Placing Your Journaling Inside a Shape

Note: Tutorial created using Adobe Photoshop CS2 with a PC, using Windows XP.

When it comes to journaling on our digital scrapbook pages, we often have a hard time knowing how and where to place the text within our layout. We often resort to just typing our journaling in a simple box or line.Often, our pictures create very interesting negative spaces that can create beautiful text shapes. We should look at our layouts and determine if there are any strong lines or shapes that could be used for our journaling. By doing this, we make all of the elements in the layout work together to create a visually appealing design.

In this layout, I want to place some journaling in the negative space to the right of my pictures.

In the Tools Palette, select the Polygonal Lasso Tool.

Use the Polygonal Lasso Tool to draw a shape on your layout where you would like to place your journaling. Look for spaces along the edges of pictures or embellishments. Here, I drew a shape that followed the direction of the photos on the left and the stitching on the right. When you are done drawing the shape, you will see a dotted line appear.

Select the Magic Wand in your Tools Palette.

With the Magic Wand selected, right-click on the dotted line in your layout to get this drop-down menu. Select the option “Make Work Path.”

It will then create a Work Path which will look like a solid line around your shape.

Select the Type Tool in your Tools Palette and place it in the center of the Work Path that you just created. You should see an icon that looks like the one above.

Double-click in the Work Path. This will create a cursor at the very top of your shape where you can now add your journaling. As you type your journaling, it will stay within the shape you created.

When you are done, you can resize or change the font. You can enlarge the text by using the Transform Tool, if needed. Or, it can be moved around and edited like any other text object.

Layout by Shalae Tippetts
larger view

Scrap Girls Digital Scrapbook Product Designer Shalae Tippetts

Tutorial written by Shalae Tippetts

Digital Scrapbook Supplies from Scrap Girls: ScrapSimple Tools - Styles: Glitter Brights Super Biggie 4101 Digital Scrapbook Supplies from Scrap Girls: Mixed Media Collection Digital Scrapbook Supplies from Scrap Girls: Legacy Collection Biggie
Digital Scrapbook Supplies from Scrap Girls: ScrapSimple Tools - Styles: Stamped - Blues 4902 - Biggie Digital Scrapbook Supplies from Scrap Girls: Affection Collection Digital Scrapbook Supplies from Scrap Girls: Renew Collection Biggie
Digital Scrapbook Supplies from Scrap Girls: ScrapSimple Layer Your Own Brushes: Doodle Stitching - Line 1 


  1. This is a great idea, and far easier than I had thought. I will definitely try it soon.

  2. This is a terrific idea and far easier than I thought. I will definitely try it soon!

  3. Marie Hoorne says:

    Great tutorial, it was easy to follow and I’m much more happier about journalling.
    Love the Blue Eyes LO, it looks great.

  4. This tutorial is wonderful. You were precise in your instruction and made the concept seem so easy. Now, I will use this technique more on my LOs! Thank you!

  5. Thanks for the tut, Shalae! I’m getting ready to upgrade my PSE, and I think I can use this info there. Either way, it’s interesting to see how it works. And the shape of your journaling is so interesting. A standard rectangle would break up the flow of this gorgeous LO.

  6. Thank you for the tutorial! It came at a perfect time–I was just working on a layout that requires text in an odd shape, so this will work beautifully!

  7. Jeannie, I am not 100% sure but I think it will work in PSE10 and 11.

  8. Anne-Marie says:

    Wow!… This is such a great tutorial… thankyou.

  9. Laurie Swigart says:

    Is there a possibility of including a .pdf of the tutorials?

  10. THis is wonderful! Thanks for sharing such an amazing accent idea. Do you know if it works in PSE?

  11. What a great tutorial. I can’t wait to try it myself. I love the whole layout.

  12. Sherry_Lynn says:

    WOW great tut Shalae I can’t wait to try it -

  13. This is the simplest explanation of journaling in an irregular shape. I’m looking forward to trying it soon. Thank you, Shalae!

  14. Fantastic tutorial, Shalae! Thanks for sharing.

Speak Your Mind