Friday, March 20, 2009

How to Start Digital Scrapbooking for Beginners

My friend Bonnie K. asked a few beginner questions on Facebook. I've been receiving lots of beginner questions lately so I thought I'd share.

How do I start if I wanted to?

  1. You need a software program that will open PDF's, jpegs, and png files for the most basic tasks. You will be able to print out those files to add to a card or scrapbook page, however you will not be able to do actual scrapbooking. A program example would be Word.
  2. For actual scrapbooking, you need a software program for editing such as Photoshop Elements or ACDSee Photo Editor. Photoshop Elements is around $100-130 and ACDSee PE is about $45. These two programs are perfect for someone who just wants to scrapbook digital or hybrid. A free program that allows you to scrap online with their digital elements is (and they also have premium kits you buy and use only within their system. Photoshop Elements and ACDSEE Photo Editor allow you to use any kit you purchase or find for free).
  3. If you are a professional photographer and/or someone wishing to create a digital scrapbook kit from scratch, then you need the Photoshop Creative Suite which is quite an investment. (I prefer to use what others create, and so I love Photoshop Elements and I also have ACDSee Photo Editor).

To organize your kits, you can use the organizer in Photoshop Elements. I prefer to skip the Organizer in Photoshop Elements myself, because it is slow. I purchased ACDSee Photo Manager 10 (this is separate from ACDSee Photo Editor). ACDSee Photo Manager does not slow down your computer and allows for organization through tagging. I don't know how I scrapped before without ACDSee Photo Manager. I am not sure if it is available for Mac, however if you are on a Mac, then just use the free Organizer that comes with Elements.

How does it all work when you purchase a digi kit?
In your emailed invoice, there will be a link to a download link. You download the kit to your desktop. Scan it with anti-virus software. Then you need to unzip it with unzip software. I unzip it to the desktop, then I move the digital kit to the folder I want to store it. Then, while I have it in front of me, I tag it within my organizer so that I can find it fast and easy when it is time to scrap. (I also send the zipped file to the recycle bin after the folder is moved to where I want to store it. You do not need the zipped file any more.)

How do I use/access these files to make fun pages?
I suggest that you do not download a ton of freebies because soon you will run out of memory on your computer. When that time comes, the best thing is to purchase an external hard drive to store your photos and digital kits on. It is important to back-up your files on a weekly basis in case of a crash. Back-up onto DVD's or a second external hard drive.

It is just like accessing digital photos, they remain in the folder that you assigned them to.

Once you make all these cool layouts using digi elements, then what? how are your pages enjoyed?
  • I have a standard size printer and print my pages at 8"x8" which is a great size album that fits on any size shelf. You could also have them printed full-size 12x12 at shutterfly, polka dot potato or
  • You could have them printed in a photo book through a service such as shutterfly
  • You can incorporate them into hybrid pages

Do you make cds for people with all the layouts on them?

No, I do not. I would recommend DVD's or CD's depending how many you want to fit on a disk.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Digital and Hybrid Scrapbooking Call

THEME: Easter
Send in your layouts and projects featuring Easter.

TECHNIQUE: Faithbooking.
Do you incorporate scripture into your layouts? Do you make reminder cards with Bible verses for different times in your life? We’d love to see them!

ELEMENT: Chickies/Birdies.

Show us the different ways you use chickie & birdies in your layouts and on your hybrid projects. Please include any special tips on how to incorporate them into the layout.

OPEN CALL: Do you have a stunning layout or project of any theme/style that you just want to share? We want to see it!

NEEDED: Remember, we want digital layouts, hybrid layouts, hybrid projects, altered items using digital products, for all categories!
DEADLINE: March 5–those chosen will be featured in the mid-March issue of BSM.


All submissions should be e-mailed to by deadline above. Photos and layouts should be at least 12?x12? 72dpi or 8?x8? 150dpi JPGs. Include the FULL CREDITS and the following information:
Your Full Name:
E-mail address:
Project/Layout Title:

If your submission is chosen to be published you will receive a complimentary issue of BellaScraps Magazine! Submit your work today! (Only a limited number of layouts are chosen. Only those who are published will be notified.)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

How to Print a Two-Page Digital Layout

I recently received this question from a reader asking how to print a two-page layout. She designed the layout as a 12" X 24" document. Here are the instructions:

