Super Fast and Super Great Looking Titles


Supplies: Doodled notebook paper by Jacque Larsen, “dude” by CD Muckosky, all other patterned papers and elements by Karen Lews, font is Cry Kitty

I love titles that look like they were created with an alpha, but I’m lazy and don’t always want to drag and drop each letter onto the layout, position, resize, etc. So, I thought I would share another secret for creating great titles… Atomic Cupcake actions! They work in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements and she has GREAT instructions for installing them in each version (installing actions in Photoshop Elements 3,4,5,6,7,8,9 and installing actions in Photoshop).

The Atomic Cupcake actions are non-destructive, which means, they make a copy of the layer you are applying the action to, put it on it’s own canvas and you can move it to your layout when it’s done. Because of this, I typically run the actions on a layer on my layout. Below is a picture of how one of my titles looked after running the action:




The first thing I do is pick my font, color, and type the title. For some of these actions, I prefer a piece of paper clipped to the title and for others, that won’t be necessary. Either way, I rasterize or simplify the title layer (PS: right click on the layer and select “Rasterize” PSE: right click on the layer and select “Simplify”).


To use any of the actions, you will need to select the text using the Magic Wand or the Marquee tool and be sure the text layer is selected in the layers pallete. A window will pop-up at the start of each action with any specific instructions (what the foreground and background colors will do) at which time you can click on “Stop” of you need to set anything before continuing.


Stamped Acrylic


The first action is the “Stamped Acrylic” action. It does just what its’ name says and makes the title look like it was stamped with acrylic paint. This action does not need a paper layer clipped to it. It’s a super fun look and so easy to create by pushing the Play button. Here’s what it looks like on my layout:



Distressed Edge 2


The Distressed Edge 2 action makes the edges look a little like they’ve been filed, sanded, and roughed up. This is one of the actions that you will want to clip a paper to the text and merge those layers before running the action. The foreground color will become the core of the paper. Here’s what it looks like on my layout:



Inked Edges

The Inked Edges action was one of the first ones I bought from Atomic Cupcake. I’ve always loved the look of inked edges in paper scrapbooking and was thrilled when I was able to easily duplicate them in digital. This is another action that does well with a piece of paper clipped to the shape or text. Here’s what it looks like:


Here’s a look at the Inked Edges title on my layout:





The “Marker” (comes with the action below as well) action makes the selection look like it was colored in and outlined with a marker. It even adds a bleeding look to it in areas and is perfectly imperfect in tracing the lines! I added a white stroke to mine to make it look like it was on a sticker:



Marker Edge


The “Marker Edge” (comes with the action above as well) action creates an outline that looks like it was created with a thick marker. It’s super fun! I used the bucket tool to fill each letter with a different color:



Sketch and Paint


I think this might be one of my new faves (I really do love them all though).”Sketch and Paint”  uses your foreground and background colors for the paint and marker. The paint has a transparent look like it would if it were stenciled. Here’s how it looks on my layout:


These are just a few of the actions BriAnna has available that can create cool titles. Out of all of these, I’m not sure which title I like best for this layout. Do you have one you prefer? I’d love to hear what you think!

P.S. I paid for all of these actions, this post was in no way sponsored. 🙂

More Than You Want To Know About Type

Once in a while, someone can ask me a simple question about…anything and I start rambling off an answer. Before I know it, I have told them more than they ever wanted to know about the subject (it could be something related to digital scrapbooking or it could be how my day is going or what I had for breakfast). Suddenly, I’m embarrassed and wish I would have shut my mouth after just a sentence or two. Today, I’m going to share some information about the Type Tool and when this post goes live, I might find myself embarrassed and thinking, “Way more than they wanted to know about Type!” Hopefully, you can find something new you might want to try.

The type tools in Photoshop Elements and especially Photoshop are very powerful. I would be willing to guess that most of us don’t use them to their full capability, or even close. There are so many cool effects we can do with type, if we know the right places to click.

Here are some of my favorite resources with comprehensive guides for using the Type Tool and all of its’ options in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements:

A Comprehensive Introduction to the Type Tool (Photoshop)
Type Tool (Photoshop)
Type Tool (Photoshop Elements)

You get more customization options in Photoshop than you do in Photoshop Elements. Many of these same customization options are available in PaintShop Pro as well. There are a couple of options that are often unknown or misunderstood, I wanted to cover them a bit today.

