Scrapbook Ideas

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

Category Archives: Techniques

Hybrid Anniversary Card

Just wanted to share a card I made yesterday :).

Anniversary Card

Digital Supplies: Happily Ever After kit, by Meredith Fenwick.

Physical Supplies: Flowers and crystals by Prima

Font: Chopin Script

Tips and Technique:

  1. For the front of the card, I blended two different papers together. I couldn’t decide which design I liked better – so I used both! Then, I typed the greeting and blended that with the papers (all using the blend modes in the Photoshop layers palette).
  2. I used one 8.5″x11″ piece of double-sided matte photo paper to make this card. The card base was an 8.25″x6″ rectangle of the background paper (the design carries onto the back of the card); the front was a 4″x6″ rectangle of blended paper. Using double-sided paper makes the inside look much nicer, in my opinion :).
  3. I used scallop edged scissors to trim the front down to size, then pierced each scallop with a paper piercer for an eyelet effect (you could also use a large needle to do this).
  4. I left a border of white paper around the card base when I cut it out. I measured to find the center of the rectangle, then scored a fold line down the middle. I used the scoring tool on my paper trimmer to do this, but you could do the same thing using the dull side of a butter knife along a metal ruler. It just makes the fold crisper and neater.
  5. I adhered the front of the card to the base, and placed the crystals and flowers on top. Voila!

Vertical Type Tips (plus a faithbook page)

After memorizing last week’s Bible verse, I decided that as wonderful as it was, it just wasn’t the same without the two preceding verses. So this week’s memory verse card has Ephesians 2:8-9, so I can put it on the page opposite last week’s card :). Here’s this week’s card using, of course, a quick page from the brag book by SMJ and Dani:


And in case you missed it, here’s last week’s memory verse card, which will go on the next page in the mini book I’m in the process of making:

Ephesians 2 verse 10

Last week the scrapbooks at Hobby Lobby were 50% off, so I bought this 5×7 Paper Studio album for about $2.50, I think it will be just the thing to hold these pages!

5×7 Album from Crafts Etc.

Photoshop Techniques: Vertical Type Tool 

OK, so let’s talk about the vertical type tool in Photoshop. This is pretty basic info, so advanced users can run along now LOL! But I know that there are many beginner Photoshop users reading, so this one is for you :)! As I have mentioned before, I am totally self taught in Photoshop, so it took me a while to figure out certain things. The vertical type tool is one of the things I didn’t notice right away, believe it or not!

Vertical Type Tool

Most of the tools in the Photoshop toolbar have tiny arrows to the bottom-left of the tool icon, this means that there are additional tools hidden behind that tool. If you right-click on the tool icon, a fly-out window will appear showing the rest of the tools. So, as you can see in the image to the right, the Vertical Type Tool is hidden behind the default Horizontal Type Tool. Using this tool is different than typing a line of text and rotating it 90 degrees to achieve a vertical line of text, because with this tool, the letters stay vertical instead of being turned on their sides. I used the Vertical Type Tool to type the word “Grace” on today’s memory verse quick page. I like to keep three tips in mind when using the Vertical Type Tool:

  • Choose a solid, wide, possibly decorative font  - think about whether each letter can hold it’s own on the page.
  • In most cases, use all capital letters, since this will ensure that each letter is the same height.
  • Keep in mind that the tools in the character palette still work with the Vertical type Tool (so you can add more space between the letters with the “Set the leading” tool, for example).  

To illustrate these points, here is an example of what the word “Grace” would have looked like if typed with the same font I used for the rest of the card (Book Antiqua), with only the first letter capitalized. Next to that is the word typed in all caps with a font called Extra Ornamental.

Vertical Type Examples

Looks better the second way, right? At least I think so :).

OK, I’m off to do some scrapping! I want to make a page for Shabby Miss Jenn’s challenge, so I can use the AWESOME freebie she’s offering :)!!!

Just a Quick Note…

… to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone for all of your nice emails and comments here and at 4shared!!! Wow, what a bunch of sweeties you all are :)!!! I usually try to respond to all the comments and emails, but I have been too busy lately, so I just wanted to make sure everyone knows how much  I really and truly appreciate each and every kind word!!! Thanks so much!!!!

