Tutorial Tuesday | Writing Text Around a Circle

Hello, and welcome another edition of Tutorial Tuesday here on The Digital Press blog! Today I am going to show you how you can use Photoshop to write text around a circle, which is a trick I recently learned and am currently having some fun with!

I like to include journaling on most of my pages. Not always a lot of journaling, but usually at least a few sentences — just enough to re-tell the story that the pictures show. Because it’s something I almost always do, I think it can be fun to mix things up a bit and to try journaling in ways that are new and visually different (not just straight/lined blocks of text).

In the following examples, I am using Photoshop CS5.1… but hopefully the process will be similar in the program you use, as well.

To start out, I’ll show you a 12″x12″ layout that I recently made, using a template from Petrichor Templates by MEG Designs. This particular template has some fun circles on it, sort of echoing the balls with which we were playing footgolf in the photos…
With regard to those fun circle shapes, I wanted to create a text path around them and have my journaling in place around the circles (sort of jumping from one circle to the next).

First, I needed to create a path around the circle, so I used the “Ellipse Tool,” which can be found in the tool panel (you may need to hover over the rectangle until a pop up menu appears with the Ellipse Tool — and other tools — in it)…

Once I had the Ellipse Tool selected, I needed to select the “Path” mode from the option bar up at the top of my screen (see image, above, along the top menu bar).

From there, I drew my path! In order to get a perfect circle, instead of an oval, I held down the “Option” + “Shift” keys (Mac) as I clicked on the center of my circle and dragged the cursor outwards, to make the circle the size I wanted it to be (*note* if you are using a Windows operating system, then you will need to hold the “Alt” + “Shift” keys instead). Once the circle is the right size, make sure you release the “Option”/”Alt” +”Shift” keys before you release the mouse button, or your perfect circle will go a bit kooky!

You’ll see here that I have moved my text path over a little (below) simply so you can see the next steps a little more clearly, but here’s a look at my first text path circle…

At that point, I was ready to start my journaling! I chose the “Text” tool from my tool bar, and then chose my preferred font, size, alignment and color. Then I moved my cursor over the text path, and the icon changed to an “I” shape with a wavy line through it — meaning that my text will stay on the path drawn. Once that was in place, I clicked on the circle and began my journaling. I just wanted to write a few words on each circle, but I also could have gone all the way around each circle with text if I had wanted to…

While working, I realized that I wanted my journaling to go the opposite way around each circle (look below and you’ll see what I mean if you compare each circle of text)… so I chose “Edit” –> “Transform Path” –> “Flip Vertical” to change it around. You can also fiddle with the size of the font (etc.) at this point. Additionally, by holding the little dot at the start of your first word, you can also drag that starting point left or right around the circle, if desired.

I repeated these steps a few times on my layout to create a few more circle text paths around the other circles on my page, added a title, and I was done! Here’s a look at the final project…

That’s all there is to it! Follow these simple steps, and you are ready to roll (get it?! circles …roll! oh-so cringe-worthy!). I hope this helps if you fancy having a go at journaling in a fun and new way!

CorrinAbout the Author  Corrin is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She is a fan of the Big Bang Theory and a lover of cozy pajamas. She lives in the breezy South of England with her husband and 4 crazy kids, who regularly discover & plunder her secret chocolate stashes! She is still trying to get the house straight after moving nearly 3 years ago. Who knows… maybe this will be the year she reaches the bottom of the laundry pile!

Tutorial Tuesday | Posing tips

I’m a fervent advocate of scrapbooking yourself and being in the picture. Yeah, I know… I can hear you from afar! “But, I hate to be photographed!” “But, I’m not photogenic!” “But, but, but…”

Enough with those big buts! Today I am here to share a few different tips that will surely lead to more flattering pictures of yourself. My hope is that if you employ these tips, you’ll feel more confident to join your family in the picture (and/or to take more self-portraits)!

Tip 1 | Make the Turtle

The first posing tip is to “make the turtle”. It’s a posing trick I discovered through Peter Hurley, one of the greatest head shot photographers in the world. When you take a close-up of your face, remember to move your face slightly forward and down. You will feel and look super weird from the side, but this “turtle-like” move will define your jaw line and make you look 5 pounds lighter. Seriously, it’s magic. In the following photos (before using this tip), I’m standing in a natural position and I look OK, I guess….

But here in the next two photos, I followed the turtle tip. Look at the difference it made! Defining the jaw line has a huge effect (left photo). Of course, it’s somewhat weird from the side (right photo), but who cares! It’s worth the effect you get from the front angle…

Tip 2 | Create Movement

For photos that are framed more widely, the key is to create movement, shapes, and empty spaces with your body. The golden rule here is “if it bends, bend it!” Remember that whatever goes towards the camera will look bigger/wider, so the general advice is to put body weight on the leg that is farther away from camera.

Look at how the use of different poses completely changes the way my curvy self looks!


Tip 3 | Use a New Shooting Angle

If you want to elongate your body and focus on your face and eyes, try taking the photo from slightly above. Be careful, though, as the angle of the shop might change the body’s perspective and look unnatural if it’s too extreme!

*NOTE* besides concealing a few pimples, the pictures above are not retouched at all. No make up, no photoshop, and still feeling good… that’s the magic of posing!

I hope these few posing tips will help you feel more confident to get in front of the camera more often. You, too, deserve to be photographed, scrapped, and remembered in your family’s album! But above all, know that you are a beautiful person and soul — so let your light shine, smile, have fun, and be YOU! And scrap a page or two (or ten!) to celebrate YOU!

Here’s a layout I created using one of my recent photos…

ChloéAbout the author  Chloé is in charge of PR and communication for her small town by day, is a digiscrapper “by night,” and a photographer whenever the light is beautiful. She lives with her man and fur-babies in a small town of Alsace (in the northeast of France), where she loves to read, watch good TV shows (TWD being her absolute favorite), and just hang out with her friends — no matter if they are close by, online, or away in her Swiss hometown. She recently became quite obsessed with Bullet Journaling, FLyLady and Zero Waste.

Hybrid How-To | Traveler’s Notebook

Hello everyone! It’s Saturday, and therefore it’s time for another edition of our Hybrid How-To series here on The Digital Press blog! Today I’m going to show you how make a traveler’s notebook using supplies from your digital stash.

Supplies Needed:

  • A small notebook
  • Any physical supplies/embellishments you might want to add (I used enamel stickers and glitter tape)
  • Digital kit of your choice (I used Rooted By Sahin Designs)


First, I measured my notebook and then opened a new  document in Photoshop and used a canvas that was the same size as my notebook’s pages. By dragging different papers and elements from my digital kit onto my canvas in Photoshop, I made a 2-page spread as shown the image below…

I always make my hybrid projects in Photoshop first, in order to print the papers and the elements in the correct size and quantity. Then, once I know which items I want to use, I print them out separately. After printing, I cut out all of the individual pieces using my Silhouette Cameo (you can also use scissors and fussy cut everything, too, if you don’t have a cutting machine). This transforms the printed digital elements into beautiful die cuts…

Now, it’s time to assemble it, which is always so much fun! You’ll notice that as I began arranging my items, I changed my mind a little bit and the final spread is different from the digital version I originally made in Photoshop (up above).

