Category: Printable Projects, Cards & Hybrid Crafts
Operating System: Windows 7
Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 9
I just love wrapping presents. Especially for someone like my mother-in-law, Suzanne, who appreciates the extra effort that goes into making a package beautiful. With Suzanne’s birthday coming up this month, I thought it would be fun to do something extra with her gift. I decided to make some custom wrapping paper with photos, text, and digital scrapbooking supplies using Photoshop Elements. Today, I’ll share the process with you, just in case you want to make something extra special for someone in your life as well.
Most of the big box office supply stores are able to print engineering prints in black and white for about $2.00. An 18×24-inch sheet is the perfect size to wrap a regular shirt-sized box. Engineering prints are not printed on photo paper, but most often on 20# paper (copy machine paper).
First, I opened up a bunch of pictures in Photoshop Elements. I opened 24, but I used some of them more than once (making 42 pictures total). I made some quick edits to the colors and levels, but I didn’t worry too much about making them perfect. Then I cropped them all to 2.5×2.5 inches.
At 2.5 square inches, there’s plenty of room for a 7×6-inch grid of pictures with space for text between each picture. If you have more pictures you want to use, you can easily use smaller pictures.
Next, I created a new document that was 18×24 inches, 300 ppi. I moved all of the pictures onto it. The pictures all stacked themselves up in the center of the document. When I had them all on the document, I used the Align andDistribute tools to quickly arrange them.
I knew I wanted six pictures across, so I clicked on the top picture and dragged it over to the top left corner, leaving a one-inch margin (turn on your Ruler and Grid, and select View > Snap To Grid to make this really easy). Then I clicked on the next photo in the stack and dragged it to the top right corner.
Next, in the Layers palette, I highlighted the top six photos (including the two that I had placed in the corners). With those highlighted, I clicked the Align button, located in the Options Bar when using the Move Tool, and selected Top Edges from the drop-down list. Then I clicked the Distribute button and selected Horizontal Centers. This instantly lines up all six photos.
For each row of photos, simply place the photo on the far left and the far right, highlight everything that goes in that row, and use the Align and the Distribute functions to line up everything perfectly.
After my pictures were placed, I randomly rotated some of them 90 or 180 degrees, so that they weren’t all looking the same direction. Then I made some long, thin text boxes that fit between the rows and typed Happy Birthday!
To turn the pictures black and white, I made a Gradient Map Adjustment Layer, and set the gradient to black fading to white. Then I moved the layer above all of the picture layers.
I saved as a JPG and uploaded it to my local copy center’s web site.
I chose one picture from each of my kids’ birthdays (from birth on up), plus a couple of family photos for my wrapping paper, but the possibilities are limitless. You could use pictures from a recent vacation, special event, favorite activity, or pictures of family and friends with the gift recipient. Pictures from sporting events or performances for a favorite coach or teacher would be very appropriate.
With some bright ribbon and a fun tag, I have a gift that my mother-in-law will never forget. I had a lot of fun with this project, and I would love to hear how it worked for you! Be sure to post in the Scrap Girls Gallery so I can see your results!
Digital scrapbooking supplies used:
Commercial license versions of ScrapSimple Tools – Styles: Basic Shadows 6501 are also available.
Tutorial written by Anna Mansfield