Tutorial Tuesday | Creating a Stamped Title

Creating a Stamped Title

I’m a big believer in trying to make my more traditionally-styled digital scrapbook pages, well, traditional! Sure, there are a ton of things you can do in the digital realm that simply aren’t possible with supplies that you’d buy at a craft store, but I’m always looking for ways to create the illusion of something being “real.” I wanted to share with you an easy way to re-create the look of a stamped or painted title on your page that’s layered among papers, photos, or other flat elements.

Let’s stop for a minute and think about this: If you had a stack of papers or photos spread about on a table and you grabbed a wood block stamp, inked it up, and stamped away, what would the words look like? Some might be a little transparent, with patterns or images peeking through. Maybe the edges are fuzzy. If your stamps go over the edge of two or more papers or pictures, does everything line up exactly? Yes, folks, these are the kinds of things I think about when I’m creating my digital layouts and trying to get the finished product to look as realistic as possible.

As I placed this title on my page, I found that I wanted it sitting on the patterned paper and spilling over to the background. Realistically speaking, if this were truly stamped, I would see some of the pattern on the orange/brown paper bleeding through, and I’d see the bottom edge of the paper, too. As things stand right now, that’s not the case. Here’s how I changed that.

Step 1: Create a duplicate layer of the title, wordart or alpha.

Step 2: Place one copy of the title immediately above the paper on which the title sits; place the other copy underneath.

In my example, I have a copy of the word “Choice” right on top of my patterned paper, and another copy above the lines layer.

Step 3: Clip the title to the patterned paper. This will allow the bottom edge of the paper to be visible and reveal any shadowing you might have.

You could leave things just the way they are and be done. Personally, I still tweak things a bit more, and here’s why: Remember what a truly stamped image might look like if you were using ink and paper? I would still see some of the pattern on the paper coming through. The same goes for the dashed lines on the background paper. Read on

Step 4: Lower the opacity of the title layer that is clipped to the patterned paper, and play with blending modes to allow the pattern the bleed through.

I like to use Multiply or Linear Burn, depending on the color of the paper. This step is really a little bit of trial and error, so just play and see what you come up with. I ended up with a blend mode of Multiply, and Opacity of 65%. I also lowered the opacity on the bottom copy of the title (the one that’s sitting on top of the dashed lines), just a little, to allow the lines to peek through ever so slightly. These formatting options are in my Layers Palette (I’m using CS6), but you could also use the toolbar menus if you’re more comfortable with that, or if your desktop is configured differently. From the toolbar, I would select Layer > Layer Style > Blending Options to access these choices.

Once again, you can stop here, if you like … or not.

Step 5: Select one of the two title layers (either one is fine), and nudge just that layer a little to one side. The amount of movement really is very small; it’s just enough to add to the illusion that the stamping is on multiple layers.

TIP: Although not necessary, one last thing that I like to do is select the title layers, both of them, and link them together.
This way, if I need to move or resize the title, both layers change in unison.

Credits: Choices by MEG Designs

Credits: Real Life by Calista’s Stuff

As you can see in the second example that I’m sharing here, your title could spill over onto multiple photos and papers. Even if it seems complicated, the steps to creating the look of a stamped or painted title remain the same:

  1. Duplicate.
  2. Position.
  3. Clip.
  4. Blend and Opacity.
  5. Nudge.

I hope you’ll give this a go!

About 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 well as her health and fitness journey. Kat has quite the sense of humor (she “blames” her father for this), which she incorporates into her journaling and memory-keeping.

Tutorial Tuesday | Protecting Privacy

Hello, and welcome to another edition of our Tutorial Tuesday series here on The Digital Press blog! Today, I’m here to share some tips and techniques for protecting your privacy when you share your digital layouts online (both in galleries and on social media sites like Instagram and Facebook, etc.).

