Project Life with straight edges

I’m a big fan of the Becky Higgins’ Project Life product line. I’ve bought all the templates and the majority of the digital Project Life kits. I love the simplicity of this style of scrapbooking and I have found a love for pocket pages in general as a result.

For me, the only problem is that I prefer straight edges instead of the rounded corners that are a signature mark of the official Project Life designs. It’s just a matter of personal preference, but because of forum threads and online conversations, I know that I’m not the only one who feels this way. What’s a straight edge scrapper to do? It’s actually quite simple to alter these templates and cards to achieve the look you want.

Changing the templates:

Open up the desired template in a photo editing program that can accommodate layers such as Photoshop Elements or Photoshop CS.

Using the simple instructions found here, you can just draw a new shape to replace the rounded one. I’m using PSE 11 for this example.

I just place the new shape over the old one and line it up using the original shape as a guide. This is where it comes in handy to have your new shape be a different color than the one on the original template – that way you can see if it is lined up correctly. Then just duplicate that layer and continue on until you have the altered template design in place. Be sure to save it with a new file name! For this example; the original file name is bh_template_K and I named the new one as bh_template_K_altered. That way I can reuse it as many times as I want and I still know the source of the original template design.

Then when you fill the spaces with the Project Life cards, just make sure you size them to fill the squared off corners. Almost all of the designs work just fine for straight edge squares and rectangles!

Make sure the rounded edge card overlaps the squared off space you are going to place it in. Then you won’t have any problem filling in the entire space.See how nice it looks after it is clipped to the new shape?

Here’s what my page looks like with nice straight edges and corners

Project Life template K. Kraft Edition Project Life kit

It’s so easy to customize digital templates to get the look you want. Don’t be afraid to play around a bit to make the digital products fit your own style!

katie big

Finding Free Digi Help Online

free digi help

Scrapping 9 to 5 by Kate Hadfield. Traveling Typewriter font.


The Daily Digi site is filled with information every day to help you with your digital scrapbooking and memory keeping activities. Besides the daily posts, there is an extensive tutorial section where you can find help on a number of digi-related topics such as:

Another great resource to turn to is the help section from the software company you use for your digital products. The majority of our readers use an Adobe program (Photoshop Elements & Photoshop being the most popular) and the Adobe help site is very useful. Here are some useful links:

Isn’t it nice to know that help is only a click away? Be sure to utilize these free resources!


Digital Scrapbooking Vacations

Supplies: Vagabond by One Little Bird Designs

It is that time of year in the Northern Hemisphere, when most kids are out of school. It is high travel time, which means there are fun adventures to be had and scrapped!  Sometimes, getting these vacations onto layouts and into albums can be overwhelming. I thought I would round up some of our many posts to help you feel inspired and motivated to get it done:

Be sure to check out our Flickr group, where lots of vacation layouts are being uploaded daily, right now. We will also have a new Digi Show out tomorrow that was a great discussion with tips for documenting vacations.

Take advantage of our exclusive discount offer printing photo books at AdoramaPix:

40% off 8×8 photo book coupon code. You can use for as many books as you would like, as many times as you want until it expires on November 30th 2013! Here’s the code: pxmagic40

Are you inspired? Anything catch your eye? Are you ready to get scrapping those vacations? How are you going to go about it?


Back To Basics – Remembering Why We Love This Hobby

Sometimes, when my life gets overwhelming and feels out of control, I remind myself to just do the basics. Take care of the basic things that NEED to be done and start eliminating the extras. What might be extras and what are basics are probably different for me than they would be for you, but the idea is the same.

When I was thinking the other day about how much I wanted to create some layouts and document some memories, I decided it was time to get back to basics in my scrapping. Even though I work in the industry, I’m not that different from most of you. I have a lot going on, I want to do far more than I have time for, and creating layouts quickly falls to the bottom of my list. I know, from past experience, that if I want to scrapbook, I have to make it priority and make it happen.

Here’s how I got back to the basics:

  • Last week, I decided that on Monday (of this week), I would spend a few hours scrapping. Everything else would wait. I kept that time slot open on my calendar.
  • At 1:30pm on Monday, I stopped answer calls, stopped checking texts, and closed my email. (see how I’m getting rid of the extras here?)
  • I had a list of stories in my head and heart that I wanted to tell on a layout. I picked one of them.
  • I found a photo that would help me tell that story and skipped the editing (getting rid of more extras)
  • I chose a SIMPLE template that had ONE photo spot.
  • I stuck with ONE kit.
  • I love manipulating shadows and can work with them for hours. I skipped the complex shadow editing this time.

