Artistic Digital Layouts

Use artistic techniques to spice up your digital pages. Use these scrapbook layout ideas for inspiration.

Design on Photos

Design by Rhonna Farrer

Rhonna made her photos come to life by incorporating elements of her design directly on the images. In the main photograph, she added the word "sunshine" to her son's shoulder and also used brushes to add a sense of movement to his feet.


SOURCES: Software: Adobe Photoshop CS. Digital elements: Tia Bennett (stitches), Sande Krieger (doodled frame), Rhonna Farrer (all other).

Type in Curves

Design by De Anna Heidmann

De Anna took inspiration from song lyrics for this page about her son. Fun quotes arranged in curves and digital bursts layered on the photo fit the mood of the page. She put a long space in the text of the right curl to make it look as though the text runs under the strip of patterned paper.


SOURCES: Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0. Digital elements: Katie Pertiet (striped paper, brushes, letters, frames, dated journal), Dana Zarling (other paper), Jackie Eckles (tag, heart). Fonts: Depressionist Three ("Big Wheels"), Scriptina ("Keep on Turnin'"), Bud Hand (journaling) off the Internet, Arial (swirls), Jackie Eckles (all other).

Add a Flourish

Design by Rhonda Bonifay

Warm, rosy colors enhance the natural glow in the children's faces on this simple but fun layout. Rhonda added a doodle photo frame and large flourish for embellishment.


SOURCES: Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 3. Font: Tahoma. Digital elements: Two Peas in a Bucket.

Overlap Photos

Design by Shannon Freeman

Shannon's son was so excited for his first day of school that she couldn't resist cropping in on his sweet grin. She found a great spot for journaling -- over the trees in the background of her focal photo -- and loosely overlapped detail photos, giving the page an effortless look.


SOURCES: Software: Digital Image Suite 2006. Fonts: All Used Up (title) by DaFont, Clarendon ("1") off the Internet, Red Velvet Cake ("kindergarten") by Two Peas in a Bucket, Charyn (journaling) by Font Garden, Century Gothic ("st," "day of"). Digital elements: Flea Market Chic kit (paper) by Shabby Princess, Celebrate kit (straight stitching) by Shabby Princess, Frosty Fun kit (zigzag stitching, inking) by Digital Design Essentials, Seasons & Holidays CD (twill) by Digital Scrapbook Memories.

Use Digital Stamps

Design by Gina Cabrera

Realistic torn edges and digital stamps add a paperlike feel to this serene layout about a recent vacation Gina took with her family. She picked a background color that pops behind a blue-sea shot.


SOURCES: Software: Microsoft Digital Image Pro. Fonts: Heidi (title), Susie's Hand (journaling) off the Internet. Digital elements: Steph's Digital Paper Tearing and More (torn edge overlay), Twist of Life kit (all other) by Digital Design Essentials.

Journal Around the Page Boundary

Design by C.D. Muckosky

C.D. used a black-and-white photo, overlapped the title onto the image, and included journaling around the edges of her layout. Her bright colors reflect the happy theme. Her layout also has fun doodles peeking out from behind her picture.


SOURCES: Software: Adobe Photoshop. Digital elements: Designer Digitals (calendar page, ledger paper, metal mesh, gingham ribbons, monogram tag, small stitches, twill tabs, doodled border), Scrap Artist (striped paper, swirly doodles, paintbrush strokes, messy stitching), Meredith Fenwick (pink jewels), Kim Christensen (label-tape letters, circle stitches), C.D. Muckosky (pink ribbon ties), Atomic Cupcake (foam stamp action). Fonts: DSP Pollyanna ("life"), SP Purkage (journaling), Thinking of You ("full") off the Internet.

Work with a Clipping Mask

Design by Jennifer Woodbury

The term clipping mask can intimidate new digital scrapbookers, but don't fret! Clipping mask is the term used for covering one element with another. Jennifer made a clipping mask to cover a scroll brush with patterned paper in her pretty love-theme layout.


