part series… and show you how to use the app to scrap non-pocket-style layouts — with a teeny tiny little bit of help from Photoshop and/or Photoshop Elements (PSE) …or the photo-editing software of your choice.

You’ll be happily shocked at how quick and easy this can be! Are you ready?


So, possibly you’ve been following along with this series on our blog… but you haven’t been super excited about it, because you just don’t love the pocket-scrapping style.

Raise your hand if this describes you.

If this is you… then you’ve likely been feeling a little jealous as we progress through this tutorial series, right? You love the idea of using the 20 minutes you sit in a doctor’s office waiting room to document your family’s memories… but you don’t want pocket pages in your album. You can see the benefit of mobile scrapping… but you really wish there was a way to scrap more traditionally-styled pages within the app.

Laura has a few ideas for you today… 🙂



Sometimes I find myself with random chunks of time on my hands and nothing to do.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! 🙂 *everyone falls over laughing at the idea of a mom with spare time on her hands*

OK, now that we’re all finished laughing… seriously, though… it’s true. Think about all of the times you sit for 15 minutes in a doctor’s office or dentist’s office in the waiting room. You waste time reading the office’s year-old copies of People Magazine, and you sort of hate yourself for caring enough about Brangelina to flip to the middle and read one of the articles. Don’t you wish you had something more fun (and productive) to do?

I have found, in recent months, that I can effectively use these small blocks of time — sitting in waiting rooms, or sitting with the engine off in the afternoon car line at my kids’ school, etc. — to do the majority of the “hard work” of scrapping a page of my family’s memories.

I have also found that if I figure out which photos I want to scrap, and I upload a few digital supplies (papers/cards) to my phone from my own digital stash about once every week or two, then I always have what I need to create the backbone of some easy-peasy non-pocket style pages when I find myself with spare time.



As we know from PART 1 of this tutorial series, the Project Life app comes with multiple pocket-style layout choices pre-installed (and you can also make in-app purchases to add to the number of other layout choices that are available to you).

For this example, I knew that I had 2 sets of photos that were sitting on my phone — a series of baseball photos of my boys, and another series of photos of them being goofy in our driveway one morning — and all of these photos were just taking up space on my phone, waiting for me to finally put them into a page…

Once I know what photos I want to work with, I can quickly and easily choose a layout/design that will work with either (a) the number of photos I have to scrap, or (b) the type of photos I am wanting to work with.

  • For instance, for the top 3 photos (the baseball photos), I figured I could create a page with 4 photos — one of each parade, and also one of each of my boys (if I cut that center photo apart into 2 portraits).
  • Similarly, for the bottom 4 photos, I knew that a photo-strip of all 4 photos lined up in a row would work nicely (see EXAMPLE 2, below).

Therefore, to work with the baseball photos — I uploaded a few sports-themed (and color-appropriate) 12×12 digital papers to Dropbox, and then transferred them to my phone (see PART 1 of this tutorial series for info on doing this).

Then I opened the app, and chose my desired layout…

Once I selected my 3×3 grid design, I knew that I wanted to have the photos of my kids take up 4 of the 9 spots… and that I wanted the 12×12 digital papers in 4 of the spots… and that I wanted one simple journaling space in the center…

I used a card that came pre-installed in the app itself (a relatively simple/plain card from the “Midnight” edition). Because I was using the 3×3 grid design, each block on the layout was a 4″ square. Therefore, the app only allowed me to choose/use cards that were 4″x4″ or 4″x6″. As you can see, above, I chose a 4″x6″ card and I positioned it in a way that cropped off the top (grey and yellow dots), leaving me just a simple white card with “REMEMBER THIS” in grey text at the bottom.

Next, I added some text to the center space (the journaling card). Because I used one of the cards that came pre-installed in the app, the app allowed me to add text straight to the card on my layout (as opposed to having to add text to one of my own cards outside of the app, as we showed you in PART 2 of this series).

