Requests for Behind the Scenes Tutorials

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Thank you so much for your reply!! I accidentally figured it out right after I posted this question lol!! Can't believe it was really that easy and I didn't see it smiley Glad you replied though so I have a visual as well as others!!!
I really do appreciate your time!!

thank you for posting this I've been looking for this!!!

White Papers and Elements...I can't for the like of me make anything white AND look good unless it has no texture or overlays. I talking straight up white. Marisa you have "The most useful white papers" I've tried making textured white papers and it doesn't work, I can't recolor elements to make the white look good either. I wanted to recolor an element to make a white flower and I just can't seem to do it without it looking washed out.

I'll have to make a tutorial about working with white.


I would love to learn how to make images clean and become a black outline suitable for a brush with the detail I have a number of vintage labels etc and would love to learn how to do this sort of thing i have searched the net and know how to convert it so it is a grey image but i still have the noise etc that comes with the vintage image

@Debbie: I'll add it to the list!

thank you Marissa it would be wonderful to learn

I use a similar technique for drop shadows, but they're on their own layer and so simple to achieve.

@Amber: Generally all the paint stamps you'l see have been made from real paint. The designer will paint what they want in real life (black paint on white paper generally works best for making brushes), then scan it in and convert it to a Photoshop brush. The conversion process is pretty easy, but you do have to do the messy part first!

Oh, more simple than I thought. Thank you!

Hi, I'd love to know how to make those Paper Roses - Are they made from scratch or is it an action?

@Karin: I think the paper roses are mostly made in real life and then photographed and extracted. Occasionally you can overlay a pattern on them, but the base will come from real life smiley

Thanks Marisa, smiley
I've seen them in almost every new kit out, all different papers/designs. They must be available as a template product maybe? As not everyone would be doing it the hard way of photgraphing etc,. Anyway I'll keep looking, and asking. Thanks again for replying. smiley

Thanks! Marisa those in the top link were exactly what I was looking for. smiley The rest I had already found lol
love the idea of a whole bunch of them too, will be looking out for those for sure! - I will have to look for a tutorial on how to make them coloured and with papers clipped to them now. Thanks again smiley

I'm looking for vintage/distressed frames, similar to these. Not necessarily stacked, mainly just the creases and folded corners. Does anyone have anything similar, already made?

None that I can think of. I'd suggest posting an ISO thread, or a design request.

Okay, thanks!!

Two items I need:

1. PRINTING ADVICE. Maybe a template to use to print with a bleed (or is it a stroke) so that I can mat the item without losing too much of my picture. Note I have had problems getting 12x12 prints back that are too large for the front loading 12x12 frames I found. I end up trying to trim them myself and it isn't always pretty.

2. Have not yet found mats for 8x8 or 12x12 pages--or very many frames with mats for those sizes...Any leads? Does everyone just use a scrapbook to display these? Or make then into books?


Susan, you can try adding your own "digital" mat by increasing canvas size. It can be any color, white, or black. Sometimes I do this if my frame doesn't have a mat. I make my mats white and at 1.5" inches. You didn't state what software program you are using so the steps I show below are for what I know, Photoshop and Elements. If you are using something else, you may still be able to do this but I wouldn't know how to provide specific steps.


To do this go to IMAGE drop menu > Canvas Size.
In the pop up box, you can select the dimension size (I have mine set to inches) and add your mat size to the current image size.
So....if I have a 12"x12" page, and I wanted a 1.5" mat, I would change the number from 12 to 13.5 for both the width and height.

In the future though, my recommendation would be to add a 1/4" bleed (minimum 1/8") for each side. Therefore, making your 12"x12" page set to 12.5" x 12.5" (12.25" x 12.25").

