Tutorial Tuesday | Streamline & Scrap an Entire Year Fast!

Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of our Tutorial Tuesday series here on The Digital Press blog! Today I am here to show you my plan for getting an entire year’s worth of photos and memories scrapped — and fast (!) — using a pocket page-style system of scrapping.

I have been documenting our everyday memories using weekly pocket pages for years now, and yet recently I have found myself a little behind. Well, actually a lot behind! I have not scrapped a single week for 2017! I do have the photos (and some notes for the journaling), but I still need to actually create the weekly scrapbook pages. All 52 of them!

Therefore, I knew needed a plan in order to get an entire year of everyday memories scrapped. I needed it to be fast… and I needed it to be easy.

I think that starting a big project like this is always the hardest part. It can feel so overwhelming,,, which is normal when taking on such a daunting task… but it doesn’t have to be paralyzing. If you simplify the entire process, it can actually be really easy and go really quickly!

For me, the first step was to choose a template pack/design that I could use for the entire year. I chose Every Day Life | Templates No3 by MEG Designs…

More specifically… I decided to really simplify things by choosing the same templates to use for the entire project (thus cutting out the time/etc. it takes to choose a template for each new page/2-page spread). I chose template 10 for all of my left side pages… and template 9 for all of my right sides.

Similarly, I knew it would speed things up if I chose a calendar card to use at the beginning of each month on the left side (in the upper left-hand pocket).
For this, I chose Calendar 2017 — also by MEG Designs…

Then, as soon as I had a chunk of time (1-2 hours) available to scrap, I did the following:

(1) I inserted a calendar card for every month and saved the PSD file into my 2017 folder on my desktop…

(2) Then, I chose (a) date stamps and (b) weekly cards to use throughout my album… with the idea that these items (combined with the monthly cards I’d already chosen, above) would create a simple and consistent look throughout the entire year/album. For the date stamp, I chose Date Stamps | Stamps & Brushes by Dawn by Design… and for the weekly cards, I used Weeks Volume 2 by MEG Designs…

Then, I re-opened each of the layout files I created in Step 1, above, and I inserted each of the weekly cards and the date stamps into the right side of all 52 weeks (see next image, below). This did take some time… but I binge-watched Netflix while doing it, and got it done! 🙂

(3) Once I had all 52 of my templates started and saved in my folder, as detailed above, I started working on January. My plan was to set aside a chunk of time to complete 1 month at a time. In theory, that would mean that in just 12 “chunks” …I would have a completed 2017 album!

For me, the fun part is always choosing what digital kit to use! I am typically an embellishment-loving scrapper — meaning I like to add all kinds of chunky embellishments and layers on my layouts. But I knew that if I was going to get 2017 completed, I would have to keep my layout spreads simple. With that in mind, I decided that in addition to the cards and date stamps already discussed above, my plan would be to use: (a) plain backgrounds, (b) journal cards, and (c) minimal embellishments.

Here’s a look at how I began “filling in” my templates with journal cards. For the first week, I chose to use the January Documented Cards by Dunia Designs…

Even though I didn’t keep up with the actual scrapbooking of my weekly spreads in 2017, I did keep up with my daily journaling. I simply sent myself an email every morning with a recap of the day before — along with random memories like the silly things the kids said or did, and/or any other special moments. Then, I filed these in a folder in my gmail account. Easy, right?!

Using these notes in the “emails to myself,” I copied and pasted some journaling onto my cards/layouts…

Then, I added my minimal embellishments…

And finally, I added my photos (which I keep organized in SmugMug throughout the year, as I take them)…

After completing my first week’s spread… I repeated this process to finish out the rest of the month of January 2017.

As I worked my way through the month, it turned out that I didn’t have too many photos for Week 2, so I created a single page. There are lots of other types of pages that I can put in place of the “missing side” (some ideas I like are: a “Currently” page, a “Current Events” page, a “Travel Bucket List” page, and/or a list of “Resolutions”).

Here’s what my single-page Week 2 layout looked like, once finished (using the Hello January Bundle by Dunia Designs)…

After that, I created my Week 3 spread (using products designed by one of TDP’s guest designers in January 2018; no longer available at TDP)…

And finally… a look at my Week 4 spread for January 2017 (using the Make it count: January 2018 | Collection by Anita Designs)…

(4) Once each page was finished, I saved my files in 3 places:
1. External Hard Drive
2. Smugmug
3. Blurb (that way, my files will already be uploaded when it comes time to print!)

