Connecting the Dots

with 25 Comments

"How do you make that?"

Do you ever ask yourself that question when checking out an element on someone's scrapbook page?
Some elements look soooo simple to make, yet the technique for creating them eludes you.

Thankfully, many scrapbook elements do not require Designer status. You just need that first little hint.

Several readers of my Cut It Out! A Title Trick tutorial asked that question about the dotted circle around my cut out.

That particular dotted circle was part of Amanda Taylor's Me Personally kit.

But as promised, here are the instructions for creating your very own.

Use this technique to draw an eye to anything on your scrapbook page. It is guaranteed to get attention.

Tutorial:

For Adobe Photoshop Version click here.

Step One: Prepare Your Workspace

  • Create a new document (File > New > Blank File) at 300ppi and the size of your scrapbooking preference. My page is 8x8 inches.
  • Press the letter D to reset the Color Chips to the default of black and white.

Step Two: For Photoshop Elements 9.0 and Earlier Users

This tutorial requires the ability to type on a shape. Photoshop Elements 9.0 and earlier does not offer this option, so I've provided a work around for you.

If you have Photoshop Elements 9.0 or earlier:

  • Open the file (File > Open) in Photoshop Elements.
  • In the Layers panel, click on the type layer and add drag it onto your scrapbook page.

  • On the scrapbook page, double click on any of the words around the circle. This should highlight all the text.

  • Press the Backspace key (Mac: Delete key) to clear the text. You will then be left with just a cursor prompting you to type something.
  • Move to Step Four. SKIP Step Three.

If you have Photoshop Elements 9.0 or earlier... after completing this step, skip Step Three and move directly to Step Four.

Thanks!

Step Three: Only For Photoshop Elements 10.0 (and later) Users

Step Three is only for Photoshop Elements 10.0 users.
If you have Photoshop Elements 9.0 or earlier, please complete Step Two and then go directly to Step Four.

  • Get the Text on Shape tool. It is nested with the Type tools.

  • In the Options Bar, open the Shape Type drop down menu and choose Ellipse.

  • Holding down the Shift key to maintain proportions, click on the scrapbook page and drag out a circle about 2 inches in diameter.
  • Click once directly on the edge of the circle to activate the Type tool.
  • Move on to Step Four.

Step Four: Type Some Dots

  • After completing Step Two or Step Three, you should have the Horizontal Type tool.
  • In the Options Bar, open the Font Picker and choose Wingdings. Set the Size to around 10 pts.

  • Repeat typing a lowercase "l" followed by a Space until the outside of the shape is filled with dots.

  • Click on the check mark in the Options Bar to commit the changes.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Simplify Layer.

Step Five: Add a Line of Dots

  • Get the Horizontal Type tool. It's the first of the type tools.
  • In the Options Bar, drop down the Alignment menu and choose Right Align Text.

  • On the document, click to the left of the circle of dots to place the cursor.
  • As before, repeat typing a lowercase L followed by a Space until you run out of room.
  • Click on the check mark in the Options Bar to commit the changes.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Merge Down.

This Digi Scrap Tutorial was created to show you how the highlight dots were created in this layout that I posted several weeks ago. I changed the color of the background paper so that you would not get the two tutorials confused. Rock on, fellow Lego lovers!

Β Credits:
Digi Scrap Tutorial: Connecting the Dots by Jen White
Layout & Photo by Jen White
Paper & Embellishments by Amanda Taylor, Me Personally
Fonts: Myriad Pro, HaloHandletter, Gill Sans, Wingdings
Software: Photoshop Elements 10

Download a PDF version of this "Connecting the Dots" tutorial.

Windows: Right click on the link and choose "Save Target As" or a similar command.
Mac: Click on the link to download the file.

Step One: Prepare Your Workspace

  • Create a new document (File > New) at 300ppi and the size of your scrapbooking preference. My page is 8x8 inches.
  • Press the letter D to reset the Color Chips to the default of black and white.

Step Two: Create a Circle

  • Get the Ellipse tool. It is nested with the Shape tools.

  • In the Options Bar, click on the Shape Layer icon and the New Shape Layer icon.
  • Open the Geometry Options and choose a Fixed Size of 2in x 2in.

  • On the scrapbook page, click in the center to place the circle.

Step Three: Type Dots on the Path

  • Get the Horizontal Type tool.
  • In the Options Bar, open the Font Picker and choose Wingdings. Set the Size to around 10 pts and make sure the Color Chip is black.

  • On the scrapbook page, hover your cursor on the edge of the circle until the cursor changes into an I-beam with a wavy line through it. (See the image below.) Click to place the cursor on the 'path'.

  • Repeat typing a lowercase "l" followed by a Space until the outside of the shape is filled with dots.

  • Click on the check mark in the Options Bar to commit the changes.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Rasterize > Type.
  • In the Layers panel, drag the shape layer to the Trash.

Step Four: Add a Line of Dots

  • In the Layers panel, activate the top layer by clicking on it.
  • Make sure you have the Horizontal Type tool.
  • In the Options Bar, click on the Right Align Text icon.

  • On the document, click to the left of the circle of dots to place the cursor.
  • As before, repeat typing a lowercase l followed by a Space until you run out of room.
  • Click on the check mark in the Options Bar to commit the changes.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Merge Down.

This Digi Scrap Tutorial was created to show you how the highlight dots were created in this layout that I posted several weeks ago. I changed the color of the background paper so that you would not get the two tutorials confused. Rock on, fellow Lego lovers!

Credits:

Digi Scrap Tutorial: Connecting the Dots by Jen White
Layout & Photo by Jen White
Paper & Embellishments by Amanda Taylor, Me Personally
Fonts: Myriad Pro, HaloHandletter, Gill Sans, Wingdings
Software: Photoshop CS5

Download a PDF version of this "Connecting the Dots" tutorial.

Windows: Right click on the link and choose "Save Target As" or a similar command.
Mac: Click on the link to download the file.

25 Responses

  1. shirl
    | Reply

    This is definitely a wonderful tutorial is that will add a fun aspect to your layout. Thank you for enabling us to have designer-level technique within our layouts. You and your fabulous brain. πŸ™‚

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      Thanks for your kind words, Shirl. You are always a blessing! xoxo

  2. Vivian
    | Reply

    You rock Miss Jen. Thank you for this tutorial!

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      Thanks Vivian!

  3. RetiredPJ
    | Reply

    Thank you!! for the tut but also for adding the instructions for older versions of elements,

  4. sally rinker
    | Reply

    Thank you so much. I love all of your tutorials

  5. Bernice Byrd
    | Reply

    Thanks so much. This is a great tutorial.

  6. Cynthia
    | Reply

    Thank you for the fantastic tutorial.

  7. Jenifer Juris
    | Reply

    When I first saw this scrapbook page you made for the cut it out tut, I was dying to know how you did the awesome dots! I can’t wait to go through this tut and give this a shot – thanks for sharing this with us!!

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      Great to hear, Jenifer! I’m always happy to get requests. πŸ˜‰

  8. Joyce Walth
    | Reply

    Great tut! Thanks! I can’t wait, though, until I get PSE 11 (skipped 10).

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      Thanks, Joyce! Make sure and tune in May 1st. We’ve got some super-duper giveaways coming! πŸ˜‰

  9. Maureen
    | Reply

    Thanks, a great tut worked perfect.

  10. Nannette
    | Reply

    I think you know how to do everything! P.S. your niece is adorable.

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      Nannette, you are silly! I have SO much to learn! I learn something new almost every day! πŸ™‚ and yes, Addyson IS adorable! πŸ™‚

  11. Nancy
    | Reply

    I always look forward to your tuts!!! This tut will come in handy, thank you!!

  12. Janytime
    | Reply

    Thanks so much, Jen, for this great tutorial. I love this look and had always wondered how to go about making it myself! It’s like you read our minds sometimes!! Just can’t tell you how much we appreciate you sharing your knowledge with us!

  13. Renee Diprose
    | Reply

    Thanks so much – you + your tutorials = awesome!

  14. Franghurst
    | Reply

    Great tutorial. My problem is that I’m going to dotty with every page I create. What fun! Thanks.

  15. zita b
    | Reply

    Ditto! Thanks Jen – again!

  16. Cheryl Simpson
    | Reply

    Thank you for the helpful tutorial. It seems so simple when it’s laid out.

    • Carolyn Degroot
      | Reply

      Love the tutorial, and the effect – but I have been unable to recreate :-/

      Problem starts when I am unable to select all the text – oh well, I know it is operator error, but it is frustrating.
      carolyn in MD

      • Jen White
        | Reply

        Sorry you are having a problem with the tutorial, Carolyn.
        I understand that you cannot “select all the text” by following the instructions provided. Another way to select all the text is by double clicking on the thumbnail of the text layer in the Layers panel.
        If that doesn’t help, let me know. πŸ™‚

  17. Karen Stevens
    | Reply

    Do you have this tutorial for PSE11?

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      Hi Karen. Even though this tutorial was written in PSE10, the same instructions should apply for PSE11. Let me know if you find a snag. πŸ˜€

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