Category: Layout Techniques
Operating System: Windows 7
Software: Adobe Photoshop CS5
So … you got a smartphone for Christmas and you discovered Instagram! Now, you have tons of pictures. You shared them on Facebook, but surely there must be something else you can do with them … perhaps a way to print them out so you can show people without having to pass around your new phone. Not to mention, wouldn’t it be nice to have captions with the pictures so you don’t have to keep retelling the stories over and over again? Well, you’re in luck! Scrap Girls has everything you need to make digital scrapbooking layouts with your Instagram photos.
Let me walk you through how to make a layout that you can print on your computer at home. First, you’ll need to gather your supplies. Don’t worry, everything is digital, so no messes to clean up later. You’ll need:
- Software to manipulate your images. A lot of us use Photoshop Elements or the full Photoshop program. A few of us use GIMP, a free program that has some of the functionality of Photoshop, but not all. This tutorial is written using Photoshop, although the steps will be the same in Photoshop Elements.
- A ScrapSimple Layout Template. Keep in mind the number of photos that you want to put on one page. I choseScrapSimple Digital Layout Templates: The Shape of Things because I wanted to use five photos to tell my story, and I figured that I could fill in the other boxes with stuff from the collection like in the sample layout. Also, if you’re going to print your layout on a standard 8.5×11-inch printer, make sure your template has an 8.5×11-inch option. There are ways to resize things, but for a first layout, why make things more complicated than they have to be?
- A digital scrapbook collection from the Boutique. I’m going to use Time To RAWR Collection because the colors match my Tiger Cub Scout picture, and there are plenty of embellishments other than dinosaurs in this collection. I also picked Brush Set: Vroom for the car stuff. I just used the images like any other embellishments rather than the brush files.
Let’s make a layout!
- First, retrieve your photos from your phone. Instagram saves the original photos to your camera roll at the highest resolution possible for your phone after you upload the low resolution image to Instagram. Make sure you are accessing the photos from your camera roll directly. Most apps access the uploaded photos which have such a low resolution that they don’t print well larger than 2×2 inches. If you would like the image after the filters have been applied, you need to change the settings on your phone so that both the original and the Instagram version are saved. For an iPhone, here’s where to find that setting:
- Go to the Settings app on your iPhone (NOT the Instagram app).
- Scroll down to the Instagram listing.
- Once you tap Instagram, you’ll see “Save original photo” and “Save filtered photo” options that you can turn “On.”
- In your scrapbooking software, open the template you have chosen. Right away, do a Save As, and save the template with a new name! That way you always have the original to use again. After all, that’s one of the best parts of digital scrapbooking. Nothing ever gets used up! Also, don’t forget to save often as you’re creating.
- Now, locate your photos on your computer. Select the photos that you want to use (hold the Ctrl key to select more than one photo), and drag them onto your layout. You should have something that looks like this:
4. I knew that my main photo was going to be the photo of all of the cars, so I wanted it to be the largest photo. Choose your main photo and where you want it placed. Then, turn off all of the other photos by clicking the little eye icon next to the photo in the Layers palette. I clicked on the photo of all of the cars and dragged it down until it is above the layer with the largest square. I clipped my photo to the square by going to the Layer Menu and choosing Create Clipping Mask. The shortcut in Photoshop is Ctrl+Alt+G and in Photoshop Elements is Ctrl+G. You do the same with your photo.
5. You can resize the photo to fit the template by using the Move tool. Make sure that your photo layer is selected in the Layers palette. Then click and hold one of the corners of your photo while holding down the Shift key. Drag the corner until it is the size that you want. You can rotate the photo by clicking outside of the photo and dragging the picture around. Once it is positioned the way you want, click the check mark to accept the changes.
6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for each of your photos.
7. Now to add the pretty stuff! Locate the folder containing the collection that you chose on your computer. Just like you did with the photos, choose items and drag them onto your layout. I started with a background paper. I dragged it onto my layout and then clicked on the paper and dragged it down until it is above the layer named Layer 1. Since the collection I chose was designed for 12×12-inch layouts, I did have to resize the paper like I did my photos.
8. Next, I dragged and dropped various papers to “color” the boxes that I didn’t use for photos and various embellishments to decorate the page, resizing and clipping as I went. Go wild or keep it simple. Just have fun!
9. Your last step is to add shadows to make everything appear more realistic. To do this, select the layer containing the object you want to add a shadow to, click on the Layer Style button at the bottom of the Layers palette, and choose Drop Shadow.
A dialog box will open. You can use the default settings or experiment until you get a shadow that looks good to you. Here are the settings that I used for most of my elements:
Your layout should now be ready to print. I’ve found that printing from inside of the Photoshop program gives the best control, and therefore, the best quality. I’ve also found that printing on cardstock, rather than plain copy paper, makes for a better print as well. Once you’re all set, I’d love to see what you’ve created. Come share your layout in the Scrap Girls Digital Scrapbooking Gallery.
Digital scrapbooking supplies used: