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Category Archives: Just for Beginners
I love using online resources for creative and easy photo editing and most of these sources have great tools for making collages as well. There are many reasons why you might enjoy making collages such as:
- Creating a unique image to use on a digital scrapbook page
- Combining several photos into one image to use for a blog post
- Recapping an event with multiple photos in a small space
- Sharing several images at once in a social media environment (instagram, twitter, facebook, etc.)
- Compiling many photos into one image to use on a photobook page
- Just for fun!
With Memorial Day coming up, I’ve been thinking about our 2012 summer trip to Washington D.C. I still have so many photos that have not made it into my albums yet because I took hundreds of pictures! I decided to pull together some of my favorites to create a collage.
Here’s a collage I created with Pic Monkey. There are many free options to use on the site, and even more if you become a paid member for as little as $2.75 a month. I used a template under the “square deal” collage category for this one.
Even using a free collage, I was able to save a full size 3600×3600 resolution of my creation. Now all I have to do is print it out for my travel album!
I tried several other free online photo collage sites and I honestly can’t recommend very many of them in comparison to Pic Monkey. The other sites don’t have as many free options and it is much more difficult to get your photos imported as well as saving the finished collage to a high resolution file suitable for digi scrapping. Pic Monkey is my go-to source for creating collages online.
Here’s another collage I created with a free template at Pic Monkey in the “Biggie Smalls” category.
I went ahead and upgraded to the Royale membership and I created this collage using a Jigsaw template.
It is also super easy to create a collage image to use as a facebook timeline cover. They do the sizing for you!
There are also other sizes available under the “cards” category such as 5”x7” which would be great to use in those pocket scrapping albums!
I love that it is so easy to change the spacing between photos and you can even round the corners with the slide of a button!
You can also write on your photos (and collages) using Pic Monkey by following the instructions in Steph’s post. For more information on how to create easy collages with photo editing programs, be sure to check out this past post. Have fun making collages!
About linking and grouping layers
In the layer palette, multiple layers can be selected at one time. On a Windows computer, hold down SHIFT while clicking on each layer you want to select. (On a Mac, COMMAND+click to select multiple layers.)
Layers can be linked together to form a relational bond between them which allows you to apply certain changes to all the grouped layers, like:
- Moving all the linked layers at the same time
- Expanding or contracting (transforming) all the linked layers at the same time
Linked layers can be identified by the little chain link icon beside each layer.
Screenshot is from Photoshop CS5
The chain link can be toggled on or off by clicking on it.
Linked layers do not have to be sequential in the layers palette. For example, you could link layers 3, 9, 11, and 147 and it would not alter where they appear in the layers palette.
Linking works in both Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.
Grouping is available in Photoshop.
Grouping layers provides you with the option of collapsing or expanding a little “folder” of layers in the layers palette. This is useful to reduce the number of layers visible in the layers palette list. (Collapsing a layer group does not make them invisible on the actual layout.) You can group individual layers or even group layers and other groups together. With groups, you can do things like:
- Move all the grouped layers at the same time
- Expand or contracting (transforming) all the grouped layers at the same time
- Apply drop shadows to all the grouped layers at the same time
- Apply other styles to all the grouped layers at the same time
Remember, layers stay grouped or linked until you ungroup or unlink them. That means that you can work on other parts of the layout and come back to the grouping later and it will still work. (However, if the layers selected aren’t grouped or linked, as soon as you click off of them, they will no longer be related to one another and changes won’t apply to all of them at the same time.)
Let’s start with a template, like this one from The Daily Digi’s My Life In Print member exclusive kit:
On a Windows computer, hold down SHIFT while clicking on each layer you want to select. I’m going to work on the smaller photo cluster on the right-hand side of the page.
You can see that the selected layers turn blue in the layers palette and the selection box on the layout expands to encompass all the selected layers.
Select Layer+Group Layers or hold down CTRL+G to create a group. You can also click on the the little folder icon at the bottom of the layers palette.
Right click on the layers and select “Link Layers” from the menu.
Once a group is made, all items in the group are listed under the Group heading (which can be changed to anything you want) and the group list can be expanded (shown below) or hidden from view. Hiding group layers is a handy way of simplifying the layer palette to make it easier to work and find what you need.
Now that the layers are grouped, we can use the move tool (M) to move all the layers in the group at one time.
(For the screen shots below, “grouped layers” are shown, but the ability to move multiple layers is the same as if the layers were linked instead.)
And that’s it! A handy tool to use, especially when you’re digi scrapping a page with many layers.
