Scrapbook Ideas

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Category Archives: Techniques

Photography Tips for Christmas Lights

Kim HillTips from Photographer Kim Hill: Ideas for taking great pictures of Christmas lights
Interview by Jess Gordon

While looking at some of my photos of last year’s Christmas tree, I remembered that I had read a really helpful article by Kim Hill in the December 2006 issue of DST Insider (newsletter of Actually, there were lots of great tips from several photographers in that issue, but my favorite part was this section about how to photograph your Christmas tree. Here are the tips from Kim as they appeared in that article:

Photo by Kim HillI like to use a tripod for the camera, but you could also just set the camera on a stable surface if you don’t have a tripod. Once you find the angle of the tree that you like the best, turn off all other lights in that room and any adjoining rooms where household lights may interfere. Then I set the camera to the bulb or manual setting and adjust for a long exposure – bracketing in increments of a 5 seconds. Last year, I took several shots of my tree until I had one where the lights appeared to have a star-like look to them. The setting I found that created this appearance was ISO 100 at F22 for 30 seconds.

I tried these tips last year and I’m so happy with the results  – click here to see a page I made with my photo of last year’s tree. I recently contacted Kim, and she was nice enough to answer some more questions I had about how to take photos of Christmas lights, I think you’ll appreciate what she shared…

Firstly, could you tell us a bit about your photography background and experience?

Photography has been a love of mine for over 20 years.  My parents gave me my first 35mm camera, a Pentax K1000, on my 16th birthday.  I went on to college at Fashion Institute of Technology and then started assisting a wedding photographer for a couple of years.  After moving across the State, I started up my own wedding photography business which kept me busy for about 8 years.  Hubby and I moved again, and started a family, so my photography business was put on hold for a number of years.  Then in 2005, I got the itch to start up again.  At that time, I made the decision to switch to all digital format and set up a home studio where I have been working ever since.
Photo by Kim HillWhat are your top three favorite ideas for photos of Christmas lights?

(1) Set up a small display of your favorite ornaments.  Try nestling them in a base of pine branches wrapped in lights.

(2) Using a tripod, set up your camera fairly close to the tree and zoom in on just one ornament.  Have a couple of the tree lights pointing toward it so you can get some glow and look for interesting reflections of other ornaments on the tree.

(3) Outdoor lighting displays can look really nice if you photograph them right around sunset.  You’ll still get the glow of the tree lights, but will also get a beautiful color to the surrounding sky.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when taking photos of Christmas lights?  Any other ideas or pointers for us?

I think a lot of people want to get a picture of their tree with the lights glowing, but don’t want the yellow color cast.  If you have a DSLR, you can set the white balance to Tungsten which will help a bit. After you’ve captured the image, you could address any additional color cast concerns by using software such as Photoshop or Lightroom to make some adjustments.

A tripod or other stable surface is really an invaluable tool to capturing that beautiful glow. If you try handholding the camera, your image will be blurred.

Photo by Kim HillUsing a flash will give you a crisp look, but the glow from the tree lights will be lost.  So remember to turn off the flash.

If you have a built-in timer, use it.  This will keep your camera from capturing that little bit of shake when you would normally press the shutter release.

Keep in mind that there is not one perfect setting for your camera.  Each situation will have a unique lighting situation which you will need to experiment with to find the exposure that works best for your desired result.

I got great results following your instructions for photographing Christmas tree lights, even though I have a simple point and shoot digital camera. Do you have any other good tips for those of us who don’t have digital SLRs?

Since each camera is different, you’ll need to read your instruction manual to see if you can turn off the flash or change the ISO, shutter speed, etc.  Even with a point and shoot camera, some of the tips I posted above can be applied.  If you can, turn off the flash.  Set the camera on a stable surface or tripod and use the timer so there is no shake from pressing the shutter release button.

Thanks so much Kim!! I think I’m ready to go take some photos :).

If you’d like to know more about Kim Hill, her photography, and her digital scrapbooking sites, please be sure to check out the links below!