Here is a look at the final project as it took form…

I used some enamel stickers, glitter tape, and a scalloped border punch just to give more depth and details to my spread…


I really love using digital kits and turning them into physical projects. It’s so much fun to see something that starts out digital take form in a physical format… and the added benefit is that we can print digital products as many times as we want!


As you can see, a traveler’s notebook such as this is an easy and fun project that you can make in just an hour or two using any notebook or planner you already have on hand.

If you’d like to give this a try, too, don’t forget that you can earn challenge points at The Digital Press! Come visit the CROSSWORD SECTION in The Digital Press forum, and you’ll find this month’s Hybrid Challenge thread (*NOTE* for each month’s Hybrid Challenge at TDP, you get to choose one of the two (2) “Hybrid How-To” tutorial posts from here on the blog for that month, and then you get to make your own version of that chosen project). If you choose to give today’s project a try… all you have to do is make a traveler’s notebook using digital papers and elements that have been printed and cut into a physical format (similar to mine, but it doesn’t have to be identical in size or format — you can do what works for you!).

Give it a shot, and share your final results with us! We can’t wait to see what you come up with. 🙂

Have a great weekend… and happy scrapping!

IMG_5877About the Author  Andrea Albuquerque is part of the Hybrid Creative Team here at Digital Press. Andrea has been a scrapper since 2010 and a photographer since 2012. Although she adores the flexibility and creativity of digital, she can’t resist playing with paper, paint, and embellishments… so hybrid scrapping is the perfect medium for her! She lives in Brazil with her hubby.

Tutorial Tuesday | Summer Bucket List

Summer is officially here next week in the Northern Hemisphere. A lot of the kiddos are already out of school and a few weeks into their summer break, however. For me, that is when summer actually starts. Well, the fun activities of summer, anyway! 🙂

Every summer since my kiddo was about 5, we sit down as a family and make a fun-filled and jam-packed summer bucket list! What is a summer bucket list? A bucket list, itself, is a list of goals, achievements, activities, etc. that a person wants to complete during their entire life. A summer bucket list is exactly as it sounds: a bucket list for your summer!

Today, we’ll cover how to create a fun summer bucket list that has been created using digital scrapbooking supplies, and printed out in order to post in your house for the whole family to see and use all summer long.

Supplies Needed:

  1. Your list
  2. Digital scrapbook supplies of your choice
  3. Printer*
  4. Laminating machine & sheets*
  5. Dry erase marker

* if you don’t have access to a printer and/or laminating machine, you can also take your digital file to a professional printer to have it printed and laminated; here in the United States, businesses like Staples, Office Max/Depot, etc. provide these services at a relatively cost-effective rate

When it came to choosing digital supplies to make my list, I had a lot of options! There are so many great items in the store here at The Digital Press. I chose to use a product that was created specifically for this purpose — a kit called Summer Bucket List that was designed by Laura Passage as a collaboration with Amanda Yi Designs a couple of summers ago…


I use Photoshop Elements (PSE) 13, but most of the following steps will be the same (or similar) in most versions of PSE or Photoshop (PS). That being said, this project is more of a “make it as your heart desires” kind of thing. There are no set rules on how your list should look, or how you go about completing it. It is your bucket list, after all! 🙂

For mine, I started out with an 8.5″ x 11″ canvas in PSE. That is the standard-sized paper here in the states; therefore, it is easier for me to print at home and laminate. You can use whatever size canvas you like best, however (and/or whatever size is easiest for you)…

Next, I chose a patterned paper from the digital kit I was using, and opened it in PSE to use it as a background for my list.

It’s important to note that there are 2 ways to go about importing a 12″ x 12″ paper into a 8.5″ x 11″ file. You can drag the paper into your canvas after you open it separately in PSE — and because it’s bigger than your canvas (1″ taller, and 3.5″ wider) it will cover the entire canvas area and overlap the edges. This is fine; when you save your final image, you’ll only “see” what you can see on the canvas area that you’re working on.

Alternatively, you can open the paper straight into your canvas, which is smaller than the paper, and it will fit itself into the width of your canvas (but won’t be tall enough to cover your entire canvas). You’ll see what I mean in the following image (it fits nicely horizontally, but not vertically)…

In this second situation, you don’t want to stretch it out to cover the entire page (i.e. re-size it by stretching it vertically but not horizontally), or else you will distort the pattern. Instead, another solution is to copy the paper layer, lay it on top of the original paper layer, and then scoot it down until the blank area at the bottom is filled up.

As you can see, however, this will cause a visible line if the digital paper has any distressing around the edges (most do)…

This can be easily remedied. Choosing your Eraser tool, you set it at whatever size you like — big enough to cover the line, but not so big that it erases the entire paper. I set my opacity at 50% and then erased over the distressed edge area that created the visible “line.” Simple as that! You end up with what looks like a solid 8.5″ x 11″ page, as long as you’ve lined up the pattern between the two paper layers…

Now comes the part we all know and love so much — using elements and scrapping!

There are no rules here; you don’t even have to use the same size as I am showing. You can make a list, pocket scrap it, cluster and journal, add photos, and more.

Here is a look at the finished digital copy of my 2017 Summer Bucket List…

Once I was done creating the image of the list itself, I sent it off to a local printer to be printed. I chose 65lb cardstock and had it printed via a color laser printer (it’s personal preference, but I find that a laser-printed finish often not only looks better, but it usually holds up better in the long run, as well). I had it laminated with 5ml laminate. Here is the completed finished product…

As you can see from the photo above, there was a reason I chose to use a list format and to laminate the final product after printing it off — my 9-year-old son thinks it is his job to mark off each item as we complete things throughout the summer. He is determined that we will get through every single one of these this year!

You can do bucket lists for just about anything in your life: vacation bucket lists, “30-before-30” bucket lists, and pretty much anything you can list and label. Most of us have busy summers. Making a list (of even the simplest variety) and marking those fun family things off each time you complete a list item can make it just a little bit more fun — and also ensure that you remember all of your fun summer goals! It is also a great yearly keepsake to add to your album at the end of the summer, because it will go along with all of the photos will be taking and scrapping!


About the Author  La’Shawn Castings is a creative team member here at The Digital Press. She is a 30-something, full-time working, nerdy, somewhat lazy, digi-scrapping, photo taking, college football loving, panda obsessed, yellow wearing, Harry Potter nerding, Doctor Who watching, historical fiction reading, southern wife & mom.

Tutorial Tuesday | Digital Artist Trading Cards

Have your ever looked at an artsy scrapbook page and thought, “Wow, I wish I could do that!”? I’m here to tell you that you can! If the thought of tackling a full 12″ x 12″ layout seems daunting, however, then my advice is to start on a smaller scale. Let’s talk about digital Artist Trading Cards!

