Category: Tutorials

Tutorial Tuesday | The Puppet Warp Tool

It’s Tuesday again! That means it’s time for another edition of our Tutorial Tuesday series here on The Digital Press blog! Today I want to share the tool that has changed my scrapping life – the Puppet Warp tool.  Ever used a piece of string, and the end is just on the wrong area of your photo? Or that beautiful piece of lace is just too straight for your liking? Using the Puppet Warp tool makes tweaking those gorgeous elements into exactly the shape you want a breeze!

Interested? Here’s how!

Step 1: Select the element you want to edit in the layers palette. In this case, I would like the green trim to curve instead of being so straight.

Step 2: In the menu panel, select Edit > Puppet Warp

Step 3: This should show a mesh over your element. If the mesh doesn’t show up, just tick the box in the middle of option bar next to “Show Mesh”

Step 4: Now you need to add pins to the areas you want to work with. Just click on the mesh where you want the pins to go.  When you start warping your element, the other pinned points will stay in position, with the rest of the element moving in relation to those points and the pin you’re moving.

Step 5: By moving the middle pin, I can create a curve in the trim. This curve is still to linear for my liking, so I want to delete the middle pin by right clicking and selecting Delete Pin.

 

Step 6: I then add two pins in the middle section and manipulate both these pins until I like the result. When I’m done warping, I just hit Enter to commit the changes. You can always change the outcome by double-clicking on the Puppet Warp filter in the layers palette.

And voila! I have a trim curved exactly the way I want it!

This is a super simple explanation of a very complex tool, but I’ve found that this is all I need in my digital scrapbooking process.  I hope you find the same joy that I have when I stumbled across the Puppet Warp tool.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR  Christelle is a creative team member at The Digital Press, happily creating for all of the talented designers. She’s originally from South Africa, and has recently relocated to the UK with her husband. She loves scrapping her 3 lovely step-children and 4 beautiful nieces and all of their (mis)adventures. If she could, she’d travel all the time, but for now she makes do with traveling as often as possible. Her other hobbies include machine embroidery and sewing, as well as reading soppy romance!

 

Hybrid How-To | Monster Banner

Hello, and welcome to another edition of our Hybrid How-To series here on The Digital Press blog! Today, I am so excited to be sharing my very first post with you after joining TDP’s team a few months ago — and with Halloween right around the corner, I thought I’d show you how to easily use your favorite digital supplies to create a fun Halloween banner.

I knew I wanted to make some cool, spooky, Halloween decor… and this project was actually so easy to complete, my 6 year old son helped me out (and then claimed the finished product for himself… which means I might have to make another one!).

First, I found the artwork that I wanted to use in the shop at The Digital Press. I wanted a banner of monsters (cute ones though, not too scary!)… and I found the perfect product in Julia Makotinsky’s Wee Bit Spooky 3×4 Cards, shown here…

Next, I made 2 banner shapes in my Silhouette Studio software by simply altering the bottom of a 3×4 rectangle (see next image). Once I had my shapes the way I wanted them, I dragged the pocket card artwork from the folder and dropped it into the middle of each shape, as shown here…

*NOTE* You could definitely do this in a photo editing program like Photoshop (PS) or Photoshop Elements (PSE) using clipping masks — but — because I copied & pasted the bottom two shapes and simply turned them around to nest with the top ones, the Silhouette software automatically rotated the artwork for me so that the monsters were facing the right way. This is why I didn’t do it in Photoshop with a mask; I would have had to manually rotate them! Instead, Silhouette Studio did the work for me — but it would certainly be easy enough to use another program, too.

Next, I printed them with registration marks so that I could print and cut, but once they were out of the printer my son wanted to cut them out, so I actually ended up giving him half of them and a pair of scissors… and just cut the rest out myself.

Once they were all cut out, I used my WRMK hole punch to punch a 1/4″ hole in each top corner (see next image)… and then we carefully strung them onto some yarn to hang up with our other Halloween garlands…

You can see from the close up image, above, that I strung them onto the yarn in opposite ways (some from back-to-front… and others from front-to-back). This helps them stay in place a little better, and they don’t end up in a bunch at the bottom of the string because each one will stop the next one from sliding down the whole string.