I also did some really quick/simple photo editing, because I felt that a couple of my photos were a bit too saturated/bright. See the following image for the easy photo-editing option that is built right into the app itself…

After going through all of the above steps, I felt that my layout was finally completed within the app. All of the photos, papers, and journaling was added (typically the more time-intensive things for me to do when I scrap — because of all of the decisions that go into all of it!)… and the only thing left to add (later) were some embellishments & shadows.

At this point, it was time to EXPORT the finished in-app page… save it to my phone’s camera roll… and then transfer it to Dropbox in order to access it later from my computer.

Here’s what my page looked like when I was finished with it in the app…

Now, honestly… there’s nothing wrong with that layout. It captures the moment… displays the memories… includes some journaling to help us remember what was happening that day… etc. Could it go into our album like that? ABSOLUTELY!

But with another 10 minutes in Photoshop/Photoshop Elements (PS/PSE)… I knew I could tweak a few things to make this more like a traditionally-scrapped digital page. And that’s where the fun comes in.

The following video shows you — in real time — exactly what I did to take this page from what you see above to the finished page you see below. 🙂 ENJOY!

**NOTE** if you are viewing this in Firefox and have trouble w/ the video… please try another browser. Firefox has known glitches with video, whereas Chrome, IE, and Safari all seem to be working fine. 🙂


And here’s a look at the final digital page — after I added everything you saw in the video (above), as well as (a) a year in the upper-right corner, and (b) a felt pennant element in the lower-left corner (two last-minute additions I threw in there right before I saved the final 12×12 print-ready copy)

Isn’t that just a little bit more fun than the page I got out of the app? And it only took me an extra 10 minutes to do it! 🙂



If you remember the “pile of photos” I found on my phone (see above) and wanted to use to create pages… in addition to the baseball photos I just used in EXAMPLE 1, there was also a series of 4 photos of my kids being goofy in our driveway one morning. I mentioned above that I thought I might want to create a photo-strip of that series, and use it on a layout. So… that’s what we will do here, using the app!

First, using the same processed described above… I chose a layout design within the app that would accommodate a 4-photo “strip,” as shown here…

As you can see in image C (above)… I also added a few cards that are available pre-installed in the app (the ones I chose are from the “Kraft” edition).

Now, you’ll notice that the design of my photos and cards isn’t necessarily all that artistic or visually-appealing. That’s OK. It won’t stay that way. 🙂

Once I “grabbed” all of the items from the app that I thought I might need to create my layout… I once again exported it as a 12×12 high-resolution image, the same way I did up in EXAMPLE 1, above. This is what it looked like when I exported it (you’ll notice that if you leave blank spaces in the app… when it exports it, it erases those and you get a plain white background in those spots)

Once I had the high-resolution exported copy of this “half-baked” layout… it was time to pull everything into Photoshop/Photoshop Elements (PS/PSE). The following video shows you — once again, in real time — exactly what I did to take this page from what you see above to the finished page you see below…

**NOTE** if you are viewing this in Firefox and have trouble w/ the video… please try another browser. Firefox has known glitches with video, whereas Chrome, IE, and Safari all seem to be working fine. 🙂


And once again, here’s a look at the final digital page — after I added everything you saw in the video (above), as well as (a) a quick page title, (b) some typed journaling, and (c) a date just under the photo strip (all of which took me about 2 more minutes to add after the video stopped rolling)

And that’s all there is to it! It took about 10 minutes or so, give-or-take… and it was super easy!

This is all very exciting, right? The idea of creating non-pocket style pages by doing the bulk of your work in this app is something that expands the possibilities of this app in a way that is just awesome. Freeing. Liberating, even.

The flexibility to scrap in numerous styles from the palm of your hand is just way too cool. We hope this helps give you all sorts of ideas and inspiration about ways to use all of those random little 15-minute pockets of time from your day more effectively and productively!

Enjoy, have fun, and happy scrapping!