What are Artist Trading Cards, or ATCs? ATCs are small pieces of art, only 2.5″ x 3.5″ in size, that are usually traded or swapped with other artists. They are like the creative version of baseball trading cards. Although you might think that ATCs lend themselves more to traditional scrapbooking because you exchange them with others, digital swaps are fun, too! Imagine opening your email and finding a handful of cards waiting for you. By allowing yourself to just “go with the flow,”ATCs might give you an artistic outlet that you had not considered — and they’re easy to do!

Step 1

Open a new canvas, 2.5″ x 3.5″ in size. I like my ATCs to be vertical, but you can also do horizontal, if desired…

Step 2

Pick a background paper (this sounds a lot like building a regular scrapbook page, doesn’t it?). I like the look of chipboard, so I’ll often reach for a kraft paper. For this card, though, I’ve selected a grid paper from Real Life by Calista’s Stuff.

**TIP** If you’re thinking of adding brushes, stickers, stamps, etc., to your ATC… then you might want to start with a neutral or more-solid-colored paper to give yourself somewhat of a blank canvas to work on.

Step 3

Now you can start layering digital stamps and brushes onto your background paper. You can choose one, two… as many as you like! Keep in mind that most digital designers create with a larger canvas in mind (for scrapbooking), so you might have to re-size a few things as you go. What I have here are two brushes — one placed just on the edges, and then another placed over the top…

Step 4

Finally, you can add some dimensional elements, if you wish. Just as was the case, above, with regard to re-sizing brushes and stamps — you may need to re-size elements, as well, so their proportions are in line with your smaller canvas size. Also, watch for shadows, especially if you are using pre-set shadow styles…

Step 5

Finally, add finishing touches like a title, word strips, or a favorite quote. I could have stopped at the previous step, but I wanted to add some word art. What I found, however, was that the black of the word art really jumped out at me because I didn’t really have anything else of that color on the ATC. I was left with one of two options: recolor the title, or add some black to the card elsewhere. I went with option 2, and voila! I added a butterfly to help tie everything together, and my trading card was finished…

Just like with any other creative outlet, how or what you design is really a personal preference. ATCs are unique to everyone, and can mean different things to different people. You don’t have to do any journaling or add photos, if you don’t want to. Your ATCs can be 100% digital, or you can print them out to create a hybrid project. Creating in an artistic style is something everyone can do. Why not give ATCs a try and see what you come up with!? Give yourself permission to play! 🙂

KatAbout the Author Kat Hansen is a creative team member here at The Digital Press. A Director of Human Resources by day, she loves the opportunity to spend a few hours each evening being creative. Vacation memories feature pretty heavily in Kat’s scrapbooking pages, as do her son and “daughter” (of the four-legged furry kind). Kat has quite the sense of humor (she “blames” her father for this), which she incorporates into her journaling and memory-keeping.

Tutorial Tuesday | Using Digital Cut Files


I love cut files.  I yearn to make lots of beautiful hybrid pages with little shapes and words cut out of colored paper and delicately adhered to my layouts, or tucked safely away in transparent pockets.  But, reality has a bad way of crashing down on me.  I don’t own a digital cutter.  And I lack the patience to hand cut more than one anything.  But I still love cut files, and I frequently used them as elements or stamps in my all-digital layouts.  I also use them to customize background papers for my all-digital layouts, and simple technique I’ll share with you today….no scissors required.

Cut files aren’t just for hybrid scrappers!  They can totally be used in an all-digital layout too.  The technique for using cut files to make a custom paper or background is fairly easy.  Open a new layout, and drag in a lightly textured solid background paper.  Select and open all the cut files you want to add.  I use the .pngs, and drag them to roughly where I think they should be when I first pull them into Photoshop.  The most time-consuming part of this process is moving around the cut files to fill the space.  Since I like a full, but not cluttered look, I overlap some, and duplicate others, being sure to keep some space between the duplicates so the paper doesn’t feel repetitive .  Sometimes I change the color of an element to give it better flow in in the background, or to make it coordinate with the rest of the cut files I’m using if I’ve got cut files from different sets.  To do that, I use the color picker to select the exact color I want, then create a new fill layer using the steps shown in the next image.


You could also use the paint bucket tool to change the color of the cut file, but you still have to follow steps 1 and 2 above to get the desired color in your bucket.  Once I have the cut files colored and arranged the way I want, I merge them into a single layer, then apply a distressing mask to give the paper a stamped look.  That’s it.  Easy custom background paper using cut files.

Here’s my finished layout.  I used cut files from the Camping Set and a freebie that coordinates with the Love This Set by Rachel Hodge.  The papers and elements are from Homecation by May guest designer ninigoesdigi.


This technique is great for more than just background papers too.  It works well on a smaller scale too – say for a 3×4″ or 4×6″ pocket or filler card.  Cutting files are available in themed sets in the TDP store.  There are also usually a handful in the monthly TDP store collab kits, and the Monthly Chronicle collections, as well as the quarterly Digiscrap Parade.  This technique could also work well with the digital stamps that are included in many of the digital kits in the TDP store.  The opportunities abound, and I encourage you to try using digital cut files on your next all-digital layout!


About the Author  Carrie is a creative team member here at The Digital Press. She and her family enjoy spending time outdoors, year-round, near their home in Colorado. In addition to scrapbooking and the occasional hybrid home decor project, Carrie also reads voraciously, accumulates fabric, makes soap, brews beer, grows hops, and tries to keep indoor plants alive.caliten

Tutorial Tuesday | Custom-Made Journal Cards

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Tutorial Tuesday at The Digital Press! Today, I will be showing you some fun ways you can use your own digital kits to create custom journal cards.

You can really stretch your digital stash by making your own custom pocket cards with the various pieces included in the digital kits. Even if the kit comes with cards already, you can still create your own customized cards with photo editing software and digital papers, brushes, and elements. Getting creative with your supplies and making cards not only stretches your kit, but it adds a personal touch to your projects.

Let’s get started!

First, choose your canvas size. In Photoshop (PS) or Photoshop Elements (PSE), you will select File –> Open New File …and then a screen will pop up where you can enter your desired canvas size. Change pixels to inches, if necessary, and then select your size. I went with 3×4 for my canvas…

Now pick a kit, and start adding items to your blank canvas. Yes, it’s that easy! 🙂


For the following card, I picked the new May 2017 TDP Designer Collab collection, Day Planner, to make my card. I added in a sticker, brush, flair, and another heart sticker. It was so quick to make… and looks awesome. Here is a screenshot with my 3×4 canvas and all the different pieces in the project bin…


Another example of a card you can make would be a card with separate “striped” sections. This is also really easy!

You can do this by making some rectangle shapes on your canvas, and then clipping digital papers onto those shapes to create the separate pieces. I made each rectangle shape 1.5 inches high and 4 inches wide… and then I clipped some fun patterned papers and solid papers onto those shapes. To do this, you simply place the digital paper in the layer above the rectangle shape in your layers palette (see the right side of the following image)… and then use the “clipping mask” feature (Ctrl-G in PSE, or Ctrl-Alt-G in PS).