Here’s a look at my finished project, decorating my crafty office space…

I hope this inspires you to create one of your own for some holiday decorating this weekend! I know excitement for Halloween is very high in my house right now, and this was a really fun and easy project to do with my child!

Thanks for checking it out!


About the Author Amy Jo Vanden Brink is a Canadian mom, wife, music teacher, and scrapbooker who always takes on too many projects and loves to craft.  She is terrible at baking cookies, but great at eating them… and loves having a clean house, but hates cleaning the house! She lives in Edmonton with her husband, her son, and their pup Farley.

 

Tutorial Tuesday | Syncing Mobile Photos

Hello, and welcome to another edition of our Tutorial Tuesday series here on The Digital Press blog! This week, I’m here to help you learn how to easily get all of the photos off your mobile phone and stored safely so you don’t lose any of your precious memories!

Anyone who has ever received that awful warning message on your phone, telling you to delete photos from your device in order to make space before you could take any new photos… knows how important it is to get your photos safely off your phone and saved somewhere more permanent/secure.

Remember when we had to actually plug in / connect our phone to our computer or laptop & open the folders to drag/drop photos?! Soooooo tedious! I literally remember the moment I set up my lightroom app to sync DIRECTLY to my external hard drive (EHD)… and how LIFE CHANGING it was for me (and my workflow).

Let’s face it… most people these days are mainly using their phones to take photos; the cameras on these things are just amazing! If you’re like me and take a lot of pictures, then there’s no amount of device storage on the phone itself that can handle my photo addiction!


LIGHTROOM

Many of us digi-scrappers who use Photoshop CC have the “Photography Plan” for $9.99 a month. Did you know that in addition to Photoshop CC… that plan also includes Lightroom? (both the cloud-based app & the Lightroom Classic desktop-focused app). The wonderful thing about Lightroom is that not only is it amazing photo editing software… but it’s also an organizational work horse! I know many scrappers who use it as their primary photo organization source. And while I won’t be delving into that aspect of the software here today… I will say that when I discovered the Lightroom mobile app syncs with the Lightroom desktop software — my mind was blown! Not only does it sync with the software, but it will send photos to wherever you tell it to send the files (in my case, that means sending them directly to my EHD)! And the crazy thing is that it’s SO easy to set up!

First, you’ll want to open up your Lightroom Classic software on your computer (the desktop app logo that is light blue, as shown here)…

Next you’ll click on the EDIT tab, then Preferences

A window with all kinds of information will come up. Select the Lightroom Sync tab. You’ll want to check the box that says “Specify location for Lightroom’s Synced Images:” and then open the Choose button to select the folder you want your synced images to go into.

I also recommend you check the box to use subfolders, which will separate your photos by date (you can choose how your date folders are formatted with the dropdown menu, as well!)…

For my photos, I have them synced to a folder for the current year in my “PICTURES” folder on my EHD. Occasionally, I’ll go in & delete duplicates or random screenshots that I do not need to keep, & organize everything by month (not mandatory, but helpful)…

After doing that, you’re done with the Lightroom desktop set-up. From your mobile phone, now, you need to download the Lightroom app (the one that has rounded corners & is bright cyan, as shown here)…

After you’ve logged in, at the home screen, you’ll want to click on the 3 horizontal lines (hamburger) on the UL side. Select Preferences. From this menu you can choose how you want your photos added & which albums to sync. I have my “AUTO ADD” turned on, then through that menu you can select which types of photos you want Lightroom to auto add to the app. I have everything except RAW photos added.

You do NOT have to have auto-add turned on. You can manually add photos to Lightroom, instead, by selecting the picture +  and then selecting which folders/albums to add.

Once your photos are added to the Lightroom mobile app… as soon as you open your desktop Lightroom classic app, your photos will sync! How cool is that?!

