Doing My First Layout


Are you thinking that digital scrapbooking might be a good fit for you, but you aren’t sure where to start? Well, the best way to learn to digi scrap is to just dive in and try it!! I (Steph) learned to use my photo editing software (all of them…haha) buy using the wonderful tutorials online and a couple really good books. Janet started digital scrapping with a “Photoshop Elements for Dummies” book at her side. There are many on-line tutorials out there to help you get going. We also have a few books linked below that can teach you a lot about your chosen program. Although there are not many books written specifically for digital scrapping, there are many techniques in the books that can be applied to digital scrapbooking. Remember, that your library is a great resource for these books!

Here are some links for tutorials to help you out with that first layout:

Photoshop Elements (PSE)

Hummies World

Misty Cato

Atomic Cupcake

The Shabby Shoppe

Pickleberry Pop (register to receive the free stater pack and free mini-kit)

Jessica Sprague has a self-paced beginners class that you can start at anytime.


Digiscrap Info.

Digi Scrapping Tutorials

Photoshop Creative Suite (PSCS)

Digi Scrapping Tutorials

Atomic Cupcake

The Shabby Shoppe

Pickleberry Pop (register to receive a starter pack with tutorials and free mini-kit)

Jessica Sprague has a self-paced beginners class that you can start at anytime.


Your First Layout in FotoFusion

FotoFusion on YouTube

FotoFusion on YouTube

Paint Shop Pro

Digi Scrapping Tutorials

Pickleberry Pop (register to receive starter pack with tutorials and free mini-kit)


Pickleberry Pop (register to receive starter pack with tutorials and free mini-kit)

Books we like:

Photoshop Elements for Dummies

Photoshop Elements Classroom in a Book

Photoshop for Dummies

Photoshop Classroom in a Book

PaintShop Pro for Dummies


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What Program Should I Use?


When I (Steph) started digital scrapbooking several years ago, there weren’t many resources availble to help me choose which software would be the best fit for me. I started with Picture It (now discontinued), then moved to PowerPoint (oh yes, I did…haha), followed by Paint Shop Pro, along with FotoFusion, then Photoshop Elements (PSE), and finally Photoshop Creative Suite (PSCS). I just recently started using FotoFusion again for that blessed collage feature! Through using all of those programs I have learned that there isn’t ONE program that has every feature I would want it to have for my scrapbooking, but there are some features I would not live without. You most likely will not know what features YOU can’t live without until you dive in and try some programs, so let’s get started!

Tips for Choosing

When you are choosing the program you will use for digital scrapbooking here are some things to think about:

1) What features will be most important to you?

2) Can you easily find tutorials/books you understand showing you how to do what you want to do with that program?

3) What program/s are people you know using for digital scrapbooking?

4) How easily do you learn things on the computer?

5) How much time do you want to spend learning?

6) Do you think you will want to be able to design papers and other items for your pages?

7) Do you want to be able to use papers/elements purchased in digital stores?

Try Before Buying

No matter which program you choose, ALWAYS download the trial versions and play with them before purchasing. Trying before buying will help you make sure that the program will fit your needs before you spend any money and hopefully save you from any buyers remorse.

Academic Discount?

Remember, if you have a child attending school (no matter the grade), then you qualify for an educational discount at places like the Academic Super Store You will need to fax a copy of your child’s report card or registration to verify that you are elligible for the discount.

The Break-down

I have broken down some of the more commonly used software into 3 categories based on the answers above. There are also links to more indepth reviews and information on other programs below.

If you…

  • Don’t mind learning new things on a computer
  • Possibly want to design your own supplies
  • Are comfortable working from tutorials and looking for them
  • Want to add some digital items to your paper pages (journaling, borders, frames, papers, embellishments, etc.) OR create completely digi pages.