So many of us go to great lengths to protect our privacy — shredding anything with our names, addresses, or credit card numbers… or using screen names instead of real names, etc. — but not everyone goes to those same lengths to protect their own privacy in public scrapbook galleries or on social media (or maybe even realizes that personal information is being shared for anyone to see).  I know this is a very sensitive subject, and there are a multitude of opinions out there, but this tutorial focuses on techniques for protecting privacy — yours, your family’s, and also that of people you don’t know who may have inadvertently ended up in your photos or as part of your story — whenever you publicly post your digital layouts online.

First up, a couple of words on privacy, and what you ethically can and probably should not do. You can post any of your own information, details or photos – up to and including as much personal detail that you want. I’d say you can make this decision for your own immediate family too. You probably should not post identifying information or pictures of other people, and if you decide you are going to post information or photos about other people, you can easily avoid a potentially sticky situation by checking with them first. There are many reasons why people don’t want their name or face posted online without their permission, and accommodating those requests is not only courteous, but in keeping with the posted rules of many online galleries, including the gallery here at TDP.

Let’s start with about journaling.  I suppose the easiest way to protect privacy is just to leave out the salient details – exclude names, dates, places and any other identifying details.  But this kind of defeats the purpose if you scrapbook for memory keeping and you want those details recorded permanently. One option is to save and print your layout with the complete journaling, but post a modified version to the public galleries. In this scenario, there are many different ways to proceed.  First, assign aliases or nicknames to people or places in your journaling.  Second, use your original journaling, but obscure the pertinent details. There are several different techniques for hiding words or otherwise camouflaging your journaling that we’ll go over here:

  • use the Smudge tool to smear individual words (most commonly names and places);
  • use the Brush tool to “line out” words (those redacted military documents come to mind);
  • copy your text layer, then either flip it horizontally or apply a blurring filter.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these. First up, the Smudge and Brush tools. The Smudge tool icon looks like a finger pointing toward the lower left corner. Select that tool then choose a round brush and change the brush size to something slightly larger than your font size. I prefer to modify my journaling before flattening my layout into a single layer, so at this point I rasterize my text and work on that layer. You can run that smudging brush back and forth over the words you want to obscure using the mouse, or you can click on one end of the word, push the shift key, then click on the other end of the word to get a perfectly straight line between those two points you clicked. In the image below, I applied the smudge brush twice to the word Denver (in the journaling on the right). This technique is the most commonly applied privacy protection technique I’ve come across in the TDP gallery.


The smudge technique is probably the most commonly used one for removing pertinent details from journaling. In the example below, TDP CT member Corrin smudged out a place name in the middle of her journaling.

The Brush tool, which has an icon that looks like a paint brush, can be used to line out or redact words, or, if you’ve got a uniform background color, “erase” selected words from your journaling. Your text layer does not need to be rasterized to apply this technique. Select a color darker than your text to make the redaction obvious (like the blue in the example above), or a color that matches your background layer to make it look as though the selected words have been erased. (Note that this same technique can be used to highlight words in your journaling; just put the brush layer under the text rather than on top of it.) Both the smudge and brush techniques are useful when you only want to obscure a handful of words.  These techniques can get time-consuming for removing more than a few words though, and there are easier techniques to apply to entire journaling blocks.

The third technique, useful for obscuring large blocks of journaling, includes copying and modifying your journaling layer. In the image below, I show two different techniques that can be applied to entire text layers – the horizontal flip and the blurring filter. To use the text-flip method, simply duplicate your journaling layer, then, with that new copied layer selected, click Edit from the top menu bar, then Transform, and Flip Horizontally. Don’t delete the original layer. This creates an effect like the one shown on the left side of the image below. This technique works well for scripty fonts, or fairly consistent and wide leading (spacing between the letters). You can see in the example below that some words are still legible, which may or may not be the desired effect.


