Realistic Washi Tape



Washi tape is probably one of my very favorite elements to scrap with. I love it both in real life and in digital form. In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to use shadows and highlights to make your washi tape look a bit more realistic on your layouts. I’m going to use this layout below. I have everything finished on it, and the washi placed. The only thing left to do is add shadows to the washi tape. You can see here that it just looks a little flat with no realistic dimension.




  • First, add a basic drop shadow to the washi tape. The settings below are what I used, but use whatever suits your preference. I typically prefer a small shadow on washi tape, because if you look at a piece of real washi tape on paper, it doesn’t come off of the paper much. There’s not a lot of shadow there.



  • Now, we’re going to put this shadow on its own layer. To do this, go to Layer>Layer Style>Create Layer. This will put the drop shadow on its own layer below the washi tape.



  • Even this shadow makes the washi look better than it did, but the shadow darkened the washi tape. I like to preserve the transparency of the tape. To do this, load a selection of your washi tape layer by using Command-click (or Control-click for Windows) on the tape layer in the layers palette. This should give you marching ants around your tape. Now click on the shadow layer in the layers palette, and hit delete (make sure you are on the shadow layer before hitting delete… this is important). This will delete the shadow that sits directly beneath your tape and bring back the transparency of the tape. (You can use a layer mask if you’d rather not permanently delete it, but I never have wished I had it back, so I just go ahead and delete.)



  • Command-d (or Control-d on Windows) will deselect the tape.


I think this looks good, and you can stop here if you like. I have left my tape with a basic shadow like this sometimes when I am trying to save time and get a page done. If you want to take it one step further to make the washi tape really look like it’s stuck on your page, follow the steps below.

  • First, you need to select the item the tape is holding down. In my layout, it’s the framed photo of my boys. Command-click that layer in the layers palette to load a selection.
  • Next, select the dodge tool from your tool bar. At the top of your screen, you want a soft brush that’s big enough to brush over the bottom part of the tape covering the photo. For this particular page, I used a brush size of 125. Set your range to Midtones and the Exposure to around 50%. You may need to play around with this exposure depending on the specific tape and how dark or light it is. Most of the time 50% works pretty well.
  • Make sure your washi tape layer is selected in the layers palette on the right, and brush over the tape 2-3 times. This highlights the part of the tape that is “stuck” to the photo.



  • If you think about pressing a piece of tape over a photo in real life, it’s going to leave a little crease where photo meets the background page. In this next step, we’ll create this look digitally.
  • Your frame selection should still be loaded (meaning you have marching ants around your frame). If it’s not, select it again. But now we want the tape that outside of the frame area, so we’re going to select the inverse of what is currently selected. To do this, go to Select>Inverse. It won’t look any different, but now everything except the frame is selected.



  • We’re going to use the Burn tool to add some shadows to the top part of the tape where it is “sticking” to the page. Select the burn tool from the toolbar.
  • This time you want a pretty small brush… just big enough to shadow the tape right at the edge of the photo. I used a brush of size 35, and for this particular tape I set my exposure to 25%. If the shadow isn’t as dark as you like, you may want to change this to 50%. Use the burn tool on your washi a few times along the edge of your selection, until the shadow is as dark as you want it.



  • Command-D to get rid of your selection, and you can see the end result.



Here’s a look at the final layout:

Layout using Summer Bucket List by Amanda Yi Designs and Wishing Well Creations


JaimeAbout the Author: Jaime is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She is a stay-at-home mom to 4 boys and 1 girl. When she’s not chauffeuring, volunteering at school, or helping with play costumes, she likes to digitally record her family’s memories, improve her photography skills, and read (there’s always a stack of books on her nightstand).

Hybrid Scraplifting


Remember this weeks challenge for creating a layout by scraplifting? If not, you can read the full post here: inspiration scraplifting

Scraplifting is one my favorite things when it comes to scrapbooking – no matter if I scrap digital, hybrid or paper. There are so many great inspiration sources outthere and it would be a shame not to use them! Whenever I scraplift I also like to let somebody know that I scraplifted their layout and if I have a photo I will also link it. I always got good responses. They felt honored to be scraplifted. Never skip an opportunity to make someone smile!

For a scraplifting a page digitally or as a hybrid page, I open a new 12×12 document in Photoshop and the first thing I do is to drag & drop the original layout into this document as my referrence. It will be much too small, but you can make it bigger without worrying about the quality – you will not print it, as it is not your layout, but having it as big as your layout will be makes it a lot easier to keep the sizes and proportions or placements.

Browsing through the shop I found this beautiful page:

I love the simplicity and especially this little cluster at the top: a round element in the back, a piece of washi and a button. I do like the colors of this layout aswell, but I already knew which colors I wanted to use for my photo, so I went with another color scheme.