To take it a step further....once you add your bleed, I would create a guide so you know where the cut off edge would be. Depending on your version of photoshop or elements, you may be able to set this as a New Guide Layout. To do this go to the "VIEW" drop menu > New Guide. A tiny pop up box appears. Unless doing this as a layout, you will need to add the guides individually for all four sides. Remember, our page is now 12.5x12.5 (or 12.25x12.25) so we must account for the extra dimensions. Set the first vertical (left side) guide to 0.25 for 1/2" bleed or 0.125 for 1/4" bleed. Then do this for the horizontal (top) side. For the vertical right side you would set the guide to 12.0 for 1/2" bleed or 12.125 for 1/4" bleed.
Again....the guides are used to make sure you would see where your page would be cut and would become the very edge. Personally, I add a 1" guide in addition to the edge guides so I make sure all important details are not too close to the edge.

I've had luck at Michael's craft store for white mats with white frames sized at 16"x16". I really like the 2" mat. Ikea also has some frames as well that would work for square scrap pages.

If you're just looking for mats, I prefer the 16x16 to keep my 12" page. You can of course do your own search as well for a specific size you need.

I also have printed books from MyPublisher, Blurb, and Shutterfly. I really dislike the paper, feel, and overall inferior quality of shutterfly - others may swear by them (enjoy your book and I'll enjoy mine) but the only way I would order from them is if I could get paid to do so. Yikes....that sounded harsh didn't it. True feelings though. The only way to really determine who you use as a book printer is to try them for yourself and compare!

Let us know if you have any more questions.

Wow Angela...What a comprehensive reply. It is the final step for us to figure out--printing. I am using Photoshop CC, Lightroom, On1 and Topaz products.

Have got to run to Michael's to see the frames you mentioned. Have some front loading frames from Amazon but they are literally 12x12 so adding the white space around the picture makes sense. Husband bought a really good printer so the quality issues have been resolved there.

Thanks too for the advice about books. Have not ordered any yet. Seems a bit complicated--my mind does not quite work that way. Even doing my first calendar seemed a pain. Won't give up though. Most of the free (you pay shipping) items I have gotten from Shutterfly have been great. Love the Matching Card Game--got one for grandkids and one for my mom. Coasters are fun--magnets are easy. Fineart paper prints are nice, but not worth $30 to me. Coffee cup was nice too. Anyway, point is, I almost always take advantage of the pick-one-free offers and have been happy--but books have been overwhelming....One day I will figure it out.

NEW IDEA: My husband has ordered some peel-and-stick styrene backing for our photos. He wants to mount them on it, put spacers behind, add a hook, and then spray with some sort of washable overcoat. Says they can be wiped off and won't need frames. May be the answer if we can get clean cuts--I plan to use my rotary cutting knives and self-healing mat from patchwork quilting days.

Thanks again. Will let you know how we do. May take a bit with the holidays, but I look forward to figuring this last step out.

Have been curious about learning to create my own elements and kits...One day. At this point I have only found one online training site aimed at design. Are most scrap designers self taught?

I think most scrap designers are more or less self-taught. Some may have a graphic design background, but many don't.

Looks like an interesting field to explore. Thanks, Marisa, for the input.

Susan, I am a very methodical person and often do better with step by step instructions at first, and then I can allow my own creativity and exploration to take it from there. So I had the same question you have for a long time as I worked on becoming a better designer.

I learned a ton here from the tutorials and from participating in Designer Challenges and blog trains (each has its own forum here). One reason why I think I learned so much from participating in blog trains is that when there was a specific thing I wanted to learn how to make, rather than trying to find an answer to the more general question of how to become a scrap designer in general, there were often YouTube and blog tutorials about that particular topic, or several I could piece together to help me learn what I needed.

Do you have access to the Classes section of the forum with Designer Basics - Papers and Designer Basics - Elements? There was a big leap in my design ability when I worked through those classes. The classes are no longer live, with Marisa around to help and critique, but her lessons are still fantastic and I think would help you learn what you're interested in.

I also have a bunch of helpful classes, trainings, and other resources (some free and some paid) bookmarked that I am happy to share with you. If you'd like those links, just contact me through the site and I'll email them to you. Let me know what software you're working with/have access to, too, since some are software-specific.

How do I make 'real' looking items; for example: Christmas Wishes - Bird, by Sharon Grant. (I also don't know how to link)
Laurel (Lo)

The bird element is just a photo with the background removed. Much like you would cut a photo out of a magazine for a collage smiley