In just 30 minutes, I was finished with this layout:

Supplies: template by Katie the Scrapbook Lady; Crossbone Cuts and included in The Digi Files during May, 2013. Font is Printing Primer by Fontologie

I was so excited because I had time to scrap MORE! So, keeping with just the basics, I created TWO MORE layouts (it typically takes me at least an hour to scrap ONE layout):

Supplies: template by Katie the Scrapbook Lady; Britt-ish Designs except yellow paper which is by Crossbone Cuts; fonts are Printing Primer and Beyond Wonderland

Supplies: template by Katie the Scrapbook Lady; papers by Kristin CB, Washington DC card and metro card created w/supplies by WMsquared; ASL cards by me

It felt SO GOOD to just spend time in Photoshop, creating and getting down some memories I’ve had stored up waiting ! THAT is why I love this hobby! That is why I do what I do! THAT is why I need to get back to basics in my life and in my scrapping more often!

What about you? Is it time for an appointment with your software and supplies?

Super easy collages with Pic Monkey

make photo collages in pic monkey

I love using online resources for creative and easy photo editing and most of these sources have great tools for making collages as well. There are many reasons why you might enjoy making collages such as:

  • Creating a unique image to use on a digital scrapbook page
  • Combining several photos into one image to use for a blog post
  • Recapping an event with multiple photos in a small space
  • Sharing several images at once in a social media environment (instagram, twitter, facebook, etc.)
  • Compiling many photos into one image to use on a photobook page
  • Just for fun!

With Memorial Day coming up, I’ve been thinking about our 2012 summer trip to Washington D.C. I still have so many photos that have not made it into my albums yet because I took hundreds of pictures! I decided to pull together some of my favorites to create a collage.

Here’s a collage I created with Pic Monkey. There are many free options to use on the site, and even more if you become a paid member for as little as $2.75 a month. I used a template under the “square deal” collage category for this one.

PicMonkey Collage

Even using a free collage, I was able to save a full size 3600×3600 resolution of my creation. Now all I have to do is print it out for my travel album!

picmonkey save

I tried several other free online photo collage sites and I honestly can’t recommend very many of them in comparison to Pic Monkey. The other sites don’t have as many free options and it is much more difficult to get your photos imported as well as saving the finished collage to a high resolution file suitable for digi scrapping. Pic Monkey is my go-to source for creating collages online.

Here’s another collage I created with a free template at Pic Monkey in the “Biggie Smalls” category.

PicMonkey Collage (1)

I went ahead and upgraded to the Royale membership and I created this collage using a Jigsaw template.

PicMonkey Collage (2)

It is also super easy to create a collage image to use as a facebook timeline cover. They do the sizing for you!

PicMonkey Collage (3)

There are also other sizes available under the “cards” category such as 5”x7” which would be great to use in those pocket scrapping albums!

PicMonkey Collage (4)

I love that it is so easy to change the spacing between photos and you can even round the corners with the slide of a button!

picmonkey options

You can also write on your photos (and collages) using Pic Monkey by following the instructions in Steph’s post. For more information on how to create easy collages with photo editing programs, be sure to check out this past post. Have fun making collages!


Grouping and Linking Layers in Photoshop


About linking and grouping layers

In the layer palette, multiple layers can be selected at one time. On a Windows computer, hold down SHIFT while clicking on each layer you want to select. (On a Mac, COMMAND+click to select multiple layers.)


Layers can be linked together to form a relational bond between them which allows you to apply certain changes to all the grouped layers, like:

  • Moving all the linked layers at the same time
  • Expanding or contracting (transforming) all the linked layers at the same time

Linked layers can be identified by the little chain link icon beside each layer.


Screenshot is from Photoshop CS5

The chain link can be toggled on or off by clicking on it.

Linked layers do not have to be sequential in the layers palette. For example, you could link layers 3, 9, 11, and 147 and it would not alter where they appear in the layers palette.

Linking works in both Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.


Grouping is available in Photoshop.

