Scrapbook Ideas

Tips & Tricks. Ideas & Inspiration. Resources for Scrapbookers.

Technique: Using Shapes As Templates

Exploring Aruba

Credits Everything is from the Old Cabana kit by Shabby Miss Jenn. Fonts: Glider Girls and Century Gothic.

Here is another page about Aruba. I think you are going to be seeing a bunch of photos from my honeymoon in the near future :). I started looking at them the other day when I made this page, and now I can’t stop using them. Ahhhhh….I wish I was there right now!

Tips & Tricks:

  • Because the photos are packed so close together, I made sure to use ones that have coordinating colors and lighting, etc. to get a cohesive look.
  • When using busy photos with bright colors, I like to use a simple background paper that compliments the photos rather than competes with them.
  • I did use patterned papers on the page, but I put them at the bottom, so that the page feels balanced, not top-heavy.
  • Leaving white space around the photos helps keep the focus on them and gives your eye a place to rest.

Technique: Using the Shape Tool in Photoshop to Make Templates

If you are wondering how I made the shapes with patterned paper in the Lil’ Cowgirl page and the Free Spirit page, and how I made the shapes out of the photos in this page, you’re in luck, it’s pretty easy to do! If you have Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, you can use the shape tool to make templates for yourself that make it SO easy to get a paper-piecing look with your photos and papers. I was first introduced to the idea of using templates and clipping masks when I came across Jen Caputo’s awesome collection of page templates, and her easy to follow instructions for using them. Using the same concept, you can make your own template with just about any shape you can dream up!

Here’s how I made the shaped photos with Photoshop Elements (the steps might be slightly different depending on your version of Photoshop):

  1. In the tools palette, I selected the custom shape tool.
  2. From the drop-down menu at the top of the screen, I chose the quarter circle shape.
  3. I drew out the shape while holding the shift key (to keep the proportions right).
  4. Then I duplicated the shape three times (in the layers palette I right clicked on the shape layer and selected “duplicate layer”).
  5. Next, I rotated the shapes and placed them together to form a circle (you can use the move tool to do this free-hand, or use the “rotate layer” feature from the image drop-down menu at the top of the screen).
  6. Then, for each section, I opened the photo I wanted to use, and dragged it onto the page. In the layers palette, I made sure the photo layer was positioned directly above the shape layer I wanted it to look like (if not, just drag and drop it into place). Then I made sure the photo layer was selected as the active layer.
  7. Next, I just typed Ctrl + g* (magically, the photo takes the shape of the layer below)! I then used the move tool to position the photo just right within the shape (you can even re-size and rotate as needed). 

There you have it! The same method was used with a slightly more complicated technique to make the flower freebies (with the raindrop and circle shapes) and the paper star, by cutting the shapes into multiple layers. Use your imagination and see what you can come up with!

 *NOTE: In the most recent versions of photoshop, Ctrl + g is the shortcut for the “create clipping mask” command. In photoshop 7 and earlier, the command was called “group with previous” and can be found in the layer drop-down menu.

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2 responses to “Technique: Using Shapes As Templates

  1. malacima May 9, 2007 at 7:44 am

    thank you for tutorial.gorgeous LO! love the colors and composition.oh…Aruba!!I wish I was there right now too!

  2. princess June 5, 2007 at 4:56 pm

    wow! thanks a lot for the tutorial. your LO is gorgeous. now, i gotta make one!

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