My favorite template trick


If you look over my layouts from the past year, you will notice a trend – the photo spaces have gotten bigger. I have a lot of completed digital scrapbook layouts, so I decided to look through them all in one sitting to evaluate my style. I decided that I’m ok with a lot of different styles, but the one thing that was constant for me is that I like larger photos on my pages. Another constant for me is that I almost always use templates because they are such time savers. I’ve found that many templates are designed with smaller spaces for photos. I have no problem with that though because I know how to stretch a template to fit my needs. It’s so easy!

I’ve done this twice with a template from this month’s Digi Files. I absolutely love Sarah’s templates (Zinnias and Swallowtails) and I’ve already used this one two times.


It’s a great template and like her other ones, I know I will use it multiple times!  Here are the layouts I’ve already made with this template:


Layout by Katie, additional supplies:  Weeds and Wildflowers Sweet and Simple Kit #6, Font is Century Gothic

sgleason_dandelion_five copy

Layout by Katie. All supplies from The Digi Files #28 (April 2011)

Notice how much bigger my photos are on my layouts? I stretched the template to fill up more of the canvas. You can stretch (or shrink) anything on a template with just a few simple steps. I’m going to use this template one more time so I can show you exactly how to use this trick.

Open the template in your photo editing program. I’m using Photoshop Elements 8 for this demonstration. (click image to enlarge)


Make sure you can see the stack of layers and decide which ones you want to enlarge. I want to enlarge everything except for the background paper so I’m going to select all of the layers but that one. I can do this by hitting the ctrl button on my keyboard as I select the desired layers by clicking on each one with my mouse. This lets me make more than one selection at a time. You can see that the layers I have selected are a darker color (to the right) and that the background paper is not selected.


You can also tell that layers are selected by looking at the actual template because of the black dotted line around the chosen areas.


Put your mouse on the corner of the dotted line until you see an arrow. Then grab that arrow and move your mouse to stretch it.


It will ask you to confirm this action by clicking on the green arrow when you are done. Or you can choose the red circle to reject the change. By moving all of the pieces together at one time, you keep the original proportions that the template designer intended to use, so you will end up with a nice looking finished layout.

You can stretch the template in one direction, instead of using the corner to stretch everything in proportion. Be aware that this will distort many shapes on the template and also will make it difficult to use pre-designed text paths.


This could still be used as a template if I deleted the text box and added my own. I would also want to adjust how I used the embellishment guides – this would become more like a sketch that I worked from instead of being able to clip papers to the actual embellishment shapes.

Keeping the template design in proportion is why I love to stretch everything at once using the mouse in the corner trick.  For this layout, I decided to stretch everything to fill up the canvas a little more. I also moved the whole block down further on the page to leave room for a big title on top.


After altering the template, it’s ready to be filled with photos and digi supplies.

sgleason_dandelion_five_stretched copy

Layout by Katie. Papers by Amy Wolff (barely there) and Misty Mareda (chatterbox). Word art by Kitty Designs. Font is Century Gothic.


When you change the look of a template, you can get even more use of it. Have fun stretching your templates!