March 2008
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New to Digiscrapping?

This entry is dedicated to MEG and anyone else who would like to start with digital scrapbooking. :)

Disclaimer: I am no expert and I only learned by just looking and searching and experimenting stuff. There are a lot of resources found on the net and I am also subscribed to one online magazine (Digital Artist Mag) and one printed magazine (Digital Scrapbooking, which also has an online version). I also have books. I am also learning from the hundreds of tutorials found in the net and by looking at other people’s layouts for inspiration. I don’t claim to be a good teacher. A lot of digiscrappers have already written similar posts like this, and they are what I call, the Pros :) I am only writing this because my friend MEG asked me to teach her and realized I could share this to to the rest of the www, teehee. And I am also not saying that what I write here is THE ONLY way because it is NOT. Newbies (like myself, yeah I still consider myself a nube) will realize that the best way is always the one that they are most comfortable with. To each his own, like people say. That said, let’s move on…


First of all, you need a photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop, I currently use PSCS2. I know M that you have more than basic knowledge of PS because you have already created some wonderful photo collages :) Digiscrapping is pretty much similar to what you do — working with layers and masks. Most layouts (LOs) are 12 x 12 inches in size at 300 dpi, and start with a transparent canvass. The size actually depends on you, some do it on 8 x 11 to maximize print-out. Papers/Backgrounds included in kits come in 12 x 12, though, but yeah you can always crop them anyway.

To get started, you need kits (papers and elements/embellishments) of course. I am not really a shopper (wow, kuripot! I seldom shop!) so I settle for freebies, hehe. The ones from Shabby Princess never disappoint. She gives out full kits regularly. Another personal favorite is Miss Mint (click on DL’s), her designs are really nice. Ikeagoddess is a freebie hunter and is in my feeds so I always know if she has her new list up. Another who posts a list of freebies is a fellow Bebot Chikai. The designers would love to know you appreciate their work and effort so it is nice to take a few seconds to thank them. The freebies/kits come in zipped files and every zip has an attached Terms of Use (TOUs) where they also note how they want to be credited. Giving credits when posting your final LO online is always necessary ;)



  1. Open a new transparent canvass 12×12, 300 dpi in PS.
  2. Open your background paper and drag to your canvass.
  3. Add new layers every time you drag and drop pictures and elements. This is important so you can always just delete a layer of a pic/element that you don’t really need.
  4. Imagine if you are doing this traditionally. This step is important so you can see in your head how you should stack your layers to make it realistic. For example, paper frames or matting should be beneath the ribbons and button and brads on top of everything else. Gets?
  5. By this time, you’ll have many layers on the canvass already. I suggest that you rename your layers with the designer so you won’t have a hard time giving credits. This is most helpful if you are matching papers and elements from different kits.
  6. Recolor if you must, some designers allow this. Image> Adjustments> Hue/Saturation. Just play with the sliders.
  7. Add Shadows! Layer> Layer Style> Blending Options> Drop Shadow. This will give your LO some dimension and realistic feel to it. I’ve seen some really wonderful works that when printed, almost ‘felt’ like a traditional LO because of the shadows. Tips: Don’t use black as a shadow, greys are better, or best is to use a shade or two lighter than the color of the element. Shadow distance of thicker elements is higher. These days, there are tuts that teach the intermediate way of casting shadows like this one found in Digital Scrapbooking magazine.
  8. Flatten image (although I don’t do this anymore LOL!), save in PSD (in case you want to edit it in the future) and in JPEG so you can share it. Others delete PSD files in their drive after printing but I am too attached to my work that I don’t do that anymore hehehe. Imagine how much disk space my PSD files are eating up!.
  9. You’re done!


The steps listed above I think are the most basic. Here are some of the sites you can go to for more and detailed tutorials:

These three sites are overwhelming enough, believe me. Hehe. If there’s anything you can’t find and would wanna do, maybe I can help you find the answer and I can share it here too! Just leave me a message and I’ll see what I can do. I really hope this article is of help. WARNING: Digiscrapping is addictive and there is no known cure yet! Good luck and I wanna see your first LO! :)

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