Owner and Designer, CG Essentials
Owner, DigiScrapping Tutorials
Designer, A Cherry on Top
Blog, A Day in the Life of Kim
Photos by Kim Hill

A Season for Giving

Hybrid Gift BoxAs Thanksgiving approaches, I am flooded with feelings of gratitude toward God for all that he has blessed me and my family with. My heart and life are so full that they just have to spill out into the lives of others! Pretty soon I will start my Christmas gift and card making frenzy which, as always, will continue right up until the last minute :). But first I wanted to make something for someone who won’t be getting too much else for Christmas this year, and who really needs some of that extra love and blessing spilling out of my life! My husband and I have been participating in Operation Christmas Child every year since we’ve been married. Usually, we do two boxes, I fill one for a girl and he does one for a boy (instead, this year he’s buying gifts for a local child in need). We usually just buy plastic boxes to fill, but this year I decided to use a shoebox and decorate it with scraps of beautiful Shabby Princess papers. I hope the little girl who receives my gift will enjoy the box as much as its contents :)!

Hybrid Shoebox for Operation Christmas Child

This was such a simple project to do, and it was totally free, because I just used what I had on hand in my scrap room :)! The end result is a pretty box that will be perfect for holding the treasures of the little girl who receives it.

Hybrid Gift Box 2Supplies

  • Shoebox
  • Scraps of decorative paper
  • Mod Podge & foam brush
  • Ribbon & cord
  • Glue gun & glue

Step 1) Make sure that your shoebox is clean, the paper might not stick well if it is too dusty. Before you start, make a plan for how you will cover the box. This way you can make sure you have enough to cover the whole box and you will have a good idea what the finished box is going to look like.

Step 2) Next, lay out your pieces of paper, face down, in the order that you want to adhere them to the box. One at a time, paint the backs with Mod Podge, using a small foam brush, and place them on the box, smoothing them with your finger to remove any bubbles or wrinkles. The type of Mod Podge you use depends on your preference, I used glossy.

Step 3) When the box is completely covered, let it dry. Then cover the entire box with another coat of Mod Podge. It will look milky white at first, but it dries totally clear.

Step 4) Once everything is dry, attach ribbon around the outside of the box lid using hot glue. I also attached a cord on the inside of the box, to hide the seams at the bottom.

Hybrid Gift Box 3Tips and Tricks:

Don’t toss out those catalogs you’re always getting in the mail, they are perfect for this project! Open up the catalogue, and place the paper strips to be painted with Mod Podge face down on the pages. This will protect your table from getting covered with glue, and when you need a new clean surface, simply turn the page :)!

Also: it is not totally random that I have lots of coordinating Shabby Princess scrap paper around – I planned it that way! Every time I print photos or digital scrapbook pages, I open them in Photoshop and place them on a 8.5×11 document (or 13×19 if I’m printing a 12×12 page).  If there are any blank portions of the page, I fill those areas with my favorite digital scrapbook papers. This way, when I cut out my photos, I have pretty paper pieces left instead of trash that would otherwise have gone to waste :)! 

That’s it! The project doesn’t take long to do at all, because Mod Podge dries really fast, I did the whole thing a little at a time yesterday afternoon. Even if you don’t have time to decorate a box, I hope you’ll consider donating a shoebox gift for Operation Christmas Child this week, there are collection posts set up all over the US which will be collecting boxes until Monday (November 19th).

I Love Fall!

Just wanted to share a few fall pages with you and a couple of quick tips :). I don’t know what the weather is like in your area, but it has really just begun to feel like autumn where I am. I just love this time of year, the fall foliage, pumpkins, apples, it’s a time to admire God’s beautiful creation, which leads nicely into Thanksgiving celebrations! Anyway, I hope you’re enjoying the season as much as I am if you have made some fall pages, please share your links in the comments section :).

I made this page using the FREE Harvest Spice kit by Shabby Princess!!