Metric Kerning vs. Optical Kerning

Kerning is the spacing between letter pairs (read more about Kerning on Wikipedia). Many typographers manually kern their fonts when they create them. That means, they go through each letter combination pair and manually adjust the spacing between them so they loo right. Manually kerning is tedious, time consuming, and addicting all at the same time. A font that is kerned well can take years to create. This is why expensive fonts are expensive.

TypeToolIn the kerning drop-down in Photoshop, you have some choices, we are going to focus on Metrics, Optical, and 0. The Photoshop help file says:

“Metrics kerning uses kern pairs, which are included with most fonts. Kern pairs contain information about the spacing of specific pairs of letters. Optical kerning adjusts the spacing between adjacent characters based on their shapes.”

If you select 0 the spacing between letters will not be based on the shape of the letters at all. This is the default setting in Photoshop Elements and can’t be changed. Let me show you a comparison:

imageThis is my Fontologie Giggles font set to 0 in Photoshop, which is also how you will see it in Photoshop Elements.

imageThis is the same word and font, I only changed the kerning setting to “Metric”. The biggest difference is the space between the “F” and “a” which together become a “kerning pair”. The kerning pairs on the “Metric” setting are the ones I manually added when I created the font.

imageThis is the same word again, using the same font but with the “Optical” setting. Once again, the only noticeable change is the spacing between the “F” and “a”. This spacing is based on the font and the letter shapes and is Photoshop’s best guess.

Another little known feature that some high-end Open Type Fonts come with are ligatures and additional characters. To access these, just click on the little fly-out menu button in the Character window:


Then, on the fly-out menu, select OpenType and another menu will open. You can then turn off and on different selections by checking or un-checking them. I usually select items based on each letter depending on the look I am going for. By highlighting one letter in a word at a time, I can experiment with turning on and off different features.



imageThis is the font Feel Scrip without any OpenType options selected.


This is the same font (Feel Script) with the OpenType options “Stylistic Alternates” and “Discretionary Ligatures” selected


Again, this is the Feel Script font with the OpenType options “Contextual Alternates” selected on the “F” and “Swash” selected on the “y”.

imageThis time, I used a lowercase “f” and selected “Stylistic Alternates” for it and “Contextual Alternates” for the “y”.

You can get so many looks from one font it is amazing! This is the other reason expensive fonts are expensive…it takes a long time to design all of those different options for every character in a font!

How’s that for a not-so-short explanation of some of the cool things the Type Tool can do! In true geek fashion, it was probably more than you ever wanted to know, but hopefully a little helpful!

Titles Don’t Have to Be On Top

Layout by Katie. Heather Roselli Treasured from The Digi Files 15 (March 2010) template by Janet Phillips, Fill-a-bet alpha by me, Pea Jiawei font.


It’s natural for us to think that the title of the page should go toward the top of the layout since that is how we are taught in school. Put the title at the top of the page and then write the story, that’s just the way it’s supposed to be. Or is it? The nice thing about being creative is that you can change the rules around! In this case, there really are no “rules” – just conventions that we might want to question from time to time. If you feel like you are stuck in a rut when it comes to page titles, consider moving them around to different locations for a fresh approach.

Including the title at the end of your journaling is a great way to emphasize the message you documented.

Layout by Katie. Template by Janet Phillips (the Misc. collection)Girls are Yucky by Lili Designs from The Digi Files 8 font is CK footnote


What about right in the middle of the page for a strong visual impact?

Layout by Katie. Fontologie Textura font


Try rotating your title for a unique look.

Layout by Katie. Template by Hillary Heidelberg Fiesta Peppers by Jacque Larsen Hootie font


Include the title as part of a photo or embellishment cluster to tie everything together visually.

Layout by Katie. Tracey Howard Snow Day from The Digi Files 10 Template by Audrey Neal Font is CK printer


An easy way to incorporate a title into the design of the layout is to use a pre-designed word art piece for a title.

Layout by Katie. Story Template by SuzyQ scraps High Seas kit by Kay Miller Times New Roman font


Titles are a great way to introduce the photo on the page, no matter where they are placed.

Layout by Katie. Template by me. Kit is Let them Eat Cake by Gina Cabrera. Fonts are CK footnote and Fontologie Chubby Times


If you are looking for even more inspiration for page titles check out these previous posts:

Next time you get ready to add a title to a layout, consider putting it somewhere other than the top of the page. Have fun and try new things!