Title credits are Lovin’ From the Oven by Chelle’s Creations
I think titles are one of the hardest parts of any scrapbook page:
Where should I put the title? How big should the alpha be in relation to the overall design? Do I mix fonts and alphas? What’s the perfect, catchy phrase?
Luckily, the Daily Digi has put together quite a few articles about title work:
- 15 Favourite Free Fonts for Scrapbook Titles
- Fabulous Fonts for Titles
- Terrific Titles for Scrapbook Pages
- Titles Don’t Have to Be On Top
- Cutting Out Titles
- Super Fast Great Looking Titles
- Title Techniques
- Title Trick
- And more!
A great way to find new titling techniques is to find inspiration. Here are a few pages that inspire me:
Cindy Schneider can do titles like nobody else. Just go study her whole gallery and you’ll leave with tons and tons of ideas. In the page above, she mixings a sticker alpha, a dot alpha and a stamped letter alpha. And it looks amazing together!
Let’s see what she did:
- All three fonts contain some white.
- The majority of the title is in UPPERCASE and the last word is in lower case.
- The “helper words” are the smallest and the main words are roughly the same size.
- The title is at the bottom of the page and accented with arrows to draw attention to it.
The Colour Black
Nicole’s page shows that using a black alpha creates an instant focal point – the word RENOVATION is the first thing I saw on this page due to the visual weight of the colour black and the size of the title.
Lindsay’s page also shows that using black, even on a smaller scale, helps to create a focal point.
A Title That Contrasts with the Journaling Font
I love how Myra’s title is so simple but so effective. With her journaling text in a plain san-serif font, a title in a thick script is enough to set it apart from the journaling.
Beth used an easy and effective trick: Look for a tag or other word art that will work with your scrapbook topic and use it for a title. This is the perfect trick, especially for those time when the title just isn’t coming together easily.
Angie also used word art to build her title. The best part about this trick is that it will work cohesively with your scrapbook kit since it is a part of it. Excellent!
I hope you found some ideas to help with one of your future scrapbook pages! Have a great day!
From the very first time The Digi Files were introduced, we’ve had a very fun and unique way of revealing them each month. When the new files are ready for download on the first of each month, we don’t post all the previews here – it’s a surprise for our members as they go to open each one of the 7 collections included in that’s month’s set of Digi Files. Have you ever wondered why we do it this way?
When Janet Phillips founded the site back in January of 2009, she had a vision that we still follow today. These are her exact words from the very first month of The Daily Digi’s existence.
Each of included designers have created something special just for THE DIGI FILES. These products (mini-kits, element sets, etc) are new and never-before-released. The hope is that you can safely and inexpensively try new-to-you designers as well as stock up on stuff from your tried-and-true favorites. We worked hard to bring you a range of styles and stores and we hope that you will be THRILLED with your purchase!
We won’t be showing you the contents of THE DIGI FILES right away (that’s part of the fun!) However, throughout the month that TDF are available, we will be spotlighting the individual designers. You will get to know a little about them, about their work, AND you will get to see what they contributed to TDF. So, if you are unsure about buying “sight unseen” you can wait and watch throughout the month.
More than 4 years later, our members still love the surprise each month! Many of them call it “Daily Digi Day” or say it is like having birthday presents to open each month. We would never want to take away the fun of that!
We don’t post the Digi Files previews until each designer’s special feature day. This gives our readers a chance to see each collection on it’s own and get to know the designer who created it. Even though I have already seen (and scrapped with most of) the contents of the files well before the month begins, I really look forward to these feature days. When I read about the designer and see all the great layouts from the team, I fall even more in love with the kits and templates. It’s such a fun way to keep the excitement of The Digi Files alive all month long.
It’s also a great solution for those who don’t like surprises. All they have to do is wait for some of the reveal posts to see if they want to buy the files. Once they have seen one or two collections that they like, they already know they will get way more than their money’s worth! Each kit included in the files is the same value as the price of the entire Digi Files. Oh, and the playbook alone is well worth the cost so it’s a win-win no matter what!
To keep it fun, we kindly ask everyone not to share previews of the kits on blogs, pinterest, or anywhere online until after the reveal date for each contribution. That keeps the original intent behind The Digi Files in place and helps us feature and honor those designers who have contributed their amazing talents to make the files a success!
There would be no Daily Digi without The Digi Files and we are so grateful for the designers and for our members who make this magic happen every month!
Layout by lynnettew from our Flickr Group
We’ve had some requests recently here and on The Digi Show to give some tips for things that make a digital scrapbook layout look like paper. We have a lot of tips that will help you have people saying: “Is that digital, or is it paper?”