Super Sweet Fall

Tips and Tricks:

  • Using a font like “Acorn Initials” allows you to add some extra color to your title. In your layers palette in Photoshop, just right click on the text layer and choose “rasterize” (or simplify). Then you can use the magic wand tool to select areas of the title to fill with color with the paint bucket tool.
  • Try using elements in new ways; I used a ribbon “tie” one of my words together. 
  • I used my “Leafy Heart” shape template to help showcase some of SP’s gorgeous papers. Then I added a bold photo border by using the eye dropper tool to grab a coordinating color from one of the flowers to fill a couple of the template layers with.  

I used an awesome Weeds and Wildflowers collab kit to make the page below :)

Sweet Little Pumpkins

Technique: Here’s an easy way to get your B&W photo to perfectly match your page: once you convert your photo to B&W, go into your Photoshop layers palette and right click the thumbnail of the photo layer, then choose “select layer transparency”. Next, create a new layer, and fill the selected area with a color that matches your page (in this case, I picked up some of the brown from the background paper). Going back into the layers palette, change the new layer’s blend mode to either “hue” or “color”. 

The following page uses the super fun Smell My Feet kit, by Shabby Princess!

Lovable Lion

Photo “pop” technique: Recently, I accidentally discovered this simple technique that really brings some life to my photos. I have used it on almost every photo since then! Here’s what I do: I use image>adjustments>levels to open the levels window. I move the middle input slider (tiny triangle at the center) all the way over to the left until it overlaps the left input slider (the image looks really white at this point), I click “OK”. Next I use image>adjustments/brightness/contrast to open the brightness/contrast window. I move the contrast slider way over to the right, then adjust the brightness accordingly (usually a little to the left). For the example below, I set the brightness to -20 and the contrast to +87. I have no idea why this trick works, but I love the result :)!

Photo Technique

For this last page, I used my “Mosaic Leaf” shape template to frame my photo, and to show off several papers from Jeannie Papai’s Blissful Fall kit at the same time!

Little Man

Tips and Tricks:

  • This is how I added the monogram “A” to my page; I used the type tool to type a very large letter “A” in a dark brown color I picked up from one of the papers, using the eyedropper tool. I then opened my Photoshop layers palette, and used the drop down menu from the top left corner to select the blend mode called “Soft Light”. Voila!
  • To distinguish the photo layer from the rest of the layers in the “Mosaic Leaf” template, I merged the photo border and photo layers together, then added a drop shadow to the newly created layer. I also rotated the layer and sandwiched another leaf element between it and the lower portion of the leaf template.

Well, that’s all I have for you today. If you have a fall page (or two or three!) to share, please leave a comment and link us up!! 

Tips and Techniques for Shape Templates

In case you haven’t seen this tutorial I posted over at the The Meadow, I decided to share it here at Scrapbook Ideas too! PLUS I wanted to show you some new goodies I just finished for Weeds and Wildflowers :).

I love to make and use shape templates for my pages because they’re a great way to add lots of photos and papers to a layout while also creating a fun paper-pieced look. I’m focusing on shape templates in this post, but the ideas can be applied to page templates as well.

Here’s where I sneak in a shameless plug for my new shape template pack coming to Weeds and Wildflowers Design! All four of these Autumn inspired shape templates are included in the pack. Is the animated preview too much? I just want you to get an idea of what you can do with these (p.s. I was pretty excited that I learned how to make an animated image – look for a future tutorial on that too). 

Leaf Background

Leafy Heart Preview

Mosaic Leaf

Pumpkin Preview

Tutorial for using shape Templates

The shape template I will be using for the following tutorial can be found here, in the Weeds and Wildflowers Shoppe. The papers are from Heidi’s Seeing Stars collection, and can be found here and here. Oh, and I should point out that my tips are based in Photoshop CS, since that is the program I’m familiar with.

Shape Template Basics

When you open the shape template in Photoshop, it will be on a transparent background, and if you look in the layers pallet, you’ll see that the shape is divided into several layers.


It’s really simple to add papers to the template! First, drag the paper you want to add onto your template, and position it directly above the layer you want to add it to.