I typically open my Lightroom & Photoshop CC app on my desktop together at least every few days. All my photos seamlessly go where I’ve told them to go! Lightroom listens better than my kids! 😀


GOOGLE PHOTOS

The second app that is pretty crucial to my workflow is Google Photos. You may remember that at the beginning of the month, our resident App Scrapper — Sean — dove deep into Google Photos here on The Digital Press blog, & shared some great tips/tricks HERE.

I use Google Photos similarly, and the search function & ability to tag people are my favorites! The one thing that I also love about Google Photos, which he didn’t touch on in his post, was “Sharing” photos. I have my Google Photos account set up so that not only do MY mobile phone photos sync to my Google Photos, but also my husband & daughter’s phones/gmail accounts too! I love that I get my hubby’s pics, too — which are sometimes taken by me when his phone is handier than mine… and I also love that ALL of my daughter’s photos sync to me, as well… so it’s another level of monitoring what she’s taking pics of (all 42 billion pics of our dog… but I digress).

Within the app, under the main menu, select settings and then Shared Libraries. There, you can add gmail addresses for those who also use Google Photos. I also have my account set up to automatically sync (again taking one less step out of my to-do list!).

On my desktop, it’s super easy to download directly from the website. Also, when making QR codes for my layouts (of either videos or albums where there are just TOO many photos to scrap), I always link to my Google Photo account — much easier than uploading to YouTube, etc.


AMAZON PHOTOS

Last but not least, if you are an Amazon Prime customer, you are also eligible for Amazon Photos. Amazon Photos is another great way to back-up and share your personal photos with your friends and family. The company offers free, unlimited photo storage (at full resolution) to its Amazon Prime customers. Members get an additional 5GB of storage for videos and other documents or files.

I use this app not only as a backup, but also for the Family Vault.  Amazon Prime subscribers in the US can invite up to 5 family members and friends to access & contribute their entire catalog of pictures and videos with Amazon’s Family Vault.

To do this, you click on your name with the drop down menu and then select the Family Vault. From that menu, you can send invites to your friends/family. Right now, I just have my Mom & Sister contribute their mobile pictures… and it’s so nice to have instant access to them for scrapping! From the Amazon Photos website, you can download any mobile photos directly to your computer.

Remember that issue, from the beginning of this post, about memory/space on our devices? Well, after the 3 apps I just referenced have synced my photos… I am able to DELETE ALL PHOTOS FROM MY PHONE!  Once those photos are safely stored away in the cloud and/or on my EHD… the different apps ensure that I still have access to the photos online if I need to re-download &/or if I’m not at my desktop where they reside on my EHD.

It’s such a time saver to have all this happen automatically in the background! I also have piece of mind that my photos are backed up in multiple locations just in case something happens to my phone. The apps discussed above are just a few of my favorites for accomplishing this… but I imagine there many more out there that do awesome stuff, too! I encourage you to try to get those thousands of pics off your phone & free up some storage!


About the Author  Amie is a craft-loving dental hygienist who lives in Washington state. She loves her husband, her two crazy kids, 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.

Tutorial Tuesday | Digital Paper Creases

Happy Tuesday y’all, and welcome to another edition of our Tutorial Tuesday series here on The Digital Press blog! Today I’m here to show you how you can use the gradient tool to make digital papers look creased. It’s easy and fun to do, and can totally change the look of a paper with just a few steps.

Sound fun? Let’s get started!

Step 1: Use your Polygonal Lasso Tool and draw a shape where you want your crease. You can take a peek at mine, below, and see that I wanted my crease to appear on the diagonal so I drew a triangle…

Step 2: Create a new layer above your paper.


Step 3: Select the Gradient Tool and choose Linear Gradient. Then, draw the gradient starting in the lower left part of your selection and move towards the center. Wherever you start is where the darkest part will be, as shown here…


Step 4: Use your Polygonal Lasso Tool again to draw another shape on the opposite side. Then, grab the Gradient tool again and start in the middle and move your way to the top right corner. You should notice the white space of your previous selection is next to the dark space of this selection (and where the light meets the dark is where your crease will be!)…


Step 5: Select this gradient layer and change the opacity until you like the desired effect (on mine, below, you can see I liked what it looked like at 14%). Also, you can play around with your blending modes until you get the look you are going for. I personally liked the Soft Light option with this particular background paper. Once you have the settings the way you like them… ta da! You have a crease!


