Tutorial Tuesday | PART 2: Use Products from TDP to Scrap on Your Phone


A few weeks ago, we showed you how to use products from The Digital Press on your mobile device (using the Project Life app) to make quick and easy Pocket Pages on your phone using your own digital stash. If you missed that post, be sure to check it out HERE; it’s full of a ton of great tips to get you started with mobile scrapping, and we promise you will not regret it!

Today, we’re here to share PART 2 of this 3-part series… and show you how to add journaling and/or other text to any journal cards you import into the app from your own digital stash (again, that part is covered in PART 1 — and now we’ll cover the addition of text here in PART 2).




If you already read PART 1 of this tutorial series, you know that the Project Life app allows you to journal directly onto the cards that come pre-installed in the app itself (and/or the cards that are purchased as in-app purchases)… but when we import cards from our own digital stash, the app treats those cards the same as “photos” and does not provide the options to add text. In order to add journaling to our own imported cards, we need to add the text to the card in a separate app before importing that card into our layout within the app.

There are a number of different apps out there that allow you to add text to images (just do a search in your app store for “adding text to photos”)… but there is no way we can cover all of them in this article, so today we will highlight just a few of our favorites and give you a step-by-step snapshot of how we do it.

Textgram App

Erin uses Textgram, which is a free app that anyone can use. If you check out PART 1 of our series, you’ll see that she added journaling to her card for the layout she created in that post. The Textgram app is simple to the point of being somewhat limited in terms of design choices… but it’s definitely adequate for most things, and fairly straightforward to use. Below, she walks us through her process.

  1. To begin using Textgram, open the app, start a new project using the red plus sign button on the bottom right, and choose the empty canvas option…
  2. Select your canvas size. You can choose pre-set sizes, or build a custom size using pixels. I have found that the presets are actually bigger than my journal cards, so I prefer to use the custom size option and build my canvas in the exact measurements. **NOTE** Most 3×4 pocket cards (without bleed) are going to be 900px x 1200px… 4×3 cards are 1200px x 900px… 6×4 cards are generally 1800px x 1200px, and 4×6 will be 1200px x 1800px.  
  3. Now you can add your card by selecting the +image button. Choose the folder where your cards are stored (in my case, it’s Dropbox), and select a card.  
  4. Once your card is on your canvas you can move it around and adjust it as needed. 
  5. Next, you will have to navigate back to the main menu area by using the back arrow. Once there, you can add a text box to your card with the +textbox button. Double-tap to add your journaling.
  6. Once you have added all of your desired text, drag the resize corner out to fit the text area of your card. You can format your text as needed. There are options for choosing a font, font size, color, and even for adjusting your character spacing and paragraph alignment. **NOTE** I suggest choosing your font first, as this can change the size and spacing of your text dramatically. The sliders for font size and character spacing are a bit difficult to control and you don’t want to have to keep adjusting them.  
  7. When you have your text the way you want it, hit “next” at the top of your screen and save your card. If you would like to keep a layered project in case you need to make further adjustments later, you will also need to save the design. Both of these options save your work to the textgram app itself. If you want to export your work to another folder (for example, to Dropbox), you will need to use the share button. This is not necessary, however, if you are using your newly-finished card in the Project Life app, because a Textgram folder should appear within your gallery files, and you will be able to access it from the Project Life app pretty easily.  

Rhonna Designs App

Jen typically uses the Rhonna Designs app to add text to her journal cards from her phone. You have to pay for this app, but if you are really interested in scrapping on your phone… it is a pretty good investment, as it has a lot of great options for enhancing your photos, adding text, adding stickers and stamps to your cards, and even creating your own cards.  It is also pretty intuitive and easy to use… which is always a plus, right?

    1. The process for adding text in the Rhonna Designs app is pretty similar to that of Textgram, which we just covered. You will start by importing your card.
    2. Because the Rhonna App is designed with pocket cards in mind, it provides you with a good selection of preset sizes. Choose the correct size for your card (in this case 3:4), and hit “crop”.
    3. Now, there are a lot of things you can do with this app, so feel free to play around… but for our purpose of adding text, you will select the “T” in the upper left corner, which will pull up your font choices. Some are free on the app, and others you will have to purchase. Each little icon is actually a set of fonts, so you chose a font set and it will pull those fonts up for you to scroll through.
    4. When you chose a font, your text box will pop up and you can start adding the text. You can switch the font and color using the panel at the bottom. The tools for adjusting spacing, tilt, and a multitude of other aspects are found by tapping the triple line icon on the top right.
    5. Once you have your text just the way you want it, tap on DONE at the top of your screen and you will return to the main screen where you can save or share your work. Just like Textgram, the Rhonna Designs app creates a folder in your gallery where your projects are stored, and these are easily found within the Project Life app, as well.