Then you should try…

  • Paint Shop Pro (PSP) –$79.99 from their site. There are a few tutorials around for digital scrapbooking (but not as many as PSE and PSCS)
  • Gimp — free; not too many tutorials available

If you…

  • Want to add some digital items to your paper pages (journaling, borders, frames, papers, embellishments, etc.) OR completely digi pages.
  • Want a program with tutorials/info. available
  • Are comfortable trying new things on a computer.

  • Don’t need the power of a photo editing program.

Then you should try…

  • ACDSee $49.99 and up from their site (doesn’t use layers, but can use layered templates sold and given away, can also use PhotoShop Brushes)
  • FotoFusion –$119 (for the version that will allow you to export a printable quality file) and up from their site.
  • Memory Mixer – $34.95 (starting)
  •, (not a program, build a layout on their site) membership $9.99/month $99./year
  • PowerPoint/Word/Keynote (possibly already on your computer)
  • My Memories

If you…

  • Don’t want to spend time learning a program at all.
  • Don’t want to use any software at all
  • Want a fast way to create some completely digital pages

Then you should try…

  • CropMom (you can use their supplies to design your own page OR use their predesigned pages for your photos)

You can compare and read reviews on different photo editing software here.

You can read reviews and compare different programs specifically for digital scrapbooking here.

What We Use…

I currently use Photoshop CS5, PSE10, and FotoFusion for my digital scrapbooking
Katie is currently using PSE10
All of our other team members are using various versions of PSE and PSCS.


Printing Layouts

(layout credits below)

***updated: you can read our recent layout printer reviews and our photobook printing reviews to find out who we prefer for printing now!***

You might also want to read our guide on how to print in photobooks

Where can I print?
Did you know that you can have 12×12 and 8.5×11 layouts (and everything in-between) printed photo quality and affordably too?? There are a couple of different ways to get your layouts printed. You can print at home, but typically home printers do not offer the same color fastness and longevity in print life as sending it out would. You can upload your layouts to a site that will print and then ship them right to your door. If you are a Sam’s or Costco Member and have one near you, you can upload your layouts and then pick them up an hour later. One of the really nice things about digital scrapbooking is that you can also have several layouts printed in a bound book. Different sites have different sizes, so you will need to check with each of the sites on the availability of the size you want to have printed.

If you are printing a size that is not standard on the site you are using, then there are steps you will need to take prior to uploading. For instance, My Pictails and Costco both have a 12×18 canvas. I (Steph) will often print one 12×12 and then two 6×6’s of the same layout on the 12×18 canvas. So, here’s what you do:
-make a new canvas that is 12×18 (at 300 dpi of course)
-open your 12×12 layout and drag it onto your blank canvas
-duplicate that layer
-resize the duplicate layer 50%
-duplicate the resized (6×6) layer
-position each layer on the canvas so they are not overlapping
-save as a new jpeg
-upload for printing

Wendy has some great actions that will do this for you and also adjust the size for bleed, here is the one for the 12×18 canvas.

For printing Janet loves to use:
Scrapbook Pictures

If you have one in your area and you are a member Steph uses:

One of the things that we each like about these sites, is the ability to upload our full-size layouts without having to print them. This becomes an off-site storage/back-up solution, which I (Steph) have been thankful for after my fair share of hardrive failures!

Other printing places
My Pic Tails

Mpix Photo

White House Custom Color (WHCC)

Another really fun way to get your layouts printed is to have them printed and bound in a book. There are several different companies to choose from for this option. Make sure you check their sites for information on bleed and sizing.
My Pic Tails
Mpix Photo

White House Custom Color (WHCC)


If you are working on calendars and want somewhere that you can print your own tops AND bottoms, we have heard good things about:
My Pic Tails
Mpix Photo



Frequently Asked Questions

Here’s our subscription FAQ

Here’s our affiliate FAQ


Q: I’m having a hard time unzipping my files I downloaded, what can I do?
A: This happens for various reasons, here is a great resource listing most of them and what you can do.  Usually, you just need to delete your files, empty your trash, temporarily disable your firewall, and download again.