One of the biggest things you can do to create layouts that look like paper, is to master the drop shadow:
- We have a whole section of Drop Shadow tutorials
- You will especially want to check out Peppermint’s “Mind Blowing Drop Shadow Tutorial”
- Why Would I Want To Warp Or Liquefy Drop Shadows
Here are some other techniques that will help create the paper look:
- Fonts Don’t Float
- Is That Real (a whole bunch of tips for making it look “real”)
- Tips for typewriter fonts
- Ways to use paint
- So Many Layers
- Learning From Paper Scrapbook Pages
Let’s Look at Some Layouts
Notice the shadow on the string in this layout by trickynag makes it look like it is furthest away from the bottom paper layer:
Cardinalskate did a great job shadowing the acrylic on this layout. Acrylic can be pretty tricky:
Notice the great layering on this layout and the different depths created with the shadows:
This layout also creates some really great depth with larger drop shadows on the larger elements that are further away from the paper:
Notice the depth of the leaf on the left created by a lager drop shadow:
Have you found some techniques that have helped you create paper looking pages? We would love to hear about it in the comments!
I’m always looking for easy ways to jazz up my fonts for digital scrapbook layouts. I’m a big fan of using fonts for titles because they are so quick and easy to use. I bet you will be surprised to find out how simple it is to fill a font.
Find some Fillable Fonts
To get started, you will want to have some outline fonts loaded to work with. Here are a few great fonts for filling, and they are all free!
How to Fill those Fonts
Select the type tool in your program and choose a font with an outline. I’m going to use Fenwick for this example. Type out the phrase that you want to use and then flatten the text so it can’t be edited. You can use rasterize text in Photoshop. I use Photoshop Elements 11 and all I need to do is de-select the text tool and then grab the corners of my text box to enlarge (or shrink) it. Once I do that the text layer is no longer editable.
Or I can right click on the text layer in my layers palette and choose “simplify layer” to accomplish the same thing.
Using the magic wand tool, make your selections of the areas you want to be filled. Hold down the shift key as you make all the selections you want to include so you can do more than one at a time. You will see a little dotted line outlining the area of the selection. We like to refer to this as “marching ants”.
Once all the selections are made, then go to the layer menu in the top bar and select “new fill layer” from the drop down menu. I’m using a solid color that I chose with the eyedropper tool. If you want to get really fancy, you can play around with gradients or patterns as the fill layer. Don’t be afraid to try different things – can can always hit the undo button!
You can also adjust the color of the fill layer once you do this step.
And that is all there is to it! The font is filled and it would make a great page title.
I love to play with elements by tucking in leaves and ribbons and creating little clusters. That’s exactly what I did on when I had fun scrapping this page about my daughter.
Layout by Heddy. Supplies: You + Me = Fun by Pink Reptile Designs, Studio 68 and Studio Basic and DSD 2012 template by Sara Gleason
Psst… Do you want to know a secret?
This page is a mess “behind the scenes”! Let’s lift a few things up and take a peek.
Behind the purple flower are some leaves where I erased the stem (and evidently did a messy job of it!):
Under the jean pocket is a tucked in ticket. It was long so I just erased all the parts that might have stuck out.
If I take away the “love” journal mat, we can see some more leaves with the stems erased. And look! I forgot to take out that flower guide from the template I used! Oops!
And yet another messy leaf over at the right-side:
Remember, nothing is irreparable – if you erase too much, you can always hit “undo” or just delete the layer and then pull in a fresh element from your supplies folder.
So keep in mind that some of those pretty pages you see in the galleries might be “hiding something”!
Supplies: Heart On My Sleeve by Jumpstart Designs
When I’m shopping for digi supplies, it is the patterned paper that usually sells me on a particular kit. I love small, tight patterns that are easy to use in layering. I also love pops of colour in paper.
We’ve shared some articles over the years about patterned paper:
- Steph shared How to Use Patterned Paper, with input from TDD team
- Katie showed us how to work with Chevron Papers
- Katie also talked about using product previews to shop for the right patterned papers for your next page
Patterned papers add interest and carry the colour scheme on the page. But, they also present some challenges. Today let’s talk about how to journal when using patterned paper. How do you make your journaling stand out?
Choosing the Right Paper
Journaling directly on patterned paper can be tricky if you want the text to be readable. I found this lovely example by Kjersti at Sweet Shoppe Designs. Here she’s used a delicate tone-on-tone patterned paper as the background of the page. It adds just the right amount of interest, but still allows the journaling to be readable.