And that’s it! …just a quick look at a couple of simple apps out there that will enable you to add text and journaling to your own pocket cards from your mobile device. Now, with the combined information from PART 1 and this new PART 2 post… you should be able to create an entire pocket-style page, complete with journaling, on your mobile device! How exciting is that?! 🙂

And don’t forget, we will have one more installment in this 3-part series coming in just a couple of weeks (late-September), in which we will show you how to use what you create in the App to make a non-pocket style page. Stay tuned!

Enjoy, and happy scrapping!

Laura Passage

About the Authors

Laura Passage is the owner of The Digital Press, and also the designer behind Wishing Well Creations by Laura Passage (WWC). She works now as a graphic designer in both the digital and paper scrapbooking industries, but previously spent over a decade working as a college soccer coach. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two young sons (affectionately referred to as The Tiny Terrorists), and will rationalize eating coffee ice cream for breakfast to anyone who questions it.



Erin is a work from home mom of three now living in Oregon. She loves playing with her kids and anything artsy. She can often be found knee deep in toys with paint on her face. She is slowly learning the meaning of living an authentic life, and enjoying every minute of the adventure.


Jennifer Hignite

Jennifer 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, decorating, and shopping at Target.

Tutorial Tuesday | Splitting a Photo into Multiple Pockets

Hey there, scrappers!

Today, I want to share a little tip with you related to pocket scrapbooking (which can actually be used on non-pocket layouts, as well!). A lot of times when I am working with a pocket scrapbooking-style template, I end up with a photo that just doesn’t fit into one pocket. So, why not get creative and split the photo into two or more pockets, right? It might seem challenging, but it really is quite easy once you learn this trick.

      1. Decide which pockets you would like to use for your photo. I am going to use two 3×4 journal card-sized pockets for one landscape-oriented photo. For this example, I’m going to put my photo into the two pockets at the top right…
      2. Select both of the pockets by clicking on the first one and then holding down the COMMAND key to select the other pocket or pockets. (CONTROL on a PC; and *note* that in PSE it might require holding down the SHIFT key, instead, to multi-click and select)
      3. Merge the selected layers into one layer by hitting COMMAND+E. (CONTROL+E on a PC)
      4. Drag your photo onto the layer directly above the merged layer you just created.

      5. With the photo layer selected in the layers palette, choose “Create Clipping Mask” with COMMAND+OPTION+G.(CONTROL+ALT+G on a PC) Then, just resize your photo so that it fits properly “into” your pockets.

I hope you will find this quick tip helpful when you are trying to arrange your photos on your pocket scrapbooking layouts!

Another note — if you are looking for some awesome pocket-style templates like the one I used for this tutorial, check out Laura Passage’s Project Twenty Fifteen Templates!


About the Author  Katie is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She lives in central Florida with her husband and their four sweet-but-crazy boys. When she’s not dodging Nerf bullets or trying to dig out from under a never-ending pile of laundry, she enjoys photography, cooking, going to Disney World with her family… and, of course, digital scrapbooking.



Playing with Pocket Templates

Playing with Pocket Templates

Do you love pocket templates and use them all the time? Or do you struggle with them? I personally love project life but I’m not a big fan of straight lines. Every layout that I made with pockets in the past was not obeying to the rules of pockets. Let me show you how I deconstruct pocket templates, sometimes even to a point that they are unrecognizable.

  • Downsizing the template

While I think it’s good that the designers provide templates that use the whole 12×12 layout, I need more visual breathing room on my canvas. It’s rare that I leave it as it is. I downsize the template at least by 10%, most of the times 20% or more, sometimes I add a mat underneath the pockets, to have a framing of the whole. Even when you are using the whole 12×12, rethink this when you want to print your pages. You might need some bleed to provide nothing gets cut off in the printing process. All my layouts you see in this post are sized down.

