The DailyDigi

Create Your First Scrapbook Layout: So Easy A Child Can Do It!

Photograph: Julian Masters Photography

One afternoon as I was watching Andrea Bethke's Haul videos, I asked Emily if she would like to scrapbook...

"Am I old enough?"

"Sure, would you like to use paper scrapbooking stuff or try digital scrapbooking on the computer?"

"I would like to do it on the computer, so then it would be easier to do the writing." Emily's just turned seven, so she like the idea of being able to correct spelling mistakes easily! (Don't we all!)

So it was time to get things all set up for her first scrapbook page. I thought I'd walk you through the thinking behind how I taught her, so you may be able to help a young one in your life too!


Photoshop Elements. If you know me you know that I'd go for Photoshop Elements. It's my program of choice and I've been using it for 10 years now. I just installed Photoshop Elements on the laptop that we share. You can install Adobe software on both your laptop and desktop computer.

Alternative: Use what you know. If you are helping a new scrapper, now's probably not the time to try to learn something new yourself. Sure, My Memories Suite is about $50 with a coupon, but you want to be familiar with the software before you try to teach it.


Flickr. I wanted Emily to have her choice of the photos, without risking her saving over my original photos.

Since I use the Flickr Auto-Uploader and an Eye-Fi card all of our photos are on Flickr as well as on our desktop computer.

So I let her browse my Flickr account in the Camera Roll view. Each time she clicked on a photo it was added to a bin at the bottom of the screen.

Then we just clicked download and unzipped the photos in her download folder.

Alternative: Simply drag a copy of the photos onto the desktop for your little scrapbooker to use.

Creating the Page

As Emily is new to scrapbooking, I felt like explaining templates would add another layer of complexity. So we kept it simple and just used a Preset blank page.

  1. Click File - New - Blank File
  2. Select the size page you want to create from the Size dropdown.
  3. Click Ok. Easy as pie.

Alternative: Try a quick page, or use a template.


Content Library: We started by using the built-in content library in Photoshop Elements. Sure, the graphics are not going to be on trend or quite the quality we are used to, but it was super easy as their frames automatically clip the photos.

To see the content library:

  1. Select Expert Mode in the PSE Editor
  2. Click on Graphics

The Graphics panel includes backgrounds, frames, graphics, shapes and text. Each section displays thumbnail examples that you can add. Most sections offer a menu of categories and subcategories. When you add a graphic to the scrapbook pages, it is added as a new layer and does not affect the original image.

As you add the graphics to your page they will download from the internet, but the short lag didn't bother us.

Alternative: Select a kit and open all the bits and pieces for your little scrapbooker to use.

How To

The elements of a scrapbook page are:

  • photos
  • text (journaling/title)
  • graphics (paper/embellishments)

So our aim for the first page was for Emily to get photos on to the blank page, add frames and some journalling.

To achieve this, I showed Emily just two basic tools. The move tool move tool and the type tool type-tool.

Her process was:

  1. Click on a frame from the built-in Graphics (it automatically adds the frame in its default size on the page)
  2. Drag a photo onto the gray landing zone
  3. Resize the frame
  4. Resize or move the photo as needed

I also went into the Tool options menu on the right to uncheck Auto Show Tool Options, so it was easier for Emily to see and drag in photos without having the Tool Options cover the Photo Bin.

Then Emily added a text box for the title. She could have applied a text style from the Graphics panel too, but she left it plain for now.

The End Result

Here is Emily's page:

Gotta love Pokemon! Next time I may have to show her this kit (which may or may not have gone into my collection the day it came out!).

Emily's already started on another page:

It's never to early to scrapbook Christmas!

Not Just for Children!

We all talk about supporting our industry, and the best way to do that is to introduce digi scrapping to those around us.

If you have a budding scrapbooker in your life, why not set aside 15 minutes to pull together a few things so you can use to help them create their first page?

I'm excited that I'll have a little buddy to scrapbook alongside me!

Have you introduced your children to scrapbooking?

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