Dingbat Techniques for Scrapbook Layouts
A computer dingbat is all you need to create cool custom accents.
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Create Your Own Patterned Paper
Design by Nichol Magouirk
Create custom patterned paper by repeating a dingbat pattern on a color background. Reduce the opacity of the dingbat to soften the look.
SOURCES: Patterned paper: BasicGrey (white), Lily Bee Designs (brown, green, red, stripe, yellow). Photo paper: Epson. Fonts: Pirates PW (dingbats), Pieces of Eight (title), Typenoksidi (journaling) off the Internet. Die cuts: Creative Imaginations ("remember"), Jillibean Soup ("date," "photography"). Rub-on: October Afternoon. Brads: Close To My Heart (small metal), Making Memories (yellow stripe), Stampin' Up! (corduroy). Die-cutting tool: Silhouette. Digital elements: More Than Words Soliday Paper Pack by Michelle Underwood. Software: Adobe Photoshop CS4.
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Pirate Page Detail
Some electronic die-cutting tools can cut fonts, including dingbat shapes. Consult your tool's manual to learn how to cut a font, as Nichol Magouirk did with both this skull and her title letters.
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Create a Repeating Pattern: Step 1
Open a solid digital paper base in Adobe Photoshop.
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Create a Repeating Pattern: Step 2
Select your text tool (T), choose your dingbat font, and draw a text box that covers the portion of paper in which you'd like the pattern to appear.
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Create a Repeating Pattern: Step 3
Type the letter that corresponds to the symbol repeatedly until the text box is filled. Adjust the font size, color, leading, and opacity as desired.
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Mask a Photo
Design by Michelle Rubin
Use a dingbat to mask a photo to a shape. Since many dingbats are the outline of a shape, you'll need to fill it in with a solid color before masking the photo. Place the dingbat on a digital paper background--along with your title and journaling--and print it out. Then trim the whole piece into a square and adhere it to your layout.
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Modify a Dingbat to use as a Mask: Step 1
Type your dingbat in a box over a digital patterned-paper background in your image-editing software.
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Modify a Dingbat to use as a Mask: Step 2
Using the Paint Bucket tool, fill in the dingbat with color so it's a solid shape.
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Modify a Dingbat to use as a Mask: Step 3
Open the photo you'd like to use, place it over the dingbat, and select Layer>Group with Previous (also called Layer>Create Clipping Mask in some versions of Photoshop).
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Use Dingbats as Letters
Design by Shannon Zickel
Replace title letters with similarly shaped dingbats to create a playful title. Print theme-appropriate dingbats on photo paper, then trim with scissors or a craft knife. Dress up dingbats by heat-embossing part of the design. Stick with printing in classic black-and-white, or change your font color to coordinate with your photos or other accents.
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Load a Dingbat Font on a PC: Step 1
After you download a dingbat font from the Internet, go to the Start menu and navigate to the Control Panel. Select Appearance and Personalization, then select Fonts.
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Load a Dingbat Font on a PC: Step 2
Drag or copy the font you want to install into the fonts folder.
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Load a Dingbat Font on a Mac: Step 1
After you download a dingbat font from the Internet, go to Applications and open Font Book.
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Load a Dingbat Font on a Mac: Step 2
Select File>Add Fonts, then navigate to the font you would like to install. Click Open.
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Create Shrink-Plastic Charms
Design by Candi Gershon
With printable shrink-plastic sheets, it's easy to craft charms from dingbat designs. Candi printed several designs at roughly four times the size she wanted them to be after baking and accenting her journaling strips with the little pieces.
Add color before baking. Use pens, pencils, or chalks to dress up designs before they're shrunk, or color the images using the eyedropper tool in your graphics program and print in color.
Account for shrinkage. Punch standard-size holes in your shrink-plastic tags before baking so the final openings will be large enough to thread ribbon through.
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Use Icons in Tiles
Design by Jen Lessinger
When you can't find the perfect patterned paper for your page, design your own using dingbat shapes you arrange and color yourself. Jen made this fun background from distressed and plain star shapes in two colors.
Ensure perfect placement. Use a separate text box for your dingbat shape and place over the replaced letter to get just the right positioning.
Repeat, reuse. The reinforce your layout's theme, duplicate the same dingbat image in a smaller size to make a quick border.
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Make Custom Backgrounds
Design by Jen Lessinger
When you can't find the perfect patterned paper for your page, design your own using dingbat shapes your arrange and color yourself. Jen made this fun background from distressed and plain star shapes in two colors.
Pick custom colors. Arrange your dingbat shapes on a blank canvas and recolor to match your photos perfectly.
Vary one dingbat for interest. Combine shapes from the same dingbat font for a coordinating look with added interest.
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Print on Different Surfaces
Design by Healther Melzer
Any stock that can be run through you ink-jet printer is a candidate for a dingbat design. I printed the same dingbat in several sizes on vellum, cut out the shapes, and layered them to make it look as though a flock of butterflies is flying across the page.
Add depth. Score and fold the wings of the butterflies to make them appear as if they are in flight. Chalk shading also lends interest.
Dress up designs. Rhinestones added to the butterfly wings add a bit of bling. You also could outline with glitter glue or attach small beads.
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Make Paper-Piecing Patterns
Design by Leah Fung
Make your own paper-piecing pattern from a favorite icon, as Leah did. Simply print the design on several different papers, cut out parts of each, and layer.
Sweat the details. The perfect dingbats for paper-pieced designs are those with multiple parts but not too many small details.
Point and click for color. Rather than printing pieces out on different stocks, colorize your icon before printing using a graphics program. Leah gave her pieces colorful outlines by changing the font color, filling with light tints, and then printing them on white card stock.
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