Scrapbook Ideas

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

Technique: Blending a Photo and Paper Together

I am a regular reader of The Hub, the blog for, because it is just filled with inspiration! This week, the Mojo Monday challenge was to use one photo four different ways on your page. Here’s my take:

Those Eyes

For Credits, *Click Here* 

Photoshop Tips & Tricks

  • When arranging lots of small elements around on my page using the move tool, I like to select the “auto select layer” option and deselect “show bounding box”. This helps me quickly move things around and clearly see what they will look like. If I need to, I can always use ctrl+t (free transform) to bring back the bounding box.
  • For drop shadows, I like to use dark brown, rather than the standard black, it just looks more natural to me.
  • It’s easy to duplicate the same drop shadow for multiple objects. For the star buttons, I made a drop shadow for one (layer>layer style>drop shadow – then adjust as needed),  then, in the layers palette, I clicked and dragged the layer style icon beneath the thumbnail for that layer (which looks like a circle with an f in it) to the line just below the thumbnail of the next star button. When I released the mouse button, the drop shadow was duplicated for that button as well.  I just did the same thing for each button, so all the shadows would match.

Technique: Blending a Photo and Paper Together

The large photo on my page is blended with the background paper for a softer, dreamy look. Here’s what I did:

  1. I started with a white background, not transparent.
  2. I layered the patterned paper and my phot0 on top.
  3. In the layers palette, I reduced the opacity of the photo to 60%.
  4. Using the eraser tool, with a round brush (size=500, hardiness=0), I erased the outer edges of the photo, being very careful not to erase too closely.
  5. Then, with the eraser set to about 50% opacity, I erased some more, this time a little closer.
  6. Switching to the paper layer, I used the eraser (same settings) to lighten some of the areas below his face. This reveals the white background enough that you can see the details of his face well, but you can also still see a little bit of the patterned paper.

There are many ways to blend photos, but this is one of the ones I use the most. Now, I know you have some papers and photos that will blend well together, so go try this technique for a completely new look!

Summer Bright Combo KitBy-the-way, the buttons I used on this page are all from an amazing, HUGE set created by Heidi Williams of Weeds & Wildflowers Design. They are sold separately or as part of a combo kit that includes papers and alphas too. AND the combo kit is ON SALE right now at for $8 (it would cost $11 to buy all three separately). Check it out here.

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One response to “Technique: Blending a Photo and Paper Together

  1. Karen July 13, 2007 at 6:37 pm

    Great blending look Jess. I’m enjoying playing around with this technique myself (Independence layout)
    Love how you show the ‘how too’ as well.

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