Fair warning: LOTS of pics in this post!
I opened my first document so that you could see them side by side as I build the new template. Once you understand how to use clipping masks and the layer palette your digi options are endless!
Start by creating a new canvas in the size you want. My frame was 8×10 so I used an 8.5×11 canvas.
Before I started I turned on the grid (view…grid) so that I could make my first rectangle exactly the right size.
In the tool menu click on the rectangle tool.
Draw your shape to size. I then turned off the grid because I think it makes it hard to see what things look like.
I want all of my rectangles the same size. While I can just draw each one, I know that they will probably be slightly off from one another. So I just go to the layer palette on the right and duplicate the shape layer.
When this box pops up say ok.
Thinking Paper to Digi: Think of these shapes as your pieces of paper. As a paper scrapper you would cut each pattern paper strip you need to make the design you want. In this case you “cut” the strips by making shapes first and adding the paper on top later.
When you duplicate the shape just drag it below the first one.
I changed the color to gray (using the paint bucket) to make it easier for you to see. Continue duplicating and dragging the layers until you have the number you need.
After I finished the first rectangles (for the days of the week) I made one long rectangle along the side. Again, I changed the color just to make it easier for you to see. You won’t see the gray/black/orange at all in the end.
At this point I zoom way in and check the edges of my shapes to make sure they line up. If they don’t I drag the offending shape until it falls in line!
Now that your template is made it’s time to open some papers. Remember that when your papers open in PSE they will be on top. You have to go down to your project bin and double click on your template to bring it back to the front.
Before you add your first paper click on the shape where you want it to go. You can either click directly on the shape or you can click on that layer in the layers palette.
Then just drag and drop your paper into the file.
The beauty of digi is that you can resize the paper. So you can either leave it the size it is, if you want the pattern to stay large, or you can drag it down if you want the pattern smaller. Since I don’t want my pattern to compete when I use it as a white board I kept it pretty small.
Once you have the paper about the size you want it’s time to attach it to the shape. Be sure the paper is selected either by clicking on it or clicking on it’s layer in the layer palette.
Then go to Layer, create clipping mask.
Now your paper is only visible within the confines of the shape. You can still move it around by clicking and dragging and make it bigger or smaller, but it won’t show outside of the shape it’s clipped to.
Thinking Paper to Digi: Before I said these shapes were like your paper strips. Now you have glued your paper to that shape and trimmed off the edges.
Click on the next shape you want to work with and drag in the paper you want to use.
Resize the paper.
And clip it to the shape. Continue until all your shapes are filled with paper.
Thinking Paper to Digi: Clipping works the same for paper and photos. You could easily clip a photo to that shape. Exactly like we did with papers here.
Because this project is going to be used as a white board I don’t want the colors quite this bold. So click on one of the shapes. Just above the layers palette is the opacity. Turn down the opacity to about 50%. Do that for each of the shape layers on the left. I did not turn down the opacity on the long rectangle on the right.
Now it’s time for text. Choose the T tool in the tool palette.
Choose your font
And your color. I used white here.
As well as your size. You can change all this later if you need to.
It helps if you have selected the shape you want to type on, in the layers palette, before you click the Type tool and begin typing. I forgot to do that step so when I started to type I didn’t see anything.
The type is THERE it’s just under all my papers.
In the layers palette drag the text layer up to the top of the layers palette. And your word will show up.
Thinking Paper to Digi: Just like a literal stack of papers, you see what is on top. Think of the layers palette as a stack of supplies on your table. If you can’t see something, it’s just hiding under something else. So drag it higher in the layers palette until you can see it!
I decided that the damask papers I used needed a fancier font. So I just clicked on the letters, highlighted the word and changed the font (just like you would in any word processing program).
Again I want all my text to be the same size so I think it’s easier to just duplicate the layer. But you certainly could just click and type each one.
Once I have the duplicates in place I go down, double click and type the correct day.
I’m kinda picky and I want to be sure my text is all lined up so I turn the grid back on.
And center each word in the box and along the side.
Thursday sticks out way to far. So I make the font size a bit smaller.
But I still want it to be as tall as the other words so WITHOUT double clicking (to edit the text) I just click once to select the text box and drag the bottom to make it taller.
Now it’s time to make some white lines to make everything pretty. Not necessary but I think it gives things a polished look.
In the same place where your rectangle tool is click the line tool.
In your color swatch area choose the color you want your line to be. I chose white. (If you click on the top box a whole palette of colors pops up to choose from. If you want something other than black or white).
In the layers palette be sure to click on whatever is at the top of your “stack.” Now when you draw your line it will be placed on top.
I like a nice thick line for the space next to my words so in the tool bar above my document I chose 50 pixels for my line.
Place your cursor just above your first box. That way it goes all the way from end to end without any weird edges.
As you click and begin to drag your line hold down the shift key. That will MAKE your line go straight. So awesome!
Drag your line all the way down and just slightly below the bottom box.
For the lines going across I want a much smaller look so I changed the pixels to 10.
For the smaller lines it helps to zoom in a bit. Again, as you click and begin dragging your line across the page, hold down the shift key for a straight line.
When all my lines are drawn I zoom in and check all the edges to make sure the line goes all the way past the edges of the paper. As I scrolled around I noticed the edges between my days of the week blocks and this long rectangle looked wonky. So in the layers palette I selected both the shape and the paper. And drug them to the top of the palette.
Voila! Clean edge!
For this one I thought I’d change it up and do a sentiment in the side box. So I opened one of Ali Edwards sentiments. Dragged it and dropped it into the document (top of the layers ‘stack’). I wanted to rotate it so I went to Image…rotate…LAYER 90 degrees right. If you just do 90 degrees right it will rotate the whole document.
Then just drag and resize as needed. Be sure when you drag that your arrow is pointing ON the letters (you might need to zoom in to get it right on the letters).
When you have the document the way you want it go to File…Save As. Save it as a PSD file with all of the layers. That way you could go in and edit things later if you need to.
To print you need to go to the layers palette…right click…and flatten image.
Now File…Save As again.
This time change your format to JPEG.
And here is my final product!
Thinking Paper to Digi: Don’t let the words DIGITAL LAYOUT intimidate you! When you have just a few basics like understanding layers and clipping masks you really can create anything! It’s totally possible to think Paper and just use Digi tools to create it!
Any questions about today’s tutorial? Have something you want to learn how to do in Photoshop Elements? Have a plan for how you might use today’s tutorial? I’d love to hear all about it!