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Scrapbooking Techniques & Tips – Printing your Digital Layouts

I don’t know about you but I’m an old fashioned girl. I like to be able to touch my scrapbook pages in printed form. Looking at them on the PC screen just doesn’t do it for me. I’m sorry, until they’re printed out they’re just not real.

But I don’t want to go to the trouble and expense of taking my 12×12 inch layout files to a professional printer to get it done. I want instant gratification.

However, as is the case with most of you I expect, I only have a regular A4 or Letter width printer.

So I recommend, when you have completed your layout, you resize it to 8×8 inches (in PSE4, Image>Resize>Image Size and change the height and width fields) and print it on your regular printer. Don’t save the reduced size unless you want to keep the file at 8×8. I just resize, print and then use the Undo button to get back to my 12×12 size. I use glossy or satin finish Photo paper and I adjust the printer settings for this and print at the highest quality. Let the ink dry properly (usually about an hour), then just trim off the white edges and there you have your digital layout…real!

Now there’s a few things you can do with your print out:

  • Slip it into an 8×8 album (make sure it is in a protective sleeve, or the print will rub and wear off. And let it fully dry off for 24 hours before putting into the protective sleeve or the plastic will ‘stick’ to the print.)
  • Mount it on a 12×12 piece of cardstock and store it with your other hand scrapped pages (if you are bi-scraptual)
  • Mount it on a canvas or in a frame and hang on the wall (makes a lovely gift)
  • Or, my personal favourite, combine the two scrapbooking worlds by adding some ‘real’ embellishments such as brads, silk flowers or ribbons to it to give it an extra level of dimension.

I find that the reduction of size from 12×12 to 8×8 has very little impact on the quality of the layout (especially if you scrap at a minimum of 300 dpi). It’s probably a good idea to use a crisp clear font style if you’re going to include a lot of journaling or at least use a reasonable font size (but you’d have to do that anyway if you want to read it clearly on the screen).

And now your virtual creation is ‘real’.

Other related posts:

Scrapbooking Techniques & Tips – Photomerge: Electronic versions of your paper scrapbook layouts
Scrapbooking Techniques & Tips – Upsizing your digital photographs and images
Scrapbooking Techniques & Tips – Personalising your backgrounds

Scrapbooking Techniques & Tips – Photomerge…electronic versions of your paper scrapbook layouts.

A few months ago I discovered the Photomerge function in Photoshop Elements. It was always there I know, but I’m the sort of person who’s a bit slow on the uptake with new functionality.

Anyway, suddenly I was able to make a decent electronic replica of my paper scrapped layouts. No more wonky digital photos. Paper scrapped layouts now have the ‘shareability’ of digi-scrapped ones.

However, one thing I’ve noticed is that the Scanner bed doesn’t cover the full 12″ depth. So the first thing I’d recommend is to ensure that either the top or the bottom half inch of the layout is free from photos or embellishments. Then butt the opposite end of your layout up against the edge of the scanner bed and scan (I recommend 300 dpi in case you need to print it out later). When you have scanned one half of your layout, slide the layout over to scan the other half. It doesn’t matter that there will be overlap. In fact that’s a good thing.

Save the two files that your scanner will have created. Then in Photoshop Elements (I expect the function is similar in PSP) click on File>New>Photomerge Panorama. The two files you have just scanned should appear in the file selection window (if not just click the browse button and select them). Click OK and let PSE work its magic. Save the resulting layout and then you can work on it.

I usually adjust the lighting (Enhance>Adjust Lighting>Levels). As a basic rule of thumb move the end sliders on the lighting graph inwards so that they sit at each end of the black ‘body’ of the graph. Then if you like you can move the centre slider back and forth until the lighting levels reflected on your layout are to your satisfaction.

Then I usually like to sharpen the picture by going in to the Unsharp Mask filter (Filter>Sharpen>Unsharp Mask). I set the Amount to 500, the Radius to 0.1 and the threshold to 0. With the cursor in the Radius field, use the up arrow key to increase the radius by increments of 0.1. You will find that before long the picture will ‘pop’. That’s my signal to stop.

When I finish all that I drag the Crop Tool across the image to cut off the daggy tops and bottoms that were a result of the merge.

coathanger-2.jpg coathanger-3.jpg

And that’s it! An electronic version of your paper layout. Save the file as a JPEG or use the Save for the Web function to compress it still further if you need to make it more email friendly.