(5) And now… I just need to do this 11 more times and I will have a finished 2017 album! 🙂

But truly, it was really quick (and easy!) to get an entire month’s worth of photos from a year ago scrapped and recorded in just a couple of hours. Streamlining the process (with the monthly cards, weekly cards, and date stamps) really sped things up. Using my emailed notes from last year was a life-saver, as well!

So now… go give this a try! If you’re feeling behind and you have a mountain of memories to document, give this system/process a go! You’ll be happily surprised at how much you can get done in a really short time if you “automate” the page composition and the decision making.


About the Author  Krista Lund is a mom of 3, married to her high school sweetheart and living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Some of her favorite things are brownies, chips ‘n’ dip, taking pictures, and documenting her family’s story.

Tutorial Tuesday | Using Color Casts on Photos

Hello everyone! Today I am going to talk about something that we probably don’t see many examples of in the scrapbooking galleries. Have you seen photos with colours that match more closely with other design elements on the page or are colour blocked to give a more graphic feel and wondered how it is done? So, let’s drive straight in.

Colour casts are something that we should be very careful about. They may not work for all kinds of photos and layouts. Of course, there are many ways to do it but I will be highlighting two distinct approaches today.

1. All over photo colour cast to harmonise the layout

This is my original photo that I will play around with.

After usual edits, I decided to overlay a slight blue green tinge. The steps followed are shown in the image below.

Using a solid overlay is the easiest way of adding a cast or a tint. However, if you don’t like all of your photo to be tinted you could very easily use the gradient tool to create a more subtle or dramatic (as the case may be) effect.

As you can see, I have used a gradient so that there is minimal tint on the girls and more on the background.

Once you are comfortable with these basic steps, you can practically play with different blending modes and select the one that suits your photo/layout the most. A couple of other options shown below:

Hue blending mode 47%

Overlay blending mode 50%

2. Overlay a block of colour on photos – partially/in patterns

The colour casts can also be used selectively – for example if used in conjunction with geometric shapes, the effect could be quite graphic. Here is one of the layouts I created to demonstrate this.

So that’s it, some quick ways to add colour casts. Hope you have found this useful. Please share any layouts you make using these techniques in the comments below.

Till next time then, happy scrapping!

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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 | Matchbook Valentines

Hello everyone! It’s Tanya here, and I’m excited to share another edition of Hybrid How-To with you here on The Digital Press blog! With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I thought I’d show you how to use your digital stash to create these fun matchbook Valentines.

This is a great project, because you can truly use just about any of your favorite digital products to create these matchbooks. These are really fun to make for a child’s whole class in school, even! Depending on the age/grade of the class, you can repurpose a ton of different digital kits.


  1. Your favorite digital scrapbooking products
  2. White card stock paper
  3. Coordinating card stock colors for your printed pieces
  4. Double-sided tape
  5. Fun-size candies (I used M&M’s for this tutorial)
  6. Paper cutter
  7. Stapler

Here’s a look at the kits I used for my matchbooks…

[1] Get Connected, [2] Hello, I Love You, [3] You & Me Elements, [4] You & Me Papers, [5] Zoobilee, and [6] Nature’s Playground


I used the Silhouette Studio software to create the tops of the matchbook, but you can use whatever photo editing program you prefer.

First, I drew out a rectangle 3.15″ high x 2.75″ wide and replicated it to fit as many as I could on my page. Then, I filled each one with papers that I thought would be good for Valentine’s Day. Next, I added some elements from the kits to match the papers…

It was so fun to make the cards! To get ideas, you can google “Valentine’s puns” and you’ll find a bunch of great ideas and inspiration. Here are some of the card ideas that I came up with (I had to stop myself because I could have just to keep on going!)…

For the cards themselves, I was going to use the print and cut feature on my Silhouette Cameo cutting machine… but in the end, I decided it would be just as easy (and maybe quicker!) to use my paper trimmer.

I did do some layering with some of them, though, because I love dimension. For this, I just printed out individual elements and used the print and cut feature because I’m terrible fussy cutter…

For the actual matchbooks, I took coordinating card stock and cut 3″ x 9″ strips. Then I scored & folded the cardstock at 1″ and at 5.25″. I have a scoring blade on my paper trimmer, but you can also use something flat like a credit card or gift card to achieve a good, clean fold…

After that, I added double-sided tape to put the printed pieces onto the colored card stock… and then I folded up a flap at the bottom and stapled in my M&Ms (see bottom right photo, below)…

Finally, I completed everything by tucking the top into the bottom, under the flap created by the staple. On some of the matchbooks, I added a little extra dimension by adding double sided tape and adhering the extra pieces I cut out…

Here is a look at one of the finished matchbooks up close…

Aren’t they so cute?! So many possibilities! Here’s a look at a bunch of the different designs I created…

I think I might even give these to my co-workers! 🙂

I hope that you have enjoyed this edition of Hybrid How-To, and that you will give this a try and come up with one of your own matchbooks! Don’t forget to visit the CROSSWORD SECTION in The Digital Press forum, and jump into this month’s Hybrid Challenge if you are thinking of trying this project. You can earn points toward discounts & FREEBIES! I hope that you will join in!