Text Size Matters

Digital scrapbookers often wonder what is the right size for text on their layouts? This is something that I (Katie) still have to think about as well because it seems like the “perfect size” of text is a little harder to determine when you use a variety of fonts in your scrapbooking.

It also depends on if you want to print a page as a 12×12 or in a smaller size such as an 8×8 (my favorite size). Generally I use a 12 or 14 pt. size of text but I have varied these numbers as low as 10 and as high as 20.

A lot of it depends on personal preference as well, but do try to think ahead into the future when smaller print will be more difficult for your older eyes to read. (Sad, but true!) Also, you want Grandparents and friends of all ages to enjoy looking through your layouts so keep the text size readable.

One thing to note – I create my layouts as 12×12 and then print them out as 8×8. This means the text will shrink down a bit as I reduce the size. I know many digi scrappers like to create their layout in the size it will be printed as, but I like to have the option to print something larger if I want to.

When I put together my Week in the Life album last year, I had SO much journaling to include that I chose a font that was a little more compact (Courier New) Even though I chose a 14 pt. size, I have to admit that after I printed up the pages in 8×8 size, the text is a bit small. I wish I had bumped it up to about a 16, even if that meant I had to create an extra few pages. I don’t have a problem reading the text now, but someday I will probably have to pull out my glasses to fully enjoy those layouts. Live and learn!

See the link on Flickr for this layout to read the journaling and get a better look at the text size.


Layout by Katie. Template and word art by Ali Edwards. Story of Everyday Life collab kit available with monthly or annual subscription at The Daily Digi. Courier New font


Here’s a layout I did with a font that prints up in a larger size (CK journaling). I also used a 14 pt. text size on this layout, but the font is larger than most. See link on Flickr to read the journaling and to get a better look at the text size.

Layout by Katie. You’re my cup of tea by Sir Scrapalot, template by Kellie Mize, CK journaling font


Can you tell that this is not an exact science? You sort of have to get a feel for how prominent (and readable) you want your text to be – both on screen, and in printed form. The best way to do this is to just try a few different sizes and see how they look once they are printed out. I think I will start making a note in my credits of the text point size used. This also will come in handy if I later create an opposing page and want the journaling to look cohesive.

I asked our creative team members to share some of their tips and tricks for text size as well. I find that I always learn something new from these talented ladies!


I always journal on my pages, so text size is a big deal for me! I want to be able to read my pages when I am old and gray! I scrap in size 12×12 and size my layout on the screen to 25%, which approximates an 8×8 layout on my monitor. (I print in 8×8) If the text is readable on the screen, it will be readable once printed.
– For bold texts and clean texts, I find I can go a bit smaller.
– For script or messy fonts, I err on the side of a bit larger.
– In general, I rarely go below 12 pts and usually prefer 14.


Depending on the font style I usually us 12 to 14 pts. Unless I am looking for a larger size for a label, title etc. I scrap 8.5×11, 8×8 and 12×12 normally but I don’t change for the size of the layout.


Right now I’m mostly using 12 pt, sometimes 11 pt; especially when I use an easy to read font. When I first started digital scrapbooking I tended to type in 16 or 18 pt, the PSE work screen kind of tricked me to believe the font needed to be that big to be readable (I forgot that when printed the page would be so larger than what I saw…) I print the pages in 8×8 if I do an 12×12 size to save a little money as well as storage space.

Melissa S.:

I usually use 14pt. 12 is great on 12×12 prints, but I find it gets pretty small if you resize it down to 8×8 (I create 12×12 and print my photobooks at 8×8)


I tend to start with 14pt, and adjust as necessary depending on the font I’m using. For me it tends to depend on how much journaling I have, and what kind of space I’m trying to fill up with it. I usually keep the text size fairly small and if I want to fill up more space with it, I’ll adjust the space between the lines of journaling versus enlarging the text size too much. Like others have stated, I used to use a much larger size when I first started digi scrapping but when I had them printed the text seemed too large so now I tend to keep it smaller.


I scrap 12×12, but print 8×8 or 10×10. The smallest I make my type is 18pt. I have trouble reading small type, even with my glasses, so I take that into account and make my type larger than most people do. If you want to test your perfect size, type something up in a bunch of different sizes and print it out at 100%. See how it looks. Pick the size you like the best. Then make the size conversion. If you scrap 12×12, but print 8×8, multiply your favorite type size by 150%. If you scrap 12×12, but print 10×10, then multiply your favorite type size by 120%. (I like 12pt type when printed, so I multiply that by 1.5 and get 18 pt type. So I know my 12×12 must use at least 18pt type.)

We’d love to hear if you have any great tips for determining the best text size for your layouts!

katie big

Terrific Text Tricks

I asked our team to share with us some of their text tricks and they have some really fun things to share!  I am so excited with these gorgeous layouts!

Here’s what Lauren said about this layout: i just drew the swooshy shape, then placed text where i wanted to go and adjusted it to fit. then i added doodles to fill in the gaps.  if you want to get wild with fonts, i say GO FOR IT! to keep things cohesive, try sticking to a few fonts and use one as the major focus with the others used as accents.

image papers, flowers & crown (altered), #s, buttons, tape by the (The Shabby Shoppe), ink brushes by nancy rowe janitz – (scrapartist); doodley bits, etc by me, Lauren Reid – (ninthandbloom); fonts: daily birdie by audrey neal (digitalhousedesign), elise, lamar pen, casual, freeze!, marcelle script (dafont)

Jenn likes to tuck text on little strips throughout the layout when there isn’t enough room for journaling:

imageLayout by Jenn, supplies:  Batter Up by Chelle’s Creations, Batter Up Blue by Chelle’s Creations, Boys of Summer by Brittish Designs (star string)

More text on strips by Jenn:image

layout by Jenn, supplies: kids at Play by Scrap Matters Design Team, Font: Pea Alisha

Cover up bits of text with elements to give the layout a realistic feel:image

Explore, Learn, Grow by Sahlin Studio, Enjoy the Moment add-on by Sahlin Studio, Around the World add-on by Sahlin Studio; Font: Pea Jack and Jane

On this layout, Jenn has the text coming out from the focal point photo (her cute son) just like rays of sunshine.image

Psycho Magnet Reloaded & Crazy Stitches 1 by Flergs, In Bloom alpha (recolored), shadows from Flergs blog freebie (modified in places), glitter sparkle from In Bloom glitters. Jacki’s Hand font

Trina found these next two layouts for me (linked to gallery with credits):


Our team has lots of guesses on how the text is done on this layout, including scanning and a tablet.  If this layout is yours, please share in the comments your great text trick!  We have spent much time studying it! 🙂


This layout alternates colors in the list style journaling:image

Melissa puts emphasis on one word here by its’ color:

This layout successfully combines 3 different fonts. One trick for combining fonts is to make sure they are different styles: she used 1) hand script font, 1) type font and 1) hand printed font.

There are soooo many fun things you can do with text on a layout and we hope to bring you even more ideas in this area during the coming months!  If you have some text tricks that you would like to share with us, please do just that in the comments! 🙂

My Favorite Title Trick


Supplies: Kristin Cronin-Barrow’s Tropical Hideaway

My favorite way to create titles is by using a great font and making it look like an alpha.  Sometimes, I’m just too lazy to arrange letters one-by-one 😉 .  Below, I share a play-by-play of how this title was created.

I typed my title word using Clementine Sketch.  With this font, you must start each word with a capital letter and end it with ^ so that you get a fully closed word.  Since the v does not connect with the other letters, I typed the title like this VAcations^ which gave me a completely closed word.

Next I selected the magic wand:


I clicked outside of the word ‘vacations’ (the settings at the top are shown for your convenience):


You will get marching ants on your page that look like this:


Next, you need to invert the selection by going to shft+ctrl+i or select>inverse.  Now, your selection will look like this:


If you look closely, there are some parts that we need to subtract from the selection (the inside of the o and s).  To do this select ‘subtract from selection’ (as shown below) or hold down the alt key while clicking inside the o and s.  You might want to zoom in to help with accuracy.


After clicking and subtracting those areas, they should look like this:


Create a new layer by clicking on the new layer icon:

image Make sure that the new layer is below the title layer like this:


Select the eyedropper tool:

image Click on a color you want the inside of your text to be, I’m choosing the lighter blue in these papers:


Make sure the desired color is the foreground color:

image Now select the paint bucket tool:

image With the paint bucket tool, click inside the selection of your title and your selection will be filled with the desired color:


I decided that I wanted my outline to be brown and then add a sticker border.  So, I will select the type layer again in the layers palette:

image Now, select the type tool by clicking on it in the tool bar OR use the keyboard shortcut ‘t’.  Click on the color in type toolbar at the top of the window:

image Now, I’m going to click on the brown paper and the outline of the title will turn brown:


Now, go to select>modify>expand and below is the settings I chose, feel free to experiment with different numbers:


Create a new layer as we did above and make sure that the new layer is below the text and below the color, like this:


With that new layer selected, choose a white color and then with the paint bucket tool, click inside the selection (just like we did for the blue above):


Now, lets get rid of those marching ants by using the keyboard shortcut, ctrl+d and we have the completed title:


Favorite Fonts for Journaling

Layout by Jen L.  Credits: Pedal Pusher by Connie Prince Font: Pea Jane

If you want to turn a layout into something special, just add some heartfelt journaling! It’s no secret that we here at The Daily Digi love journaled pages. We have a whole category of “Write-Way”posts to help you get inspired to write (or type) on your own pages:

As a follow-up to the post Fabulous Fonts for Titles, I (Katie) thought it would be fun to share some great fonts for journaling.


  • PRINTED SIZE – No matter what style of font you use, make sure it is readable size when it is printed out. You might need to experiment with font sizes to see what you like on a printed page. I never use smaller than a 12 pt. size for journaling  because it is just too hard to read. I usually use more like a size 16 or 18, although I have gone as big as 28 pt. at times. Font sizes vary quite a bit, but once you find a few that you like, make some notes on how they print out in different sizes. Remember if you are working on a 12×12 canvas but only printing an 8×8 layout, your journaling will shrink. This is really a matter of personal preference so there is no “right” or “wrong” here, just make sure you can read it. It also is wise to think about older eyes so that Grandparents can read the text as well. Don’t forget that you will be old someday also. 🙂

Layout by NeeNee Merry and Bright by Kristin Aagard
Font is DJB_Brittany by Darcy Baldwin

A note from NeeNee – I actually use Darcy Baldwin’s Brittany font often.  I try to mix it up and have to make a conscious effort to not use it so my pages look different.   Cheesy I definitely lean more toward fonts that look like handwriting.  In fact, I don’t think any or very few have writing that don’t use a handwritten looking font.  I use mostly print and not cursive.  I want to make sure the pages will be legible for me when I am old and showing them to my grandkids.  LOL

  • LEGIBILITY – Another readability factor is the legibility of a font. If you use a cursive or handwritten type of font, is it still easy to read? I used to love to use fancy cursive fonts until I realized that my kids were having a hard time deciphering some of the words.

Layout by Melissa L. Credits: Sahlin Studio/Jacque Larsen Water Park Crystal Livesay Creator template (altered).

Melissa says that “DJB Brittany is one of my favorite handwriting fonts!”

  • DESIGN – Font choice contributes to the overall feeling and design of a scrapbook page. How you present the text is also a design element. Do you want to fully justify the text into a neat block? Here’s a fun example of how a perfectly lined up block of text can act as an important embellishment on the page itself.

Layout by Melissa L. Credits: Zoe Pearn Sweet Nothings kit, Crystal Livesay All About Mom template, Suzy Q stamped alpha by C.D. Muckosky

Melissa says “I use AmerType Md BT for a lot of my pages.”


Here NeeNee uses half of her page space for journaling which creates the feeling of a background design that completes the layout.

Layout by NeeNee Sisterly Love by Wild Dandelion Designs and Kristin Cronin-Barrow
Font: SF Rachel (from
Sugar Frog Fonts)

  • PERSONALITY – Fonts have a personality all their own. Handwritten style fonts often feel a bit more playful or casual.

Layout by Dunia Font: Christopher Hand B is for Boy Kit by Designs by Lili Highlights Brush Set by Amy Wolff Birthday Word Art by Sahlin Studio

Dunia says “I love handwritten fonts and Christopher Hand is one of my favorites fonts.”


Layout by Jen L. Credits: It’s Bath Time and Painted Alphas by Jofia Devoe, Life’s A Beach Snippettes by Sahlin Studio, Date Blots by Stolen Moments Designs Font: Designer Notes.

Jen says “I tend to do most of my journaling in handwritten or typewriter type fonts. I’m a fan of a lot of the Fonts for Peas, and use quite a few of them often. Think my favorite one is Pea Jane, because it looks the most like my hand writing. A different handwritten type of font I tend to use frequently is Designer Notes.”


Layout by Jen L. Credits: Playtime by Sahlin Studio and DeCrow Designs, Explore, Learn, Grow by Sahlin Studio, Hey Boy by ON Designs Font: Pea Alisha


Typed fonts add a more graphic style or even a quirky feel to a layout. Type style fonts are great for text blocks.

Layout by Karen CREDITS: Lauren Reid Old Fancy Stamps, Luckiest Day kit, Love Day 2 word art, Everyday ribbon, Happy Place grid paper; Fontologie Printing Primer font; design inspired by Ali Edwards

A note from Karen – I use Steph’s Printing Primer a TON for journaling. I love that it’s typed looking, but is a bit quirky at the same time. I also use Traveling Typewriter a lot. I use a lot of random Pea fonts for journaling, too.

Layout by Karen. CREDITS: Leora Sanford A Year To Remember kit; Font is Traveling Typewriter



Layout by Katie. Embellished template by Kitty Designs. Font is Century Gothic

I adore the clean look of simple fonts. I love to use Century Gothic and other basic fonts that came installed with my word processing program.

I’ve already linked to more than 10 great journaling fonts throughout this post. How about 10 more of our favorites? Several of them are even free!

  1. Ali Edwards official font
  2. Becky Higgins Jot font
  3. Darcy Baldwin All the Cool Chicks
  4. Lettering Delights Elementary
  5. Loosie Script
  6. CK Constitution
  7. Lettering Delights Pookie
  8. Journaling Hand
  9. Fontologie Journal Away
  10. Antipasto

We’d love to know what your favorite journaling fonts are so feel free to leave us a comment!


P.S. The random winner for yesterday’s giveaway was Mary (Happy Now) who said “The this woman’s work kit is awesome! And, from the store, I LOVE the date strips! Sort of a simple selection, but I am working on a Week in the Life project right now, so those would TOTALLY come in handy! Thanks!” Congrats Mary and be sure to check your inbox!

Fonts Don’t Float


If you look at the layout above very closely, you will see that the fonts and paints follow the texture of the paper. Have you ever looked at a layout with a great textured paper and on top of that is a font that looks like it’s floating? It doesn’t take on the paper texture at all. Suzy is going to teach us the greatest trick to fix that!! I have used blending modes on layers before, but could never really get them to look the way I wanted, until Suzy shared this trick.


I am SO excited to be contributing tutorials to The Daily Digi. Back in February, I shared a text trick as part of my designer spotlight. Steph asked if I’d write up the tutorial with screen shots this month and I am happy to oblige.

When you write on paper in real life, the pen follows the surface of the paper you’re writing on — all the bumps and fun textures add life to the text. And we all know that pens don’t always flow smoothly — except in digi-land. 😉 I’ve noticed that sometimes in digital layouts, the journaling looks a bit fake, almost like it’s not quite part of the page, because the texture of the paper beneath isn’t part of the writing like it would be in real life. So I learned this little trick to add some “reality” to my journaling and I’m going to show you how to do it too. You can use this on papers, journal blocks, tags — any paper/element that has some texture. (Note: The step-by-step instructions are for PS users. Blending Options aren’t available in PSE, but I share a tip at the bottom for how PSE users can try to mimic this effect.)
Let’s get started!

1. Place your text layer above the layer you want to “write” on. (In this example, I’m using a bold basic font and a super-crinkled kraft background from my Krafty Stash #2 to illustrate the technique.)

2. Click on the fx icon (bottom of the layers palette) and choose Blending Options.

We’ll be manipulating arrows in the “Blend If” section of the box that pops up. The black arrow focuses on the dark shades of the layer beneath and the white arrow focuses on the lighter shades.

3. Slide the black arrow under “Underlying Layer” towards the right until the text starts to disappear.
4. Hold down ALT and slide the left half of the black slider back to the left so some of the text reappears.
5. Slide the right arrow under “Underlying Layer” towards the left until the text starts to disappear.
6. Hold down ALT and slide the right half of the black slider back to the right so some of the text reappears.
7. Adjust the arrows until you reach the desired effect. Click OK.
sqs_textblendtrick_ss8 I love using this when my text is on a folded tag or heavily textured paper, so that my text becomes more life-like — as if a pen was actually rubbing across a surface. Try it with paint strokes too!

Here’s an example of the technique in action. I used it on everything in this layout — the paint splatters, the journaling, the title, the stamped alpha, the sun burst.