Laura PassageAbout the Authors

Laura Passage is the owner of The Digital Press, and also the designer behind Wishing Well Creations by Laura Passage (WWC). She works now as a graphic designer in both the digital and paper scrapbooking industries, but previously spent over a decade working as a college soccer coach. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two young sons (affectionately referred to as The Tiny Terrorists), and will rationalize eating coffee ice cream for breakfast to anyone who questions it.



Erin is a work from home mom of three who just moved from Thailand to the west coast of the United States. She loves playing with her kids and anything artsy. She can often be found knee deep in toys with paint on her face. She is slowly learning the meaning of living an authentic life, and enjoying every minute of the adventure.


Jennifer Hignite


Jennifer 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, decorating, and shopping at Target.

Feature Friday | Inside Pixels by Lisa Bell

Hello everyone, its time for another Feature Friday… and I am thrilled to be introducing you to the face behind Inside Pixels by Lisa Bell!

I love Lisa’s colorful, fun, themed kits and versatile elements. They are perfect for traditional scrapbooking, as well as pocket-style scrapbooking. Lisa balances her designs with realistic elements, attention to detailing, and little creative touches that make her designs stand out. I especially love her wordarts and pocket cards.

Lets take a look at some of my favorite designs from Lisa’s shop here at The Digital Press…

I also had an opportunity to ask Lisa some questions about herself and her designs, and here’s what she had to say…

Where do you live?
live in Utah.

When you’re not designing, what do you do with your time?
I play board games or video games, or watch Netflix (Gilmore Girls with my daughter) with my kids and hubby… frisbee/ball with my puppies… or play the piano if I need some alone time. Beethoven is probably my favorite to play.

What are 5 tidbits of trivia we might not know about you?
—My eyes are 2 different colors. Certain colors make it more obvious. They are both hazel, but one is more blue than the other.
—I have 4 kids and my youngest child is 16 so we are in the adulting years at our house. It is usually a lot of fun (for me), especially when they have to make a phone call or set up an appointment bwaha ha ha!
—I am a soda pop junkie with Coke Zero for the win. My children have been known to bribe me to make an appointment for them with a Coke Zero!
—I try to do something silly to make me laugh everyday because there is always something to be grumpy about.
—My youngest son, 16 years old, is Autistic/Aspergers so I quit my job in the paper scrapbooking world to be a substitute teacher in his first grade year. I learned a great deal about him and what I needed to do to teach him to manage social situations. Eventually, I made it back to scrapbooking… just took a small detour through elementary school.

Which of your products is your favorite?
My favorite kit to date is my Adulting Kit, because it reminds me of some fun/silly times going on at our house (especially the dinosaur card in the Life Card Set… “I’ve got a big head and little arms. And I’m just not sure how well this plan was thought through… Master?” from Meet the Robinsons)…

Here are some of the layouts that show the range of Lisa’s amazing products. It was hard to pick just a few to showcase, what with all the gorgeous layouts in her gallery…

I hope you have been able to get to know Lisa and her designs a little better today. I, myself, have already discovered some of the next few items from her shop that I will definitely be adding to my wish-list next! And if you haven’t had a chance to use any of her products yet… this is your chance! Her entire shop here at The Digital Press will be 30% OFF all week long (the sale will end at 11:59pm ET on 9/29).

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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.

Tutorial Tuesday | 5 Ways to Create Visually-Appealing Layout Designs


Do you want to absolutely LOVE every layout you create? Do you want to spend less time pulling everything together to make a great layout? Do you want to spend less time on arrangements and more time telling the heart of your story?

Yes, yes, yes! We all do. 🙂

Here are 5 simple tips to help you create visually-appealing layout designs every time…

1 — Create a Main Focal Point
Make the most important piece on your layout take up the most room on the page. This will help ensure that it is what you see first (see the target I added?).


2 — Use the Rule of Thirds
As with photography, using the Rule Of Thirds (ROT) helps to place the focus of your design elements in a more appealing place. Simply divide your page into thirds, horizontally and vertically and choose a point where the lines intersect.

3 — Create a Visual Triangle
Place key elements along an invisible triangle to add interest and draw the eye from one point to the next.