Curled Edges Preview Several people had questions about how to use the curled edges. You can read a tutorial I wrote about 6 months ago, plus grab my other set of curled edge freebies (even learn how to make your own) here: Technique: Digital Curled Edges How-to (AND Freebie!). Even though I have learned a lot since I wrote that article, I think the basics are all there :). Maybe I will write another, more up-to-date tutorial sometime too, but for now I hope that one will help!

I have a TON of other things I want to tell you about, but like I said, I’m pretty busy right now! Hopefully I will get a chance soon :).

Photoshop Elements Book Recommendation

Digital and Hybrid Scrapbooking and Card-Making with Photoshop Elements by Patty DebowskiI can’t wait to tell you about this great resource for Photoshop Elements users: Digital and Hybrid Scrapbooking and Card-Making with Photoshop Elements by Patty Debowski!!! If I had this book when I started digi scraping my life would have been soooo much easier and I could have spent way more time scrapbooking and less time trying to figure out what I was doing. Even though I am no longer using Photoshop Elements (I won a free copy of Photoshop CS3 Extended), I’m so glad Patty sent me this book to review, because I can now recommend it to all my friends :).   Nobody should have to spend countless hours teaching themselves the hard way, like I did, when there is such a handy reference book available! I think it is well worth the $39.99 price tag.

What I like about this book: 
This is a wonderful book for Photoshop Elements users who are learning digital scrapbooking - it answers EVERY question I’ve ever heard from beginners, and offers plenty of great tips for advanced users as well! Even though this is a huge (384 page) reference book, it is easy to read and I read it from cover to cover. It’s the kind of book that’s great to keep on your computer desk so you can grab it and quickly look up a tip or technique (I’m sure you’ll find what you need in the 20 page index). I LOVE that there are lots of detailed instructions with screenshots and helpful photos, and I especially love the big chart of keyboard shortcuts!

For More Information: 
If you want to read more about the book, check out this press-release and this book review, and you can also see the book’s table of contents (and much more) at

I know Patty’s book is going to be treasured by so many Photoshop Elements users, now if only I had a book like this for Photoshop CS3…

Altered Notebook Tutorial (Hybrid)

I made this notebook for my sister’s birthday a couple of months ago, but I had to wait until now to show it to you, because it was being saved for today’s Fresh Cuts Newsletter :)! Ever since I started doing hybrid scrapbooking, I have been wanting to make an altered notebook or journal. I keep seeing them everywhere, and I’m always inspired by them. So here’s my first try at it, and judging by how much fun this one was to make, I’m sure it won’t be the last! 

Click here to see my tutorial for this project at Prima Hybrid!

Hybrid Altered Notebook

Notebook Details

Open Notebook

If you’re looking for more altered notebook tips, check out this tutorial by Emily, at the Authentic Artistry blog (another AWESOME place for inspiration). Also see this thread at Prima Hybrid for some more ideas. I know I’ve seen tons of tutorials for these on other blogs too, so if you know of one, please share the link in the comments section – I just can’t get enough of these!!

Hybrid Layout with Tutorial

Here’s a fun hybrid page I made for the Feb 14th Prima Hybrid newsletter. If you haven’t signed up for the Fresh Cuts Newsletter yet, I totally recommend it! There’s a new tutorial every week plus loads of inspiration! You can sign up right here.

I took this photo of Gabe months ago. It’s kind of a funny story actually – he was having bananas for lunch, and he smeared handfuls of them in his hair. It was time for his nap and I didn’t want to give him another bath right then, so I just used baby wipes and washcloths to try to clean his hair and that’s how he ended up with this cool hairdo :)!

Click here to see my tutorial for this page at Prima Hybrid!

‘Lil Dude


New SMJ Release and a Blending Technique

I’m SUPER excited to announce that Shabby Miss Jenn has invited me to be on her creative team FULL TIME!! Wow, I thought I was lucky to be just a guest team member!!! WOOHOO!

She has just released all kinds of adorable springtime products in her shoppe – here’s what I made with the HUGE new kit (Click Here for Full Credits):

Almost Spring

Technique: Blended Photo Background 

Here’s how I made the flowery background on this page (using Photoshop CS):

Step 1: I opened a blank 12×12 300 dpi document in Photoshop, then copied and pasted a the 12×12 “Sunshine” paper onto the background.

Step 2: Next I opened the photo for the background, did my basic edits to the color, levels etc., and resized to fit the width of the page.

Step 3: Finally, I copied and pasted the photo to the top of the page (over the Sunshine paper), then I changed the blend mode to “Pin Light” and lowered the opacity a little (to about 89%).

That’s it!! If you experiment with different combinations of photos, papers, blend modes and opacities you can come up with limitless unique looking backgrounds!! Have fun :)

Looking for Scrapbooking Tutorials?

I have had this post-it note on my desk for ages with a list of some great blogs with scrapbooking tutorials – it’s about time I share it! Here they are in no particular order (and please, if you know of some more great sources, leave a comment to let us know)!!

Misty Cato - Here is a great selection of digital scrapbooking tutorials using Photoshop – I’ve learned a lot from her blog.

Emily Giovanni - Lots of cool tutorials for scrapbooking, altered items, and even some digi scrapping. Tons of beautiful cards too – this gal has a lot of talent!

Everyday Digital Scrapbooking - TONS of tutorials, including an awesome Hybrid scrapbooking section :).

Leah Fung’s Video Blogging - Check out Leah Fung’s blog to see vblog sessions created by Leah and some of my other favorite designers who were on Scrapbook Lifestyle. These ideas are perfect for paper or hybrid projects.

Hummie’s World - Digital scrapbooking tutorials for Photoshop Elements (but they can be adapted for other programs). Hummie seems like such a sweetie too!

Also, if you like to hunt for digital scrapbooking freebies, you will love these blogs:

Ikea Goddess – I knew about Angie’s freebies blog even before I started working with her at Weeds and Wildflowers, it is the go-to site for finding tons of goodies!

Happy Scrap Girl – Another great freebie source, and she also links to other goodies sometimes, like tutorials :).

Ideas for Handmade Valentine’s Gifts

**Update: I know many of you visiting for the first time this year or returning after seeing this post a few years ago are interested in the templates for the projects below, but sadly, they have been discontinued since they first came out in 2008!  I hope you enjoy the inspiration anyway, and you can still find some great free candy box templates elsewhere online by doing a quick google search for “candy box template”. Have fun!**

I have been SUPER busy making all kinds of hybrid Valentine’s gifts lately! I would have posted some of these earlier, but I have been too busy getting everything finished in time to be mailed out today :). Don’t forget to check out the credits for these - lots of the supplies I used are available at

OK, it’s show-and-tell time!

Candy Boxes (free template here)

Candy Boxes

I loved making these adorable little candy boxes! The free template was created by Cindy, one of the ultra talented Prima Hybrid Flower Girls :). The template and Cindy’s tutorial were featured in the Prima Hybrid Newsletter. You can still grab the template right here. Also check out this tutorial written by Kristin. How fun!

Chipboard Album

I really, really enjoyed making this little album!! the process totally reminded me of when I used to make collage art back in high school. I just let myself have fun and I added layers and layers of printed digital papers, photos, printed transparencies, leather flowers, printed vellum – you get the idea. I even added some pink ink where needed, it is a Valentine’s gift after all :). And since the album itself was the Valentine’s card, I added a letter to each page so that the whole album spells out “Happy Valentine’s Day”! Are you thinking “Gee – that’s a pretty extravagant Valentine’s card”? If so, I just wanted to let you in a little secret – you can buy these little albums from Oriental Trading Company for about the same price as a regular Valentines card! I love the instant gratification of making the whole album from start to finish in one day too!

“I Love You Because” Index Cards

I Love You Index Cards

When I saw the bonus word art in this quick album kit by Heidi, I instantly thought of this simple (yet fabulous) little project! I just printed out one of the “I Love You Because” designs on each 4×6 index card, added my own doodles and decorations and some quick love notes on the back. I have been leaving them around the house for my hubby  – one for each day of the week leading up to Valentines Day :)!

