Scrapbooking Techniques and Tips – Blend Your Own Backgrounds

One of the joys of Digital Scrapbooking is the mileage you can get out of your digital scrapbook elements. Not only do you have the luxury of being able to use the same element over and over again on many different layouts, but you can also change it’s size and colour as well, to vary the look.

But one of my favourite techniques is blending.

By blending two or more papers together, for example, you create a completely different look that’s totally unique to you. As someone who is not a designer, I find this a huge buzz and I highly recommend it to all digital scrapbookers. And the beaut thing is…it couldn’t be easier to do. Here’s how (the instructions are for Photoshop Elements but the principles will work in any good photo editing software):

  1. First open a new file to create your layout on.
  2. Then select two or three digital papers from your stash. I usually use papers from the same kit but there’s no reason why you can’t select from different kits. Just keep track so you can give the appropriate credits when you upload your layout to the Internet.
  3. Drag the paper/background files onto the file you created. You will notice they are all sitting in separate layers in your layers pallet on the right of your window (see the red { in the screen shot on the right).
  4. Now you start playing. At the top left of your Layers Pallet there’s a little menu bar which reads Normal. Click on the arrow symbol beside it and the full menu of blending modes will open up (see green arrow on the screen shot).
  5. Scroll up and down the menu playing with the options until you find an effect you like. Also play with the Opacity percentages in the box to the right of the Blending menu.

It’s a lot of fun creating your own papers like this and I think it really highlights the scope for creativity in digital scrapbooking.The layout Gelati Days was created by blending three papers from the gorgeous Renew Collection by Shalae Tippetts of Scrap Girls. I used an Overlay mode on the striped paper on the top and adjusted the opacity of that paper and of the pink paper below so a bit of the flowered paper shows through.

As I said earlier, this is one of my favourite digital scrapbooking techniques. I also use it with photos to create some funky effects. Try it yourself. You’ll be amazed at the results you can get.

Other related posts:

Traditional vs Digital Scrapbooking
Have you ever done a Scrapbook Layout Makeover?

Full length Digital Scrapbook Tutorials

10 Responses to Scrapbooking Techniques and Tips – Blend Your Own Backgrounds

  1. Tink September 13, 2007 at 9:11 am #

    Love to blend, blend, blend. I use it alot especially with titles.

  2. Vicky September 13, 2007 at 10:29 am #

    Karen you make me want to take up digital scrapbooking…I havent played around with digital graphics in forever, but it maybe time to pull up PSP and have a play, never been a photoshop fan. thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Kari September 13, 2007 at 12:43 pm #

    I’ve been out more than in over the summer months for us here in the U.S., but I love what you’re doing with your site.
    Good resources in the digi community are sometimes hard to find or you have to wade through lots to understand them,
    thanks for making it easy to understand, and I’ll be back to visit again soon!

  4. karooch September 13, 2007 at 2:47 pm #

    Thanks Tink, Vicky and Kari. I’m glad you liked the article. Since i discovered blending I rarely do a digital layout without using it. I just love it because can feel like I’ve created a really unique look that’s all mine.

  5. Antoinette September 16, 2007 at 9:09 am #

    Yes, I love this technique. I have created MANY websets and I’m converting them to DS papers. Best way to do that is blending them with another background, so I’m using it a lot.

  6. karooch September 16, 2007 at 5:19 pm #

    Glad to hear you’re into it too Antoinette. I find it a whole lot of fun.

  7. Hummie September 17, 2007 at 10:42 pm #

    Oh, Isn’t playing so much fun! You never know what you’ll come up with until it appears! Great post!

  8. radha iyengar September 2, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

    thanks for your response. Yes i enjoy doing of my own. I have create quite a few picture of my garden.
    thanks again


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