Tuck it in! Hide your Photo Corners under Paper

It’s Tutorial Tuesday and I’m happy to bring you something, that I just figured out to do myself (insert big smile here). Tucking in the photos into the paper. It’s like you make a cut into the paper and insert your photo’s corner. Only without real scissors, paper or  photos of course.


My first layout with this technique took me a while. I tried and failed many times. Ctrl-z was my best friend. I found it super complicated but now that I recreated it for you, it’s not too fiddly. I made it into tiny steps and hopefully easy to follow. I also tried to make it PSE friendly. For all the other software girls… you can do this too! I just don’t know how (insert giggle here)! I’m sure you will be able to recreate this with your software.

So here is my first layout with this technique:


My first try on the technique. Image is linked to my gallery, if you want to know what I used.


Want to have a try? Here we go:

  1. Choose a photo or a frame that you want to use. When you use a frame, put a clipping mask for the photo under the frame for later use. Link the frame and the mask together.
  2. Increase the size of your canvas to 130% (Image → Canvas Size → choose „percent“ from the dropdown menu and 130% on width and height). You should now see the checkered background around your photo. If this is not the case, go one step back (ctrl/cmd+z) and double click on the layer name in the layers panel, click „ok“ and repeat the canvas resize. For better visibility of shadows put a paper layer under the photo. The paper will not be part of the tucked in corners later.
  3. Create a shadow for your photo (on a separate layer)
    For PS users: create a drop shadow for the photo and put it on a separate layer (right click on the fx icon of the layer → create layer)
    For PSE users: ctrl/cmd+click on the layer icon to get the marching ants around the photo → Select → Modify → Feather → 10px. Create a new layer beneath the photo and fill the selection with a dark gray, brown or simply black. Deselect the selection with ctrl/cmd+d. Nudge the shadow to the side where you need it. In my example I left it pretty much where it was. For a deeper shadow simply copy the shadow layer (ctrl/cmd+j) and maybe decrease opacity of the upper shadow layer when needed. Link the photo, frame, clipping mask and shadow together.
    It should now look something like this:


A cherished photo of my parents’ wedding in 1963.


  1. Create a new layer above the photo and draw a triangle. You can use any method you like. I always use the polygonal lasso tool and fill the selection with a color. The triangle will later be invisible. Make the triangle so, that you cover one corner of the photo like a photocorner would (see picture). Make it so big, that you can’t see the shadow of the photo but not too big that it gets to the edge of the canvas.
  2. Create a shadow for the triangle (see also 3.)
    For PS users: create a drop shadow and put it on a separate layer
    For PSE users: Create a new layer beneath the triangle, ctrl/cmd+click on the triangle layer icon, feather the selection with 10px, fill the layer beneath the triangle with a dark color, deselect.
  3. Nudge your shadow slightly to the middle of the photo. Link triangle and shadow together.


The triangle already shadowed.


  1. Ctrl/cmd+click on the triangle layer icon to make a selection. Turn off visibility of the triangle.
  2. Delete the selection of the triangle on every layer (except for the paper and the triangle layer itself). Deselect the triangle (ctrl/cmd+d).
  3. Now you will still have some shadow of the triangle left where it doesn’t belong. Use your eraser with a brush size that is about half as wide as your triangle at 30% hardness 100% opacity and carefully erase the shadows that are parallel to the edges of the photo and a little of the ends of the „cuts“, so that the illusion of the cut ends is given (see photo).


Left you see what it looks like after you deleted the triangle selection from all layers and turned the visibility of the triangle off. Right you see the same after I erased the unwanted parts of the shadow.


  1. Now it should look like one corner is tucked into the paper. If you want this on every corner of the photo you just have to copy the triangle and the shadow, turn it around and place it over the next corner, ctrl/cmd+click on the triangle layer icon and delete the triangle from the photo and the photo shadow (and the frame and photo mat if you have them).
  2. Save your ps or pse file for later use as a tucked in template.
  3. For use in your layout just drag the photo (with its shadow) and the corner shadows on your layout and link them together. You can now move everything around to your liking.


The technique in full size view. The image is linked to my gallery.


Tipps and Tricks:

  • For your next tucked in photo just use your cut corner template.
  • Always remember to first shadow your photo on a separate layer.
  • Use your single corners for any size/edge relation of photo.
  • You could also do this directly on your layout. I only wanted to show you the technique as simplyfied as I could.
  • Instead of deleting the triangle from the layers, you can of course also apply a layer mask to the items and fill the mask with black after the selection of the triangle to make this technique non-destructive to the photo or frame.
  • You can also make horizontal or diagonal cuts with this technique to tuck in a whole edge of your item
  • Not only photos can be tucked in. Paper shapes, envelopes, flowers…

Enough said, you can do it! If any questions appear, feel free to ask in the comments! Have fun!


AlinaAbout the Author: Alina enjoys sitting in front of her large computer screens too much. Apart from that she loves walking her dog and watching sunsets while being amazed of life in general. She is married to her best friend. Tries to manage the needs of her two cats and her dog and badly fails when they all want their cuddle time at once. Everything else is scrapping, taking photos and currently crafting. Having said that, she needs a bigger craft room.