4 — Create Movement & Flow
Use motion to direct attention throughout the page to tell your story. Arrows, lines, and tags help create a flow to follow within your layout, especially on Pocket Pages.

5 — Change up the Alignment
Creating a visual connection among elements helps to create interest. A row of three or more aligned objects creates harmony…

…but it’s also fun to mix it up — drawing the attention to something out of order…


I hope these tips will help you create layouts that you love, easier and faster!


FarrahAbout the Author  Farrah Jobling is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She lives in Denver with her amazing family — Mike, Nicholas (9), Claire (7), Hope (2 yr old puppy) & Kringle (9 mo old bunny). She works from home as a photographer and enjoys scrapping her personal photos.






Hybrid How-To | Halloween Stickers

Hello everyone, It’s Tanya here to show you step-by-step how to create your own (really cute) Halloween stickers!

I thought that stickers like these would make the perfect Halloween treat for school parties. You just never know when one of your child’s classmates might have a food allergy… and with all of the sugar they will be getting already, these will surely be a big hit! My boys are way to old for this, but I am excited to create a bunch and give them out on Halloween night!

Supplies Needed:

  • Your favorite Halloween-themed digital kit (I used FREAKIN ADORABLE 1.0 and FREAKIN ADORABLE 2.0 by Mari Koegelenberg and Danielle Engebretson, shown below)
  • Cutting machine (I use a Silhouette Cameo)
  • Printer
  • White shipping labels
  • 3 x 4 treat bags
  • Stapler (I use a mini stapler that came with colored staples)

The reason I chose these kits — there are just soooooo many fun elements to choose from! I chose 4 different elements from each kit and believe me, that was really hard to do because I wanted to use them all!

The first thing you need to do is to open the images/elements you are going to use in your cutting machine software (I’m using Silhouette Studio Designer Edition). Open your elements and simply drag them over to a new drawing area, as shown here…

Once you have decided on the images you will use, you will have to do a “trace” on each one in your software. This will tell the machine where to cut. This is also referred to as a Print and Cut.   Open the Trace menu and select the trace area (see the small black circle I drew near the upper right)…

Now uncheck the “High Pass Filter” and move the “Threshold” all the way to the right. You can see that the image is perfectly highlighted (see the circle and the arrow I drew to show the boxes you will click/change)…

At this stage, there are a few ways to let the machine know the cut area. The one I will be showing you is the Trace and Detach. To do this, simple click on “Trace and Detach” as shown here (see the small black arrow I drew near the right)…

Now you will click on the image and drag it off to the side. It is hard to see, but there will part of the image left behind (you can see this below; when I click and drag over where the image was, the dashed lines show up. This is the part to get rid of). After dragging a box over the leftover part, hit “delete.”

Continue to do this for all elements used…

Next, draw out a box. The dimensions of my box were 3.250 x 2.563. I was able to get six to a page. Resize the elements to fit inside your area. The size of your box and images will depend on the size of your treat bags.

Now, you will copy and paste into all spaces, as shown here…

Now it cutting time. First, you have to print the stickers onto the label sheet. To do this, make sure that your “registration marks” are on… and then send through your printer. It is important to have the registration marks on before you print. These marks tell the machine where to cut.

Next step is to go to the “Cut Settings.” Here, you will tell the machine where to cut and what type of materials you will be using. For this project we will need to send the sticker sheet through twice. The first time will be just a kiss cut; this will not cut the paper all the way through.

First cut: Only turn on the cut settings on the images. To do this, go through and click on each image and chose “Cut Edge.” You can double check to see if the box around the images is off — simply click on one and it should show “No Cut.”

Second cut: Now do the opposite. Go through and turn the cut marks OFF on the images and turn the box cutting lines ON. You will also choose “cardstock” for your material. This will cut all the way through, giving you little individual sticker sheets…

Now you can either peel the white area around your sticker off… or leave it on. I left it on because these particular labels have a “cut” through the back and doesn’t look quite right.