  • Going out of bounds of the pockets

One thing I seem to be afraid of when playing with pockets are the straight lines. I usually can’t let them rule my layout. I have to break the lines up. Mostly with embellishments on top of it all, leaping over the edges. I tend to make it a more classic layout, applying the rule of thirds or getting more attention to certain parts of the layout. I emphasize the shadows on these embellishments, to make the 3d quality of them stand out more.

Playing with Pocket Templates

Playing with Pocket Templates


  • Changing the shape of the pockets

All pockets are rectangular by nature. Weird, right? There are only little exceptions to this rule. Sometimes a rectangle is broken up to make it two triangles. Still not very organic and still too straight for me. How about replacing one or more of the rectangles with a different shape like a circle or an oval? I tend to do that with frames in that shape. It makes the whole layout softer and it gives a great entry point for the eyes.

Playing with Pocket Templates

Playing with Pocket Templates


  • Tilting the template

Sometimes the tilt does the trick for me. With a little tilt I get a more natural look to the whole. And if I strive for one thing, then it is the natural, real paper look. It may look as if the pockets were photographed on the background paper.

Playing with Pocket Templates

Playing with Pocket Templates


A bigger tilt might give you a whole new look, like this template wasn’t intended for pocket scrapping at all.

Playing with Pocket Templates

Playing with Pocket Templates


  • Use the template for a pieced background and add your own photocluster

From going out of the pockets with embellisments and frames it’s not far to this step. You can even go further by adding more embellishments than I did here. You could also use a second template with a big cluster and plop it onto your pocket template and go from there.

Playing with Pocket Templates

Playing with Pocket Templates


  • Using it for Art Journaling

I remember that once someone asked if I consider myself more towards the pocket scrapping side, the „regular“ scrapping side or the Art Journaling side. As if pocket scrapping and Art Journaling are two very different ends on a spectrum of scrapping. Maybe they are. I personally don’t think so. There are some very reflective pocket pages out there. And some very to the rule Art Journaling pages. And last but not least “regular” pages with a grid or no visible structure. I love being challenged to try something different and always want to make things work, even if at first it seems awkward. I tried a more artsy approach to pockets several times and I love it. Yay for art in rectangles!

Playing with Pocket Templates

Playing with Pocket Templates


That’s it for now. I’m sure there’s much more that you can do with your pocket templates. Do you have more ideas? Feel free to comment below and point me to one of your layouts. And who knows, maybe I will scraplift your idea! Thanks for reading and have a great time while putting new inspiration into practice. Happy scrapping!


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



Repetition in Hybrid Pocket Pages

Repetition in Hybrid Pocket Pages


A design principle that I often rely on in my hybrid pocket pages is the use of repetition. If I’m needing to get a pocket page done quickly, I’ll repeat design and elements on my page.


Repetition in Hybrid Pocket Pages


On this pocket page made using Laura Passage’s A Moment Captured, I used repetition in a few different ways. I made the 4 corner cards all very similar. I blocked paper at both the top and bottom of the card and then used the scripted word art and journaled. Having these 4 cards very similar really unites the page and sets the tone for the other cards. And obviously, repetition, such as on these cards, makes the design process much easier because you finished almost half the cards with only having to design one card.


Repetition in Hybrid Pocket Pages


The four inner cards are also using repetition, but in a more varied sense. The photos, the doilies, flowers, and the word strips are all very similarly placed but there is a variation in placement, shape, and color. This look provides a more visually stimulating effect while keeping the same mood.


Repetition in Hybrid Pocket Pages


The middle card has its own form of repetition with the repeating embellishments. I punched out 18 starburst circles and layered the blue on top of the gold for all except the one where I wanted to add the word art. This breaks up the monotony of the repeated shape and draws the eye in.


Repetition in Hybrid Pocket Pages


By really designing only three cards on a nine card layout, I cut down my designing time and decision process drastically. A page that would’ve taken me an hour and half took only 40 minutes. That’s pretty fast for a hybrid page!




About the Author: Brenda Smith is a mother of two littles and wife located in Southern California. When she is not scrapbooking, you can find her working full-time, trying to finish up her college degree with online classes, or sleeping because there are never enough hours in the day. Hybrid scrapping satisfies her addiction to technology and her addiction to paper and glue.