SOURCES: Software: Adobe Photoshop CS2. Font: John Doe off the Internet. Digital elements: True Love kit (paper), Paint Stroke Brush (paint effect), Type Key Alpha (letters) all from Scrap Artist, Hipster Plumes 2 (swirl brushes) from Designer Digitals, Drop Shadow Actions (drop shadows) from Funky Playground Designs, Tiff & Gina's Lovey Dovey Bits 'n Bobs kit (buttoned heart, "XOXO," stitched heart), Don't Be Negative kit (negative strips), Sweet Li'l Flowers (flowers), Cute Crystals (crystals,) all from Gina Miller Designs; Heartstrings kit (heart with string) from The Lilypad, Stamped Alpha (letters) from The DigiChick, Stitching (stitching) from Cat Scrap.

Recolor a Digital Element

Design by Kim Haynes

What do you do when you find the perfect digital element in the perfectly wrong colors? Change it! Kim altered this purchased floral overlay to match the hues in her photo. The result is a piece that looks like it was made just for this adorable shot.


SOURCES: Software: Adobe Photoshop CS2. Digital elements: Altered Paper No. 6 (background), Lovey Element Set (overlay), Mustard Canvas Alphabet (title) all from Designer Digitals.

Journal with a Graphics Tablet

Design by Rhonna Farrer

Acid colors and the personal touch of handwritten journaling make Rhonna's layout unforgettable. And it certainly doesn't hurt to have some photos taken in Paris! Rhonna made her layout using a graphics tablet.


SOURCES: Software: Adobe Photoshop CS2. Font: Fleuries ("Paris") by My Fonts, Garamond ("the streets of"). Digital elements: Spring Frippery (pink, green papers), Parisian Paper Pack (overlay), Scalloped Paper Tool kit (mask), Bold Border Brushes (brushes), Borderlines (frame), Vintage Labels (label), Basic Brads & Felt Flowers (flower, center embellishments), Joined at the Hip (masking tape, stitches) all from Two Peas in a Bucket, Itty Bitty Action (used on photo) from Jinky Art.

Crop Photos into Shapes

Design by Jen Johner

Zenlike colors, subtle foliage elements, and snippets of black-and-white photos illustrate Jen's serene taste. Consider this technique (using clipping masks),where the photos and journaling work hand-in-hand to convey the story you're telling.


SOURCES: Software: Adobe Photoshop CS2. Fonts: Old Type ("e," "r," "a") by Two Peas in a Bucket, Courier New (journaling), Arial Black ("d," "c," "o," "t"). Digital elements: 2Organic (floral paper), Winter Wonderland (green paper), Vintage Label kit (script paper), Verde (green leaf image), Roughed Up kit (brushes) all from Two Peas in a Bucket.

Blend Photos

Design by Veronica Ponce

Artfully blending your photos helps two events come together. Here, Veronica seamlessly combined two shots of her little tree crawler for a full impression of his boisterous nature. For the effect she used opacity levels and layer modes in Photoshop.


SOURCES: Software: Adobe Photoshop CS2. Fonts: Willing Race ("tippy top"), Swill 911 ("tree"), Wigwam ("topper"), Typical Writer (journaling, date) off the Internet. Digital elements: Venice Beach kit (paper, brushes, masking tape) from Two Peas in a Bucket.

Mask Text behind an Image

Design by Jennifer Pebbles

The title of a layout can stand out more if it's actually behind elements in the photo. Follow Jennifer's funky technique (by extracting the background and using your layers palette to place the text) for a dimensional look of your own.


SOURCES: Software: Adobe Photoshop CS2. Fonts: Nashville (title) off the Internet, Century Gothic (journaling). Digital elements: Wild West kit (background paper), Grungy Boy (overlay, cardboard), Star Bazar (paper flowers, metal brad) all from Scrap Artist, Botanical Shadows (brushes) from Jen Wilson Designs, Glitter Stars (star elements) from Digital Design Essentials. Red polka-dot paper: Jennifer?s own design.

