I have had some great questions in email and comments about printing Shutterfly photo books, so I thought I’d share the questions and answers here for you to see too :)!
Question From Chelsey:
I looked through Shutterfly and I cant find the same backgrounds that you have? Is there somewhere special I need to get these?
Sometimes I use the backgrounds by Shutterfly, but sometimes I create my own and upload them into Shutterfly using their “print your digital scrapbook” feature. Are you familiar with digital scrapbooking? In digital scrapbooking, you use digital “papers” and page elements to create scrapbook pages. Shutterfly has an option for uploading these already made pages and printing them in their books. It is a bit more time consuming, but I love being able to create a personalized book :).
Follow-up Questions From Chelsey:
I am not familiar with digital scrap booking. Do you have to pay extra for those pages? Where do you find them or do you have to create these yourself?
My Follow-up Answers:
Programs like Photoshop Elements can be used to create digital scrapbook pages using your photos and digital scrapbooking supplies, which can be purchased or even downloaded for free (I have several free kits available at scrapbookideas.wordpress.com). You can also find pre-made digital scrapbook pages, often called quick pages, to use – then all you need to do is add your pictures!
Question From Maryam:
I have decided to start digi scrapbooking and was just wondering what digital scrapbooking program you use…
I use Photoshop for my digital scrapbooking. I was fortunate to win a copy of the full version, but before that I used Photoshop elements which is much less expensive and all you really need for photo editing and digital scrapbooking.
Question From Taylor:
I love how you have different backgrounds on your books. I’m not the biggest fan of Shutterfly’s backgrounds, and I was wondering how you applied those backgrounds?
I know what you mean about the Shutterfly backgrounds, although they do have a few cute ones :). I am a digital scrapbooker, so I use digital scrapbook papers in a lot of my photo books. I make the digital scrapbook pages in Photoshop before I upload them to Shutterfly, then I use the “print your digital scrapbook” feature in Shutterfly to create my book using my own custom-designed pages.
Here’s an idea that just came to me: If you want to use a digital scrapbooking paper, but you don’t have Photoshop, you could try uploading whole digital scrapbooking papers you want to use when you upload your photos to Shutterfly. Then, choose a very simple photo book design, like “Versatile Classics”. Then, when you add your photos to the pages, choose layouts with one or two extra photo spots than you need, and place the digital scrapbook paper in those spots. It won’t cover the whole background, but at least you could add a little extra character to your page that way :). I tried it just now, and attached a screen shot of what I came up with below. The background is by Shutterfly, but the pink papers are from the free “Real Love” digital scrapbook papers available at scrapbookideas.wordpress.com.
Tip: you can double click on the image once you insert it into the Shutterfly page, then you will be able to adjust the position and zoom.
Question From Vicki:
Which layout on Shutterfly are you using to convert your square pages to landscape with a border for journalling? I’m assuming you use custom path with a 1 photo layout but I’m having a hard time figuring out which one! I also “scrap” in square, but would sometimes like to take advantage of the landscape album codes and I also don’t journal alot on my pages but could see where one day my kids would want to know more of the details.
I usually design my own digital pages in Photoshop, then use the “Print Your Digital Scrapbook” feature at Shutterfly to print my book. Here is a link to the page at Shutterfly where you can choose from the “Print Your Digital Scrapbook” options: http://www.shutterfly.com/photo-books/print-your-digital-scrapbook. They have several choices for the size and shape of your book. Once you choose a size, you will be taken to a page where you can download free Photoshop templates in the exact size and shape of the book pages and cover, the templates even have built in guides showing you where the edge of the page might be cut off in the printing process, so you can keep all important details (like text) within the safe zone. For my digital pages I plan to print, I usually use one of the templates as I design the page so that I know that there will be a perfect fit and nothing will get cut off in printing. The great thing about using the “Print Your Digital Scrapbook” feature instead of the one photo pages is that you have complete control over the covers and binding of the book too, plus you know exactly how big to make your pages because of the templates.
I have also used square pages in a landscape book to make use of coupon code like you mentioned, but I just designed a landscape page, with black as my background, then resized my square pages by hand in Photoshop, and added them in along with text. Here’s and example of a book like that I made a few years ago: http://scrapbookideas.wordpress.com/2008/09/05/shutterfly-classic-photo-book/