About the Author  Tanya is a part of the hybrid team here at The Digital Press. She has been hybrid crafting for at least 15 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, 26 and Chance, 21. She also enjoys crocheting, photography and woodworking.

Tutorial Tuesday | 5 Tips for Sports Photography

Do you sometimes find it uninspiring to scrapbook sports photos? As a busy mom of 3 boys I have spent countless hours on the sidelines of almost every sport and have thousands of sports photos to prove it! The majority of those photos will never make in onto a scrapbook page, but the stellar ones that take your breath away, those will!  Today I am sharing my top 5 tips to help you capture stellar scrapbook worthy sports photos!

1. Nail the shot with sharp focus – It helps if you have a particular person of interest playing the game because then you can follow this person on the field of play with your camera. This is especially true with continuous movement sports such as soccer and basketball. If you don’t have a person of interest, you can focus on a position such as pitcher, batter, quarter back, etc.

Consider using a continuous focus mode so that you can focus on the action as your kids move around. In your manual it’s called AF-C (Nikon) or AI Servo (Canon).  You’ll thank yourself for making the switch when you’re photographing kids indoor sports because it’s so much easier to follow the action than moving around a single focus point.

2. Anticipate the Action – Knowing where to stand is one of the most important parts of sports photography.  Each sport is different and the games have their own flow of action.  Photographers want to be where the action is going, not where it has been.  Each sport generally offers a ton of options as far as where a photographer can stand. Get to a game early to find the best spot or move around as the play continues to get different shots from multiple spots.

3. Capture the emotion – photos showing the emotions of playing the game are the most rewarding and memorable. Sports offer a variety of photo opportunities aside from the action on the field. While the expressions of the players involved in the action are usually great, don’t forget about the players not involved in the action or the coaches and fans. The sidelines are great for shots of players interacting with each other, coaches instructing players, and sideline portraits. Don’t be afraid to turn away from the action during the moments to catch the emotion in the bench area.

4. Tell the story with composition – A sporting event is rich with storytelling ideas and opportunities for great composition. Use the lines of the field or the movement of the player to tell the unique story of the game in action. Use items that would sometimes be considered an eyesore to creatively frame your photos. A simple baseball fence can become a unique frame for your subject if you shoot close enough to it:

5. Take multiple shots – Use a continuous (burst) shooting mode to capture several frames in succession. Depending on how fast the games move, you’ll be able to capture a great series of images of your child in action. Use a zoom lens to get in close to your player, so it feels like you are right there with them on the field :

Don’t expect every photograph to be a game-winning shot. The best way to get better with any photography is with perseverance and practice, and before you know it you’ll start to see more consistent results!

JenniferHigniteJennifer Hignite is a mom of three boys and new homeowner with her fiance in the mitten state of Michigan. When she is not scrapbooking, she enjoys photography, watching her boys play sports, decorating, and shopping at Target.

Tutorial Tuesday | Highlighting a Photo Using Strokes

Have you ever been working on a scrapbook page, been framing up your photos and feel like your page is coming together and looking awesome,  but you know, it needs just a little “something.” Perhaps you’re like me and you use the same framing technique over and over and sure, it works great, you love it, but for the page you’re working on you want a little different look. Personally, my go-to method of framing a photo is to apply a style to my photo mask (a textured white stroke). Again, I love the clean look, but sometimes I feel like a photo could use a little more “oomph.” When that happens oftentimes I’ll add a stroke either around the photo or inside the frame of the photo. It’s easy to do. Let me show you how.

First off, here’s a clean and simple page I scrapped this weekend using Fete papers, elements and stamps by Sahin Designs here at The Digital Press. I was happy with the page with the warped shadow and my standard white frame, but I felt that keeping it even more simple, by removing the white frame and adding a stroke around the photo as well as inside the photo would give the page a little more pizzaz. Let me tell you how I go about adding strokes to my pages.

Here’s my side-by-side “Before” and “After” images:


Before we begin, let me note that for my page example I first chose to delete the style that created the white textured frame. I wanted to just use the inset white stroke and the outside black stroke.