After I had my rectangle stripes, I added in a paint splatter, a few embellishments, a word sticker, and a title word art ‘carpe diem’. Also, for the ‘carpe diem’ I changed the color from black to the orange and pink using the eye dropper tool to get the exact colors from the other papers/elements in the kit.

This is how the card looked in PSE with the layers off the right; you can see them in the white boxes…


Lastly, I also created a fun 4×6 card using the digital brushes from This Life March, which can be found in Juno Designs’ shop at The Digital Press. I used a bunch of the stamps/brushes found in that collection to create a few clusters on my card…

As you can see, it’s so easy to create your own custom cards using photo editing software and the papers, elements, and brushes/stamps you find in your own digital stash! I hope these journal card examples, above, will inspire you to stretch your own kits and use them in new and creative ways!


About the Author  Sabrina is married to a hard-working man and has two rambunctious kids, nicknamed Captain and Sunshine. She spends every free minute creating at her crafty space. Digital layouts, hybrid layouts, project life and just anything memory keeping. She also loves to read, kickbox and go a bike ride.

Hybrid How-To | Luggage Tags

Hi everyone! It’s Kate here, with another edition of our Hybrid How-To series. Travel season is on the way, and I thought it would be fun today to show you how I made these cute hybrid luggage tags for my kids.


  • Digital scrapbooking kit of your choice (I used Happy Camper by Mari Koegelenberg)
  • Photo editing program like Photoshop (PS) or Photoshop Elements (PSE)
  • Cardstock
  • Self-seal laminating sheets
  • Scissors


1. In PSE, I built my luggage tag templates (if you’d like to use mine, you can DOWNLOAD THEM HERE).

2. Add digital paper and elements to each of the tags, by using each PNG tag shape as a clipping mask (Ctrl-G in PSE or Ctrl-Alt-G in PS). Make sure you duplicate the templates so you can create a front and back for each tag. You can also add text to one side of each tag, if desired. Once you have them ready, send them to the printer and cut them out.

3. The next step is to adhere the front of the tag to the back of the tag. I used thin glue dots for this (don’t use anything too thick, or it shows up through the cardstock once you laminate).

4. Place your tags on a self-seal laminating sheet, and add another sheet to the top. Using your nail or a smoothing tool, smooth out the bubbles — especially along the edges of the tags. Cut them out, leaving a little bit of lamination for the edges.

5. At this point, you can just punch a hole and add some string or ribbon for attaching to the luggage. I chose to add a colorful eyelet to each.

And that’s all there is to it! Easy, right? 🙂

If you want to give this project a try, you can earn TDP challenge points if you post a photo of your finished project in the May 2017 Hybrid Challenge thread in The Digital Press forum.

Kate About the Author  Kate is on the hybrid team here at The Digital Press. She lives on the Utah/Colorado border with her husband, 5 kids, 10 chickens, and a dog named Gracie. She’s a city-born girl who found she’s really a country girl at heart. She can be found outside, barefoot, and probably in her garden.

Tutorial Tuesday | Creating Export Presets in Lightroom

Do you find yourself exporting your photos in Lightroom over and over with the same settings? If so, and you would like to save time by creating your very own custom presets… I’m here today to teach you how to do so!

Often, I find that I need to export a single layout in multiple different formats/sizes/etc. depending on which online gallery I’m going to be loading it into. For instance, here at The Digital Press, I size my layouts for the gallery at 900 x 900 pixels and up to 350kb in size. Because I do this with every layout I’m going to load at The Digital Press, I go through the same process over and over and over again. Thus, I have created an export preset to do just this with the touch of one button. Let me show you…


Import your layout (or photo) into Lightroom. If you don’t know how, don’t worry… we have another tutorial HERE that details the process of importing into Lightroom. Once you have imported your layout, you will want to select it for export (see blue arrow at lower left)…


Click on the export button on the bottom left side (again, see the blue arrow at lower left)…


Next, click on the drop-down arrow and select the folder into which you wish to save your adjusted photos. You will have a choice between “Select Folder,” “Choose Later,” or “Same Folder As Original.”  I have created a folder on my computer’s hard drive named “New Releases,” and each week when I save a new layout, it will always go to this specific folder. That way, it’s always easy to find when I start the process of posting my pages into various galleries.

*NOTE* When I want to save pictures that I have edited, however, I use “Same Folder As Original” so all my photos stay together. The good news is that you can customize these choices and do what’s best for you!

Once you have specified where Lightroom should save your file, you will select “Custom Text” and rename it (feel free to skip this step, if you’d like). I always add a few letters after each of my titles to let me know which gallery I’ve created this layout for …which is why you see the “TDP” on the end of my name (see image above). Again, you can skip this step if it’s not relevant to you.


This is where you get into the details that save you time! Here’s a detailed look at my own preset (see the image, below, for the numerical references in blue)…

(1) First, I tell Lightroom to limit the file size to 325-350 for The Digital Press. All online sites/galleries tend to have different limitations, so I might choose some other file size/number in this step if my layout will be loaded somewhere else.

(2) Then, I resize the layout to fit m needs.

(3) Again, for The Digital Press, I use 900 x 900 pixels; this is where I enter those numbers.

(4) Here, I can select the resolution. For web-sized images, 72 dpi is perfect.

(5) Lastly, I add your sharpening here (if I haven’t already done this when saving my layout after scrapping).

Of course, you can feel free to change any of the above details to fit your own needs! 🙂


After you’ve set everything up the way you like it, you’ll click the “Add” button…


Finally, you’ll name your preset. Here, I’ve chosen to call it “TDP Layout Preset.” Brilliantly unique, I know. 😉 After you’ve typed in your new preset name, click the “Create” button…


You should now be able to see your new preset under “User Presets” on the left side of your screen…


Now, whenever you need to use your preset… you’ll select it, rename your file (don’t worry, this won’t interfere with any of the other settings), and click the “Export” button…

That’s it! You’ve done it! You have successfully created a new preset in Lightroom, so that each and every time you want to save a photo or layout, it will be saved the same way without a lot of extra work.

As I mentioned earlier, I have created a preset for each of the galleries and blogs to which I post my layouts and photos… and it really makes my exporting workflow so much faster! Hopefully this tutorial is helpful in that way. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me using the comments on this post, and ask away!


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 (2 in college and 2 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 | The Spherize Technique

Do you ever want to jazz up a multi-photo layout, and you’re just not sure how to do that? There are so many ways to add a lot of photos to one layout, but using the ‘spherize’ technique in your layout can make it fun and unique! I’ve used this technique before, and now I just can’t stay away from it. So, without further ado…  I’d like to walk you through how to do this today.


You will begin with a blank 7×7 canvas (2100×2100 pixels) at 300 dpi (want to use my grid template? you can DOWNLOAD IT HERE)…

Arrange your photos however you like, but make sure your favorites are in the center, because the photos in the corners and outer edges will be a bit distorted once you use ‘spherize’.


Once you have your photos arranged to your liking, in the layers palette you will right-click on any layer, and click merge visible.

At this point, you will use the Elliptical Marquee Tool (see red text at the upper left of the following image; this is where you’ll find it. *NOTE* that you may need to right-click to find it, as it may be hidden under the Rectangle Marquee Tool) and drag your mouse from one corner of your canvas to the other to create a circle from edge to edge…

Once you have your circle drawn, Ctrl+Alt+I (all at once), OR use the “Select” drop-down, and select ‘Inverse’.  It may be a little hard to tell in the above image, but you will have marching ants in the shape of a circle and around the entire 7×7 image once you do this.


Next, you will press “Delete.” At that point, your image should look like this…

Now you will want to de-select your image by clicking on “Select” (top tool bar) and then selecting “Deselect” (or Ctrl+D). You should no longer have the marching ants on your image.


Now for the fun part!  You will click on “Filter” (top tool bar), then “Distort,” then “Spherize.” The Spherize window will come up at this point; I opted for using 100 as the amount (see below)… but you can play around with the setting for your own. You may find another setting that works well for you…

After applying “Spherize,” here’s what your image should look like…

At this point, you can save your image as a PNG (File>Save As or Shift+Ctrl+S). To use the image in a layout or project, you’ll simply need to open your image and drag and drop it into a blank canvas. The possibilities for use are limitless!

Here’s a look at a layout that I created using my ‘Spherized’ image…

*BONUS TIP* To make the reflection, I simply duplicated the image, and made the height -100, as shown in the next image…

Then, I decreased the opacity of the duplicated layer, as shown below…

And there you go! That’s all there is to it… and you’ve successfully used a fun, new technique!

The fun really starts now…  because you can use this technique to embellish to your heart’s content! It is such a fun way to display a collection or montage of photos that you love! It would also make the perfect front page for an album… or look fantastic printed on a canvas for your home… etc. So many fun possibilities!

Heidi NicoleAbout the Author  Heidi Nicole is happily married to an amazing man, a step mama to 2 wonderful kiddos, and mama to 3 sweet and sassy furbabies.  She’s a radiation therapist by day and creator of pretty things by night (she’s pretty confident that she’s hit super hero status, but refuses to wear a cape.)  She loves cats and huskies, coffee, audio books, FRIENDS reruns, St. Louis Blues hockey, cooking, baking, and traveling.  Oh, and wine… she really likes wine.  She lives a normal and happy life, and enjoys all the absolutely extraordinary people she gets to share it with on a daily basis!

Hybrid How-To | Gift Card Holder

Hello everyone, It’s Tanya here for this week’s Hybrid How-to.  I’m going to show you how to create this cute and easy recycled project.   It’s  one way to show your child’s teacher ” THANK YOU” for all they do.   I loved creating things for my kid’s teachers when they were in school.  There are many opportunities throughout the year….the first day of school, teacher appreciation day, the last day of school, their birthday….just to name a few.  Today we are creating this project for the last day of school.


  • digital kit of your choice ( I used School Rules by Mari Koegelenbern and Land of the learning by Anita Designs)
  • empty gum container
  • double sided tape
  • pop up dots
  • punches
  • scrap piece of cardstock
  • shredded paper
  • gift card

These are the two kits that I chose, but there are many more fun “school” kits at The Digital Press shop to choose from.

I created the tags and note cards using the Silhouette Studio Designer Edition software using the print and cut feature.   It can be done in any photo editing program, print and cut with a pair of scissors.

I love my Silhouette and even when things are probably easier just to cut out  Old School, I still use my Silhouette instead.  It’s kinda addicting!!

Use the big scallop to punch out the bottom piece.  Continue using the different punches for the layered tag.

Add pop dots to the apple for dimension.  I have tons of pop dots on hand because I love the layered look.

Use the tiny circle punch to punch a hole for the ribbon to go through.

Before adding the gift card, add some of the shredded tissue to the bottom.  There are so many different colors and you can find them for a $1.00 a bag at the Dollar Tree.

After adding the gift card, attach the tag with ribbon of your choice.   Isn’t this a super cute way to give your child’s teacher a gift card?

Oh and don’t forget the bus driver.  Because of them, the kiddos get to and from school safe and sound.

For this one, I created little note cards for the teacher to use next year.   Imagine them stapled to the top of your child’s work.   This simple gift even without a gift card would be very sweet.

I hope that you have enjoyed today’s Hybrid How-To here on The Digital Press’ Blog.  Now it’s your turn to create something fun!

I hope that you have enjoyed today’s Hybrid How-To here on The Digital Press’s blog. Now it’s your turn to create something fun (with or without a cutting machine)! If you would like to earn points toward TDP’s monthly challenge system, visit the corresponding monthly Hybrid Challenge in the forum’s CROSSWORD SECTION (you’ll find it stickied up near the top during May 2017). We’d love to see your creations!


About 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

Tutorial Tuesday | Multiple Photo Layouts


Hello everyone, and welcome to yet another edition of our Tutorial Tuesday series here on The Digital Press blog! Today, I am going to share a few very simple (yet quite useful!) tips for fitting multiple photos onto a layout.

If you’re like me, one of the most difficult parts of scrapbooking is choosing photos with which to scrap. I suffer from ‘separation’ and ‘abandonment’ anxiety when it comes to discarding some of the photos that don’t make the ‘cut’. 🙂

Whilst good selection may be essential for effective storytelling, I often find that I am trying to fit more photos onto my pages — especially when there is a back-story to those photos. Therefore, I went back through my gallery to see how I’ve solved this issue in the past, and to compile a list of some useful tips and tricks I could share with you. And believe it or not, I found there actually is a method to my madness, when I scrap! LOL

So without further ado… the following are my thoughts on “how to work multiple photos into your layouts”…


1. Make pocket pages

The first obvious approach is to make a pocket style page. The beauty of this scrapping style is that the canvas is neatly divided into spots that you can then fill with your photos, journaling, papers, embellishments or a combination of all of these. Here is an example from one of my favourite pages.


Credits:Beats Journalers by Creashens, Template is Duo 10 Go anywhere by LBVD Designs, Blue skies ahead alpha and papers by River Rose Designs

There is also an awesome tutorial about pocket scrapping and how to go about it if you are new to it :).

It becomes even more effortless if you can find pocket style templates that work for you. One doesn’t need to be a Project Life scrapper or even a Pocket scrapper to dabble in this style. The key is to have fun and adapt these to suit your own style and needs. Here at the Press we have an amazing selection of these. Check them out here.
2. Use unusual photo spots
Here are some examples to do this. In this first layout I have clipped photos to photo spots in the template but also layered with patterned papers. The various shapes were a good way to show different crops on multiple photos I had of my girls ‘rowing the boat’.
 Credits:  Drawing blanks template by Sandy Pie Creations, A lot by Creashens

In the next one, whilst there was just one photo spot in the template, I wanted to show a long shot of where the kids were. I adjusted the template to insert a big photo in the background.

Credits: Everything from April shop collab – Fresh Air

In this final example I have literally added more photo spots. Simple and effective 🙂 Varying the photos between black and white and colour also adds a great deal of interest to the page.


 Credits: To remember album, This is everyday wordart, Time stood still all by Sabrina’s Creations
3. Clip photos to other shapes
Photos don’t always have to be rectangular or square in shape. It is great fun to use some different shapes to add a varied flavour to your style. In this example below, I have slipped one of the photos to a watermark star shape – probably not meant to be used as such but worked for me!
 Credits: 31 days of December by Meg designs, Thanksgiving by Rachel Hodge,Plus Side by Sahin Designs
4. Create a background of photos
This is my favourite go to method. Especially when I have nice pictures to show off. Putting that pivotal picture in the background not only creates a great canvas for the layout but also sets the context and lets you be more creative and experimental with the other photos. Here are some examples.


Credits:Tranquil by Sahin Designs, Chinese Whispers template by Jimbo Jambo designs, Found papers by Creashens


  Credits:Forever by Little Lamm and Co, Family Love templates by Sabrina’s Creations
5.Change the crop to tell a different story (a.k.a. working with multiple similar shots)
So what happens when you have great photos but they look quite like one another? Fear not, there are a few ways to approach this, as well.

In the following examples, I have simply used different crops of similar shots – some in colour and some in black and white. I also used full length big photo on the left hand side.

All-of--me-loves-all-of-you-copy-for-web Credits: Hello February by Dunia Designs, Choices template by Meg Designs
Trisha-running-pg1copy-for-web Credits: Documented papers and templates by Anita Designs, Love is in the air elements by Mommyish and Mari K
something kinda wonderful
 Credits:Clean and Simple templates 24 by Sabrina’s Creations Also used by Meg Designs: Its the Little Things, Spring Song papers, Recharged JCs, Melliflous JCs
6. Use templates
As mentioned before templates are a great booster.Using the right template can get you to a great start! There are many interesting multi-photo templates available here at the Press. See some examples for yourself.
 Credits:Scraptime vol 9 templates and Awakening Bundle by France M Designs
layout 1
Credits: May 2016 Templates and Grad bundle by Sahin Designs
7. Use templates, but don’t be afraid to change them up
Whilst templates can be great for a great start, feel free to play around with them to accommodate your photos – e.g. creating more spots if required or altering their position, shape and sizes.

If you look at the following layout and the template I have used as a starter, it is only but a small proportion of my overall design. In other words the template is hardly recognisable but I still had a great start using it and take it further from there.

 Credits:XO Cards by Dunia Designs, Hey love stamp sheet by Karla Dudley, Love is in the air elements by Mari Koegelenberg, Hello February elements by Dunia Designs and Cynosure templates by Meg Designs


So that’s it! …seven (7) easy ways to approach scrapping when you have lots of photos you need to include on a single page. I hope you find these ideas to be useful! Meanwhile, if you have ideas of your own for solving the “fitting multiple photos onto one layout” issue… I would love to see your own hacks! I’m always looking for more ideas. Please feel free to share them in the comments below.

Until next time… stay creative! Ciao!

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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 | Mother’s Day Mini-Album


Hello everyone! It’s Saturday, and therefore time for another edition of our Hybrid How-To series here on The Digital Press blog! Today I’m going to show you how make a beautiful mini-album as a gift for Mother’s Day.

Supplies Needed:

  • digital kit of your choice (I used For Mom By Little Lamm & Co)
  • white cardstock paper
  • any physical supplies/embelishments from your stash (I used only wood veneers and washi tape)


First, you will need two pieces of white cardstock, sized/formatted like the images below…


Next, after cutting the papers, you will need to score and fold them as shown below (to ensure they look like the format of the images just above this)…

You’ll want to glue the middle section (shown above) of the top paper to the same area of the bottom paper. This will create a thicker center section, along with multiple pages on each side that fold inward.

Next, it’s time to assemble and decorate the album. I chose digital patterned papers that I wanted to use in my mini-album, printed them, and then cut them to look like the images below…

*NOTE* These patterned papers, when printed, are a little bit smaller than the white cardstock sections, to enable us to glue them down on each section, as shown in the following image (below).

Glue your patterned papers down as a base on each section, and then decorate with photos, printed digital embellishments, and physical supplies!


Decorating your album is the most fun part of the process. Enjoy it!

Here’s a look at my album as I added photos and embellishments and it took shape…

I think this is a beautiful way to honor our mothers, isn’t it? And a beautiful and delicate gift. 🙂

If you’d like to give this a try, too, don’t forget that you can earn challenge points at TDP! Come visit the CROSSWORD SECTION in The Digital Press forum, and you’ll find this month’s Hybrid Challenge thread (*NOTE* for each month’s Hybrid Challenge at TDP, you get to choose one of the two (2) “Hybrid How-To” tutorial posts from here on the blog for that month, and then you get to make your own version of that chosen project). If you choose to give today’s project a try… all you have to do is make a mini-album like mine using some digital elements and papers. Give it a shot, and share your final results with us! We can’t wait to see what you come up with.

Have a great weekend, you guys… and happy scrapping!

AndreaAbout the Author  Andrea Albuquerque is part of the Hybrid Creative Team here at Digital Press. Andrea has been a scrapper since 2010 and a photographer since 2012. Although she adores the flexibility and creativity of digital, she can’t resist playing with paper, paint, and embellishments… so hybrid scrapping is the perfect medium for her! She lives in Brazil with her hubby.

Tutorial Tuesday | Getting Kids to Smile at the Camera

Ever wish you had a few tricks up your sleeve for getting kids to smile at the camera? I’m here today to help!

It’s often hard to get natural smiles from kids… and let’s face it, simply saying “cheese” often leads to the some of the cheesiest of smiles. So what to do?

I’m the first to admit that bribery goes a long way, but the last thing we really need is blurry photos due to a sugar high and smiles covered in chocolate. Right? So… instead, here are a few tips that will help you get some natural smiles.

  1. Chit Chat — I have found that some kids are shy or nervous about making sure they smile, just like the practiced at home, which can look fake or forced. If I just randomly bring my camera down and start chatting about school or what they ate for breakfast or who their favorite super hero is, I can get them talking and they’ll smile without thinking about it and then the don’t even notice when I bring my camera back up and start snapping away.
  2. Catch them off guard — On occasion, I will say something out of the blue that kids aren’t expecting or make it seem that I’m trying to get a cute smile out of one of the children and end up getting great smiles out of everyone because it lightens the mood and takes the focus off of having to force a smile. This helps to get great natural smiles.
  3. Distraction — Distraction works really well when kids aren’t cooperating at all. My favorite technique is to ask them to make a silly face or a tiger face and I make faces too. The kids get distracted and start laughing or smiling on their own.
  4. A little humor — My son always makes a funny face when I go to take his photo. Always. He always looks constipated, but as soon as I say the word, he can’t help laughing hysterically. Of course, I’d never say that to a client, but other jokes work great. For example, if a kid is picking his nose, I ask if he has some tasty cheese-boogars that he can share.
  5. It is what it is — Many of my clients want picture perfect smiles, but I’m more of a lifestyle type person myself. I absolutely love photos where my kids aren’t smiling, whether is a posed shot or just a quick capture. I’m drawn more to eyes than mouths, so I’d rather avoid squinting eyes from big smiles. Sometimes kids just are who they are and I strive to capture them in the moment. If I don’t get smiles, it’s no biggie… I get a lot of great shots anyways.

