I have realized that I own a lot of Commercial Use (CU) patterns, overlays and other elements. Steph did an awesome CU / PU post in the past that explains what these terms mean. I’m not a designer, but I pick up CU products from time to time because they’re so versatile and are useful to help me fill out a page when I need just “one more thing”.
Normally, when I make a digital paper, it is just to add “one more” paper to a kit that I have already purchased. My favourite layering papers are ones with small graphic patterns, like narrow stripes or chevrons. So, if a kit doesn’t have quite enough, I know that I can easily make one by using the eye dropper tool to select a colour and then make the one paper that I need.
I didn’t want to work with an existing kit for this post. Instead, I started with this picture of my daughter’s stick-on tattoo from last summer and I pulled out some fun colours.
Then I started making papers. Simple papers are really easy with CU products (and sort of addictive to make!). Here are a few that I made using the colours above:
All patterns are Miss Tiina and textures are Melissa Bennett, both from SugarHillCo.
Like I said, I usually only make one paper to add to a page, but it was fun to make them for this post! Here’s how you do it:
Paper Making Steps
Step 1 – Create a new document
Create a new document in Photoshop using these settings:
- Width = 12 inches
- Height = 12 inches
- Resolution = 300 ppi
- Background = White
Step 2 – Drag on a CU pattern
Step 3 – Recolour the pattern
I selected a colour from my chosen colour palette (above) and recoloured the dots by using an colour overlay, in the Layer > Styles menu. This is the fastest way to recolour the entire layer in one colour.
If I had wanted to use multiple colours, I would have used my paint bucket to fill in individual dots in different colours.
Step 4 – Add texture
I used Designer Overlays 4 by Melissa Bennett.
Step 5 – Change blend mode on texture overlay
With the texture layer active, change the layer blend mode to “overlay”. Adjust the opacity of the layer as desired.
Notice that with this method, the pure white background has no texture in the final version. I’m okay with that for three reasons:
- When the paper is printed, it will take on the texture of the paper it is printed on.
- I usually only create papers with really tight patterns so there is minimal white showing on the paper.
- The papers I create are used as layering pieces to complement a purchased kit, so they are just a small amount of the overall finished scrapbook page.
However, if you prefer to have texture visible in the digital version, then change the colour of the background to an off-white and play around until enough texture is visible. A good way to start is to use the eye dropper on a white paper you already own and like. That will help you find an ideal off-white.
Note: The same rule applies with black papers in that texture won’t be visible on a pure black background. However, if you adjust the colour an almost-black shade, the texture will be more defined.
Step 6 – Save
Save the papers as a high-resolution JPG file, which is a “flattened” file type. Now it’s ready to use on a scrapbook page!
Simple digital papers in patterns are really quick and easy to make using CU patterns and texture overlays. It’s also really addictive!
You can also take your PU brushes and paint splats, etc., and grunge up the papers a bit to add a more artsy touch. When it’s for your own personal pages, it’s okay to mix your PU and CU goodies. Have fun with it!