Scrapbook Images

Adding scrapbook images to your fresh new background is not particularly difficult and there are a couple of different methods you can use.

Drag and Drop - this is, at first glance, is the easiest method to add an image however it does present some challenges especially if you are not familiar with some of the features of Photoshop Elements 7.0.

Clipping Masks - this technique may seem very daunting at first but it does prevent some of the so called "grunt" work necessary with the drag and drop method.

Let's look at both methods and you can decide which one is best for you ...

Drag and Drop

The drag and drop method to insert scrapbook images is easy to understand.

You simply drag an image from the project bin at the bottom of the page onto the active background document and then move it about with the Move Tool.  This will create a new layer and it will look like this ...

scrapbook images layer

There is something special about this layer and it can be wrapped up by pointing out the little red box on the craft layer.  This symbol means that the layer contains a Smart Object and the advantage of Smart Objects is that they can be re-sized, both up and down, with no loss of image quality.

Smart objects are fabulous and they save a lot of re-sizing work.

Each image that you drag onto the document is a new layer with the Smart Object which means you can drag a number of scrapbook images onto the background, re-size them and then position them where they need to be.  

Here's an example - I want to move this picture of a needlework sampler onto a handmade paper background that I created using the Scrapbook Background technique ...

scrapbook images craft

When the needlework image is dragged from the project bin to the background document in the main screen it will probably be too large or too small - like this ...

scrapbook images too large

To get it to the correct size 

  1. press and hold the Alt key
  2. then grab one of the corner handles
  3. left click and hold and then drag the image toward the center to make the image smaller or drag out to make the image larger.

The scrapbook images will get smaller (or larger) and the Alt key keeps the aspect ratio consistent.  This works well!

When the image fits nicely on the background just accept the change by clicking on the check mark and then use the Move Tool to place the re-sized image when you want.

scrapbook image downsized

Now some text or any little pieces of artwork can be added.

Clipping Masks

Using Clipping Masks is a more advanced feature of Photoshop Elements so if you are new to the program maybe stick with the Drag and Drop method to add scrapbook images for now. When you are more comfortable with Elements you can always come back to the Clipping Masks.

The first thing to do is to describe what a clipping mask is in normal every day language that is easy to understand, right?

According to the Thesaurus in the Dashboard on my MacBook the two words mean ...

Clipping - small piece trimmed from something - think of hedge clippings or grass clippings, and

Mask - to hide, conceal, disguise, cover up, obscure - think of a Halloween mask.

And that is exactly what a Clipping Mask does - it will hide or conceal part of an image by trimming off the unwanted pieces and you are going to love this!

This is how it works with a scrapbook images ...

Create a Background using the technique described on the Scrapbook Background page or maybe even one you have created on your own.  If your scrapbook is going to have multiple pages then remember to save a copy of the background that can be used as a template!

scrapbook images background scrapbook images boat
Background Image

This is the background chosen from the Background chooser and this is the image that will be inserted using a clipping mask.
Return to the Edit screen and open up the Shape Tool Dialogue (outlined in red).  scrapbook images move tool

Start with an easy one - the Rectangular Tool - and draw a rectangle on your Background. Notice it is placed on a new layer.

scrapbook images rectangular shape
The Rectangular Shape

scrapbook images shape layer
The Layers Palette

Open an image you want to place on the Background and do any image editing your feel is necessary (check out the Photoshop Elements tutorials).

Double click on the Background Image that is in the Project Bin to move it into the workspace - it has the rectangular shape.

Left click the image you want to place in the rectangle and drag it onto the Background image like this ...

scrapbook images boat

If it is too small or too big (this one is too small, obviously) press and hold the Alt key, left click one of the corner handles (little circles at the corners of the image- see the red arrows) and re-size the image (remember this is a Smart Object and it will re-size with no loss of resolution).

The image should completely cover the rectangular shape - if you only want a small portion of the the image to be visible then keep dragging ...

scrapbook images big boat

When the image is the right size go over to the layers palette and place your cursor directly above the line separating the Shape Layer from the Background layer and press the Alt key (the red line in the layers palette is where you should have the cursor).  As soon as you do that the cursor changes its appearance and when it does click the line.  

scrapbook images layers

Wow!  The parts you don't want are gone - they have been clipped and masked.  Look at the layers palette - notice that the image layer is now indented.

scrapbook images layers

If you want to move the image around then grab the Move Tool, make sure the Image layer is active and then just drag it where you want it.  Only the parts enclosed by the rectangle you made will be visible!

This is what I ended up with ...

scrapbook images boat end

The image has a layer style (drop shadow to give it a 3D, pop-off-the-page look) and an inner glow which separates the areas where the image and background may bleed together

Now all that is left to do is to add some text and/or some other graphics and you have a page you can be proud of!

That is so neat and so useful!  You gotta try this out for yourself and what else can be done with  clipping masks ...?

Templates - that's what!

Each time that a Shape is added to the background

  1. it creates a new layer, and ...
  2. a different image can be clipped to each shape layer.

How neat is that?

This page was done using a Template that was created with Shapes and the scrapbook images were added and then finalized using Clipping Masks ...

scrapbook images template

Each one of the scrapbook images has a drop shadow layer style attached which does a great job setting off the image from the background.  

That's pretty much it for adding scrapbook images to your pages.  Try it out - it really is quite easy!

The Video

Inserting Images

Page Links

Drag and Drop

Clipping Masks


The Video

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