Grouping layers provides you with the option of collapsing or expanding a little “folder” of layers in the layers palette. This is useful to reduce the number of layers visible in the layers palette list. (Collapsing a layer group does not make them invisible on the actual layout.) You can group individual layers or even group layers and other groups together. With groups, you can do things like:

  • Move all the grouped layers at the same time
  • Expand or contracting (transforming) all the grouped layers at the same time
  • Apply drop shadows to all the grouped layers at the same time
  • Apply other styles to all the grouped layers at the same time

Remember, layers stay grouped or linked until you ungroup or unlink them. That means that you can work on other parts of the layout and come back to the grouping later and it will still work. (However, if the layers selected aren’t grouped or linked, as soon as you click off of them, they will no longer be related to one another and changes won’t apply to all of them at the same time.)


Let’s start with a template, like this one from The Daily Digi’s My Life In Print member exclusive kit:


On a Windows computer, hold down SHIFT while clicking on each layer you want to select. I’m going to work on the smaller photo cluster on the right-hand side of the page.

You can see that the selected layers turn blue in the layers palette and the selection box on the layout expands to encompass all the selected layers.


Select Layer+Group Layers or hold down CTRL+G to create a group. You can also click on the the little folder icon at the bottom of the layers palette.


Right click on the layers and select “Link Layers” from the menu.

Once a group is made, all items in the group are listed under the Group heading (which can be changed to anything you want) and the group list can be expanded (shown below) or hidden from view. Hiding group layers is a handy way of simplifying the layer palette to make it easier to work and find what you need.


Now that the layers are grouped, we can use the move tool (M) to move all the layers in the group at one time.

(For the screen shots below, “grouped layers” are shown, but the ability to move multiple layers is the same as if the layers were linked instead.)


And that’s it! A handy tool to use, especially when you’re digi scrapping a page with many layers.

Designing Creative Titles


Title credits are Lovin’ From the Oven by Chelle’s Creations

I think titles are one of the hardest parts of any scrapbook page:

Where should I put the title? How big should the alpha be in relation to the overall design? Do I mix fonts and alphas? What’s the perfect, catchy phrase?

Luckily, the Daily Digi has put together quite a few articles about title work:

A great way to find new titling techniques is to find inspiration. Here are a few pages that inspire me:

Mixing Alphas


Cindy Schneider can do titles like nobody else. Just go study her whole gallery and you’ll leave with tons and tons of ideas. In the page above, she mixings a sticker alpha, a dot alpha and a stamped letter alpha. And it looks amazing together!

Let’s see what she did:

  • All three fonts contain some white.
  • The majority of the title is in UPPERCASE and the last word is in lower case.
  • The “helper words” are the smallest and the main words are roughly the same size.
  • The title is at the bottom of the page and accented with arrows to draw attention to it.

The Colour Black


Nicole’s page shows that using a black alpha creates an instant focal point – the word RENOVATION is the first thing I saw on this page due to the visual weight of the colour black and the size of the title.

Template: Daily Goodness by Fiddle Dee Dee Designs<br /> Love is a Journey by LDrag Designs<br /> Add-ons from Don't Bug Me Lady by Erica Zane<br />

Lindsay’s page also shows that using black, even on a smaller scale, helps to create a focal point.

A Title That Contrasts with the Journaling Font


I love how Myra’s title is so simple but so effective. With her journaling text in a plain san-serif font, a title in a thick script is enough to set it apart from the journaling.

Tag Title


Beth used an easy and effective trick: Look for a tag or other word art that will work with your scrapbook topic and use it for a title. This is the perfect trick, especially for those time when the title just isn’t coming together easily.


Angie also used word art to build her title. The best part about this trick is that it will work cohesively with your scrapbook kit since it is a part of it. Excellent!

I hope you found some ideas to help with one of your future scrapbook pages! Have a great day!

Have you ever wondered why we keep it a surprise?

the digi files are a surprise

From the very first time The Digi Files were introduced, we’ve had a very fun and unique way of revealing them each month. When the new files are ready for download on the first of each month, we don’t post all the previews here – it’s a surprise for our members as they go to open each one of the 7 collections included in that’s month’s set of Digi Files. Have you ever wondered why we do it this way?


the first digi files

When Janet Phillips founded the site back in January of 2009, she had a vision that we still follow today. These are her exact words from the very first month of The Daily Digi’s existence.

Each of included designers have created something special just for THE DIGI FILES. These products (mini-kits, element sets, etc) are new and never-before-released.  The hope is that you can safely and inexpensively try new-to-you designers as well as stock up on stuff from your tried-and-true favorites.  We worked hard to bring you a range of styles and stores and we hope that you will be THRILLED with your purchase!

