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Making Your First Digital Scrapbooking Layout in Photoshop

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If you’re completely new to digital scrapbooking, this simple tutorial will walk you through creating your first layout!

Step 1: Create a Blank Page in Photoshop

Go to File -> New and the box will appear to create your new document.

In Photoshop it is VERY important to make sure you always make the resolution 300 pixels/inch – this will always ensure your layouts will look great when printing!

3600 x 3600 pixels wide will make a 12 x 12 page.


Step 2: Use “Place” to add photos, papers, and embellishments.

Under the menu bar, go to File -> Place Embedded (or just “Place” in PSE) and use that to place your photos, papers, and embellishments into the new file:


Step 3: Resize, Rotate, and Arrange

Once you have added some papers and photos and embellishments, you can rotate, resize, and edit them as you’d like.

To rotate a paper, photo, or embellishment, click on the layer you wish to rotate and bring your mouse to one of the corners. A little curved arrow will appear. Click and move your mouse to rotate the layer.

Resizing works much in the same way – simply click on the layer, go to the corner and click and move your mouse until the image is at the size you want it to be!

In Photoshop, you have the top bar controls to help making resizing and rotating a little easier:

Clicking on the “link” icon will help you make sure that when you resize something it stays proportionate (also works for text!) – and the check mark is what you click on when you are finished rotating or resizing something. (You can also press return/enter on the keyboard)

Arranging Your Layers

Now, you may be wondering how to arrange things so layers are above/below one another. For example, if you place a flower in your file, and a paper – you want the paper on the bottom and the flower on the top.

This can be done in two different ways.

The easiest way is to go to the layers panel and click and drag the layer above or below the other layers.

There is also the option to click on the layer you wish to arrange, and then go to Layer -> Arrange -> and choose whether to move forward/backwards or bring to front or send to back. This is helpful when you have many, many layers in your digital scrapbooking page layout.


Step 4: Drop Shadows

Once you have your layers in place, you will probably want to add some drop shadows to give the page some depth. The way to do this is to go to Layer -> Layer Style -> Drop Shadow.

A box like this will appear:

You can play with the settings until you have the shadow exactly the way you like it! Change the blend mode, the opactity, the angle, distance, spread, and size until you like what you see!

The drop shadow will appear in the layer panel here:


Step 5: Add Text

To add text to your page, such as for adding a title, journaling, or the date, simply click on the Text icon in the toolbar.

Then, in the top bar, choose your font and settings.

(Note: In Photoshop Elements, the text settings are located at the bottom of the page)

Draw your text box on the page and then start typing!

There are more options for text on the right hand side if you click on the text symbol:

Here you can make the text bold, change the leading, etc. etc.

Step 6: Save Your Work!!!!!

Saving your work is very important, so that you can go back anytime to change things or to be able to print it out.

I always choose File -> Save As just to ensure I never overwrite my work – it is a good habit to get into!

To save your work as a layered Photoshop file, choose “Photoshop” for the format.

If you’d like to print out your work however, you’ll need to save it as a .jpg file. Choose “.jpg” as the format and then this box will appear:

I typically save as a quality of 11 or 12, and progressive format.


Optional Step 7: Sharing Your Work Online

If you’d like to share your work online, you will need to Resize the Image and “Save for Web” so that the file size is not too large.

I’ve circled the options to set – you want to make sure the image is resized to 600×600 pixels for most galleries.

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I hope you’ve found this tutorial in creating your first digital scrapbooking layout helpful! Be sure to check out all of our digital scrapbooking tutorials page to learn more advanced techniques for making great layouts that will help you tell your story and capture those memories in a creative way!

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