As I said the first thing I did was to create a new 12×12 document and added the layout. Normally I would now go ahead and create shapes for all papers and photos on this layout. In this case it is there is a template available, so I used the template to get me the correct shapes. Ones I finished adding shapes to the page, I will add another copy of the page I want to scraplift on top.
Now I have it as the bottom and the top layer. I will turn both off and on whenever I want to look something up. Sometimes I like to use the overlay mode to keep them semi transparent on top of my working space, but mostly that’s too distracting for me.

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Next step is to add papers and play around with text and embelishments. In this case I decided not to use any real elements as I don’t like to use printed buttons or flowers on my hybrid layouts. I rather use real ones from my stash. Same goes for all other 3D-objects on a page. The only exception is stitching! I do think stitching looks much better when it is real stitching, but laziness wins. It is the first time I’m trying to print a stitch, so I might throw the paper away and replace the stitch with washi tape. I think it is always worth trying to print something you are not 100% sure about. You can always throw it away if it turns out that you don’t like it.

When I know this will be a hybrid and not a digital page, I will not spend any effort on the shadows. There were shadows already in the template, so some shapes now have shadows and others don’t. Overall the page looks unfinished, but I’m ok with that this still is some kind of a prototype of what my actual page will look like.

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If I blend the original layout over it, you will see it looks pretty similar.

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My page just misses some splatters and elements.

Now comes the unpleasent part for me: getting everything on a4 and a3 pages and print it. For the layers where I need my silhouette, I will add a black color overlay, so it will be easier for me to trace them. Now it get’s to the fun part of assembling the page. I start with glue the clusters together, so I can move them aroung more easily on the page then I now where I want to add my stamps and splatters. Don’t forget to cover everything you don’t want color on, because otherwise you have to print again. Been there, done that!

The last step then is to add embelishments from my stash and this is how the finished page turned out.


Anika About the Author:  Anika is part of the hybrid team here at She loves to travel and use the photos her boyfriend takes (thanks for that!) to scrapbook. Digital, paper and hybrid. When she is not scrapping, she is most likely playing a computer game or in a city searching for a geocache.

Listen to your Inner Minimalist

There is something special about a sparsely embellished page with a large amount of white space. The photos take the leading role and the elements support the photocentric expression. I want to challenge you to take a closer look at some minimalistic pages from our Creative Team, to get inspired for your own creations!


Listen to your Inner Minimalist


Does scrapping with lots of white space and only tiny picked elements come easy for you? For me this is foreign. I’m a little afraid of too much white space and I have to get the ellies on my page and make a mess. I feel so insecure with a close to blank page. And that is although I love a bold minimalistic spread! There are quite a few girls on the TDP Creative Team who really know how to get the “half empty” pages to work. I will show you some examples:


Layouts by Jude, Kacy, Farrah and Sokee

Layouts by Jude, Kacy, Farrah and Sokee


All of them have in common one tight cluster, a neutral colored background and only minimal embellishment. They all make a bold statement through their photos and embellishment placement. All of them promote a huge white space, even though the layouts by Jude and Sokee are using a strong pattern base. Farrah’s gallery is full of minimalistic pages and this one stood out because it was using only 3 further elements added to the photo and the background. Her tight photo crop adds to the striking impression.

The background doesn’t have to be a neutral at all. I found some colored background minimalist pages in the Creative Team gallery as well:


Layouts by Bao, Cynthia, Molly and Alina

Layouts by Bao, Cynthia, Molly and Alina


Yes, these are my favorite colors (who can resist purple and pink?).  What’s to see here? Bao has expanded her cluster by using a tag wordart on the top of the page. It creates a certain tension when looking at her layout.  Cynthia even gave her layout a rim. You can see that this loosens the minimalistic feel a little bit as the airy impression is “earthed” to the page’s edges. Molly used a large mat for her photo and close to no embellishments to let her photo shine. And Alina’s page (oops, that’s me) uses a two tiered paper as a background. For me this was an easy one because the white space was lifted a bit by the diagonal line and the contrasting colors.

I want to show you one more. It’s a little different from the others, as it has close to no straight lines and the cluster is not tight but very loosened up, scattered and random. There is a certain lightheartedness following the arrangements of the elements. All accompanied by a pleasant smile and carefree and heartfelt wordart.


Listen to your Inner Minimalist

Layout by Rae, linked to her gallery


In preparation for this challenge I set up some rules for myself and had to try to make it work for me. If I can do it, you can do it, too! It took me as long as I usually tweak on my “everything on one page mess” layouts. It’s not faster per sé. I also realized that to make it look okay for me, I have to scale my cluster down a lot.


Rules: Use 1 paper, 1 photo, 1 title, journaling and 5 further items of your choice. Leave at least 2/3 of white space.

Rules: Use 1 paper, 1 photo, 1 title, journaling and 5 further items of your choice. Leave at least 2/3 of white space.


Are you prepared to listen to your inner minimalist? I’m sure it’s now whispering in your ear how your page could look, what elements you would use and which to leave. Listen closely, your inner minimalist doesn’t talk much. She keeps it short and simple 😉

You can find the challenge (click) in the forums. I’ll see you there. Have fun!


Alina About 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.