Tutorial: How to use a digital scrapbook template / clipping masks.


As you know, this blog has been recently over run with Project Life pages. After a flooding disaster with my 2013 paper pages, I decided to start again, but go digital this time. I made some of my own templates (without rounded corners...just because I didn't really want rounded corners). And I have since been plugging away and trying to catch up!

A few of you have asked two things...
1. Can I buy your non-rounded cornered templates? Yes. CLICK HERE to buy!
2. How do I use digital templates? It's easy! Here's a tutorial.

A digital template for Project Life (or any project)
Photoshop Elements or Photoshop CS (any version)

Note: When I am starting a new digital layout using a template the very first thing I do is open the template and choose SAVE AS. Then I rename it to what I am working on (such as PLpage01).  This saves this template as a fresh layout and allows me to stop working on it mid-page and save the changes without ruining the blank template.

1. Unzip your downloaded Template files and save them to your computer.

2. Open Photoshop and open the desired digital template.  You will notice that the layers assigned to the digital template appear immediately in the Layers box.  They are numbered or lettered for ease of use.
3. Next open a photo or product you want to use.  I am using a photo for this example.
4. Drag your photo onto the template.  It will create a new layer.  Place this photo above the layer you wish to clip.  In this example I will be putting my photo into the top left spot (or A)
5.  Now, highlight the photo layer (as shown above) and hold down the ALT button while slowly dragging your mouse between this and the next layer down. You will know you have done this step correctly when this funny icon appears between the layers.
6. Release the ALT button and your layers will now be linked together as shown below.
You'll also notice that my photo has now been "clipped" to the exact shape of the mask beneath it.
But wait!  Now some of our faces have been clipped off because we are putting a 5x7" photo into a 4x6" photo space.  But this is where we fix it!

7.With your photo layer still selected it's time to select the MOVE tool from your tool palette (as shown below).  You can then move your photo around, and even resize it, until it fits within the frame and you're happy with the way it looks.
Now my photo is re-sized and fits within the frame.
8. You will notice that these two layers are currently linked, but not sandwiched together as one.  If I am unsure of the exact placement of my page I like to wait on this step until I am finished the entire Layout and happy with the results.  To sandwich the layers into one place hold down the CTRL key and select the mask layer beneath your photo.  Now both layers should be selected.
Hover your arrow over the bottom of the two highlighted layers and click and hold the RIGHT mouse key. A box will appear with layer options. Scroll down to the MERGE LAYERS option and click it.
It has now turned into one layer and has been renamed.
9. Now select the next clipping mask you want to work with (B perhaps?) and begin the process again.  Continue clipping each mask until your page is completed. Then flatten the entire image and save as a jpg.
You're done!  
If you have any questions or something is unclear please feel free to leave a comment here.


Anonymous said...

Oh.My.Gosh!!! This is going to save me soooooo much time!! I've been cropping photos, going between template and photo until they were "close enough" but was sure there must be a simpler way- here it is!! Picture explanations are GREAT!!
Thank you for helping scrap booking faster and more addictive ;)
Found you through Pinterest!

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