Hybrid Tutorial: Summer Bucket List

This is a tutorial I wrote up for Deena Rutter’s blog, but I thought I would share it here too. It’s been so much fun for our family every year!

So this is our Summer Bucket List. It’s a list of all the stuff our family wants to do before school starts again in the fall. It was a just a single sheet of paper the first year we did it, but it’s since evolved into a photo diary of sorts that now hangs on our wall all summer long. The only thing we’ve really done on this board so far is the water balloons. I printed off a couple of photos from last year so that you’d be able to better understand how this will look once it’s all filled in.



–       Digital scrapbooking kits – I used mostly Pura Vida, but pulled in bits and pieces from some of Deena’s other kits: D-Cuts: Basic Shapes; Count on Me; Sail On; Scenic Route.

–       White cardstock

–       Photo-editing program – like PS or PSE

–       1 large corkboard

–       Spray paint (optional)

–       Small clothespins

–       Tacks

–       Hot glue gun and glue sticks


1. Totally optional: I spray painted the frame of the corkboard brown to match the Pura Vida paper. I used painter’s tape to hold down some butcher paper on the actual corkboard part before I sprayed the frame. It protected the cork from getting sprayed.

2. After the paint dried, I printed off some of the blue-striped paper and cut it into 1/2” strips. I adhered the strips all the way around the frame.


3. Next, I used hot glue to attach a tack to each of my clothespins.


4. In PSE, I designed a small tag for each of our bucket list items. I printed these, cut them out, and then chalked around the edges.


5. I used a very small amount of hot glue to attach each tag to a clothespin.


6. I arranged the clothespins on the corkboard, leaving enough room between them for our 3×3 photos.


7. Now all that’s left is to hang it up! We add a photo for each bucket list item as a way to visually cross it off.


Now go make some fun summer memories!


Tutorial: Clipping Masks

This week, I worked with a new kit from Scotty Girl Design called Shipshape. It released in the shop today and it’s on sale!


The bold, bright colors and fun patterns were so much fun to work with. And I love yellow! I think this may have been the quickest turn around for me. I can’t remember a layout coming together this quickly!


When I first started digi scrapping, I didn’t know anything. And I didn’t know anyone who did it. I didn’t know where to go online to get help and the YouTube videos I tried to watch were way over my head – I mean, I didn’t even understand basic how-to videos for beginners. Mostly because I didn’t understand the terminology. So I got thinking about what would have really helped me back then and I knew instantly what this tutorial would be about: Clipping Masks.


I’ll be working in PSE 10.

A clipping mask is the digital equivalent to cutting a piece of paper. Only it’s non destructive. Meaning that if you don’t like the shape or size, you can change it without destroying the paper or starting over. A definite perk of digital scrapbooking!

So here’s the foundation of my layout:


You can see I’ve got my background paper picked out, tape at the bottom, and some splatter. Though I typically don’t add things like splatter to my layout until the very end – just because I don’t really know what it’s going to look like underneath everything until all the paper and “stuff” is actually there.

Now I’ll select the Rectangle Tool, click down on my layout, and draw the shape/size box that I want.



Now let’s clip some paper to the new clipping mask!

I’ve chosen the dark blue sailboat paper. Bring the paper onto your layout, making sure the paper is directly above the layer with the box you just drew (your mask). The paper will cover your whole layout right at first because we haven’t “cut” it yet.


Now all you do at this point is hold down the command key (or control on a PC) and press G. That will clip the paper to the mask. You can see there’s now a little arrow pointing down to the layer it’s clipped to. In PSE 10, you can also unclip a layer by pressing command G. I had PSE 6 before getting 10 and I couldn’t unclip a layer like that. I had to actually grab the clipped layer and either move it to someplace else in the layers palette or delete it altogether. Total pain.


The entire piece of paper is still there, it’s just only showing the part where you’ve put the mask. If you decide later on that you don’t like the shape – maybe you want your paper to be longer or wider or smaller or you want to move it somewhere else entirely – then you can select the mask layer and adjust it – without warping your paper at all. These types of masks are essential for me when creating a layout. In fact, clipping masks make up the bulk of this particular layout.

The next three layers of paper were done using the same process




Now add drop shadows to the mask layers and you’re done!

This is also how I cropped the photos and the triangle pieces on the left side.

Before I learned about clipping masks, I was bringing my paper onto the layout and then trying to resize the whole thing – warping it if necessary so that I could have a shape other than square. HA! I told you I didn’t know a thing! So then I figured out how to use the crop tool, but I found it frustrating when I wanted to make the paper just a teeny bit wider or something. I would have to delete the paper on my layout, go back to the original 12X12 paper, and start again. But with a clipping mask, you can adjust it so easily! You can even grab the paper once it’s been clipped and move it around in the mask until the pattern is showing exactly how you want.

Anyway, I hope this tutorial helps some of you who are just starting out! Happy scrapping!

Tutorial: Making a Banner

Last week, I got to work with the cutest papers I have ever seen. The kit is called Skip to my Lou – made by Celeste Knight. The papers and elements are sold separately, but they’re both on sale right now because she’s retiring from Design House Digital. Celeste’s ENTIRE shop is 50% off through Wednesday.

“Wonderful Day”


And just for fun, I have another layout using a kit by Celeste – called Peppermint Twist (additional paper pack here).

“Christmas Tree”


So looking through my gallery, I noticed that I tend to use a lot of banners – it’s the cool, trendy thing to do right now, right?  I thought it would be fun to offer a little tutorial on how to make your own banner.


I’ll be working in PSE 10.

Select the Rectangle Tool icon.


Click down on your page and draw a shape that you like. For my layout “Wonderful Day”, I wanted a fat, almost square shape that would fit into my grid design.


Alright. Let’s simplify the shape layer. Most of the time, simplifying a layer will render it uneditable. For example, if you simplify a text layer, you can no longer edit the text because it’s been changed to an image. BUT! In the case of our shape up there, we actually CAN’T edit it until we simplify.

To simplify: With the shape layer selected, hover over the layer, right click and then choose “Simplify Layer”.


The next step is to make it look like a banner by making a fancy cut. Right click on the Lasso Tool and choose “Polygonal Lasso Tool” (or simply press “L” three times).


This is a really cool tool. It allows you to cut a custom shape. In our case, we’ll need to cut a triangle shape out of the bottom of our rectangle.

With the Polygonal Tool selected, click down on your page just lower than your shape – and kind of at a diagonal to the corner. You’re making a triangle shape. So next, you’re going to move your curser up at a diagonal and click down. Then move it down and diagonal – right across from where your first click was – and click down again. Complete the triangle by moving the curser across to where you started.


Now you should have a triangle made up of little marching ants. This sometimes takes me a few tries to get it just the way I want. If you need a do-over, press command (or control) D. This deselects, or gets rid of the marching ants, so you can start over. But if you like it, let’s move on!

The next step is to delete everything within the triangle. With the rectangle shape layer selected, click on “Edit” and choose “Delete”.


You should be left with an empty triangle of marching ants. Now press command (or control) D to get rid of the triangle.

That’s it! You’ve just created a banner with straight sides – the type of banner that I made for my layout “Christmas Tree”. You can now clip paper to it, add a drop shadow, and position it on your layout or project.

For a more hand-cut type banner (like the one in “Wonderful Day”), we’ll just cut two more triangles – one on each side of the banner.

Select the Polygonal Lasso Tool again and repeat the four clicks to make a triangle on one side of the banner shape and then the other, taking more off the top and almost nothing off the bottom. I zoomed in close so you can see what I mean:


Now just delete the selection (Edit > Delete) and deselect (command or control D) to get rid of the marching ants. Do all of that on the other side. So what I’m left with is a mask that I can now clip paper to. I’ve used the pink zig-zag paper from Skip to my Lou and applied a drop shadow from Gennifer Bursett’s styles.


That’s it! I hope you’ll link me up with your projects using banners! And please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Tutorial: Digital Pinking

I was addicted to scissors back in my paper scrapping days. Those scissors that made different edges on the paper? Yeah. They were my favorite. I had two dedicated drawers for my collection. I won’t tell you how many pairs I had. Enough to be embarrassing.

Over the years, my collection was whittled down to just three: two scallops and one pinked. They’re still my favorite scissors for paper projects, and even though I’m a digi girl these days, I still find myself wanting to add scalloped and pinked edges to my layouts.

I had the opportunity this week to work with a kit called Winter Cabin by Shannon McNab.

When I was building this layout, I wanted some visual interest at the bottom of the photos on the left side to offset all the busy going on in the top right-hand corner. Most of the time, I would just add a scallop. But on this particular layout, the scallop gave it a feminine feel that felt completely wrong against the papers and photos. But the pinked edge was just the right touch!


I’ll be working in PSE 10.

I have just a blank page, but normally, I would be doing this right on my layout on its own layer.

Start off by right clicking on the Rectangle Tool icon and selecting the Custom Shape Tool.

Up in the top left-hand corner, you’ll see a box that says “shape” with a picture next to it. That will drop down and give you loads of shape options. Find and select the diamond shape. You could do this with the triangle shape, too. I just prefer the diamond shape but I couldn’t even tell you why. Ha!

Now click down on the paper and drag the shape until it’s what you want. If you hold down “shift”, it will constrain the proportions. Or you can just play with the length and width until you’re satisfied.

Here’s my shape!

Okay. Let’s duplicate that. You can duplicate two ways.

1. Make sure the diamond shape layer is selected and then hover over the layer in the right side bar. Right click and select “duplicate”. Your duplicate will be right on top of the original shape and you can now move it over to the side.

2. Select the diamond shape on the background page. Hold down the “option” key on the keyboard (or the windows key on a PC) AND “shift” while you click and drag the duplicate shape over. The option (windows) key will duplicate while the shift key keeps the shape from going all over the place.

Whatever method you choose, make sure to keep duplicating until you have a line of diamonds across the page.

Now go to the right side bar (the Layers palette) and select all the diamond shape layers. You can do it quickly by selecting the very top shape layer, holding down “shift”, and selecting the very bottom shape layer. Once they’re selected, right click and choose “Merge Layers”.

At this point, you have yourself a clipping mask of a pinked edge. It’s ready to be resized (if needed) and tucked under some paper on your project. All it needs now is some paper clipped to it and, of course, a drop shadow! In my layout, I clipped the cream solid paper (from Winter Cabin) to the pinked shape.

But what if you don’t want just a pinked border? What if you want a mat or something to have a pinked edge? I’ll show you!

So I’ve made my border smaller and rotated it.

Select the Rectangle Tool and draw a rectangle next to the pinked border. Make sure to cover up the about half of the diamond shape.

Now select both the pinked layer and the rectangle layer over on the side bar. Right click and select “Merge Layers”. Now you can clip whatever paper you want to your pinked-edge mat! In this example, I’ve clipped some green, striped paper from the same collection to the mask. I’ve also added the “popped paper” drop shadow from Gennifer Bursett’s shadow styles.

Fun, right? And if you do decide to give this a go, link me up to your layout or project!