Color Block Background

with 21 Comments

Jenifer Juris bio picWhen I was a kid, some of my favorite toys were simple ones—blocks, books, and dolls. Legos were a special favorite, however. I could do so many things with them such as build towers, houses, and space ships. I especially loved sorting them out by color. That way I could easily make an all green house that sat next to an all red tower. (Yes, I was one of those kids, hehe!)

Now that I’m an adult, I still find myself drawn to simple ideas. For example, my current favorite scrapbooking trend is colorblocked backgrounds. I find it can be a great way to add contrast to your background without it being too busy or taking away from the photos you are showcasing.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to create a color block background template.
Tutorial:

Step One: Prepare the Workspace

  • Create a new 12 x 12 inch document (File > New > Blank File) at 300 ppi with a white background. (Photoshop: Choose File > New.)
  • In the Layers panel, click on the Create a New Layer icon.
  • Click on the Foreground Color Chip to open the Color Picker.
  • In the dialog box, choose a color and click OK. I used 50% gray, or Hex Code #959595.
  • Press Alt Backspace (Mac: Opt Delete) to fill the layer with the foreground color.

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Step Two: Cut the Layer in Half

  • Get the Rectangular Marquee tool.
  • In the Tool Options, click on the New Selection icon. Set the Feather to 0 and the Aspect to Fixed Size. Set the Width to 6 inches and the Height to 12 inches. (Photoshop: Set the Style to Fixed Size.)
  • On the document, click and drag out a selection outline that covers exactly half of the document.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > New > Layer Via Cut.

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Step Three: Fill a New Layer with a Solid Color

  • In the Layers panel, click on the Create a New Layer icon.
  • Click on the Foreground Color Chip to open the Color Picker.
  • In the dialog box, choose a color and click OK. I used 25% gray, or Hex Code #cccccc.
  • Press Alt Backspace (Mac: Opt Delete) to fill the layer with the foreground color.

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Step Four: Rotate the Layer 45 Degrees

  • Press Ctrl T (Mac: Cmd T) to get the Transform options.
  • In the Tool Options, set the Angle to 45º. (Photoshop: Set the Rotation to 45º.)
  • On the document, double click inside the Bounding Box to commit the transformation.

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Step Five: Move the Layer into Place

  • Get the Move tool.
  • On the document, while holding down the Shift key, click and drag the rotated layer up until it’s half-way off the document, or until the layer meets the top two corners.

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Step Six: Duplicate the Layer and Repeat

  • Press Ctrl J (Mac: Cmd J) to duplicate the layer.
  • On the document, while holding down the Shift key, click and drag the new layer down until it’s half-way off the document, or until the layer meets the bottom two corners.
  • Press the Arrow keys to nudge the layer into place.

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Step Seven: Save the Template

  • Press Ctrl A (Mac: Cmd A) to select all.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose Image > Crop.
  • Press Ctrl D (Mac: Cmd D) to deselect.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose File > Save As.
  • In the dialog box, name the file “Colorblock Background Template,” choose a location for the file, set the Format to Photoshop, and click Save.

As you can see, I used this template to create a background using two different papers. I love how the color blocks draw your eye to the center of the page where the main story and photo are located. I can’t wait to see what pages you create using this color block background template! Please post your pages to the Digi Scrap Tutorial Gallery as I’m sure there will be many fun ways you can take this template and make it your own. For information on using grayscale templates, watch this FREE video series—How to Use Grayscale Templates.

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Credits:
Tutorial: Colorblock Background by Jenifer Juris

Software: Photoshop Elements 11, Adobe Photoshop CC 2014
Scrapbook page: The Best by Jenifer Juris
Papers and embellishments: Love Mom by Karla Dudley
Font: Century Gothic (Regular)

Download this Digi Scrap Tutorial

21 Responses

  1. Tracy Brewer
    | Reply

    Thanks for the tutorial and great I was able to print it out to use at a latter date. Love your layout you did with it here.

    • Jenifer
      | Reply

      Thanks, Tracy! So glad you like the tutorial and I can’t wait to see the page you make with it! 🙂

  2. Nannette
    | Reply

    Welcome to the team Jen! I absolutely adore your layout with your fun template can’t wait to give it a try.

    • Jenifer
      | Reply

      Thanks so much, Nann! I’m so glad to be here!! 🙂

  3. Maggie [smith]
    | Reply

    Thanks for the great tutorial as it has so many possibilities. Also Congratulations on becoming a part of the Team of Instructors. I know you will add a lot to the team as your layouts are all just great.

    • Jenifer
      | Reply

      Maggie, thank you so much for the warm welcome! I can’t wait to see the page you make with this!! 🙂

  4. woodie712
    | Reply

    Welcome to Digital Scrapper Jenifer. Just watched your video and printed out the tut! Looks pretty cool! Looking forward to working with more of your techniques.

    • Jenifer
      | Reply

      Thank you so much, I’m so glad to be on this team! I know it might be a little confusing but Jen White is the author of the video that came out this week and I’m the one that wrote this color block tutorial. Too many Jen’s I guess! 😉 But again, thank you so much for the warm welcome!!

  5. rikkid
    | Reply

    Congrats on joining the instructor team! Your layout looks fabulous, and with a template it’s so easy to accomplish again and again.

    • Jenifer
      | Reply

      Thanks so much Rikki!!

  6. blackkathy
    | Reply

    Gorgeousness!! Loving it and am feeling inspired!! xx

    • Jenifer
      | Reply

      Thanks so much Kathy!! 🙂 xoxo

  7. marylc
    | Reply

    Congratulations Jen! Your scrapping expertise will inspire us all. Looking forward to doing this tutorial and all that follow. 🙂

    • Jenifer
      | Reply

      Thanks so much Linda!! 🙂

  8. Mary (cheerio54)
    | Reply

    As per Jen’s instructions, I stood, clapped, whistled, and wooted for you joining the team of instructors! Your first tutorial looks fabulous and I’ll be sure to take it out for a spin. Congratulations, Jenifer!

    • Jenifer
      | Reply

      Thank you so much Mary – I can’t wait to see the page you make with it! 🙂

  9. sunbum
    | Reply

    Congratulations, Jen, and thank you! I look forward to being inspired by you over and over again in the future!

    • Jenifer
      | Reply

      Thank you so much! 🙂

  10. Ruth316
    | Reply

    Just read your tutorial and find it very interesting. Do you think it would work on 8.5×11 (I haven’t had a chance to give it a try)?

    Looking forward to your future tutorials!

    • Jenifer
      | Reply

      Hi Ruth316! While this tutorial works best for the 12×12 size, you can make it work for the 8.5×11. It won’t look exactly the same but it will still have that color block feel. You will have to modify how you complete this because it’s not a square document. The main thing will be the shape you rotate 45 degrees, you will want to move the tip of that shape that’s pointing down, to the center of the document after you rotate it. Then you can copy duplicate it and drag down. The corners won’t match like mine did in the 12×12 but it will still look great. If you get hung up on trying it, let me know and I can always private message you with further help. 🙂

  11. Tammy Graf
    | Reply

    You made this so easy. I will definitely use this. Thanks

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