We won’t be showing you the contents of THE DIGI FILES right away (that’s part of the fun!)  However, throughout the month that TDF are available, we will be spotlighting the individual designers. You will get to know a little about them, about their work, AND you will get to see what they contributed to TDF. So, if you are unsure about buying “sight unseen” you can wait and watch throughout the month.

More than 4 years later, our members still love the surprise each month! Many of them call it “Daily Digi Day” or say it is like having birthday presents to open each month. We would never want to take away the fun of that!


waiting for the digi files to be revealed

We don’t post the Digi Files previews until each designer’s special feature day. This gives our readers a chance to see each collection on it’s own and get to know the designer who created it. Even though I have already seen (and scrapped with most of) the contents of the files well before the month begins, I really look forward to these feature days. When I read about the designer and see all the great layouts from the team, I fall even more in love with the kits and templates. It’s such a fun way to keep the excitement of The Digi Files alive all month long.

It’s also a great solution for those who don’t like surprises. All they have to do is wait for some of the reveal posts to see if they want to buy the files. Once they have seen one or two collections that they like, they already know they will get way more than their money’s worth! Each kit included in the files is the same value as the price of the entire Digi Files. Oh, and the playbook alone is well worth the cost so it’s a win-win no matter what!

To keep it fun, we kindly ask everyone not to share previews of the kits on blogs, pinterest, or anywhere online until after the reveal date for each contribution. That keeps the original intent behind The Digi Files in place and helps us feature and honor those designers who have contributed their amazing talents to make the files a success!

There would be no Daily Digi without The Digi Files and we are so grateful for the designers and for our members who make this magic happen every month!

katie big

Making It Look Like Paper

Layout by lynnettew from our Flickr Group

We’ve had some requests recently here and on The Digi Show to give some tips for things that make a digital scrapbook layout look like paper. We have a lot of tips that will help you have people saying: “Is that digital, or is it paper?”

One of the biggest things you can do to create layouts that look like paper, is to master the drop shadow:

Here are some other techniques that will help create the paper look:

Let’s Look at Some Layouts

Notice the shadow on the string in this layout by trickynag makes it look like it is furthest away from the bottom paper layer:

Cardinalskate did a great job shadowing the acrylic on this layout. Acrylic can be pretty tricky:

Notice the great layering on this layout and the different depths created with the shadows:


This layout also creates some really great depth with larger drop shadows on the larger elements that are further away from the paper:


Notice the depth of the leaf on the left created by a lager drop shadow:


Have you found some techniques that have helped you create paper looking pages? We would love to hear about it in the comments!

How to fill a font in 3 simple steps


fill a font in 3 simple steps

I’m always looking for easy ways to jazz up my fonts for digital scrapbook layouts. I’m a big fan of using fonts for titles because they are so quick and easy to use. I bet you will be surprised to find out how simple it is to fill a font.

Find some Fillable Fonts

To get started, you will want to have some outline fonts loaded to work with. Here are a few great fonts for filling, and they are all free!













How to Fill those Fonts


Select the type tool in your program and choose a font with an outline. I’m going to use Fenwick for this example. Type out the phrase that you want to use and then flatten the text so it can’t be edited. You can use rasterize text in Photoshop. I use Photoshop Elements 11 and all I need to do is de-select the text tool and then grab the corners of my text box to enlarge (or shrink) it. Once I do that the text layer is no longer editable.

fill a font instructions

Or I can right click on the text layer in my layers palette and choose “simplify layer” to accomplish the same thing.

simplify layer before filling font



Using the magic wand tool, make your selections of the areas you want to be filled. Hold down the shift key as you make all the selections you want to include so you can do more than one at a time. You will see a little dotted line outlining the area of the selection. We like to refer to this as “marching ants”. Winking smile

hold down shift key while making mulitiple selections with magic wand

Once all the selections are made, then go to the layer menu in the top bar and select “new fill layer” from the drop down menu. I’m using a solid color that I chose with the eyedropper tool. If you want to get really fancy, you can play around with gradients or patterns as the fill layer. Don’t be afraid to try different things – can can always hit the undo button!

use fill layer


You can also adjust the color of the fill layer once you do this step.

adjust the color of the fill layer


And that is all there is to it! The font is filled and it would make a great page title.

the font is filled