One Layout Shadowed by Different Digi Scrappers


Heddy sent me an email a month or so ago asking if I would do a post with one layout, but have lots of different people do their own style of drop shadows. I thought the idea was brilliant! I sent everyone the above layout I created with supplies and a template from “My Life at Play” which is an exclusive kit members get after 12 months of subscription.

All of the scrappers sent me back the layout with their own shadows added and a description of what they did. It’s been really fun to see all of the different ways people can add drop shadows and still end up with a great looking layout! Let’s take a closer look starting with Heddy:


“I used One Little Bird’s 45 degree shadow settings.Since I’m a busy
mom and shadowing isn’t my favourite part of scrapping, I tend to just
use shadow styles as-is. It’s fast and the results are very good on
screen and printed.

For this page, I “decided” the main title words would be thicker (more
like chipboard), so instead of using the paper shadow style, I used
the button one.”


Here’s how Jenn Lindsey shadowed the layout:


These are the shadow settings I used – as consolidated as possible:
Shadow settings: – 120 degrees, color: 2d2316

All paper layers, dotted flower, sun, rainbow and photo:
opacity: 65%
Distance: 4
Spread: 0
Size: 25
“sunshine”, “lollipops”, “rainbows” Word Art:
opacity: 65%
Distance: 8
Spread: 0
Size: 13
“and” word art:
opacity: 50%
Distance: 4
Spread: 0
Size: 4
Crocheted Flower, worn flower, bow and lollipops:
opacity: 65%
Distance: 17
Spread: 0
Size: 33
opacity: 60%
Distance: 4
Spread: 0
Size: 8
leaves and cloud:
opacity: 65%
Distance: 20
Spread: 0
Size: 28
opacity: 65%
Distance: 8
Spread: 0
Size: 8


Krista Sahlin of Sahlin Studios jumped in on our challenge too:


I use an angle of 45.  For paper objects I usually do around distance 14, size 19.  For larger flowers, distance 56 size:61   I also used WAVE for the papers, and the WARP tool to pull the shadow out on the photo, and photo mat, a couple of the paper strips, and lastly, the rainbow.


Peppermint of One Little Bird Designs was able to join in on the fun as well:


Paper Bursts Shadow Settings: (Color Hex: #2C1901)


Then I just separated the shadow layers on each and used the smudge tool along the bottom edge to “ripple” the shadow a bit along the length of the paper strips.

Title Words Shadow Settings:


Except for the “and” tag, which was this:


On the script words (Sunshine, Lollipops, Rainbows) I used the Warp took to pull on the shadows on the loops of the high and low letters, like “h” “p” “l” “b” etc. Just a small nudge down and left on each of them so they weren’t so perfect. There’s no hard science to when I use the warp tool and when I use the smudge tool – it just depends on whether I want to small, imprecise changes at no specific spot on a shadow layer (like the strips of paper) or a couple of changes just at the corners or edges of an element (like the title words). The warp tool is faster if I’m just pulling on corners.

I didn’t mess with the “and” tag at all.

Rainbow and Sun elements:


Used the same settings on both of them, then released the shadows to their own layers and created some imperfection with the warp tool again since I was just adjusting along the edges.

I also dodged and burned both of these elements a bit to make them look “curled” a bit. That way my warped shadows looked more believable. Is that breaking the rules? I did it again later, so I guess I feel like I’m above the law.

Mat for Photo:


Since the photo is tacked down in the one corner by the cluster of lollipops, I released the shadow layer and then used the warp tool to pull the left side of the shadow off towards the edge of the page, then nudged the lower right corner up a bit closer to the element.



I didn’t mess with the photo shadow at all because I want it assumed that it’s glued onto the mat.

The Cloud:


I went really wide on the cloud because I needed it to sit above the photo below – and I’d already made the photo look as though it was only loosely tacked at the corner.

What I’ll refer to as “Those Scatters”:


You did something that I deliberately try to avoid here, and I think you did it just to be difficult! I always try to drop scatters below all the other elements, but you did a mixture by leaving a few on top of that rainbow and a few on your photo mat. I tried leaving them attached to the layer but I just couldn’t get past it. So I released the shadow layer and dropped it below the photo mat and the rainbow – then shadowed the whole thing again using these settings:


Then I released that one and erased the shadows on all the dots except for the ones that were on the rainbow and the photo mat.

Swirly Thing:


Released the shadow, used the smudge tools on the “loops” to make them stand out away from the page.

Dotted Flower


Left the shadow alone, it’s buried in the back. But because the flower seemed too bright for something stacked beneath so many other things I burned it a bit to make it seem more believable.

Leaf sprigs:


Released the shadow and used the smudge tool to pull the shadows down and left on just the leaf areas, like they were curled up a bit from the stem.



This was my setting for the orange (bottom) Lollipop and I just increased both the distance and the size by 10 for the other two. (Red was Distance: 40 Size: 55; Aqua was Distance: 50 Size: 65) There’s no good reason for that other than it makes sense in my head Smile. I want each one to appear slightly further from the page so it’s just easier to pick a round number and add that to each one.

I added depth to the lollipops by dodging (lightening) the upper right edge and burning (darkening) the lower left. I just like the dimension it gave the page – and since they’re epoxy and the highlight was actually on the wrong side for my light source, the dodging and burning kept it from looking odd.



Released the shadow layer and used the smudge tool to tug on the shadows for the “tails” of the bow.

Crocheted Flower:


I keep the “size” down on the shadow for anything that’s sort of loosely woven (crochet, lace, etc) so that the holes in the element are also cast in the shadow. I feel like if I make the shadow too fuzzy (with a higher size) then the element stops looking believable.

Then I released the shadow layer, smudged it a little bit (with no particular science) to make it more wavy and imperfect. Afterwards I duplicated the shadow layer, ran a Gaussian Blur of 15.0 pixels, moved the opacity down to 15% and then enlarged it (with the transform tool) to about 112% so that it cast off the opposite side of the flower a bit.

This is going to read extremely excessive – but honestly it adds about 10 seconds to my shadowing workflow and I like how it looks with bulkier objects like this that have nothing behind them but paper. If this flower were over by the lollipops where there was already a lot of depth built in I probably wouldn’t have added that extra shadow layer.

Little Green Flower:


Released the shadow layer, nudged it around a bit with the smudge tool (pulled outward on the petal shadows). Then I dodged and burned this element, too, to give it a more identifiable light source.


Here’s what Trina did for her shadows:

All the styles I used were Jenn Barrette’s Get Real Shadow Styles

I added Jenn’s Paper Shadow 2 to the papers on top of the background paper.

For the Scatter – Jenn’s Stamp/Rub on ShadowDid not shadow paint

Title – Jenn’s Alpha shadow

String – Jenn’s String shadow, then put it on it’s own layer and used the warp tool to make the loops look like they were more 3D

Photo – I did an inner shadow instead of drop shadow to make the photo look like it was inside a frame instead of on a mat.  Settings: Opacity: 78, Angle 120 (while most of the page is at 45, this worked better for the effect I was looking for)  Distance: 15 p, Choke: 0, Size: 24

Cloud – applied Jenn’s  Paper shadow 1 but changed the direction to 120 because the shadow was appearing off the page

Top lollipop – Jenn’s Flower 2 shadow, as it is furthest away from the page I thought it should have a darker shadow

Middle lollipop – Flower 2 shadow, changed direction to -45 so it would have distance from the bottom lollipop

Bottom lollipop – Leaf/Foilage shadow, wanted a softer effect.  Also did this one at –45

Leaves – Jenn’s Leaf/Foilage shadow

Rainbow – Jenn’s twisty Ribbon shadow

Sun – Flower2 shadow, I wanted it to stand out on the background a bit better than the paper shadow I started with.


Here’s Lauren’s version of shadows for this layout:


all: blend mode: linear burn, angle: 45

sunshine, lollipops, rainbows: blend mode opacity: 55, distance 9, size 10
and tag: blend mode opacity: 51, distance 17, size 10
flower button: opacity 55, distance 16, size 21
crotched flower: opacity 42, distance 14, size 16
bow: opacity 52, distance 30, size 32
lollys: opacity 55, distance 24, size 21
string: opacity 38, distance 22, size 13
leaves: opacity 38, distance 17, size 29
cloud: opacity 55, distance 5, size 10
photo: 0
dotted flower: opacity 39, distance 17, size 13
scatters: opacity 55, distance 6, size 5
photo mat: opacity 58, distance 11, size 13
paper strips: opacity 55, distance 5, size 10
rainbow: opacity 55, distance 5, size 10
sun: opacity 55, distance 5, size 11
brush accent: changed blend mode to multiply w/ an opacity of 45


Five different scrappers and five different ways of doing drop shadows. In the end, all of the layouts look great! Shadows can be an art form all by themselves. I’m more like Peppermint, Krista, and Jenn and I love to play with drop shadows; it’s fun to me. If it’s not fun to you, you might be a bit more like Trina or Heddy…or somewhere in-between. It’s all good!