As you can see from my layers panel, I’ve got my photo clipped to a rectangular shape that I created with the marquee tool.

Step 1. Highlight the photo mask

CMD+Click (or CTRL+Click) on the thumbnail of the photo mask in the layers panel. Marching ants will appear around the photo mask.


Step 2. Create a new blank layer ABOVE the photo in the layers panel

Click on the photo in the layers panel so that the photo layer is active and then create a new blank layer. Following are three different ways you can create a new blank layer:

(1) Click on the folded paper icon at the bottom of the layers panel, or

(2) Press CMD+SHIFT+N (or CTRL+SHIFT+N) and then click OK, or

(3) Press Layer > New > Layer > OK.

Step 3. Make sure the new blank layer is the active layer

You will want to apply the stroke to the BLANK layer you created in Step 2 (NOT directly on the photo), so make sure the new blank layer is the active layer in the layers panel. To do that simply click on the blank layer. You will be able to see that it’s the active layer because it will be highlighted in the layers panel.

Step 4. Contract your selection

Press Select > Modify > Contract. At this point you will choose how much smaller you want your selection to be for the stroke you are creating. I chose to contract by 25 pixels. Choose your desired number of pixels and press OK. You will see that the size of the selection of the marching ants will have gotten smaller.

Step 5. Create the stroke

Press Edit > Stroke

A.  At this point you will choose the size of the stroke you want to create. I chose 10 pixels. (I usually choose between 3 and 10 pixels.)

B.  Choose the color of the stroke you want to create. It will default to the foreground color. If you want a color other than the foreground color click on the color box and choose a color using the color picker. I chose a white stroke for inset stroke over my photo.

C.  Choose the location of the stroke you want to create. Your options are inside, center or outside. I chose “inside.” I find that if you choose “outside” that the edges won’t be as crisp and I like a crisp edge.

D.  Click OK.

That’s it. You’ve created a simple white stroke over your photo. It adds a nice touch, don’t you think?

Now let’s talk about creating another stroke, this time around the outside of a photo.



The steps to create a stroked frame outside a photo/shape is very similar to the steps above, with just a couple slight differences.

Step 1. Create a new blank layer BELOW the photo mask in the layers panel

Click on the photo mask in the layers panel to make sure the photo mask layer is active and then create a new blank layer. NOTE, in my case I had a warped shadow layer beneath my photo so I created a blank layer beneath that. Following are three different ways you can create a new blank layer BELOW your current layer:

(1) CMD+SHIFT+Click (or CTRL+SHIFT+Click) on the folded paper icon at the bottom of the layers panel (adding the SHIFT is what places the layer below the active layer), or

(2) Press CMD+SHIFT+N (or CTRL+SHIFT+N), click OK and then click and drag the newly created layer below the photo mask, or

(3) Press Layer > New > Layer > OK and then click and drag the newly created layer below the photo mask.

(NOTE, it really would be ok for your blank layer to be above as well, I just like to see it below as I’m moving about in the layers panel. Yup. Weird, but that’s the way it is. 😉

Step 2. Make sure the new blank layer is the active layer

You will want to apply the stroke to the BLANK layer you created in Step 1 (NOT directly on the photo layer), so make sure the new blank layer is the active layer in the layers panel. To do that simply click on the blank layer. You will be able to see that it’s the active layer because it will be highlighted in the layers panel.

Step 3. Create a shape larger than your photo

Using the Rectangular Marquee Tool (Hotkey M) drag out a shape larger than your photo, keeping in mind you will be applying a stroke INSIDE that shape.

NOTE: Using a similar procedure to Step 4 above, but choosing Expand Your Selection will NOT work if you have a shape with sharp corners. Even though you may have sharp corners on your photo mask shape, the corners will be rounded when you expand the selection.

 Step 4. Create the stroke

Press Edit > Stroke

A.  At this point you will choose the size of the stroke you want to create. I chose 10 pixels. (I usually choose between 3 and 10 pixels.)

B.  Choose the color of the stroke you want to create. It will default to the foreground color. If you want a color other than the foreground color, click on the color box and choose a color using the color picker. I chose a black stroke for the stroke outside my photo.

C.  Choose the location of the stroke you want to create. Your options are inside, center or outside. I chose “inside.” I find that if you choose “outside” that the corners won’t be as crisp and I like a crisp corner.

D.  Click OK.

That’s it. You’ve created a simple black stroke around the outside of your photo and along with the white stroke on top of the photo I think it adds a nice little extra punch, don’t you?