Make Patterned Paper with Brushes

Design by Margarete Antonio

Margarete created a custom background using kraft paper and a brush. Making your own paper allows you to select the colors that best show off your photo. You can pull colors right out of the shot or look to your embellishments for inspiration.


SOURCES: Software: Adobe Photoshop CS2. Fonts: Uncle Charles ("what a," "world") by Two Peas in a Bucket, Renaissance ("wonderful") off the Internet. Digital elements: Falling for You kit (paper), Shabby Rose (flower), Wire Photo Holder (wire) from Digital Designer Essentials, Hipster Plumes 5 (brush swirls), Big Quirky Stitches 2 (stitching on button) from Designer Digitals.

Create your own Brush

Design by Rhonna Farrer

Digital brushes can come from anywhere: photos, drawings, scans, and much more. Here, Rhonna created a brush from a doodle and then incorporated it into her layout for the perfect embellishment.


SOURCES: Software: Adobe Photoshop CS2. Font: Didot by Da Font. Digital elements: Boys Will Be Boys (green paper -- recolored), Sassy (teal paper -- recolored, swirl overlay), Spring Frippery (floral brush), Parisian Alpha (title), Bold Borders (photo overlay), all from Two Peas in a Bucket; Itty Bitty Photo Actions (photo effects) from Jinky Art.

Make your own Stitches

Design by Lisa Whitney

Traditional scrappers have added sewing machines to their bag of tricks, and now digital designers can get in on the fun. Lisa included realistic stitches for a down-home feel. For the effect she used a circle brush to draw a line and then duplicated the layer. Rotate the layer for a nonlinear effect.


SOURCES: Software: Adobe Photoshop CS2. Fonts: Saeculum (script) by Da Font, Saco do Pao (journaling) by Misprinted Type. Digital elements: Artsy Fartsy Vol 2 (paper), Urban Baby (white flowers, buttons), A Beautiful Mess (green flowers -- recolored), Believe Element Pack (large swirl), Doodle Ditties Volume 1: Whimsy (brushes) all from ScrapArtist, Hand Stitched Alphabet ("Lexi") from Sweet Shoppe Designs, Petal Bundle (brads) from Scrapbook Bytes.

Mimic a Watercolor Look

Design by Sarah Bowen

A flower cutout element set to Color Burn blending mode realistically imitates the look of watercolor paints on Sarah's page. Such details as an interesting crop on the photo and a decorative title and journaling treatment complete the artful look.


SOURCES: Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0. Font: Courier New. Digital elements: Altered Book 1 kit (cream background paper, black scribbles, flower), Betty Paper kit (teal paper strip), Vintage Evergreen Elements kit (green gems), So Happy kit (stitching), all from Designer Digitals.

Angle Photos and Text

Design by Sarah Bowen

Angled photos can keep a layout from feeling stiff and boring. Sarah tilted individual letters in her title by using the transform tool to make this eye-catching layout. She also scanned a map to use as a page embellishment.


SOURCES: Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0. Font: Adobe Caslon Pro by Adobe. Digital elements: Cherish Collection Biggie (green paper), Just the Basics Paper Biggie 1 (brown paper), Adore You Collection Biggie (red-and-cream paper), Scroll Work Transparency 2 (overlay), Art Journal Collection Biggie (alphabet) from Scrapgirls, Veronica Ponce (brushes) from Designing with Digital CD.

Lift the Corners

Design by De Anna Heidmann

De Anna popped her photo off the page by using a curved photo frame for dimension. The frame is simply a purchased piece, which includes drop shadows to achieve the effect. She also rotated her journaling 90 degrees using the transform tool.