Next use ctrl+g to create a clipping mask – the paper instantly takes the shape of the layer below! You can now move the paper around, even re-size and rotate it, until things look just right.


Repeat these steps for each layer of the template…see, I told you it was easy :)!

Getting Creative with Shape Templates

You can also modify shape templates by changing things here and there to create your own configurations. Try this: Merge several of the layers together to create new layers. First link the layers you want to merge together by clicking inside the boxes to the left of the thumbnails in the layers palette (an icon that looks like links in a chain will appear next to the linked layers).


Next use ctrl+e to merge the linked layers into one new layer. Repeat theses steps until all your new layers are complete.


Now just add papers as usual. For the example below, I decided to just leave the outer border black instead of covering it with paper. 


Another idea would be to use the eyedropper tool to choose a color from the page, then use the paintbucket tool to fill a section of the template with the matching color. Experiment with different looks – try moving, rotating, resizing, cropping or ‘hiding’ layers too. There are lots of possibilities!


What do you think? If you have any questions, tips or thoughts, please leave a comment (link above), or even link us up to a page you’ve made using shape templates :)! Thanks for stopping by!

Shape Template Tutorial and Freebie

Just popping in to let you know about a shape template freebie and mini tutorial I wrote for The Meadow - Click here to check it out!! Here’s a page I made using the template:

Hay Bale Maze

*Click here for credits*

 Here’s a preview of the pumpkin template, click here to see the post with the download!

Pumpkin Template Preveiw

OH! And I almost forgot to show you this awesome page by Yvette (AlohaMamma)! I love how she has used my star template – SO creative :)! Also, check out the rest of her gallery too, she is one talented scrapper! (Click here to see credits and/or leave her some love!):

Dream, by AlohaMamma

Technique: Add a Mini Book to a Digi Page

Want to see my first page as part of Jeannie Papai’s Creative Team?

Cutest Pumpkin 

Credits Everything is from the Boo 4 You kit (plus Extra Solids) by Jeannie Papai - available only at her newest store, Elemental Scraps! Font: MA Fishy

Photoshop Tips and Tricks

  • I recolored some of the glitter letters, and I used sharpen (filter>sharpen>unsharp mask) afterward to get the sparkle back.
  • You can make word stickers like I did by adding an extra thick white “stroke” to the outside of your letters.
  • Here’s how I added a bit of extra texture to the black paper: I opened the teal and orange paper, and used the magic wand tool (with select>similar) to select the orange design. I used crtl+c to copy it. I dropped the black paper onto a new document, and used ctrl+v to paste the orange design over the black paper. In the layers palette, I changed the blend mode of the orange design to “soft light”.

Technique: (Digital) Mini Book

Digi FrameHere’s a fun way to add a bunch of extra photos to your page. I’ve noticed that lots of digi kits come with sweet little frames like this one from Jeannie’s new kit. They are so cute, and I love using them! But sometimes I like to find new, unexpected ways to use digital elements :). Try this:

  1. Add several frames to your page, and decide if you want your mini book to be vertical or horizontal. Now “stack” the frames in a pile on top of one another. Use the options under edit>transform (in Photoshop CS) to fan the “pages” out, and flip the orientation of some of them so that the ribbons aren’t all facing the same way. The key is to keep one corner of each page in place on the stack, so that it looks like it is still attached to the other pages. Then add a fastener to hold all the pages together, like a brad, clip, whatever you like :)!  Now add your photos, by dragging each one,  one at a time, to the layer below the frame you want it to be in. Position it the way you like, then switch to the frame layer, and select the (empty) inside of the frame with the magic wand tool (I also do select>modify>expand for a few pixels) – go back to your photo layer, select>inverse and delete to remove the parts of the photo that extend beyond the frame.  Repeat for each frame. Lastly, add and extra embellishments, and you’re done :)!

