Friday, August 20, 2010

TUTORIAL: EZ Halloween Layout

 I'm ready to roll with Lesson #2 in my Digital Scrapbooking 101 Series this week (I hope you like the sneak peek at today's project above)!  If you missed the first lesson, you'll need read that post (HERE) to get up to speed.  There were 3 homework assignments in Lesson #1 that prepare you for this project...  

Once you are done with that... you can go ahead and proceed with today's project! 

To help you get your feet wet... I'm going to walk you through making an easy Halloween layout and you're going to love what you can do when you go digital!  If you need to get a better look at each picture, just click to enlarge. 

Okay... here we go!

1.  Open Scrapbook Max and select the orange box to "Create a New Scrapbook"
2.  Name it "Layout - Fangs for the Memories" and click OK

Here's what your "desktop" space will look like.  The default size settings are 8x8 with resolution set at 200.  For this project, we can go ahead and leave the settings as they are... but if you want to play around with it  later, the size settings can be changed by clicking the paper/wrench icon on the main tool bar at the top.

Before I started... I browsed the "Fangs for the Memories" kit to get an idea of what my favorite papers and elements were.  I chose 4 papers to work with as my base (I numbered them for easy reference during our lesson as we move on).  One VERY FUN thing about digital scrapping is you can layer and layer all day long... but in the end when it's printed, it's only one page thick!

So... to bring my first paper (#1) out to the desktop, I am going to click on the little red daisy icon on the main menu bar (if you mouse over it, it says "Add an Embellishment").

When you click on it, a gallery window will pop open (and if you saved your kit inside the right folder... instructions in Lesson 1) you can scroll through the folders/files on the right to find "Fangs for the Memories".  Click on the folder and the larger view window will populate itself with the contents of the folder you selected.  I scrolled through and found the orange striped paper, clicked on it, then clicked OK.

An "Embellishment Properties" box will pop up and give you a few options.  I typically would check the "shadow" box.. but since this is going to be our base paper, leave it blank and click OK.  Don't worry about the other options for now... we're taking baby steps today! :)

The graphic will automatically fill your full space, which is okay with us because we want this to be our main background paper.

  Now... go back into the gallery (by clicking on the red daisy again)... find and select Paper #2 (black with white dots).  When it is "dropped" into your desktop, it too will be full size.  We need to shrink or reduce it so the orange shows from behind... so all you need to do is click on the graphic and at a corner point, click with your cursor and "push" it inward.  This will make it shrink.  Follow this same process for Paper #3 (green with white dots).

Be sure to click on the "shadowing" box when you bring in these papers... it'll add dimension to your layout so it doesn't look flat. You can see how I shrunk both the green and black papers, then moved them with my cursor and positioned them where I wanted them.  Now if you want to rearrange the "layer" position of any element... like put the green paper behind the black one instead... you can use the icons on the main menu that look like blue rectangles with arrows.  Mouse over each one and you'll see it's function like, "Bring to Front" or "Send Backward".

Next, bring in Paper #4 (black/grey diamond pattern)... shrink it by pushing it "in" with the cursor.  Then, tilt it slightly by "grabbing" on of the corner points and sliding your mouse sideways in the direction you want to go. 

You can see that I brought in a ribbon next to start building my page.  The ribbon itself was too big for what I wanted to do... so I reduced it's size by, again, clicking on it and pushing it inward with my cursor.  Once it sized how I liked it, I copied it (right click and select copy) and pasted it (CNTRL V to paste).  I then moved the second one to the lower half of the layout.  Can you tell there are two there?  Don't worry, we'll cover that seam up with our next step.

By repeating the same motion (clicking on that cute red daisy in the tool menu on the top) I can start going back and forth between my gallery of embellishments and my desktop.  This time, I brought in a frame, then duplicated it with the copy/paste function we talked about above.  Originally I had all 3 frames the same size, but thought the middle one looked nice a tad bit larger.  To make it larger, I clicked on it and "pulled" one of the corner points outward until I reached the size I liked.  EASY! :)

Now for the fun stuff... I call all the little details "bling"!  I brought in, sized and situated 2 bats, a which hat, the "spook" quote and brought in each number for the year separately... sizing and moving around as I went.  The numbers were a bit trickier.  The designer saved them as a full page file, so when you select the number page graphic... and the "Embellishment Properties" box pops up... you'll need to "crop" out the number you want.  The crop function will automatically maintain it's portion as you select your crop area... if you DON'T want or need to maintain side portions, UNCHECK the "Keep Aspect" box.  Play with it for a minute and you'll see what I mean.

For my last steps... I added a "Caption" at the top by clicking on the large "T" icon on the top menu bar.  I used a font called "Badonk-A-Donk" and selected orange as my color before entering "Halloween" into the text box and clicking "OK".  I like the caption function because I can manipulate the box by stretching it, squeezing it, pulling it out to make it larger and pushing it in to make it smaller.  Play around with it to fin how you like it.  Then, I clicked on the icon that looks like a spiral notebook... this is the "journaling" icon.   I used Pea Smashtastic and selected white for my color.  Once you are in there, you'll see the text box to type your entry.  Click OK and play around with the location and size of the box once it's on your layout.  Journaling text cannot be manipulated like the Captions can.  To change the size fo your font, you'll have to double click on the text box you created and go back into the "pop-out box" to change your font size settings. 