How to Print a Two-Page Layout
Instructions for Photoshop Elements and similar software
Here's how to do this: Make a duplicate by going to File--> Duplicate
1. On the duplicate - Select the crop tool
2. Set the width and height to 12 x 12, 300 dpi
3. Crop from the left side upper corner to the middle
4. Save this as a new document, maybe naming it "Title - Left". Leave the document open.
5. Then click ctrl+z to "undo"
6. Select the crop tool. Crop from the right side upper corner to the middle.
7. Save this as a new document, naming it "Title - Right"
8. Open "Title - Left" and print.
9. Print "Title - Right"

Monday, November 10, 2008

How to Use Photo Masks

How to Use Photo Masks in Photoshop Elements
by Julie Ann Shahin, Founder
Close-up of photo in layout
Final Layout. Credits: Nessa Kit by Erica Hite. Photo Masks Canvas by Amanda Sok. All available at
Here is a simple technique to add texture and interest to your photos. The final result is posted above. For this example I am using {canvas} photo masks by Amanda Sok available at Scrapgirls.

The instructions for using these masks are very simple.
Step 1. Open your photo in PSE.
Step 2. Select the photo mask you wish to use, and open it in PSE.
Step 3. Drag the photo onto the photo mask so that it is the layer above the photo mask.
Step 4. Select ctrl+g to clip it together.
Step 5. To use it in a layout, select Layer--> Merge Visible.
Step 6. Drag the photo onto your layout.

Here are some looks that can be made with Amanda's photo masks.

Please leave feedback if you would like more new content on the EDS Blog!

Julie Ann Shahin, Founder

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

How to to Use the Embed Action In Photoshop Elements for Digi Scrapbooking

How to to Use the Embed Action In Photoshop Elements for Digi Scrapbooking
by Julie Ann Shahin

This is a tutorial to show you another option for drop shadowing on elements such as buttons, eyelets, and other things that "attach" to a page. I use the "Embed Action (Style)" from Scrapgirls. This tutorial assumes that you have followed the instructions provided from Scrapgirls on how to install the tool in your styles palette.

Here is the layout that I am using this tool on. I want to shadow the denim ribbon eyelets.


Step 1. In the Styles & Effects palette on the right, chose Styles, then chose the Embed Action. Make sure the layer you want to use the tool on is selected. In this case, I am using the tool on the left denim ribbon with eyelets.

Step 2. Go to Layer --> Layer Style --> Scale Effects. You can see I adjusted the scale to 30
(Click on image to enlarge)
You can compare the Embed style with the regular drop shadow which I used on the right denim ribbon. The left ribbon is a more pronounced shadow, which I prefer in this case.

Note: There are 6 different types of this tool. I try different ones until I get the look that I desire. I do not have a rule about which type to use with certain embellishments.

In the image below, I have applied the tool to all three ribbons.


Next, I'm going to use the Embed Tool Style on a staple. This is the staple before.

Now I've clicked on the tool and the style has been applied to the staple. (You can click on the image to enlarge if you wish).


As I did in Step 2 above, I've adjusted the scale of the tool until I get the desired effect.


In my last example, I am going to apply the tool to the epoxy button in the middle of this paper circle. First, I want to duplicate this layer. Second, on the top duplicate layer -I applied the tool to the whole circle as the embellishment .png comes with the button in the middle.

Next, on the same layer, since I want the style applied only to the button - I erase or cut away the outer circle. You can erase with the eraser tool or you can create a circle with the circle marquee tool around the button. Then, select inverse, then delete that selection.

You can see I've applied the tool to both buttons below.

It's one of my favorite and most used tools that I use! Thanks for your support of the EDS Blog.
Credits: Falling for Fall by Two Sisters Designs at; Daily Birdie Font by Audrey Neal at; All Stitched Up template by Janet Phillips; Embed
Action 1801 by Scrapgirls

Please leave feedback if you would like more new content on the EDS Blog!

Julie Ann Shahin, Founder

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Do you want new content on this blog?

Read this!

Archives List

Actions Tutorials

Artistic Photo Tutorials and Ideas

Blend Mode Tutorials

Brush Tutorials for Digital Scrapbooking

Calendar Ideas



Create Your Own Elements - Tutorials and Ideas

Creating With Kids

Designing with Fonts

Gift Ideas

Home Decor Tutorials and Ideas- Updated September 13,2008

Hybrid Scrapbooking Tutorials and Ideas - Updated September 13,2008

Invitation Ideas and Tutorials


Mini Albums

Photo Editing

Photography Tips

Printing- Updated September 13,2008

Scanner Tips


Sketch and Layered Template Tutorials and Ideas
- Updated September 13,2008

Software- Updated September 13,2008Two-Page Layout Tutorials and Ideas

Word Art Tutorials

Using Transparencies