OK – for those of you who are looking for the RAK I mentioned- Jeannie is still working on it, so it will make an appearance in a future post :).  BUT, the good news is that she is having a HUGE 50% off sale on everything at her new Elemental Scraps Store!!! NOTE: the sale price doesn’t show up on your items until they are in the cart. Happy shopping :)!

Technique: Digital Curled Edges How-to (AND Freebie!)

Ever since I did this post about curled edges in paper scrapbooking there have been many many scrappers who have come to my site accidentally, because they did an online search for digital curled edges. Well, if that was you, now you’re in luck! I have a tutorial and freebies for all you digi scrappers too :)! First, here is another page I made using my new digital curled edges (you can see the first one here):


Credits Hand Stamped Alpha: Michelle Coleman; Curled Edges: Jess Gordon (freebie below); Font: Jane Austen; Everything else is from the Cherrywood Farm kit, by Shabby Miss Jenn!

Photoshop Tips and Tricks

  • I created a “visual triangle” using the the subject of my photo plus the screws and buttons on the photo’s edge. This idea is thanks to ksharonkdesigns!
  • I love using Michelle’s stamped alpha (“SEPT07″) as a brush set, so I can easily change the size, color and opacity to suit my needs! If you don’t know how to make a stamp (.png file) into a brush, check this post I wrote about making your own digital brushes (you will only need to do the last part). 
  • The Virtual Photographer “Fall Colors” filter as well as some grungy brushwork on my photo edges really help the photo stand out.

Technique: Curled Edges for Digital Scrapbooking 

This is a look I love to create on my paper scrapbook pages, so it was only natural that I’d want to incorporate it into my digi pages as well. It didn’t take any fancy digital designing knowledge to make these edges, and now I can use them again and again. Here I’ll show you what I did, plus how to make them look great on your page!

How to Make Your Own Digital Curled Edge:

  1. First I made curled edges with real paper following the steps seen here.
  2. I then scanned them, making sure my scanner was set to make a high resolution (300 dpi) image.
  3. Then I extracted just the curled part of the image and saved it as a .png file on a transparent background. My scanner bed is only 11 inches long, but I wanted my edges to be 12 inches , so I simply re-sized the edges. Because I wasn’t stretching them too much, they still look fine.
  4. I adjusted the levels, contrast and color a little and that was it!

How to Add the Curled Edge to a Digital Scrapbook Page:

  1. Open a 12×12, 300 dpi blank document. Place two digital papers on your page, one on top of the other.
  2. Drag the curled edge onto a new layer above the top paper. Position as desired, making sure that the curled edge touches or slightly overlaps each edge of the page.
  3. Still on the curled edge layer, using the magic wand tool, select the area above the curled edge, that you would like to erase. I also use select>modify>expand by a few pixels to make sure I get all the paper. Tip: if your selection encompasses the whole page, your edge is most likely not touching both sides of the page.
  4. Switch back to the (top) paper layer. Delete the selection.
  5. Next, add a realistic drop shadow to just the curled edge layer first, making sure that the lighting direction comes from behind the section that is curled over the paper  (check here and here for drop shadow tips).
  6. Merge the curled edge, its shadow and the top paper layer together.
  7. Add another drop shadow to the whole thing, this time adjust the light source so that the shadow is thrown to the other side of the curled edge.    

I hope these directions are clear – if you have any questions please ask, I’d be happy to help :). The comments button is at the end of this post.

*Update: For those visual learners out there, you can now find a video tutorial provided by Scraps of Mind. She uses Photoshop Elements and has slightly different techniques, but gets the same great results. Check it out here!*

OK, here’s your freebie :)! Enjoy!!

Curled Edges Preview

*Click Here to Download the Curled Edges Freebie*

Autumn Scrapbooking: Make Your Own Pumpkin Shapes

Happy first day of fall! I have just turned in my scrapbook pages for the design team I’m on at the local scrapbook store, but I took a few photos of the finished pages so I could share them with you as well! You’ll have to excuse the poor quality of the photos – I can never get them to look like the originals! That’s probably why I show you more of my digital pages than paper ones :). Anyway, here they are!