“My First Scrapbook” Gift

First Scrapbook Inside

I LOVED this idea when I saw Mariquita’s project in the Shabby Shoppe Gallery! My seven year old niece is getting interested in scrapbooking, so I made her this little scrapbook to encourage her :). I printed out the blank pages from Heidi’s quick album, plus some of the frames and hearts. Then I just added the pages to the blank scrapbook, and sent some frames, flowers and hearts she can use to decorate her book. She’s going to love it :)!

Chocolate Boxes (free template here)

IOD Chocolate Boxes

All the work was already done for me with these boxes! The template by Iron Orchid Designs comes pre-decorated! And there are even built-in spots for those little jewels from Prima Hybrid, but I couldn’t get my hands on them in time, so I improvised with some flower petals cut into heart shapes. The boxes were designed to fit 3 See’s chocolate bars, but I put two Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate bars in and they fit nicely.

Mini File Folder Album

File Folder Album

File Folder Album (inside)

Melinda was sweet enough to send me a few of her templates to try, and I loved this little file folder album! It is on sale right now too ;)! I made two of these and I had fun mixing lots of bright, bold colors and patterns. These photos don’t do the papers justice – trust me!

Machine Stitching on Scrapbook Pages

I finally have some non-digital pages to share with you, well - MOSTLY non-digital, the second page is hybrid :). I actually made these a while ago for the design team at my local scrapbook store, but I forgot to take photos before I handed them in! But since my term with the scrapbook store is now over I just got all of my pages back. All the paper I used is from Fancy Pants Design, mostly from the Sweet Pea Collection. The transparent stickers are  Rain Dots, by Cloud Nine Design. I made the journaling block digitally and printed it out on cardstock. The digital stamp I used is by Michelle Coleman, of Little Dreamer Designs. The Sweet Pea papers I used are also by Michelle – how cool to be able to use both digital and paper designs from the same artist :)! Sorry for the bad photos, I can never get them to look as nice as the real thing…

Both Pages

Magic Moments Left

Magic Moments Right

Magic Moments L -Detail

Magic Momnets R -Detail

Tips and Tricks

  • I cut the “Rain Dots” out individually (with the backing still on) and arranged them on my page before sticking any of them down.
  • All of the sewing is just for decoration – I sewed the paper before I adhered it.
  • I took these photos of Gabe while he was inside the playground equipment on a bright sunny day. I love the interestingly colored photos that resulted.
  • To add the angel wing, I used a craft knife to cut along the edge of Gabe’s shoulder and arm, then I slipped the wing into the little pocket created by the cut.
  • I only adhered one side of the wing and hat, then I curled the other side away from the page to add some extra dimension. 

Technique: Machine Stitching on Scrapbook Pages

I love the look of stitching on scrapbook pages and cards! Up until recently, I always added stitches by hand, because I didn’t have a sewing machine. But now that I have my very own sewing machine, given to me by my family on my last birthday, I was finally able to try machine stitched scrapbooking :)!

I was very lucky to find this helpful tutorial by Julia Stainton on the topic, which gave me confidence to actually sew on my papers! I could repeat a lot of what she said, but she really seems to be an expert and she covers pretty much everything in her tutorial, so I highly recommend that you check it out! The only thing I did that was a little different was that I sewed my papers before adding them to the page, then I adhered them with double-sided tape.

I have a very basic Janome sewing machine, and the settings I used were: Tension: 5, Stitch Pattern: A, Stitch Length: 4. I practiced on scrap papers first until I determined these settings, then I sewed on the actual papers. I think it is a good idea to choose a long stitch length, because if the stitches are too close together, the thread might tear through your paper. It is also important to get the thread tension just right (again, I highly recommend this article). I like the look of freestyle stitching, so I just started on one edge, sewed almost to the other side, advanced the needle by hand for a few stitches, and with the needle still down (in the paper), I lifted the presser foot and pivoted the paper 90 degrees to sew along the next edge. After making a few laps around the paper I  trimmed the threads really close (no need to tie a knot or anything). That’s it! Next I would like to try some zig-zag stitching, or as Julia suggests, mix a few different types of stitching together!

Have you used machine stitching on your pages? Please share your projects, tips etc. I’d love to learn more :)! 


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