By the way, if you have scratchy elements on your layout you may want to protect your scanner bed by putting a sheet of clear acetate down between the layout and the scanner bed.

Other related posts:

Scrapbooking Techniques & Tips – Printing your digital layouts
Scrapbooking Techniques & Tips – Upsizing your digital photographs and images
Scrapbooking Techniques & Tips – Personalising your backgrounds

Scrapbooking Techniques & Tips – Journaling from the Heart

OK, hands up everyone who struggles with emotive journaling!

Yes my hand’s waving up there too. I find I have no trouble writing a little humorous story but as soon as I try writing ‘feeling’ stuff I tense up and it all reads quite stilted. Now there are obviously times when I really want to write something that expresses my feelings and emotions and a funny story or one-liner is just not going to cut it.

Enter the Haiku!

Haiku (pronounced High-koo) is a non-rhyming, Japanese poetry form consisting of 17 syllables, arranged in three lines: 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables.

What!!! I hear you cry. If I struggle with emotive journaling how can I possibly write poetry??

Now whilst the Haiku in its finest form is an exquisite piece of distilled art, you will find it is not too difficult to write Haikus of a lesser standard that are still good to read. The 17 syllable limitation really helps when you have difficulty in writing ‘feelings’ because you have to discard the non-essential words and just focus on the really important ones. Non-purists can be a little flexible with the 5-7-5 arrangement if necessary.

Here’s an example: I scrapped a layout of my daughter’s First Holy Communion from when she was 7 years old. I remember how I felt when she walked towards me in her long white dress and veil. But I had difficulty writing that feeling down in a way I felt happy with. Here is the Haiku I wrote instead.

The tears fill my eyes

So beautiful, gowned in white.

Childhood is fleeting.

So I challenge you to have a go. I think you’ll surprise yourself.

And I’d love to see some of your results posted in the comments section of this post. I’m sure they will inspire others to give it a try.

Other related posts:

Haiku Heaven

Scrapbooking Techniques & Tips – Make Coordinating Flowers

Here’s a nifty scrapbooking technique. To make great coordinating embellishments draw (or for those of us who are pencil-challenged, stamp) a flower directly onto patterned paper that coordinates with your layout. Cut it out, ink or chalk around the edges to give it a bit of dimension and fix it to your layout with a big brad in the centre.

Make sure you position the flower on your layout first and pierce a hole with a pin, because the prongs of the brad may damage the layout if you just try to force them through.

Make different sized flowers in coordinating papers and layer them for a great look.


And as an added bonus, it’s also a good way to use up those scraps of leftover papers.

Other related Posts:

Scrapbooking Techniques & Tips – The Visual Triangle
Scrapbooking Techniques & Tips – Doodling for the Drawing Challenged
Scrapbooking Techniques & Tips – Personalising your backgrounds

Scrapbooking Techniques & Tips – Personalising Your Backgrounds

One of my fave hobbies is Scrapbooking. So I thought I might run a series of Scrapbooking Techniques & Tips on the subject. If you find this useful, I’d really appreciate you leaving a comment so I can get an idea of whether it’s worthwhile continuing with this or not.

Here we go.

When you have a special photo and you really want to ‘showcase the moment’ try scanning an item of clothing that the subject was wearing in the photo and using it as your background for the layout. It doesn’t matter if there are creases or seams or pockets in the scanned image; that will only add to the uniqueness of the background.

My suggestion would be to scan at the highest resolution that you can. Then using your photo editing or drawing software (Photoshop Elements 4 is my weapon of choice), open a new file with a transparent background in the size of your layout. I usually pick a resolution of 300dpi for a good quality print.

Drag your scanned image onto the new file (it appears as a new layer in PSE4). You can then move it around to find the best section to cover your background layer. You can Shift-drag on the corner of the image to reduce the size if necessary but don’t worry if parts hang off the edge of the background layer.

Once you’ve positioned the image as you like it, crop it to the size of the background layer and build your layout.

The example below is a photo of my daughter dressed for her formal in her last year of High School. The background is a scan of the velvet dress she wore on the night.


Other related posts:

Scrapbooking Techniques & Tips – Photomerge: Electronic versions of your paper scrapbook layouts

Scrapbooking Techniques & Tips – Upsizing your digital photographs and images

Scrapbooking Techniques & Tips – Printing your digital layouts


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