Fall 2 Page

Fall Page 1

Fall Page 2

Credits: Everything is from the Shades of Autumn Collection by Reminisce, except the cardstock and ribbons.

Tips and Tricks

  • Don’t be afraid to cut a photo into two pieces to span a two page layout – as long as you don’t cut apart focal parts of the image, it will add interest to your layout and help tie the two pages together.
  • Just as in stamping, groups of small, repeated elements look best if some disappear off the boundary of the page. Just layer them on with some extending beyond the edge of the page, then trim off the excess.
  • Let your photos inspire the decorative elements of your design: on one page I included a doodled scalloped edge that resembles the bumps on a pumpkin. The circles repeated throughout the design also mimic the shape of pumpkins, the theme of this layout.

Technique: Make your own pumpkin “Die Cuts”

Even if you don’t have access to a die cutting machine, you can make your own cute little pumpkin shapes by following these simple steps:

  1. Punch or cut out a circle shape in about the size you want your pumpkin to be.
  2. Use a brown or black marker to make curved lines on the circle that resemble the lines on a pumpkin.
  3. Cut small indents at the points where each line intersects the edge of the circle.
  4. Attach a stem shape cut from brown paper to the pumpkin  where the tops of the lines meet.

Pumpkin Cutout Steps

How cute!! I just LOVE autumn, it is my absolute favorite season – so of course I love to scrap autumn pics :)! Have you created any fall pages recently? If so, leave a comment with a link, or email your page to me at scrapbookideas @ gmail DOT com (remove the spaces). Who knows, there might be a little something in it for you ;)!

Occasions – XL Collection by Shabby Princess; Review Part 5

Well, I guess it’s time to wrap up “Shabby Princess Week” :). I have had almost as much fun telling you all about my projects using the Occasions XL- Collection as I did making them :)! I know some of my readers aren’t the types to do hybrid projects, so the topic of this post is just for you – the scrapbook pages!! OK…. and I HAD to throw ONE more hybrid project in there too LOL :)!

Page 1

Digital Scrapbook Page

Page 2

Digital Scrapbook Page

Credits   Everything is from the Occasions XL- Collection by Shabby Princess! Fonts: Amaze (Page One), Marvelouz DSG and 2 Peas Goofball (Page Two)

Photoshop Tips and Tricks

  • On Page 1, the curled edges are part of the background paper. I made it look like some of the paper strips I used on the page are tucked under the curl by using the eraser tool with a small, soft edged brush to erase away the portions of the paper strips that were overlapping the curls. The trick is to actually erase a tiny bit of the paper that isn’t even overlapping, so that the shadow of the paper curl shows through a bit. You might want to use a Layer Mask for this technique, instead of the eraser if you are a bit unsure of yourself.
  • Sometimes it’s fun to create the look of stacked photos on your page (Page 1). Just create a few duplicates of the photo layer and tilt the different layers slightly off-center. Don’t forget to add drop shadows to all the layers :)!
  • I turned the “Make a Wish” word art into a brush, and used white as my foreground color to stamp the cool design on the black strip on paper at the bottom of Page 1.
  • I played around with different sizes and orientations of the three “ones” on Page 2, to achieve a kind of graphic looking title.

Technique: How to Wrap a Digital Ribbon Around a Photo

Here’s a simple way to make a ribbon look like it is wrapped around a photo on your page (as seen on Page 1).

Step 1  Place your digital ribbon in a layer above the layer the photo is on. Reposition, re-size and/or crop the ribbon as needed until the ends of the ribbon hang slightly over the edges of the photo.

Step 2  Using the burn tool set to the midtones range, darken the ends of the ribbon. The very end should be the darkest, and it should get progressively lighter until the point where the edge of the photo begins. I used a small, soft brush set to 50% exposure, but the settings will vary depending on the size, texture and color of your ribbon. That’s all there is to it!

Ribbon Wrap BeforeAfter Using Burn Tool

ETA: I just remembered about this post about wrapping ribbons – it’s worth checking out! Also - if you like freebies, you will LOVE this girl :)!! 