Now add your sticker sheets to the treat bags…

I created a cute topper (in Silhouette Studio Designer Edition) and stapled it to the top of each treat bag. You can even add your child’s name to the back of the treat for a nice finished touch…

Here’s a look at the finished product from the front of the sticker packages…

I hope that you have enjoyed this tutorial! Get your creative juices flowing and create some stickers for Halloween (or even for some other fun occasion… you could use any theme/kit you like!). If you give it a try, come share your creation in the September Hybrid Challenge thread in the forum. 🙂


TanyaAbout the Author  Tanya is a part of the hybrid team here at The Digital Press. She has been hybrid crafting for at least 14 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, 25 and Chance, 20. She also enjoys crocheting, photography and woodworking.

Feature Friday | LJS Designs

It’s time for another Feature Friday… and today we are featuring Lorie of LJS Designs.

I asked Lorie, to describe her design style, and this is what she had to say…

“I would describe it as traditional paper style with an illustrative touch. I am a theme designer, so all my kits have to have a central theme that I can expand upon and even twist a little.  I love color and word art, so all my collections are bright and bold and include plenty of journal cards and word bits.”  

I couldn’t agree more! Lorie always comes up with awesome themes and her collections come with everything you need to make a layout (or several!). There is always a lot of color, tons of awesome patterns, journaling cards with great phrases and prompts, and word art pieces to add into the mix. LJS Designs has so many wonderful kits, collections, and even pocket templates in her shop… it is hard to choose favorites! I did try, however, and came up with the following… just a few of my favorites…

I asked Lorie a few questions in order to get to know her better…

Where do you live?
I live in a small town called Nappanee, Indiana that is known for its large Amish population. Our streets are full of horses, buggies, and bikes… and our town motto is “Embrace The Pace.”

When you’re not designing, what do you do with your time?
I work full time as a Production Planning Supervisor for an international fruit company that serves the yogurt industry, I design part time, and I am a mom as well as a caregiver to my own mother, so I have very little down-time. When I do have some “me time,” I usually find a quiet spot and read. It relaxes me and usually leads to a nice nap that helps recharge my batteries.

What are 5 tidbits of trivia we might not know about you?
—I love words. I am famous at the office for having a wide vocabulary and pulling out some oldies but goodies (like “behooves”) in my everyday speech. I am also known for making up my own words and phrases. Surprisingly enough, my made-up words catch on with my office mates and pretty soon they are repeating them, too. I totally get a kick out of it cause it is like my own super power.
—I am going to be 50 this year, and to celebrate it my sister and I are going to Disney World for a week. I am looking forward to the trip as a whole, but am most excited about my actual birthday because I get to be a Princess that day. I’ve always wanted to be a princess.
—My family nickname is Bug. My grandfather named me Lorie, and started calling me Loriebug right off the bat… but it quickly got shortened to just Bug. Ironically enough, I am scared to death of bugs. Ugh!
—I have a mad crush on Captain America. While I think Chris Evans is very handsome, I don’t swoon over him. But once he puts on the suit, I am a total goner. Must be something about a man in uniform that makes me giddy.
—I am a genealogist. I have been researching my family history for about 15 years now, and love spending time in courthouses looking at old records.

Which of your products is your favorite?
My favorite thing to design is the word art in my collections… but if I had to pick just one favorite collection, it would be Summer Fun: On the Trail

Here are a few layouts to show off the wonderful products of LJS Designs…

I am so happy I was able to introduce you to Lorie and help you get to know her better! She is a wonderful designer (and person)! If you haven’t had a chance to take a look at her shop here at The Digital Press, you will definitely want to check it out this week — as there will be a 30% OFF SALE IN HER SHOP all week long (sale will end at 11:59pm ET on 9/22)!


SabrinaAbout the Author  Sabrina is married to a hard-working man and has two rambunctious kids, nicknamed Captain and Sunshine. She loves to chase after the kids, clean up their messes, and say “stop that!” 100 times a day. When Sabrina gets a break she loves to scrap, read, or watch an occasional show.