Optional Step 6: Now… you could totally stop here… but I decided that I wanted to add another crease, so I repeated the first five steps in a different location and going the opposite direction (see next image).

You could put this second crease anywhere you want it. For myself, after creating a new layer, I drew another shape in the top left corner with my Polygonal Lasso Tool…


Then I added a gradient with my starting point in the top left corner…


I outlined the remaining portion of my page with my Polygonal Lasso Tool. Notice that you can go outside the page in order to do this…


Next I filled that portion with another gradient with the dark side directly touching the light side of my previous one (just like Step 4, above, but going the opposite direction)…


Once again, I changed the opacity of this layer (this time to 15% — just because I liked the way it looked), and I also changed the blending mode to Soft Light.

Voila! I have a twice-creased piece of paper…


This is so much fun, and really easy to do. You aren’t limited to diagonals, either; feel free to make your creases in horizontal or vertical directions, as well. Just remember that the light side of one gradient must be directly adjacent to the dark side of the other… as that’s what makes the crease.

Here is a look at a layout I created using my newly-creased background paper…


I hope you try this technique and have as much fun as I did making my layout!


Robin

About the author  Robin is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. A wife of 26 years and a mom of 4 crazy children (3 in college and 1 still at home), she says that her life occurs mostly in the car as she transports said crazy kids to their many, many homeschool activities. When not driving, Robin loves to make her family cringe by pulling out her camera again (and again, and again…).

Hybrid How-To | Lacing Cards

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another edition of our Hybrid How-To series here on The Digital Press blog! Today, I am here to show you how to make these adorable lacing cards using digital elements from your favorite digital kits.

 

Supplies Needed

  • Digital kit of your choice (I used Be A Unicorn by Mari Koegelenberg)
  • Cardstock
  • Scissors (or cutting machine if you prefer)
  • Hole punch
  • Yarn
  • Yarn needle

The first step is to select the images you want. I try and stick with simple images that will be easy to trace with yarn. The unicorn in this was more complicated than I would normally want, but I just really wanted that unicorn!

I enlarged them a bit, added two images per page, printed and cut them out.

I used an eyelet punch to make the holes around each image. Make sure the yarn needle can fit through the punch you’re using.

And that’s it! They’re ready to go.

I used to laminate them to give them more durability, but our local lamination place shut down and so I started letting the kids use them without the laminate and found it was just fine. Because they’re so quick to make, I can easily print and cut new ones using new images each time. My kids love lacing cards!

 


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, a dog named Gracie, and a cat named Kit. 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 | Unzip Products on Your Phone

Hello, and welcome to another edition of our Tutorial Tuesday series here on The Digital Press blog! I’m excited today to share with you a new feature of the iOS 13 update that unzips your purchased digital kits right on your phone… no other app needed! It’s a big breakthrough for app scrappers, as the other/previous app options for unzipping kits to use on our devices were very  cumbersome. It is a change that may prove to be really helpful for people who use Photoshop Elements (PSE) on their mobile devices, as well!

First, before we get started… a quick word on the iCloud Drive storage. Everyone with a iCloud account has 5GB of free space to use, and you can see your iCloud Drive in your native Files app (which is where all the unzipping takes place… sounds sultry, huh!). This is more than enough space to store a bunch of zipped and unzipped kits. You will have to move them eventually, however, to create more space for future purchases. But don’t worry!  I will show you how to do that, as well.

Let’s dive in!



And that’s it! It seriously goes so fast once you get the process down. I hope this helps you get your memories recorded that much quicker. I’m so glad Apple added this super helpful feature.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR  Meagan Johnson is a stay at home mom in Minnesota with an avid love for app scrapping and teaching others just how easy it is to scrap in the go!