The final technique to obscure journaling is to blur all the text sufficiently that it cannot be read. To use this technique, first duplicate the text layer and rasterize it. Delete or hide the original text layer. Select the rasterized text layer, then select Filter from the top menu bar, then Blur, and choose from one of the myriad different blur techniques. The example below shows a 10-px Field Blur, but the Gaussian blur also works well and is a favorite of several members of the TDP CT. The blur filter is useful when you want all the journaling obscured, but still want to include it for placement on your final page.

TDP CT member Chloe applied a blur filter to her entire journaling layer in this example:

Other, non-destructive techniques for obscuring journaling include using a small font size (I prefer 10-pt font on my printed 12×12 layouts, but that often makes my journaling hard to read on screen), journaling in a color that is very close to the background paper color, or reducing the opacity of the journaling layer, and covering all or just crucial parts of your journaling with digital elements or photos. The possibilities seem nearly endless, but at the end of the day, protecting personal information, identifying details or routines is the name of the game here.

In this example, I used strategically placed elements (a button and some confetti) to cover up parts of the journaling that I didn’t want exposed.


Now let’s talk about photos. Protecting privacy in images may be something you’re more familiar with, but may not think to apply to the photos on your layout. From my experience, some people are more diligent about not showing their face online than they are about sharing personal information. For our purposes here though, we’ll include faces and any other unique identifying details, such as tattoos, license plates or car registration details, parking or access decals on vehicle windshields, and school or other establishment logos. There are times when it’s easy to just strategically crop your photo(s), or cover part of the image with an embellishment, journaling card or cluster, but also times when that just won’t work. Let’s focus on those latter cases. The techniques for obscuring these details in photos are similar to those discussed above for journaling: smudging, brushing, or applying a blurring filter.

To apply smudging to a photo, simply use the Smudge tool as you would for journaling, and go over the detail you want obscured. (With a small brush, this technique also works reasonably well for removing unsightly forehead wrinkles!) To use the brush technique, create a new layer, then select and apply a small brush area over the detail that you want hidden. I applied this technique in this layout of mine below to obscure the numbers and letters on the car’s license plate.


Probably the most common technique for masking faces that I’ve noticed in the TDP gallery is using a blur filter on a small shaped mask layer.  To do this, create a new layer, then make a small oval to cover the face.  Ensure that the layer is similar color to the background (this technique is far less noticeable when applied to black and white images), rasterize it and apply a blurring filter (Filter > Blur > ….). If you have the time or inclination, you could also do a photo extraction (wherein you make a copy of your photo, and mask out all but the part that you want to have in focus), and then blur the background using a blur filter.

In this example, TDP CT member Corrin very subtly blurred one of the faces in the photo on her layout, below. Using a black and white photo really helped to draw attention away from that one blurred face.


And lastly, in the layout below I used a picture grabbed from my kids’ elementary school web page.  It was a grainy photo to start with which really helped the blurring mask to blend in. After placing the photo where I wanted it on my layout, I duplicated the photo layer. On top of the top photo layer, I created a new layer with an oval mask that only included the little girl in the orange shirt (she’s mine, and has given permission for me to show her unblurred in the photo), and moved it below the top photo layer.  I sharpened the photo, applied a color filter, and clipped it to the oval mask layer.  Then, on the original (bottom) photo layer, I added the same color filter then applied a standard Photoshop blur filter.  This particular one was Pixelate > Crystallize.


Protecting privacy in public galleries is a personal choice. Here we covered a handful of techniques for obscuring pertinent information in your journaling and faces or other identifying information in your photos. If this is something you do regularly, or something you’re now considering doing, I hope that you now have a new technique or two to try.

caliten 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.

Hybrid How-To | Using Watercolors On Layouts

Hi everyone, and welcome to another edition of our Hybrid How-To series here on The Digital Press blog!  Today, I’m here to show you how to create a physical layout using watercolors (using fun paint that you can make to perfectly match your digital kit).

