Digital Scrapbook Tutorial – Blending photos into the background

One of the many things I love about digital scrapbooking is blending.

You can blend several background papers together using different blending modes to give you a whole different looking paper.

And another very cool blending idea is to blend your photo into the background for a really funky look.


Blending photo into the background

Here’s how you do it I’ve used Photoshop Elements but this will work with any software program that lets you work with layers):

1. Open a new Scrapbook layout file and drag onto it the background paper of your choice.

2. Now drag your photo on and position/resize to suit your layout. Remember you’re going to remove a lot of the area around your focal subject so you may need to make the photo a bit larger than you otherwise would.

3. Select the Eraser tool from your tool bar and choose a grungy style brush from the drop down list in the top menu bar.

4. Now reduce the opacity of the brush in the menu bar. Probably 10-30% is a good range. If you don’t like it you can always back out of what you’ve done with the Undo button or Ctrl+Z keys.

5. Increase the size of the brush using the slider in the top menu bar or by pressing the ] key on your keyboard.

6. Now, with your photo layer selected, start dabbing around your photo with the Eraser brush. Start at the outside and work inwards. Don’t be too fussed on being precise, the effect you’re looking for is not one of precision. You’ll probably want to go over the outside edges several times so that you lose the hard edge of the photo. You can remove however much or little of the background as you like to give you the effect that you want.

7. Finally you can reduce the opacity of the photo a little to let it blend even more with the background. Just play with the opacity slider in your layers palette until you get the result that you like.

If you’re someone who picks things up more easily with visuals rather than text you might like to check out my Step by Step Digital Scrapbook Intermediate Tutorial 3 which shows you step by step how to do this (as well as some other very cool techniques you may find handy)

If you think this tutorial was useful please let me know in the comments below, otherwise I don’t know if I’m just talking to myself or not.

Other related articles:

How to blend your background papers – Scrapbook video tutorial

How to Digital Scrapbook – from Soup to Nuts

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5 Responses to Digital Scrapbook Tutorial – Blending photos into the background

  1. Donna February 14, 2012 at 11:43 pm #

    superb tutorial as usual! Thank you Karen, keep up the great work – I don’t always respond BUT I DO make sure I read all of your wonderful tutorials.

    • karooch February 15, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

      Thank you so much Donna. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment.

  2. Julia April 10, 2012 at 11:21 am #

    Oh thank you I have looking and asking for a tutorial on this blending layers and in PSE!! I am so happy and greatful..Most tutorials are in video which I cant use because of limited internet usage or they are in photoshop which most people cant afford or understand..LOL
    Thank you so much cant wait to do my first layout with it..
    Cant wait to read some more of your tutorials..
    Hugs Julia

    • karooch April 11, 2012 at 8:12 am #

      You are very welcome Julia. Videos work for some people and text works for others so i try to provide a mix on Scraps of mind. For those who prefer videos there is a link to the video version of a tutorial on blending backgrounds at the end of the post. And of course the Step by Step Tutorial ($4.50) shows you all the techniques used to make the layout in this tutorial.

  3. Mary June 21, 2012 at 5:31 am #

    Thank you for this TUT!! I have been trying to find out how to do this for months. It was just great to see how to do this and easily explained.