Q: Can I purchase The Digi Files without a membership?
A: No, The Digi Files are only available through a membership/subscription.  Because the membership/subscription format has been so popular, there weren’t enough people purchasing The Digi Files through the store to make it worth everything necessary to have them there.  There is no obligation with a membership, you can cancel through PayPal at anytime and will not be charged the following month.

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A: Sure thing:



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Q:Who are you and what is the site about?

A: Look HERE to find out about the people and vision behind the site


Q: What is digital scrapbooking and how do I get started?

A: Look HERE for lots of great information on just getting started.


Q: What are the DIGI FILES?

A: Read our explanation of what THE DIGI FILES are.


Q: Do you have spaces open for advertisers?

A: No, THE DAILY DIGI is a completely ad free site. We have no paid advertising of any kind.  I want to have the site content driven rather than advertisement driven.


Q: Can I contribute to THE DIGI FILES?

A: We do take applications and give priority to those that apply.  We look very carefully at samples sent and often buy additional products at random from applicants stores to take a closer look.  Any designer’s products that have jagged edges or stray pixels, will not be considered.  There are many designers that have beautiful papers, but the elements are not of the same quality, we are looking for the whole package.  You can read about how to apply and the process we go through in scheduling designers on our Looking For page.  Please note that it can take many months for a designer to hear from us.


Q: Can I purchase past DIGI FILES?

A: Our agreement with designers is that we can sell their products for one calendar month only.  After that month is over, they are free to put the products in their own stores at the full retail price.  Once products are removed from our shelves, they can’t come back, so be sure you to grab them while you can!

Q: Can I purchase the Playbook without The Digi Files?

A: No.  At this time, the only way to get the Playbook is with a purchase of The Digi Files.



We are looking for layouts from THE DIGI FILES! We would love to see layouts that you have created using THE DIGI FILES! Layouts must be made almost completely with one designer’s contribution to THE DIGI FILES. When using a template, please include kit credits. Just email us at with a copy of your layout at 500×500 pixels or 500 pixels wide for a 2-page spread. Put the kit name of the product you used in the subject line. Because we may feature these layouts on the kit’s feature day, we ask that you not post them online until after the feature has run on our site. Here’s the deadline schedule:

February 1 – You & Me

February 3 – Winter Blues

February 8 – Little Mr. Handsome

February 10 – Weekend Hours

February 10 – Sweet Baby Love

Want to be a contributor to THE DIGI FILES? If you are a designer and would like to contribute to The Digi Files, please fill out this application. We will download or purchase random products to check on quality. We would love to hear from you and are always looking for new-to-us designers as well as those that are well-established. You can also read a little bit about how we choose contributors in this post. Designer’s whose products are jagged or have stray pixels will not be considered.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES: Please send images sized 500px wide. Please also include a link to the layout in a gallery or a list of all supplies. Also, please include your name (or name you go by in the digi community) and a link to your most recent/favorite gallery if you have one.


THE DIGI FILES is a collection of products by our sponsors for the month. Some of these designers you might know and love, others might be new to you, but what a GREAT way to try them out and test drive their products with such a low risk to you. It might also be fun to stretch yourself as a scrapper and see what you can do with a designer’s products you aren’t used to working with (our team sure does love it). This month, you will get SEVEN collections worth over $50 in retail value! The proceeds from THE DIGI FILES keep THE DAILY DIGI running!!

You can now subscribe and get The Digi Files automatically each month!

Zoe Pearn

Tracy Martin

Studio Wendy

Two More Days

Queen Wild Scraps


Jennifer Labre

About Janet

familyphoto2A Little About Me…

Hello and welcome to my new little nest in the great big “digi world” I am so excited to share my heart and vision for this site with you! But first, a little about me…

My name is Janet Phillips and I am the wife of nine years to a great guy named Jason and we are the parents of four amazing children. Every day when I look at these people I know that I am truly, truly blessed.