If you’ve followed my posts here on the blog in the past, you know that I love working with paper and physical elements — and especially stamps. I also love to use watercolors on my scrapbook pages! Sometimes, I even scan my paints and turn them into digital printables. It’s so much fun, and I can match my paints with my digital stash and  stretch my crafty budget that much more.

The first thing I’ll tell you when it comes to using paint on your layouts… don’t be afraid! Trust me, it’s easy, fun, and even relaxing! Think of it like this: we’re not going to make a painting to go into a gallery… we only want to make pretty stuff for our own layouts!  🙂

For my project today, I will be using the digital collection Mood by Anita Designs…

When I first saw the gorgeous watercolor florals in this beautiful collection, I knew I wanted to paint something to match them. Then, I started thinking about painting some leaves below the printed florals. For my project, I actually didn’t make a previous digital version in Photoshop (which, sometimes, I do). This time, I simply chose my favorite elements, cards, and papers and then printed all of them, as shown in the image below…

I also printed some florals and cards onto vellum paper (see it on the right, above). Look how beautiful and soft they turned out! 🙂

When choosing these items and printing them out, I actually knew that I might not use all of the items… but it is not a problem. Now I have some pretties ready to use in my memory planner, which I love to play with as well!

After I printed all these goodies, I had some fun relaxing and fussy-cutting them, while planning out my spread. You’ll see below that I made a spread with a traditional scrapbook page and a pocket page.

Finally, after cutting it all out… here is the gorgeous stuff that I had in hand, ready to play with…

With all of these items in hand, I started thinking about my color palette… and then I grabbed my sketchbook and began testing some different greens…

After choose my color scheme, I painted some samples on my sketchbook, just to know how I’d like to arrange my leaves…

Here’s a look at my painted leaves underneath one of the pretty sticker elements from the digital kit I worked with…

When I was satisfied with my paint, I grabbed my white cardstock paper and arranged my photos and mats… just to make sure where to paint my leaves…

I made a mark on the middle of my page and just painted some leaves, branches, and berries… very similar to what I had done before in my sketchbook while practicing…

Here is a look at my 2-page spread after I had finished my paint and placed some floral stickers, word art pieces, and some other word bits in a simple design with the patterned paper as a border…

Then, after placing my photos and elements, you’ll see that I decided to paint some more leaves onto the upper left corner, in order to give more balance to my design.

I also used the vellum cards as the mats for my photos, and also placed some vellum florals as the first layer of my clusters.

Here’s a close-up view of a few different areas of the project…

Finally, to finish things off, I added some stamps, some wood veneers, and some gold stickers along with a gorgeous big gold heart.

I like to print my journaling and cut it into strips because I’m not a big fan of my handwriting directly on the page (and sometimes I ruin my work by making a big mess!). 🙂 Here’s a look…

As you know if you’ve followed me here on the blog, I love to add texture to my work… so I added a delicate doily, more wood veneer, glitter sitckers, and word stickers.

Finally, I think the “cherry on top” is a vellum floral which I just stapled on my soft pink card. I really loved how this spread turned out!

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 (for each month’s Hybrid Challenge at TDP, you get to choose one of the month’s”Hybrid How-To” tutorial posts from here on the blog and make your own version). If you choose to give today’s project a try… all you have to do is make a hybrid page using some digital elements and papers and add some watercolor paint, as shown above (it doesn’t have to be leaves, though; you can paint what you want — whether circles, hearts, background washes — whatever your imagination comes up with!). You’ll see how fun it is! 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!

PERFIL TDPAbout 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 | Documenting ‘Then and Now’

Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of our Tutorial Tuesday series here on The Digital Press blog! Today we are going to talk about scrapbooking ‘Then and Now’ pages. I have used this technique many times in the past… but was recently prompted to think about it again when my teenage step-daughter posted a stunning selfie on Instagram. I just stared at this beautiful young lady, and I couldn’t stop thinking about the cute little girl that walked into my life ten years ago. In that moment, I knew I had to create a layout comparing and contrasting the past and present.