For PSE users: Unfortunately, Blending Options are not an option in PSE. However, you can mimic this technique with a couple of tricks. You can try changing the color of your text and play with the blending modes. You can also use a grunge brush at varying opacities to erase parts of the text.

Thanks for letting me share this fun technique with you. I’d love to see what you do with it, so feel free to link us up to a layout in the comments OR upload to our Flickr Group with the tag: FontsDontFloat. 🙂


Suzy is a 28-year-old SAHM to a super rambunctious 2-year-old and wife my sweetheart for 4 years. We live in the middle-of-nowhere, which I absolutely love. My background is in biology but I now find myself on the opposite end of the spectrum designing digital scrapbooking supplies and I am LOVING the journey. 🙂

Fabulous Fonts For Titles


Many of our readers have asked for help with page titles so I (Katie) posted several ideas for coming up with Terrific Titles back in this post in February. I thought it would be fun to follow up with another one of my favorite title tips – using fonts for titles.

While I own an abundance of digital alphabets, I find that I often turn to my font files when it comes time to create a title for my page. It’s not that I don’t like alphas (my pay pal account will testify that I do!), it’s just that fonts are so easy and versatile to use. I’m excited to share my title font secrets with you and show you oodles of scrapbook layouts from me and our team to inspire you. Images without credits are linked to gallery credit pages. The title font is listed and linked (several of them are free!) for each layout.


  • Creating a unified look with the journaling on a page

Using the same font for the journaling and the title on a page gives your layout a very clean and uncluttered look. Simply make the size of font bigger (or bolder) to make it stand out from your journaling. This trick makes creating titles very easy!


Title Font: Century Gothic

  • Enhancing the theme of the page
  • I don’t always use a ton of embellishments on a scrapbook page. I like to keep the focus on the photo and story so picking the right font for a title is an important way for me to contribute to the decoration or theme of the page. I want my title to stand out visually enough that the reader will feel compelled to learn more and proceed on to the journaling. I love the hand-drawn look of the cassette tape element on this page so I chose a hand-drawn doodly (is that a word?) type of font for the title. Messy Bessy is one of my all time favorites for this look!

    Title Font: Messy Bessy

  • Varying font sizes, colors, or mixing upper and lower case letters add visual interest
  • Creating your own title out of fonts is great for design purposes as well. I felt like this layouts needed something bold on the side to visually balance it out. I love creating my own word art titles by simply using different sizes and colors of the same font. You can even increase the boldness on some words to make them stand out. I picked the same font (Giggles) for this page that is used on The Daily Digi site to act as an embellishment on this page about the site.

    Title Font: Giggles

    • Using a font to match embellishments in a kit

    One of my favorite reasons to use a font for a title is to match word art or embellishments in a digital kit. Many designers are starting to list the fonts they use in the TOU file within a kit. Shabby Princess and Designer Digitals designers all do this and I so appreciate them for it! I know many others are also adding this information. You can look up the fonts they used to create word art and often find the font to download for your own personal use. Designers are required to use Commercial Use fonts so sometimes the font may be a little pricey. Other times, there are personal use versions available at a lower cost. There are even some free fonts out there that allow commercial use so don’t rule this option out if your budget is tight. I discovered this nifty little trick when I put together this page. I loved the font on the world strips and I really wanted to duplicate it for my title. The result is a page that is very cohesive and it looks like my title was just part of the kit!

    Title Font: LD Elementary

    • Replacing an alpha that doesn’t match (or exist)

    The colors in this kit went perfectly with the photo on this layout, but the alpha was not a good match in style or color. Often times I like to use paper packs or kits that don’t even come with an alpha, so using fonts is a great way to replace that missing or “wrong” alphabet! You can also make alphas out of fonts very easily by following the steps on this past post from Janet.


    Title Font: Textura Traced Empty


    • Almost any font can make a nice title if you make it a little bigger and bolder to draw the attention that a title deserves
    • If you are mixing fonts in your title (you’ll see some great examples below) be conservative with how many fonts you decide to mix together. A good rule of thumb is to let one font be the dominant one in the design and use another font to compliment in a subtitle role.
    • Fonts are fun to mix with alphas and word art to create unique and customized titles. Use the same tips as for mixing fonts.
    • Think about readability and the theme of your page. Fancy fonts can be very pretty but sometimes hard to read. Also, does a swirling cursive font have a place on a fun and casual page of playground pictures?
    • Vary size and weight of the font if your title is lengthy to give it visual interest

    I think the best way to get ideas for how to successfully use fonts for titles is to simply look at layouts and get a feel for what you like. Again, all images without credits are linked and the title fonts are included and linked as well.

