Ribbon Tucking Technique (PSE 11)

In my original layout, all of the ribbon is tucked under the pictures and papers. While this looks ok, I wanted the ribbon to be a bit more prominent on the page.

However, putting it on top of all the photos and papers meant blocking some of the pictures, which I don’t want.

So, I used a tucking technique which I learned while participating in a challenge at one of the popular digiscrapping stores. This technique enables me to give my page a little more “jazz” and make it look a little more like real life by tucking the ribbon in and out of the pictures and papers.

1. The very first step that I take is to duplicate my original layers of ribbon. This way, they will remain on the page just as they were… just in case I make a mistake and need to start over.

Once I’ve copied (duplicated) them, I hide the original layers by clicking on the little eye next to the layer in the layer panel.

2. After copying the original ribbons, I clear the layer style I had assigned to them.

(side note: I love using pre-loaded drop shadows on my layouts. They save so much time and effort when creating. There are a few designers out there who sell their own shadow styles, so I would suggest browsing the stores and finding ones that fit your scrapping style best.
) If I were leaving the ribbons as is, I would use the assigned drop shadow for ribbons,however, with this technique, each ribbon is going to have its own shadow layer so that the shadows can be “manipulated” to make the tucking effect a bit more realistic.

3. Once the shadows have been cleared, I make one more copy of the ribbons, and move this third copy to the top of my layer panel… right underneath the title.

Now I have two copies of the ribbons – one on the bottom, where it was in the original layout and one on the top. From here on out, I will leave the bottom copy alone and work only with the ribbons on top.

**And this is where the “fun” begins… 😀

4. At the top of your layers panel, there is a button you can click to “Create a new layer”. With your bottom ribbon selected, create a new layer that will go in between your two ribbons.

5. With the new layer selected, hold down the ctrl key and click on the ribbon layer above. This will select (by putting those fun marching ants around it) the ribbon only.

6. While the layer is still selected, go to your paint bucket tool, and with the shadow color preselected (I do 1f1303), fill that new layer.

(In the following screen shots, I have hidden the top ribbon so that it is easier to see the shadow manipulations. This is only for this tutorial, I normally do not hide the layer of which I am creating a shadow for.)

7. With the “shadow” layer selected, go to your Filter panel, find the Blur option, and click on Gaussian Blur. This will make the shadow less crisp and more, well, shadow-y 🙂

I think the default pixelation that is offered is 10.0. Unless you have a personal preference, I normally just go with the default.

I also set the opacity of the shadow layer to 80% – again, this number is totally based on your personal preference.

8. Now, to make the shadow match the other shadows in terms of where the light is hitting the page, you can move it around to where you want it. I usually just nudge it a few keystrokes away from the element… the further away the shadow is, the further away from the page your element (in this case, the ribbon) seems to be.



9. Now that both the ribbon and shadow are their own separate layers, you can begin “tucking”, or erasing the parts that you don’t want on top of the pictures or flowers. Remember – there’s a ribbon still underneath, so that there can be a seemingly smooth transition. I decided that I wanted the flower on top of the ribbon, so I just manually moved that in the layers panel – less erasing for me 🙂 If the pictures or papers are straight, I use my rectangular marquee tool to select the part that I want to erase so that I don’t have to zoom in so much to get the fine, minute details.

Once the ribbon is erased, but with the “marching ants” still around your photo, go ahead and erase the shadow as well.

Continue erasing both the ribbon and its shadow from the elements that you want on top.

10. Repeat these steps for the lower ribbon, and you’re done with your tucking technique!

It’s a subtle, but I feel, more realistic, change to the original with the ribbon underneath all of the photos and papers.