There are several approaches to creating a ‘Then and Now’-themed layout, but I want to start with a few tips…

  1. Make Your Comparison Clear — When creating a layout that compares and contrasts, it’s important that the viewer clearly understands what is being compared.  For example, scrapping your photos at a distinctly different size can immediately convey that there is a comparison being made.  If you would rather keep the photos the same size, it helps to make sure the subject in the frame is also the same size.  You could use one black and white photo, and one colored.  Finally, you can clearly split your layout into two distinct sections to show the comparison.
  2. Embrace Your Photos — When using a technique such as this, you may hesitate to use older photos that may not be the best quality. Use them! The quality doesn’t matter as much as the connection you are making, and the memory you are documenting.
  3. Be Open-Minded About the Scope — The photos you are using do not have to be years apart. It could be that the photos are only weeks apart (or even yesterday/today — think: kids getting braces off their teeth, etc.)… but as long as the story is clear, the comparison can be easily made.

To begin giving you some examples and eye candy… we’ll begin with one of The Digital Press’s talented creative team members, Carrie, who created this lovely layout that clearly conveys the comparison of two people in the same spot, many years apart.  She did this by using a colored photo and a black and white photo… keeping the subjects the same size… and using journaling to tell her story. Take a look…

[ credits: Wanderlust Collection by Little Lamm Paper Co. and Then and Now | Photo Masks by Anita Designs ]

This next layout, created by TDP creative team member Chloe, uses both photos and journaling to show the connection between her ‘Then and Now’ comparison. This is a beautiful layout that clearly shows the journey that she has been on. In this instance, the journaling tells her story, and the photos show the time gap…

[ credits: Fresh Starts Papers and Elements by k. becca and Straight Up Alpha by Dawn by Design ]

Finally, here’s a look at my own layout — based on the comparison and memory I described up above, about my step-daughter Avery and a look at her present-day self as compared to the little girl I first met a decade ago…

[ credits: Quick Scraps Vol. 09 Templates and Shine by Anita Designs ]

Now that you’ve seen a few visual examples and have (hopefully!) been inspired to create a page like this of your own… I wanted to share a few ideas about approaches you can take when documenting these types of comparison memories.

Focus on current changes — This approach would be used when comparing, for example, the first day and last day of a school year.  It’s best used when there hasn’t been a lot of time that has passed between photos.  It’s contrasting your child, loved one, or pet when there hasn’t been significant physical changes, but there has been maturing or changes that are unseen.  You would definitely want journaling on your layout to tell the story, because in this approach, it’s often not as evident in the photos.

Focus on similarities or differences — This is a really fun approach, and to explain what I mean, I’m going to use an example.  I would use this approach if I wanted to compare and contrast a photo of myself at the age of seventeen, to a photo of my child at the same age.  Your journaling could talk about your likes and dislikes, or similarities and differences.  You could have a lot of fun with this by displaying the differences in your music playlists, favorite foods, hobbies, and I could go on and on…

Focus on the journey — This approach is probably the most commonly used.  I adapted this approach when creating this layout of Avery.  There are many years between the photos, and it’s quite evident that I’m comparing the two.  You can use journaling in this approach, but you could also forego the journaling, and just have the photos and a title.  It’s all about the journey between the photos in this approach.


My hope is, after learning about the schools of thought surrounding this type of layout, and seeing it in action, you are inspired to try it out. It’s truly fun, and the possibilities are endless when it comes to topics. Start with surveying your photos… and I bet you will find a myriad of photos that are rich with possible connections between yesterday and today!

HeidiAbout 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 superhero 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!

Tutorial Tuesday | Documenting Your Work

Happy Tuesday! I’m so excited to be here on The Digital Press blog today for this week’s Tutorial Tuesday. I thought we’d focus on documenting our job/work when we create scrapbook pages to memorialize our lives.

