Scrapping 12×12 but printing 8×8


One question we often hear from digital scrapbookers is why we use a certain size of page for either scrapping, printing, or both (if they differ)? Here’s a comment from episode 27 of The Digi Show about printing
Elizabeth says:
Question – what is the purpose of scrapping 12 by 12 only to resize it to 8 by 8? Is the theory you may print it 12 by 12 sometime in the future?

In the beginning of my own digi scrap days, I used to size my canvas at 8×8 and then resize all my supplies to fit that since I knew I would be printing 8×8 pages. I never worried about printing in 12×12 because I figured I wouldn’t change my mind. Then I decided I wanted to make a photo collage page of photos from the entire year of 2007 (pictured above). I used a neat template by Heather Ann Designs and I knew it would make a great display piece to hang in my staircase photo gallery aka the “Wall of Fame”. That was the first time I started off with a 12×12 canvas and I’ve used one ever since. It finally occurred to me that I just might want to print some of my layouts in a bigger size someday!

There are many advantages to using a 12×12 canvas in Photoshop no matter what size you plan to print your creations. I asked several of our Daily Digi team members to share their preferences:


I don’t scrap 8×8 normally, there however have been a few layout’s I’ve printed 8×8 for variety in my albums.  Those layouts tend to be simpler photo based layouts with minimal text or the layouts about me. Not sure why but flipping through my albums now most of my non-large photo layouts in 8×8 are of me. I do 12×12 and when I print I decide then to mix it up.  I love the varied sizes in my albums! All in all I’d rather the option of sizing down then not being able to print 12×12.


I always scrap in 12×12 simply because the papers/templates are all 12×12 in size, and many times the elements are made proportionally to use with 12×12 papers. Until 2012, I’ve resized the page once it’s finished and flattened to 8×8 since that is the size of my 2007-2011 albums. This year, however, I’m printing 12×12 to fit in my Project Life album.


I scrap in 12×12 and print in 8×8. I scrap in the larger 12×12 format because all papers and elements are proportioned to work in that size. I view layouts on my screen at a reduced zoom level to mimic an 8×8 print. On my monitor, viewing a 12×12 page at 25% gives me a good estimate of what the page will look like once printed in 8×8. This helps to make sure that my fonts will be readable, even after the layout is printed at the smaller size.

Once a layout is complete, I flatten it at 12×12 and save as a jpg. I print my layouts at Persnickety Prints and they are able to take a 12×12 page and print in 8×8 so I don’t need to save an 8×8 copy.


I scrap 12×12, and print 8×8. I scrap at 12×12 for two reasons. I always want my original file to be of the best quality possible. If I scrapped 8×8 and printed a 12×12 later, it would lose quality. So, having that 12×12 means I can always to back to it. The other reason is because resizing to 8×8 from the get go is a waste of time. LOL Everything is designed at 12×12, so it’s easiest for me to scrap that way.

I save a 12×12 initially. Then, when I’m ready to print, I run my bleed check actions on my 12x12s. For the layouts that need adjusting, I’ll make the changes and save a new 12×12. Then, I run a batch to resize to my photobook’s bleed size of 8.25×8.25. Although the software out there will resize for me, uploading hundreds of 12x12s takes significantly longer than hundreds of 8x8s. So, I take the time to batch resize before uploading. Plus, that gives me the opportunity to apply a little sharpening before uploading.

Technically, you’ll get a better result if you resize to 8×8 with your layered file and then flatten and save because the text is still vector at that point. But, I find sharpening after resizing is enough to keep my text crisp. If I had a font that wasn’t playing nice, I might go back to the original and give that a try.

Keep it Simple

One of the best reasons to scrap in 12×12 size in your photo editing program is simply a matter of saving time. Don’t worry about resizing everything to fit a smaller canvas…let the printer do that job for you!

katie big