For the purposes of this tutorial, I put a white paper scrap behind my frames... yours probably shows through to the black diamond paper and ribbon.  If you have pictures you'd like to pop in there, just select the icon at the top that looks like a photo.  Once you bring in a photo, you may want to crop it... and will want to use the "Send Backward" icons to layer it behind the frames.

Be sure to save your work by clicking the traditional "disc" icon on the top menu.  And finally... if you want to save this file it into a single JPEG (which is what you would need to do in order to upload the finished product to a gallery or to a print house)... follow the instructions below:

1.  Click "File"
2.  Select "Publish To"
3.  Select "Images"
4.  Select the location you'd like your image saved to
5.  Click OK!

OK.. be honest.  Was that WAY EASIER than you thought it would be?  I bet so!

  Now that you have a feel for creating a simple scrapbook layout; here's a few other projects I've created with Scrapbook MAX as well... the sky is the limit!



Christine said...

Hi...Your blog is great, I am very motivated to try my hand at digi layouts, and I am looking forward to coming back here. Following from FFF...

Kristin Renee' Wynegar said...

Thank you so much for the idea of digital kits! I did it with Gimp though because scrapbook max put a preview wqtermark on my stuff haha so I tweaked it all a bit but you are so awesome for doing this! Come check out what I did !

Pris said...

I'm glad I found you through FFF...been wanting to know how to digiscrap (not sure if I'll actually get into it... but it would be good to know how!). Thanks! Check out my traditional scraps at

Santa's Gift Shoppe and Ideas said...

Hi..I’m Barb….I am from FF. I am your newest follower. I hope you will get a chance to visit my blog @ & get inspired by something for your family/home. I hope you will follow me as well. I also would love for you to be a new Fan of my Facebook page too & click “LIKE” in the upper right hand corner of my blog & you’ve done it..Thanks so much! I am just starting at Facebook. Nice to meet ya new friend!!!

Lisa said...

Wow.. very informative. I think I might give a go too !!

Maria in Lewis Land said...

I'm so excited to find you through TCB. I went digital several years back but am not thrilled with my software. Can't wait to poke around your blog! Thanks.

Kaysi said...


Melissa said...

From your "What is Scrapbook Max page" . . .
Photo Shop Elements and other advanced programs left me frustrated and confused. I'm not a graphic artist or digital designer. I didn't have time to watch lengthy tutorials or take a class. I didn't like having to learn complicated layering and other techniques essential to creating even the smallest projects. I wanted something simple... something easy... "

This is totally me! I purchased and I am trying to learn PSE 8. I've been wanting to transition to digital scrapbooking for a long time now, but just cannot get the hang of PSE. Found your blog through WFMW. I can't wait to go home and try out Scrapbook Max and make this page. You have a new follower. Thanks!


Natalie said...

Thank you so much for this information. I hope you can do something on how to make your blog look cute.

Scrappy Gifts said...

Thanks for the tutorial! I think I have these papers too. Love the the way you layered your papers. Thanks for linking up to Scrappy Saturdays!

★All Thingz Related★ said...

We are so glad you shared your terrific tutorials with us at Anything Related! I can't wait to try it!

Laura Mc said...

Thank you for the tutorial. I couldn't let my mother in law have a generic program cover for her memorial service, and with your help I was able to make one that was definitely her.

kimmy said...

Then do you print out your layouts and create a book or do you leave it all digital? Beautiful Job Thank YOu

Colette said...

Hi, Kimmy!

For 12x12 scrapbook pages, I get the printed and put them in an album. If you scroll to the bottom of my blog there is a banner graphic for a company called "Scrapbooks Please". I've done all of my printing with them for the last 3 years or so and have been happy with them. Otherwise, anything that I create that is sized to 8.5 x 11 or less - I just print from my home computer.

You can also make really awesome hard bound books... however, I never feel like I have a "finished" series of pages to make a book - so printing pages as I complete them and putting them in an album works better for me.

Thanks for stopping by!

Katrina said...

I am a brand new novice (yes, that was meant to be redundant) at this whole digital scrapbooking. I am walking myself through your tutorials right now, and I am already stuck! I am trying to tilt my 4th paper in this layout, but I can't get it to tilt. When I click on the corners, it just moves or resizes it. What am I doing wrong?
Also, do you have any other sites you recommend with free digital scrapbooking kits? Thanks so much!

Colette said...

Hi, Katrina!

I'm so glad you are giving it a try! What you need to do is not click on the corner... just hover all around that general area (just below it actually) until a moon shaped double arrow appears. When you see that come up, that's what you grab and rotate. Hope that helps!

Email or comment anytime, I'm always happy to help!

Merry Christmas,

Rebecca said...

WOW! This was so easy!!!! Thanks for posting, I am obviously late to the game but with this little beauty I can catch up in no time! You had me at "Free printables" but I am yours forever with helpful suggestions and tutorials like these!