Layout by Kjersti. Credits: Spring Awakening by Kristin Cronin-Barrow and Sugarplum Paperie; Dream Land Part6, by Eudora Designs
Here’s a page I put together, also using a softly patterned background:
Layout by Heddy. Supplies: Musings by Pink Reptile Designs; iDSD templates by Crystal Livesay
Using Paint to Journal On
Using paint to create a journaling spot on patterned paper is a great trick. You can easily change the colour of the paint to suit your layout and then journal on it.
Layout by Heddy. Supplies: Plant Your Story Journaled Vol. 1 by Sara Gleason; Everyday Moments by Lauren Grier and Jenn Barrette
Work With the Pattern
When working with stripes or chevrons, try writing within the lines, like Heathergw at The Lilypad did on this lined paper:
Layout by heathergw. Supplies: I am a Prince – elements by Little Butterfly Wings; I am a Prince – papers by Little Butterfly Wings; Flairs & Borders by Little Butterfly Wings; March 2013 Template Challenge Freebie by Amy Martin; The Dry Ribbon by Heather Joyce
And Julifish at Sweet Shoppe Designs placed her journaling in one of the large circles on her background paper:
Layout by Julifish. Supplies: Spring Blooms by Juliana Kniepp and Penny Springmann
Use a Heavy Font
A thick or heavy font will stand out against a busy patterned paper. RebeccaH at The Lilypad did a great job making her words readable against the big chevron background:
Layout by RebeccaH. Supplies: Mark My Words Alpha by Pink Reptile Designs; ‘Sup Yo by CD Muckosky; Big & Bold Papers by Allison Pennington; Journal Cards No. 1 by Pink Reptile Design; Insta-frame Templates by Sahlin Studio; I Am A Prince Elements by Little Butterfly Wings; Dayplanner by One Little Bird & Paislee Press; Love Me Tender Alpha by Pink Reptile Designs
Use a Tag
Sometimes I forget about tags. I have hundreds of them, but they’re such a basic item they’re easy to overlook. A tag is a great choice when the background is just so busy that no other tricks will work.
Layout by Heddy. Supplies: Do You Remember kit by Dunia
We have so many options for including our stories while working with patterned papers!
Credits: Starfish by Forever Joy Designs, Chipboard Action by WendyZine and Krystal Hartley, Doodle Action by WendyZine
I was reading The Sweet Shoppe’s challenges for the month of March when I came across this one that I thought sounded very interesting:
Challenge 2. – Babe Erin inspired me with her ingenuity on creating her own overlay. She used laced snowflakes to create this stunning layout. Create an overlay on your layout using one element repeated.
Here’s Erin’s sample page. Isn’t it amazing?!
Page is linked to credits
I loved the idea of creating an overlay! What a fantastic way of adding texture and working with a kit! This is exactly why I am such a fan of reading and participating in challenges – they provide such great inspiration!
I decided to try out this technique here:
Page is linked to credits
It’s a super-easy way to add texture. Here’s what you need:
- A simple element with enough space around it to allow the background to show through. Items that will work well are things like stars, snowflakes, and hexagons.
- A solid paper background. (You want the element to be the star of the page here.)
Here are a few examples:
Credits: Starfish by Forever Joy Designs
Credits: Forget the Clouds by EH Studios
And that’s all there is to it! A simple way to add texture to your page and make the most of your digital supplies.
Supplies: Enjoy Life by The Cluster Queen
A while back, Steph did a great post about combining two templates into one to stretch your digi supplies and make a page that works for your photos and journaling.
We thought it would be a good idea to share how to do that, step-by-step. Don’t worry – it’s very easy!
I’m going to work with templates from the following template packs:
Step 1: Open both templates in Photoshop. I keep them “floating” rather than “docked” so that I can easily drag layers between the two template files.
Step 2: In one of the templates, select all the layers by going to the layer palette and selecting the first layer and then holding down the SHIFT-key and selecting the last layer.
Step 3: With the Move tool active, drag the selected template layers onto the other template to combine them.
Step 4: Play with the groupings until you’re happy with how to they work together. Add or delete layers, flip sections and resize as desired.
If you’re using pre-shadowed templates, don’t forget to adjust the shadows on all the layers to match each other, since the two templates might have different shadow settings.
And that’s all there is to it! Now I have a two photo template with a busier design and lots of room for journaling!
PS. Congratulations to this week’s reader, CFile, who has won $10 to Heather Joyce’s store. Thanks for commenting!