Listen: Letter to your kids

TDP Listen

In 2013 my oldest daughter graduated from high school. **gulp** I am amazed at how fast time flew. It seemed like just yesterday, I was teaching her to talk! But I was in a different season now … I had to teach her how to become an adult while she was still a “child” or teenager. It is such a fine line. What do you share/teach, yet still keep them innocent? How do you show them that there are horrible things in the world, yet not scare them to death?!? After praying about it, I felt the best way to go about that was to teach both of my children to listen to their instinct or gut. I would constantly tell them, if something feels off, then it is. Trust yourself. Listen to what God is telling you or even screaming at you. Even when everything else seems “normal”, if your gut says something is off, trust it. As Brianna got closer to graduating high school and going off to live on her own at college, I would constantly test her on if she was listening to her “Holy Spirit” alarm. She began to learn to trust herself. While she still has lots to learn about trusting herself (as we all do), she has learned that she really can trust herself and God. All she has to do is LISTEN.

Here is a layout I created with her graduation pictures:


So let’s see your “letter”! When you have finished your page make sure to share it with us in the forum. We have so much to teach our children! Putting it in writing is a great way for them to always remember the lesson taught. 🙂
HeidiHeidi is a CT member for TDP and has been scrapping for 17 years. Her passions include dark chocolate, photography of her family and reading Christian fiction. When not doing one of these activites, she can be found working at an elementary school library or enjoying being a SAHM.

Alter A Type Tray: Hybrid Style

Hybrid Type Tray

This year I am all about catching up on my very {very!} long list of projects. I am listening to my desires by focusing on pursuing all of the things I enjoy and creating happiness in my home. {Did you catch what I did there? Focus, Pursue and Listen…January, February AND March’s TDP words of the month all in one blog post. Boom! Go Me! Haha!} At the top of my list is filling a type tray with everyday photos of my family. I created this project a few years ago when I acquired three type trays. I loved the first one I made and the other two trays have been sitting empty and neglected in a corner in my office for much too long. There is also a heaping pile of leftover photos from my project life albums accumulating in my office so I decided this was the time to get it done.

To get started, I selected photos from that pile and played around with an arrangement on the type tray until I felt I had a nice variety of images {and to make sure no child was getting left out – oh the horror that would be!}. There were moments when I wanted to go through my Lightroom album on my computer and find different images, but I resisted as I knew that I would just get sidetracked and procrastinate even more {I am quite good at that!}. Since all of my printed photos were in color, I decided that I would use neutral tones for my patterned papers and elements. I also knew I wanted to include some word are and a few simple embellishments. All of these were easily found in The Digital Press’ shop…papers and elements from Dawn by Design {tender moments}, papers from Digital Scrapbook Ingredients {everyday essentials} and word art from Karla Dudley {stamp press life}. I easily printed my chosen elements and papers on my home printer and printed the word art onto transparencies as I love the look of the type tray showing through. Then I made quite the mess on my desk but I like to think that is a sign of a great creative day. 😉

Type Tray Hybrid Project at the Digital Press


Once I hit my groove, the project came along quite easily. This project required a lot of measuring and re-cutting to get the photos and papers to fit nicely in the boxes, but nothing complicated and quite simple to do. Some physical products were all that was needed to finish things off and it was complete. 🙂 Here are a couple of closer shots to show some of the detail in the compartments:

Type Tray Hybrid Project Close Up 1 at The Digital Press

Type Tray Hybrid Project Close Up 2 at The Digital Press


And the finished project:

Type Tray Hybrid Project Final at The Digital Press

It is always a great feeling to finish a project and check it off the list. I hope this inspires you to create a project of your own!




About the Author: Lori Pereyra is a member of the Creative Team here at The Digital Press. She is a stay at home mom to 4 children and loves capturing life…the good, the not so good, & the perfectly imperfect… and documents it all through photos, paper & pixels. She feels this is modern scrapbooking at it’s best!

Listen to what everyone’s talking about

Listen to what everyone's talking about

Design trends, by definition, come and go. What’s super-hot right now may be incomprehensibly old-fashioned in a few years time. One thing you’ll hear a lot if you watch many home makeover type shows is the term “a bit dated.” Usually meaning that when you walk into a room, you get this instant sense that it was decorated in precisely 1978 or 1992. Although that’s something that we tend to see in a negative light (who doesn’t want to be surrounded by this season’s latest Pantone color picks or the coolest patterns?), it’s also a really important part of placing our memories at a point in time – giving context to our photos, and adding to that nostalgic feeling when we look back. There will come a time when we’ll have to explain to our grandkids that grey chevron and mismatched vintage was all the rage! Today’s post is actually inspired by this old family photo of me with grandfather at around age 4:

Listen to what everyone's talking about


Amazeballs. From the brown velour to the floral wallpaper to the terrarium peeking out in the corner, every last detail of this screams that it’s from another time. I was completely inspired to document elements of design – be it things that we’re visually inspired by (hello, Pinterest) or things that we have around us – that will one day create that same nostalgic feeling by sparking a memory of what was ‘so hot right then’. Maybe because there are so many more places for us to access design inspiration, it’s easy to spot when everyone is talking about some new trend or style (I’m looking at you, gold foil!). I recently created this layout using the new Peccadillo collection from Dawn by Design (coming Friday 6 March) to remind me of the artsy, hipster design influences that we have added to our new nursery:

Listen to what everyone's talking about

If you’re looking for ways to meaningfully incorporate current design influences into your memory keeping, how about these ideas:

  • scrap a new, so-hot-right-now purchase, and explain why you wanted it
  • scrap a collection of things you think define this time, such as a list of what you have on your desk, or the ingredients of a standard outfit for you at the moment
  • coordinate scrap goodies with one of your fave design trends (for example, use an amazing floral like the one I’ve used above to document your obsession with floral fabrics)

Hopefully you’re inspired to consider where today’s design influences are most present in your life, and how you can document that. Don’t forget to hop on over to our challenge forum, where there is a design-trend challenge for 6 March.

Listen to Your Children

Listen to Your Kids


Kids say the cutest things. They also change their minds very quickly regarding things that they like in their lives. In the past I have scrapped interviews I have given my children and love to look back on those and read all about what was important to them at those times in their lives.


5 Favorites at 5


Favorites at 3


The above are just a couple of examples of such interview pages. My how things have changed with my kiddos, while some have stayed the same.


This is not just limited to kids. Why not interview your spouse or another family member and capture a moment in time with them? I have, in the past, done just this thing and scrapped a conversation I had with my husband regarding his perspective on how we met. I love it!


So, what can you ask? Of course, there are the basics – colors, foods, books, toys, etc. You may choose to use the same questions year after year or the limit the questions as I have above to the number that corresponds with their age. There is no specific way this must be done – you are limited only by your information.


Recently, I decided I was going to start asking more questions of my children. I have also decided that I am going to stick with these same questions going forward because I feel like it covers most everything. The fact is, as long as I am capturing these little looks into their lives, I am accomplishing something amazing.


Here are recent pages where I did this.


Maxwell at 6

Materials used: All Boy Kit by Dawn by Design


Madeline at 8

Materials used: Pretend Kit by Creashens 


What are you waiting for? Go out there and start interviewing people and documenting it. In fact, if you join us in the forum, we have a challenge all about this. You can find it here: March 4: Listen to Your Children


About the Author: Rachel Alles is on the Creative Team here at The Digital Press.  She is fortunate to share her life with her loving husband, Doug, and two blessings: Madeline and Maxwell.  The three of them are her main source of inspiration for her pocket and traditional style pages.  When she’s not scrapping, she enjoys anything Disney related, learning more about photography (and attempting to turn the dial off Auto) and dabbling in home decor projects.

Listen to your Inner Artist



It is good to occasionally step out of your comfort zone and do something different on your layouts, right? Today, I’m going to show you how you can easily turn a photo into a pencil sketch in Photoshop and an idea on how to use the finished sketch on a layout.

First, open the photo you want to work with – mine is my favorite selfie (it was a fantastic hair day!). Then, duplicate the photo into a new layer. I like to use Ctrl-J (cmd-J on a Mac).


Change the blending mode for the duplicated layer to Color Dodge.

Blending Mode

Your photo will look a bit washed out, like this:


With the duplicated layer still selected in the Layers panel, we want to invert the image (Ctrl/cmd-I). Your photo will now look really strange.


We are now going to blur the layer, which produces the pencil lines. Using Gaussian Blur (from the top menu choose Filter, Blur, then Gaussian Blur). Play with the blur settings a bit until the fake pencil lines on your photo look the way you want. I used a setting of 37.4, but your results may vary widely.


Now, we need to convert the layer to black and white. In the layers panel, choose the half-filled/half empty circle icon at the bottom (Create new fill or adjustment layer) and choose Hue/Saturation. In the panel, turn the saturation down to -100.


Your photo will now look similar to this:


I think this might look good as a drawn-in background on a layout. I flattened the image and copied it over to my background paper (lighter-colored and plain backgrounds seem to work best).  I used a gradient fill as a clipping mask behind my photo, and then the eraser tool (brush mode, 5% flow) to blend the edges on the clipped layer to get the photo to blend into the background seamlessly. I use a low flow on the eraser brush because it’s harder to mess it up when you are only erasing 5% for each brush pass.  😉



My photo, blended into the background, looks like this:


I added some journaling and embellishments, and I’m done!

Almost 39

A Day in the Life:  Solids
by Sugarplum Paperie
A Day in the Life:  Essentials by Sugarplum Paperie
Hello, I Love You by The Digital Press Designers

Kacy About the Author:  Kacy is an Environmental Engineer living in Arizona with a elderly, cranky, pudgy, but insanely cute calico kitty.  She enjoys scrapbooking, crocheting, dancing awkwardly to electronic dance music, Grumpy Cat, Scottish accents, drag queens, cupcakes, bacon,  Stephen King books, smirking, very crude inside jokes, and men in kilts.