Want some examples of these tricks in action? Here is a layout I created using a few photos of the silly faces my daughter makes…

Next time you are photographing kids and find that you’re struggling to get a natural smile from your subject… give a few of these tips a try, and see if they don’t help you capture a fantastic shot or two!

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.


Tutorial Tuesday | Creating Keyword Sets in Lightroom

I love using Lightroom. When I first began using it, it was solely for the purpose of photo editing; I do almost all of my photo editing in Lightroom. After playing around in the program for a while, though, I started using it for keywording (a.k.a. tagging) my photos for organizational purposes — and eventually I also began using it to tag my digital scrapbooking supplies. The more I use Lightroom, the more I love it. Keywording in Lightroom is quick and easy… and helpful! …and that’s what I am here to share with you today.

For a long time, I did all of my keywording simply by typing in the keywords I wanted to use (saving to the file’s metadata)… and/or by clicking on the keywords that showed up in the “Recent Keywords” set. One day, however, for whatever reason… I noticed there were up and down arrows immediately to right of the “Recent Keywords” set. Hmmm. Why had I never noticed that before? Nested under “Recent Keywords” was a option to save and edit a keyword set. Finding that option was a great time-saver for me. Keywording is definitely not one of my favorite tasks, but I consider it a necessary part of my scrapbooking/photo-editing process and I welcome any and all shortcuts I find to speed up the process. I bet you will too!

So, before I show you how to create a keyword set, in case you haven’t been using Lightroom for keywording I first want to give you a quick how-to for basic keywording:

  • When you’re in the Library Panel press CMD/CTRL+K to access the Keywording Panel.
  • From there you just type in the keywords you want added to the metadata of your photo. *NOTE* You can add multiple keywords to a photo, simply by separating the keywords with a comma. For my example, I used the keywords “Barbara, BAU, Grant, Lauren, Scott, Stonehenge, UK” because these are the words I will most likely use to search for this photo at some point.


As I mentioned above, I find that creating Keyword Sets is a big timesaver. I’ve got a couple of standard keyword sets that I use. Some standard sets I find useful are for different sets of family members. I like to tag all the individual family members in my photos so I can quickly access photos of individual people. Yes, that is very detailed and perhaps more detailed than some people would want to go with their keywording… but the process actually goes quickly, and it saves me so much time down the road when I’m looking for photos.

I have three basic sets that I use all the time:

  1. “Us At Home” is a set of keywords I use all the time for my core family (my husband, kids, dog and at home keywords)
  2. “May Family” is a set of keywords of the names of people on my side of the family.
  3. “Unzen Family” is a set of keywords of the names of people on my husband’s side of the family.


From there, I’ll create keyword sets for individual holidays and events, vacations, etc. — any keywords that I feel I’ll use over and over for a particular set of photos. I’ll save these keywords to a temporary (or permanent) keyword set. It saves me time and speeds up my keywording process.

So, now you probably want to know how to create a Keyword Set. This is the very simple process:

  • Click on the little up/down arrows to the right of “Recent Keywords”
  • Click on “Edit Set”
  • Type in the keywords you want included in the set (each set can hold 9 keywords). Hit Tab to move from box to box.
  • When you’ve entered in the 9 keywords you want included in the set click on the down arrow next to Preset and choose “Save Current Settings as New Preset”
  • Type in a name for your preset


That’s it! So easy, right?

And the benefit is that after doing this, when you’re keywording images at a later point in time you can choose between using your “Recent Keywords” and any of the other Keyword Sets you’ve created. Such a time-saver! Give it a try. I hope you find that creating and using Keyword Sets in Lightroom speeds up your keywording/tagging process, as well.

If you’ve got any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments of this post and I’ll get back to you. Also … if you’ve got any Lightroom shortcuts of your own that you’d like to share with us, feel free to share them with us in the comments, as well!

Barbara UnzenAbout the Author:  Barbara Unzen is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She’s a mom to two teenage kids, a 19 year old son and a 17 year old daughter. In her free time she loves to digi scrap, take photos and hang out with her family.

Hybrid How-To | Custom Watercolor Tags

Hello everyone! It’s Saturday, and time for another edition of Hybrid How-To… and today I’m going to show you how to use digital stamps to create customized tags (and/or other projects).

Supplies Needed

  • Digital stamps (I used stamps from Speechies and Love This by Rachel Hodge, and also This Life March Stamps from the Juno Designs shop)
  • Digital Kit (I used In Living Colour by KimB Designs)
  • Watercolor paints or distress inks
  • Laser printer
  • Optional — Minc foiling machine


I used Microsoft Word to create my project… but of course you can use just about any word processing or image editing software. You will need to arrange your elements (stamps, etc.) on the page in a way that is conducive to printing. Don’t forget to leave some white space around each element (and around the outer edge of the page as a margin).

*TIP*  In Word, I set the ‘Wrap Text’ option to ‘In Front of Text’ so as to be able to easily move the elements around on the page.

If  you have access to a laser printer, then you can print your document before painting. However, if you only have an inkjet printer, you must decorate your page first before printing or your images will run.

Once you have your stamps printed… you can let your creativity run wild! Use watercolor paints (or similarly-styled inks) to create unique backgrounds. Here’s a look at what I did…

*TIP* Use washi tape or masking tape to secure your page to a board or desk. This will help the paper stay flat (rather than curling).

Color your tags as you wish — use ombre effects, splotches, etc. — it’s up to you. I even left a few of my images blank so that I could color them in after I had cut out the pieces.

When you’ve finished, carefully remove the tape and allow to dry. It’s a good idea to place a heavy book on top to keep the paper flat.

OPTIONAL EXTRA STEP — Because I used a laser printer, I could add foil to my pieces using a Minc machine. To do this, you place the foil on top of the paper and feed it through the machine. The foil reacts with the toner… which melts and grabs the foil. Foil is available in a rainbow of colour and adds a real luxury to your pieces. Check this out…

Finally, you will cut out your pieces (adding extra color or ink as you wish). You can die cut or use a cutting machine to get really creative if you wish.

Here, you can see that I created a card with one of my tags…

You can also add them to scrapbook pages, pocket scrapping projects, or even planner pages! Here’s a look at a few pieces I thought could work well in a memory planner…

Isn’t this easy and fun? Now you can create something unique with your digital stamps, and hold the end-product in your hands!

Want to give this project a try? You can earn challenge points towards the April 2017 challenges here at The Digital Press if you share your finished projects with us. Check out our monthly challenge information in the CROSSWORD SECTION of the forum.

MoragAbout the Author  Morag Cutts is part of the Hybrid Creative Team here at Digital Press. Morag has been an avid scrapper and photographer for ten years.  Although she adores the flexibility and creativity of digital, Morag can’t resist playing with paper and embellishments – so hybrid scrapping is the perfect medium for her!  Morag lives in the UK with her hubby, two kids and recently adopted puppy.