I have been digital scrapbooking for almost four years. In that four years I have been very involved in the digital scrapbooking community. I have served on creative teams for Jasbeanie, MandaBean, Mindy Teresawa, Lynn Grieveson, Dani Mogstad, Sweet Shoppe Designs, Shabby Princess, the Digi Dares, Meredith Fenwick, Cat Scrap, as well as serving on guest teams for Gina Cabrera and Gina Miller. I have been published in Digital Scrapbooking Magazine, Creating Keepsakes, and Scrapbooks, Etc. In 2007 I was named one of Creating Keepsakes Scrapbooker of the Year finalists and enjoyed a trip to Las Vegas hanging out with some of the best scrapbookers and designers in the industry.

In 2006 I started designing digital scrapbooking templates and loved that I was finally able to give back to the community. From March of 2007-January 2008 I have made Scrapbook Graphics my home. I have truly enjoyed creating templates and helping others preserve their memories. There is nothing I like better than getting emails saying that something I have created has helped someone preserve one of their precious family moments.

You can check out my personal blog if you want to keep up with our fun-filled lives!

Now, on to the site….

What you see here…THE DAILY DIGI… is a little piece of my heart. It came straight from my heart and I hope that it goes straight to yours.

After a few years of spending too much time online, there came a day when I just stopped. I just stopped surfing the net, stopped participating in message boards, stopped eyeing all the galleries. It wasn’t because of a lack of desire — these are all great places to “hang out” and my passion for scrapping was still strong. Instead, it came from a desire to spend less time in front of a computer and more time in front of the people I love.

The problem was, as much as I loved the break from the computer screen, I realized I was missing out on a lot of really cool stuff! It was from the message boards, galleries, and blog-hopping that I learned so much over the past few years! It was in these places that I learned to scrap, that I learned how to use my camera better, and that I found out about the many, many amazing designers and scrappers in the digital community. I didn’t want to be tied to my computer all day and yet I didn’t want to miss out on so much great information and inspiration!

And one day I had a thought. That thought turned into a dream. And now that dream has become a reality.

THE DAILY DIGI is going to be a place full of inspiration, information, and ideas that will come in easily digestible amounts. In ten minutes or less each day you will find tips, tools, and tricks to help you in this digital age we live in. I want you to feel inspired, to feel challenged, AND to feel the freedom to step away from the computer and start doing all those things that you have been dreaming of in your heart.

And my partner in crime (and correcting typos):



“I started scrapbooking on my computer in 2003, but didn’t discover digital scrapbooking communities and all they have to offer until 2004, after reading a special issue of Memory Makers Magazine. I truly love this hobby and have found so much joy in preserving my family’s memories digitally. I have been honored to serve on creative teams for Michelle Coleman, Nancie Rowe Janitz, ScrapArtist, Hollie McCaig, Gina Cabrera of Digital Design Essentials, Dani Mogstad, Janet Phillips, and Shabby Princess. I have also had layouts and hybrid projects published by Simple Scrapbooks and Digital Scrapbooking Magazines. In 2007, I started my own font business called Fontologie.

For several months I have had a strong desire to help people be able to more quickly learn about all of the cool things in digi world. I have been wishing for a way to share the things that have made digi scrapping such a rewarding hobby for me. There are so many tips and tricks I have learned over the years that have made it possible for me to spend more time with my family making memories and less time documenting them. I have been busy in my off-line life teaching people how to digi scrap and saw a real need for a place they could always rely on to have great information and resources. There is so much out there in digi world for us, but I think if I were new to digital scrapbooking, I would be overwhelmed and not know where to start. When Janet emailed and told me about her new site, I felt like my prayer had been answered and I begged her to let me help in anyway I could, so here I am! I am thrilled to be a part of this new and amazing site!!!”

If you have questions about the site you can check our FAQ page 🙂