    LAYOUTS FROM ME (Katie):

    Title Font: Hootie


    Title Font: Inked God


    Title Font: Pea Olsen

    Title Font: Parry Hotter – mixed with word art and Black Chancery font to create a unique title



    Title Font: Elise


    Title Font: Nicotine Stains


    Title Fonts: Empty Wrapper and Taylor Mackenzie



    Title Font: Downcome

    Title Font: Giggles

    One of Ana’s favorite tips is to combine alphas with fonts to create titles as seen on the page below:

    Title Font: Boring Showers



    Title Font: International Palms

    Kellie also loves to combine fonts with alphas to create her titles.

    Title Font: Jailbird Jenna



    CREDITS: Fizzy Pop Designs Sidekicks Pack No. 7; Pamela Donnis and Jacque Larsen Frosty Fun; Fonts Fontologie Haphazard and Printing Primer

    Title Font: Clementine Sketch

    CREDITS: Zoe Pearn Winter Wonderland kit and That’s My Boy elements; Traci Reed Pretty Edgy; Anne DeJon Scribble It; Nancie Rowe Janitz splatter brushes; Paint the Moon Annie’s Tape; Amy Sumrall Full of Holes flower; Kristin Cronin-Barrow Frame Basics; Fonts are Simple Life and Traveling Typewriter

    Title Font: Sketch Block


    23 different fonts have been listed in this post so far but I wanted to include a few more of my favorites for you to check out as well:

    Hope you have some fabulous font fun creating titles for your next layout!


    Which font is YOU?

    My (Steph’s) mom kept a baby book for me while I was younger and in it I have a birthday card from my maternal grandpa written by him in his own handwritting.  One day when my mom was in town, we were looking through that book and came across that card.  She looked at the card and was emotional as she told me that she is not aware of anything else with his handwriting on it.  I feel as if I have a piece of him with me now as I look at his handwriting.

    I was thinking the other day about this and about how seeing my own mom’s handwriting effects me.  To me, it is easily identifiable.  It is a beautiful script!  My mom often wrote me notes as I was growing up in her own handwriting.  When I see something written by my mom, I am instantly filled with a warmth and comfort, like a favorite blanket.  As I thought about this, I wondered if my own children would have that experience?  Would they even be able to recognize MY handwriting?  I’m not sure they could as most of my notes, letters, and journaling on scrapbook pages are in one of my favorite fonts (arial, traveling type writer, times, etc.)  There are not many things with my own handwriting on it.  I have no excuse for this, I make fonts, I could totally make my own handwriting into a font…but I hate my handwriting!  I do have one font in my store that is very similar to my own handwriting and I was nervous to put it “out there” because of how much I hate my own handwriting, but the font became a favorite of my customers.  So, this post is as much for ME as it is for YOU!!  I want my family to have the warm fuzzy feeling when they see my handwriting, just like I do my mom’s and she did her dad’s.  So, I am setting another scrapping goal to start using my own handwriting on my layouts AND my notes to my kids!  It will take some courage to do, but I am going to conquer my fears and DO IT!! 🙂

    Here are some great ways to add your own handwriting to your layouts:

    Wendyzine has an action that will turn your handwriting into brushes.  I love any of Wendy’s actions because she really knows what she is doing and they ALWAYS work without any fuss (which is important for me).  This action would be especially great for those people with several different styles of handwriting.


    Darcy does a great job of turning your handwriting into a font for you and it is very affordable!  She offers an exclusive (you are the only person to use it, own it) or non-exclusive (she has the right to sell the font in her store) options.
    darcy coupon

    Darcy also sells handwriting font packages, so you can look for a font that is similar to yours if that works better for you.  She has given us a coupon code for that too 🙂

    Expires August 31, 2009
    30% off any font pack purchase (excludes scoops)

    Lastly, lots of scrappers turn to the Fonts for Peas by Amanda when they want a handwritten font.  If you want to scan and send Amanda your handwriting (following these directions), she just might choose it to be fonted and give it away on her site!

    So, let’s go!  Let’s add more of ourselves to our layouts so our loved ones know what our handwriting looks like (and don’t mistake it for one of our favorite fonts 😉 ).