Last, But Not Least, Hybrid Thank You Cards!

The final project I wanted to show you is this batch of thank you cards I made – I just placed the “Thank U” stamp over a blue polka-dot rectangle, used edit>stroke to outline the stamp in white, and printed a bunch of those out. Then I used scallop edged scissors to trim the borders, and adhered them to the cards with the matted photo on top!

Thank You Cards

On that note, I just want to say a HUGE thank you to Shabby Princess for this awesome collection - which really made my little guy’s birthday great - and for all the other wonderful GIFTS she has shared over the last few years! Thanks girl, you’re the best!!

See also the other parts of this review:

Occasions – XL Collection by Shabby Princess; Review Part 1

Occasions – XL Collection by Shabby Princess; Review Part 2

Occasions – XL Collection by Shabby Princess; Review Part 3

Occasions – XL Collection by Shabby Princess; Review Part 4

Occasions – XL Collection by Shabby Princess; Review Part 4

Party DecorationsI’ve been gushing about this awesome kit by Shabby Princess for a few days now, and I still have even more ideas to share with you :)!  I think lots of moms like to make their baby’s first birthday a special day to remember. But as a scrappin’ mom, I was also thinking ahead about how to best preserve those cherished moments for years to come. How cool is it, then, that I was able to create my own customized party decorations so that my photos of the celebration perfectly match the digital kit I used for my scrapbook pages :)?! And it is WAY more simple and easy to do than you may think!

Photoshop Tips and Tricks

  • I created a template (included below) to make a very simple pennant banner printout – now I can use the same template to make different party decorations to suit any event!
  • Using the template helps save ink and paper - I only print what I need.
  • Templates also take the guesswork out of this project – no measuring or tracing needed, just layer, print and cut!

Technique: DIY Pennant Banner Party Decorations (Free Template Below)

This project was SO fast and I was very pleased with the happy looking decorations :)! NOTE: These steps work in Photoshop CS, but might be different in other versions.


Free Pennant Banner Template (below)

Photo editing software (I used Photoshop)

Printer, paper and ink


String (the length of your desired banner)

Stapler and staples

Steps For Making the Pennant Printout

  1. Open the pennant banner template (found below) in Photoshop, and in the layers palette, select the layer called “Pattern 1″.
  2. Open a digital patterned paper file you’d like to use for your banner. Type ctrl+a (select all) and ctrl+c (copy).
  3. Go back to the template file and type ctrl+v (paste), Alt+Ctrl+g (create clipping mask, or group with previous). At this point, you may want to use the move tool to position the patterned paper just right over the pennant pattern. Then type ctrl+e (merge down) when you are happy with how it looks.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 using coordinating patterned papers for the remaining two layers in the template.
  5. Flatten your image (Layer>flatten) and print  – make sure you are set up to print in landscape mode! I also included some circle “sticker” decorations in the extra space on the edges of my printouts, that I later used for making streamers hanging from the ends of the banners.

Pennant Banner Template Example

Steps for Assembling the Pennant Banner

  1. Once you have printed enough copies to make your desired banner, cut out all of the pennants and line them up in the order you’d like them to hang.
  2. Fold the top edge of each pennant over the string and staple each end, trimming any excess corners that are showing.

I added “Happy Birthday” word art to the center pennants that I had printed and cut out.  I also made streamers to decorate the edges by cutting out circle decorations and attaching them back-to-back to ribbon with double sided tape.

OK, so here is the pennant banner template you will need to make this project – it is in a layered .tif format. If any of you need a .psd format, let me know :). Enjoy!

Pennant Banner Template Preview

*Click Here to Download the Pennant Banner Template Freebie*

See also the other parts of this review:

Occasions – XL Collection by Shabby Princess; Review Part 1

Occasions – XL Collection by Shabby Princess; Review Part 2

Occasions – XL Collection by Shabby Princess; Review Part 3

Occasions – XL Collection by Shabby Princess; Review Part 5


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