Category: Layout Techniques
Operating System: Windows 7
Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 11
January’s Scrap Girls Club, aptly named “Endless Possibilities,” is rich with papers, embellishments, word art, and more. As I opened each new file, I felt like I was adding one more member to a large, happy family.
I was particularly taken by the array of papers and knew I wanted to use several of them in my digital scrapbook layout. I decided, therefore, to pass along some tips on ways I use patterned papers. Regardless of whether you are mixing patterns in a digital scrapbook layout, in home decorating, or in dressing yourself, the same design rules apply:
- Use similar colors
- Mix the scale of the patterns
- Add a solid neutral or two to keep it from being too busy
Thankfully, Scrap Girls designer Melissa Renfro did all the work for us. Here are some ways to use some patterned papers in a layout.
1. Blend two or more papers together
Pick your papers. Put one on top of the other. Choose different Blending modes for the top paper and see what happens. Also try lowering its opacity for less of an effect. For my sample layout, I used the Paint Blue paper with a Multiply Blending mode at 60% opacity over the Chevron paper. The blending added a slight blue tint while retaining both papers’ textures.
2. Clip papers to embellishments
To make the clipping mask, layer your paper over the embellishment. Activate the paper layer by clicking on it in the Layers Palette, then use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+G to clip it to the embellishment shape. In my layout, I cut the Rectangle Frame embellishment in two and clipped a different paper to each half. I also filled the area inside each frame with different papers.
I continued by clipping papers to the alphas in my title as well. I used the Kraft paper then applied the Dark Gray paper over it. I lowered the opacity of the Dark Gray paper to 50% so that some of the Kraft showed through.
For Extra Fun: Cut-out technique
Now that you know how to clip patterned papers to embellishments, try this fun technique to make an embellishment look like it was cut out of a label or mat. Starting at the bottom, layer a paper, a mat or label, an embellishment, and a duplicate copy of the paper. (Use keyboard shortcut Ctrl+J to make the duplicate.) I chose the Floral Orange paper, the Green Round label, and for my embellishment, the Persimmon Heart. Link the papers together by clicking on the little chain link next to them in the Layers Palette. Keeping the two papers linked is important because of what comes next. I layered the label over the bottom paper and the heart over the label. Then I clipped the top paper to the heart. To make the heart look like it was cut out, I went to the Styles Palette and added a Simple Inner Shadow to it. I added a similar sized drop shadow to the label. Since the papers are linked, the patterns in the top and the bottom papers match allowing me to move the heart and label, or even re-size them, so that they look good with the paper design.
Did you keep count of the papers? I used two papers for the background, two for the frames, two more for the filling inside the frames (and my cut-out heart), and two for the title, so my digital scrapbook page managed to include eight papers from this marvelous collection. What fun! And because they are all from one kit, my digital scrapbook page looks coordinated and coherent.
Now it’s your turn to give these suggestions a try. I look forward to seeing the patterned papers in your layouts when you upload them to the Scrap Girls Gallery.
Digital scrapbooking supplies used: