Don’t you just love the look of intricately designed cut-out papers? They can add such interest to a scrapbook page.
In this tutorial, we’ll use the Magic Wand tool to turn a patterned paper into a beautiful digital cut-out. It will be ready to use on your scrapbook page in just a few simple steps.
Not only will this add extra interest to your pages, but it will also help make your digital papers more versatile!
PLEASE NOTE: This works best with papers that have well-defined patterns, good contrast, and little or no texture. I’m using the Orange Paper from Carefree by Amanda Heimann, originally included in the August 2012 Digital Scrapper Premier Issue.
Step One: Prepare the Workspace
- Create a new document (File > New > Blank File) that is 12in by 12in at 300ppi with a white background. (Photoshop: Choose File > New.)
- Open a background paper (File > Open). REMEMBER — Choose one that has a well-defined pattern.
- Get the Move tool.
- Holding down the Shift key, click on the paper and drag it onto your document.
Step Two: Select the Area to Cut
- Get the Magic Wand tool.
- In the Tool Options, click on the Add To Selection icon, set the Tolerance to around 35, uncheck Sample All Layers and Contiguous, and check Anti-alias.
- On the paper, click on the area you want to cut out. Marching ants will appear around your selection. If the selection includes too much, simply undo, adjust the Tolerance, and try again. You may need to zoom in to check for stray pixels that you want to add to or subtract from your selection.
- In the Menu Bar, choose Select > Modify > Smooth.
- In the dialog box, enter 2 or 3 pixels and click OK. This will create a smoother selection outline.
Step Three: Make the Cut
- When you are happy with your selection, press the Backspace key (Mac: Delete key) to Delete the selection.
- Press Ctrl D (Mac: Cmd D) to Deselect.
Optional Extra Step: Use the cut-out paper as is, or turn it into a clipping mask to use again and again. To do this:
- Press Ctrl U (Mac: Cmd U) to bring up the Hue/Saturation dialog box. Move the Lightness slider all the way to the left and click OK.
Step Four: Save As a PNG File
- In the Layers panel, drag the Background layer to the Trash.
- Save the cut-out paper or mask (File > Save As) as a PNG file. Give it a name such as “cutout-pp-orange-carefree-aheimann” (be sure to include the paper designer’s name). When the PNG dialog box pops up, choose None for Interlace and click OK.
Step Five: Use It on a Scrapbook Page
- You now have a cut-out paper (or mask) to use on your scrapbook pages. Be as creative as you like with it. Change the color, fill it with a gradient, add a texture or style, or even clip papers to it. Finally, add a shadow to suit the paper and give your scrapbook page that extra special lift.
Use the paper whole as a fancy background or cut it up to make interesting paper strips, mats and frames. Whatever you do with it, have fun! Then post your creations in the Digi Scrap Tutorial of the Week Gallery… I can’t wait to see how they turn out.
Digi Scrap Tutorial: Cut-Out Paper in a Snip! by Helen Ash (aka SimplyHx).
Layout: Most Wonderful Time by SimplyHx.
Cut-out paper mask made using Orange Paper from Carefree by Amanda Heimann (originally included in the August 2012 Premier issue).
Papers and embellishments: Our Holiday by Shabby Miss Jenn (originally included in the December 2012 Premier issue).
Clock Stamp and Flourish: Family Yearbook by Julie Mead.
Fonts: Myriad Pro, CK Ali’s Hand.