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Become A Digital Scrapbooker


Digital scrapbooking couldn't be hotter, but breaking into it can seem daunting. Check out our guide to digi, including information on software, step-by-step instruction, and more. You'll be a computer-scrapbooking fan in no time!

Shop For Photo-Editing Software

Photo-editing software can be a big investment, so getting the right one for your needs is key.

Create A Digital Page

Take the plunge and make a completely digital layout. Candi Gershon used an assortment of digital papers, ribbons, and brads to construct a timeless page. Remember to save often and you can't go wrong.

SOURCES Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0. Font: Linenstroke off the Internet. Digital elements: Forever Grateful kit (kraft and striped papers, stitched tag), Lucky Star kit (inked overlay, brads), Snippets: Felties Ribbon Collection 2 (ribbon) all from Digital Design Essentials. Design: Candi Gershon.

  1. Open a new 12x12", 300 dpi canvas in your photo-editing program. Open your background paper and use the move tool to drag it over. Open a second paper; drag and crop it.
  2. Drag your photo onto your canvas. Click one of the photo's corners and resize as needed (constrain the proportions by holding down the Shift key).
  3. Open and add your title element to the page. Click on the type tool in the toolbox. Click and drag the mouse to create a rectangle where you'd like your text. Type the text.
  4. Add brads as bullet points next to your journaling by opening the brad file and dragging it onto the layout. To help with placement, you may want to go to View>>Grid.
  5. Drag the ribbon onto your canvas. To place it over the papers but under the photo, click Layer>>Arrange>>Send Backward. You also can rearrange layers in the Layers palette.
  6. To add drop shadows, go to Layer>> Layer Style>>Drop Shadow. Adjust the size by going to Layer>>Layer Style>>Style Settings. Adjust the sliders as desired.

Utilize Dingbats

Dingbats are fun digital additions to any page. Heather Melzer used floral dingbats on her layout to create a flowing border. Organize your dingbats to make them easier to find by following these steps:

  1. Open a blank document in your word-processing program and type each dingbat character in a text box.
  2. Add another text box below each dingbat with the matching letter of the alphabet. Resize to fill your entire page and save the document with the dingbat font's name.
  3. Do this for each of your dingbat fonts and save them on your hard drive in a folder titled Dingbats.
  4. Print the document or simply store a digital version that's close at hand.

Use A Graphics Tablet

Get the lowdown on graphics tablet, a tool that makes digital doodling (and hand writing) as easy as 1, 2, 3.

What is a graphics tablet? This computer device can be used instead of your mouse or in conjunction with it. The tablet comes with a stylus -- or pen -- that is programmed to work with the flat surface of the tablet.

It's just like doodling on a piece of paper, but it's hooked up to your computer. Tablets come in various sizes; starting at 4x5". The bigger the tablet, the steeper the price. Tablets usually are bundled with painting or photo-editing software programs such as Adobe Photoshop Elements or Corel Draw.

What do I need to start digital doodling? To keep your pristine tablet smooth, tape a piece of acetate on it for protection. Then install the driver and your photo-editing program if it isn't already installed. Once that's done, you're set.

How do I begin to doodle? Open your program and select New Image. Create a new layer and select a default hard, round brush to begin. Adjust the size to 3 or 4 pixels. Work at 100 percent of the document size when you're doodling to lessen bumps you may not want to see. At first, the tablet may seem very slippery. Taping a piece of paper to the tablet gives it some tooth for the pen to grab. Once you're acclimated, you'll find it very easy to draw, doodle, and handwrite, adding personality to your pages.