Tutorial Tuesday | Scraplifting Yourself

Welcome to another installment of our Tutorial Tuesday series here on The Digital Press blog! Today, I am here to advocate for a simple technique that will help you create more scrapbook pages (and faster, and more easily!) — scraplifting yourself.

I would like to use this post to encourage you to be gentle on yourself and not feel as though every layout you create has to be a masterpiece… while also helping you to avoid feeling as though creating layouts leaves you feeling drained. It’s a hobby and it should be fun, right?

Let’s be honest… life is busy, and there are so many things that have to be done all the time. Often we find that by the time we sit down at the computer to take advantage of a few moments of crafty “me time,” our creative energy seems to have dissipated.

How to solve this?

You can always turn to your tried-and-true sources for inspiration. I love The Digital Press Gallery; Pinterest is another fun source of ideas (as is Instagram, as people are posting their scrapbooking creations there more and more often all the time nowadays!). Sometimes, though, I find that I use up all of my scrapping time just looking at other people’s layouts without doing anything with my own photos and getting any of my stories told. Oops! This ends up leaving me feeling despondent and uncreative.

An easy fix for me is to choose the photos I want to scrapbook, and then look at my own arsenal of previous layouts… with the goal being to re-create one that uses the same number of photos, along w/ a new/different kit or collection. I just clip (Ctrl-G) the new papers and photos over the existing ones, and swap out the embellishments with new items from the kit I am working with the second time around.

For example, let’s take this layout that I created for TDP’s 3-for-3 challenge in March 2017…

Characteristics of This Layout:

  • 3 photos
  • 3 different patterned papers
  • visual triangle of clusters
  • engaging title
  • complimentary colours of red and blue
  • right-aligned journaling

I still love this layout, and so for the next layout I had just 30 minutes to create and I started with 3 photos of my grandnieces playing outside of the holiday house we shared in December.

I kept the placement of just about everything exactly the same –the photos, papers and journaling — and I changed up the date, etc. Instead of creating a new title, I used a pre-designed piece of word art from the newest TDP Designer Collaboration “Fresh Air“. I still have foundation layers of paint and a scatter. Three points of orange, with a fourth embellishment spot that is tone-on-tone blue to break boundaries and add a different shaped element for interest. I added shadows as I went along… and in 30 minutes, it was finished and ready to be printed!

Here’s a look…

Again, Characteristics of This Layout:

  • 3 photos
  • 3 patterned papers
  • visual triangle of orange
  • wordart title
  • complimentary colours of blue and orange
  • centered journaling

I decided to use this page’s composition one more time. For this last layout, we had a family BBQ on the day before we left Johannesburg and I wanted to highlight the men’s role in cooking and that the women had a relaxed off duty kind of day. 🙂

For this newest page, I wanted to include a 4th photo of my hubby grilling the meat… so I nudged the photos to the right and squeezed him in there. You can see more similarities with the second layout than the first, including white piece of word art layered over the photo, and centered journaling. Of course, these layouts look strikingly similar — but you could also mix things up by turning the design 90 degrees, or by flipping the paper layers found at the top to the bottom of the page, instead (or changing up the font, etc.). I went for speed over creativity, though, and as these layouts will be separated within the family album of 2016 with different opposing layouts I can almost bet that no one will even notice that they’re almost the same…

Characteristics of This Third Layout:

  • 4 photos
  • 3 patterned papers
  • diagonal/asymmetrical points of pink
  • Blue, green and pink
  • wordart title and sub-titles
  • centered journaling

What do you think? Do you have 30 minutes to spare, in which you want to complete a brand-new layout in just that short time? This technique will help you do so! Just turn to a tried-and-true layout design that you already love… open that PSD or TIF file… remove the papers and embellishments… and start again!

If you give this a try, I’d love to see your results! Feel free to load your layouts to The Digital Press Gallery, and you can even link us up to the original layout in your credits/description if you want to.

 About the Author  Stefanie is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press Co. She is a mom of three older children, all living in Cape Town, South Africa, with her hubby of 29 years and their two cats. In her free time she loves digital scrapbooking, dabbling in photography and reading.

Tutorial Tuesday | Blend Modes

Welcome to another installment of our Tutorial Tuesday series! Today, I want to share a few ways I use blend modes in Photoshop in order to blend my own custom background papers for my layouts!

Layer blend modes can be quite confusing, and honestly I think that simply playing around with them & trying out different opacities is the best way to learn what fits your style. In general, though, layer blend modes change the way layers (or their colors) react with each other.

The modes that I use the most are:

  • Linear Burn & Multiply (the 2nd group of blend modes make things darker; eliminates whites)
  • Screen (3rd group of blend modes make things lighter; eliminates blacks)
  • Overlay & Soft Light (4th group of blend modes generally make things lighter; they work with the gray tones, and results depend on the colors of your base layer)

The Blend mode panel is found just above the layers in the Layer panel. The default is always ‘normal’ and clicking on the small ‘v’  will bring down the rest of the blending options, as shown here…

Here are a few examples of how I used the blend modes mentioned above to combine two papers together in order to make my own unique background papers. I’ve shown my final layout (top left), the original paper files from the kit I used (bottom left and right), and also the blended version (top right) along with information about the modes/opacities I used…

In the next example, the text paper (lower left) was super fun & I really wanted to use it… but as a background on its own, it was a tiny bit too distracting. Blending it into the starburst paper (lower right) & then lowering the opacity almost all the way down solved that problem. You can still see & read the words on the new version (top right)… but it doesn’t overpower the layout (top left) any longer…

In the next example, I loved the swirly paper (lower right) and wanted to use it for my background, but it was a bit too bright. When I lowered the opacity, however, it seemed to wash out the pretty greens in the paper. My solution was to use a solid green background paper (lower left) because it helped to keep that color nice & sharp, while still decreasing how bold the pattern looks on my layout (top left)…

The next example highlights a useful tip I want to share — which is that if you can’t get it just right with one blend mode, you can always combine it with another mode and/or duplicate the layer that you’re blending. In the following example, I wanted that hexagon paper (lower right) to pop, even despite the darker paper I combined it with. Duplicating the paper and lowering its opacity gave me the defined hexagons I was going for…

Moral to the story: if you love a certain pattern, but you need a darker/different color for your layout… or if you want to tone down the brightness… or if you simply need a certain color to tie your photos together with a kit… blend modes can be your new B.F.F.! Through the use of blend modes, the possibilities are endless!

It’s also a great technique that can help you stretch your scrapping stash! The sky is the limit when it comes to making something unique and creating your own style with just a few clicks of the mouse! 🙂

AmieAbout the Author  Amie is a craft-loving dental hygienist who lives in Washington state. She loves her husband, her two kids (ages 9 & 5), and her English Bulldog… as well as coffee, baking cupcakes, daffodils, glitter & sprinkles, reading a good book, and lip gloss — not necessarily in that order.