SOURCES: Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0. Fonts: Hannibal Lecter (title), 1942 Report (journaling) off the Internet. Digital elements: Elegant Evening kit (paper), Botanist Notebook No. 14 kit (paper for swirl), Curled Photo Frames (curled frame), Flourished Overlays (swirled frame), Stamped Block Flourishes (black flourish), Oversprayed Alphas ("04"), Vintage PostMarks (postmark), Corner It (photo corner), Red Christmas (red flourish), Embellish Circles (circle), Quirky Stitches (stitching), Star Altered Embellies (star), all from Designer Digitals.

Scan and Layer an Image

Design by Sarah Bowen

Multiple photos and embellishments combined in an elegant way give this layout a homey, handmade feel. Sarah Bowen brought depth and interest to the subtly striped blue background by adding an overlay she created from a scanned floral image. Setting the overlay mode to Color Burn highlights the understated shade variations.


SOURCES: Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0. Font: Courier New. Digital elements: On the Bright Side Papers kit (blue, green, dark pink paper), Regenerate-Remember kit (red polka dot, ribbon, hat pin), Regenerate-Rekindle kit (light blue paper, heart, "this is" paper, "love"), Illuminations Sunlight kit (peach paper), Meaning-One kit (red-letters paper), Golden Fields Papers kit (red flower paper), Feeling Quirky kit (scribbles paper), Nostalgia No. 4 Papers kit (purple polka-dot paper), Daily Dose-Fluttering Finishes kit (butterflies) all from Jen Wilson Designs, Ad Freebie ("j" and "s" circular alphabet stamps) from Designer Digitals.

Build a Page Mosaic

Design by Jennifer Johner

Jennifer took advantage of the custom shapes available in her photo-editing software to make a digital mosaic of photos and papers. Her papers and photos are one layer, and the custom heart shape is a layer below it. The best part? No paper scraps to pick up!


SOURCES: Software: Adobe Photoshop CS2. Fonts: Secret Pal (journaling), Graphic Hearts (title) by Two Peas in a Bucket. Digital elements: Renewal (green paper with flowers), Spice It Up (brown paper with cream), Free Love (green paper with brown hearts), Peachy Keen (blue paper with white circles), Sassy (green paper with black dots, blue paper with white dots).

Vary the Brush Size

Design by Lucrecer Braxton

Lucrecer used a simple paisley brush in varied sizes and colors to create a rich background for her striking photos. Play with your brushes -- alter the size, color, opacity, and rotation for unique looks.


SOURCES: Software: Adobe Photoshop CS. Font: Mrs. Eaves Roman off the Internet. Digital elements: Simple Pleasures Collaboration kit (paper, word art, elements, frames, flourish brushes) from ScrapArtist, Paisley Brushes (paisleys) from Shabby Elements.

Add Transparent Tags

Design by Rhonna Farrer

Rhonna made transparent tags to echo her water-theme photos and create a sense of depth on her layout. The key to making the transparent tags look dimensional was to outline each tag in gray on a separate layer.


SOURCES: Software: Adobe Photoshop CS2. Font: Circus off the Internet. Digital elements: Boys Will Be Boys (brown paper, green paper), Persian Alpha kit (swirls), Round & Round Brushes (brushes), Tag Teasers (transparent tags) all from Two Peas in a Bucket, Itty Bitty Actions (shadows) from Jinky Art.

Make a Word Brush

Design by Jennifer Pebbles

A brush made from the word "crazy" offered a quick and easy way for Jennifer to create a subtle backdrop for journaling while reinforcing the layout's title. She lightened up the words to allow for journaling over the top.


SOURCES: Software: Adobe Photoshop CS2. Fonts: Rosewood (title) by My Fonts, Century Gothic (journaling). Digital elements: Susan McCormack (doodles), Gina Cabrera (glitter stars), Mindy Teresawa (flowers) all from Designer Digitals. Background paper, frame: Jennifer's own design.

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