Here are some other ideas for adding a stroke for emphasis:

1. Add a black stroke immediately inside a framed photo. I like to do this on accent photos. On this page if you look closely you’ll notice I added a black stroke directly inside the white frame. Also, since I had a thicker frame, I contracted my selection just a little bit and added a gold stroke that showed up on top of my white frame.

2. When you add a stroke directly on top of the paper, as in my tutorial example, I like to play around with the blending modes so that the stroke interacts with the paper rather than floats on top of the paper.

3. Tilt your outside stroke to change things up a bit.

4. Create a stroke around a different shape. In this example I created a stroke inside AND outside the numbers I used to mask photos for a page celebrating my daughter’s birthday.

I just looked at my post and is it ever photo intensive! 🙂 As you can see, I’m a big fan of using simple strokes to add just a touch of pizzaz to my pages. I’ll look forward to perusing The Digital Press gallery to see how you use strokes on your pages!

Happy scrapping!

BarbaraAbout the Author:  Barbara is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She’s a mom to two adult “kids” (a 21 year old son and an 18 year old daughter). Seriously, when did that happen? She hasn’t gotten any older, really! In her free time (since her kids are adults, like it or not she has plenty of free time) she loves to tell her family’s stories through her scrapbook art, learn all she can about Photoshop and Lightroom, take photos, travel and hang out with her family. Life is good!

Hybrid How-To | Physical Layouts Using Multiple Photos

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 layout with multiple photos, using an example that I created to document my family’s Christmas Eve.

If you’ve followed my posts here on the blog in the past, you know that I love working with paper and physical elements/stamps, but sometimes I also miss being able to change things and make adjustments like I can with my digital layouts. This is why hybrid projects are my favorite way to make pages! The best of both worlds! I also think digital kits are a fantastic way to stretch our crafty budgets; we can print and cut as many times as we like.

Using multiple photos on a hybrid layout can sometimes be difficult — but over time, I’ve found a trick. When I want to use more than one photo on a hybrid layout, I find that it’s actually easier to have a digital template as a starting point. 🙂

Isn’t that an easy tip? You might not think of using a digital template for a hybrid project… but it’s so helpful! You don’t have to overthink the design and you get to have more fun time playing with photos, papers, and elements. I really recomend you to give it a try. You won’t regret it!

For the my example layout today, I used two different digital products — a template from Meagan’s Creations’ Scrap the Halls Vol. 9, and the digital kit All Wrapped Up by Anita Designs.

So here’s how I used a digital template to create my actual physical page…

First, I started out by creating my page in Photoshop, using my digital template and the digital items that I planned to print out afterward. Here’s a look at the template I chose, before I began working with it…

…and here’s a second look at the template once I added my photo, digital papers, and embellishments…

After I have all of my items sized the way I want on my digital version of the layout, I separate each of the pieces (see next image, below right) into another document to use for printing and cutting. I like to save them all as a .JPG file, which I then use to print and fussy cut. Although I have a Silhouette Cameo, sometimes I simply fussy cut just because I love it!

As you can see in the next image, I actually duplicated some elements (tags, mainly). I often do this when I am prepping a hybrid layout — just because I like to have extras to add into my stash to have ready to use in the future.

Here are my pieces printed and ready to cut…

…and here’s a look at my embellishments after I cut them out…

After I have all my pieces cut out, I can put them back together on a physical 12×12 page and then add other physical elements, stamps, wood veneers, gingerbread man buttons (!), and some spray ink splatters, as shown here…

Here are a few close-up views, so you can get a better look at the fun hybrid elements I created…

Here are some more tips I use to bring the layout to life:

  • I use multiple kinds of adehsive in order to give dimension to the project; I use regular double-sided tape, as well as thicker foam tape to add some dimension to certain items.
  • I put the adhesive in the center of my tags and elements. Leaving their borders without adhesive, they can overlap each other  and not stay totally flat.
  • I like to use stamps to add texture.
  • In this case, when my page was almost done, I thought it needed more contrast… so I went back and stamped/cut the black holly stickers and the cute black-&-white angels.
  • I glued the holly stickers under my greens and, for the angels, I used foam tape. I think these new add ons make my layout pop.
  • And the final “cherries on top” are the physical supplies I added: gingerbread man buttons, wood stars, and also red and white twine.
  • I also couldn’t resist adding some gold splatters. I love using paint sprays/splatters to add some color and interest.
  • Finally, I love to make my journaling on little white paper strips.

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, along with a digital template as your foundation for the composition of the page. 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!


About 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.