I love two page layouts! I love the look of them in my albums, I love how many photos I can get on one layout, I love the “complete” stories they can tell that are too much for a regular one pager. I would say that 1/3 to 1/2 of my layouts are two pagers…I love them! I have been planning on doing a post on two page layouts for a while now. And then we got a number of reader questions about them and I was excited to tell them it was already on the schedule. I am a huge fan of two pages spreads and so I am very excited to share a few things with you!
Here are a few things we will look at today:
- Creating a two-page layout
- Saving and printing a two-page layout
- Two page layouts in your album
And then tomorrow we are going to look at using two page templates!
CREATING A TWO PAGE LAYOUT
There are two main ways to work on a two page layout in your photo editing program:
- as one large canvas (usually 24 x 12)
- as two 12 x 12 inch canvases.
I prefer working as one large canvas so that I can see what the whole thing looks like at once. I create a new document, sized 24 x 12 (I almost always print my pages 8×8 but I always scrap in 12 x 12 so that I don’t have to resize everything).
The next thing I do is to create a midline for myself so that I have a constant visual of where my page will be cut. Many scrappers don’t mind if a photo is cut down the middle or a title is broken up but I prefer my two page layouts to not split anything. By adding the midline, I can always know where there need to be breaks between photos, where journaling should end, etc. I create a new layer, turn my grid on (view > grid), and then use a square brush (sized about 20 pixels) make a line right on the 12 inch mark.
I then create my page like I would any other scrapbook page — adding photos, papers, elements, title, and journaling, being careful to keep things off the center line. My final page looks like this:
Imagination kit by Dani Mogstad, brush strokes by Michelle Coleman, fonts are Typewrite Scribbled and Clementine
SAVING AND PRINTING A TWO PAGE LAYOUT
The first thing I do is save my 24 x 12 canvas as a psd file. That way, any changes I make from here on out won’t risk changing my layout.
After saving, I prepare for printing.
First, I remove the midline so that it doesn’t show up on my final print.
Then, in order to prevent photos/elements near the middle from being cut off, I usually nudge them over about 5 pixels. Everything in the right side of the page goes 5 pixels to the right, everything on the left goes 5 pixels to the left. It looks like this:
Next, I flatten my layout. I then need to separate my two pages in order to print. I choose the crop tool and set it to crop 12 x 12 at 300 dpi
And then, starting in the left corner, I crop the left hand page to 12 x 12
After cropping, I save the 12 x 12 page as a jpeg and it is ready to print. I then undo my crop and then crop the right hand page the same way. Now they are just like any other 12 x 12 page, ready to be uploaded to your favorite printer!
TWO PAGE LAYOUTS IN YOUR ALBUM
One of the most often asked questions about two page spreads is “How do they look in your albums?” My answer is always, ” I LOVE them!” I love how they present a cohesive look and story as I flip through my albums.
When I first bought my albums, I bought all post bound. My reasoning behind this was that I wanted my two page spreads to line up next to each other as close as possible when I opened the album. They look like this:
Because I don’t scrap in order, I started to get really frustrated with the post bound albums. They look great, but they are a pain to take apart and rearrange. So, the next time I ordered albums I decided to go with the d-ring binder style. When they arrived I had a little freak-out moment: I had totally forgotten about two page layouts and how they would look in a binder-style album. However, once I put some in, my fears were relieved and while they don’t look as good as the post bound albums, they certainly don’t look bad. I’m still on the fence about what I will order the next time I need albums.
If you haven’t given two page layouts a try, you really should! There are so many possibilities with them! If you are having trouble from a design standpoint, be sure to come back tomorrow and see how templates can help you in your quest to create a great two page layout!