We all do some sort of work in our lives… whether it’s paid employment, raising children, managing our homes, volunteering in our communities, taking care of family members, or even growing a garden. In many ways, the work we do is central to our daily lives and to our identity as a whole. I think getting stories about our work into our scrapbooks is a great way for other people to get a closer look at what makes us who we are. It gives our family and friends more insight (and respect) for all that we do that they never suspected. Additionally, it’s a great way to document important aspects of our daily lives that we’ll want to be able to look back on and remember in the years to come.

There are so many ways to document your work… but I thought I’d share a few different ideas to help get you started. And, don’t forget, you can document ANY kind of work — paid or unpaid, outside or inside of the home, or any other arrangement that work consists of in your life!

Ideas to get you started…

  1. Create a scrapbook project that provides an overview of the many different jobs (or types of work) you’ve had over your lifetime.
  2. Scrapbook about the ‘details’ of your work — what you do, your title, your boss/coworkers/employees, details about your daily schedule or routines, your commute (or lack of a commute), where you do your work, and more.  You can even include details such as your pay (or lack of pay), where you go to lunch when at work, or how you’ve grown in your job (raises, promotions, etc).
  3.  Create a scrapbook page that shows ‘a day in the life’ of you and your work.
  4.  Tell the story of how important work is in your life.
  5. Create a page that tells what you love about your work — what’s working and what brings you joy.
  6. Tell the story of the not so great things about your work — what challenges you, what you wish you could change.
  7. Scrapbook about the work you do at home — such as your approach to housework, outlining the work no one realizes you do, and/or what you love or hate about the work you do at home.
  8. Scrapbook a page about a specific project, accomplishment, or task.

I have many different jobs in my own life — I work full-time as a Project Manager, I am a creative team member here at The Digital Press, I am a wife and mother who helps maintain our home and family life, I am a book blogger, and I am a book-related bullet journaler. These are all different examples of work and its place in my life. And I’m working hard to ensure that each aspect of work is represented in my scrapbooks.

Here is an example layout that I created that tell the story about one of my job-related tasks as a Project Manager…


…and here’s another example layout I created, which also documents the work I do each day in order to help me remember in the future how I spent my days…



I hope this post helps you begin incorporating your job/work/daily tasks into your scrapbook pages. I think that this is a great way to ensure that all of our life experiences are captured in our scrapbooks. Happy scrapping!


About the Author  Amy lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband of  17 years and their 12 year old boy/girl twins. Their 21-year-old daughter is currently in graduate school at Clemson! Amy has been scrapbooking since the early 1990s but discovered digital scrapbooking in 2005 when her twins were born and has primarily scrapped digitally since that time. She is passionate about telling her family’s stories and documenting their life together! Amy is a huge reader (mostly literary fiction), and is a pop culture junkie! She also LOVES all things beauty & makeup!

Hybrid How-To | Valentine Notebooks

Valentine’s Day is coming up and I have these cute hybrid notebooks to share with you. They’re super easy to put together – no cutting machine needed! They’d make great gifts for a classroom full of kids.


  • Digital journaling cards of your choice. I used Life Stuff | 3×4 Cards by Julia Makotinsky.
  • Photo editing program like Photoshop or Photoshop Elements
  • Cardstock or Photo Paper < for more vibrant color
  • Plain copy paper for inside pages
  • Scissors OR paper cutter
  • Sewing machine OR stapler


1. Get those cards ready to print! I wanted the back to be a fun color to match the cover. I dragged the cards onto a new canvas in Photoshop Elements, duplicated it and filled it with a coordinating color. Make sure the front of the cover is on the right side and the back is on the left.

2. Print covers and cut them out.

3. I cut my plain copy paper to just smaller than the covers, centered them inside the covers, and then sewed down the middle of them. You could just as easily staple the books together – three staples down the middle. Fold the books in half.

I loved putting these together. Using journaling cards makes this a quick and simple project, and of course what kid doesn’t love a blank notebook! It’s sure to be a hit.

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.