Oversized Cutout Template

with 8 Comments

Lydia-200
Don't you just love it when you can make a bold statement on a layout without expending a lot of effort? I recently spotted a few layouts with fantastic oversized cutouts on the background. I was impressed with what a big impact they made on the feel of the layout and decided I wanted to try it on a layout of my own.

Today I'm going to show you how to make a template for a background with oversized cutouts. This template can then be used over and over to add that bold statement to any layout. I'm going to use an arrow shape to create a chevron pattern. But, you could use any shape(s) you want and create all sorts of different designs. Let's get started!
Tutorial:

Step One: Prepare the Workspace

  • Click on the Background Color Chip. In the dialog box, choose a gray color and click OK. (I used Hex Code #8d8b8b.)
  • Create a new 12 x 12 inch document (File > New > Blank File) at 300 dpi with the Background Contents set to Background Color. (Photoshop: Choose File > New.)
  • In the Menu Bar, choose View > Rulers to show the Rulers.
  • Choose View > Grid to show the Grid. (Photoshop: Choose View > Show > Grid.)
  • Choose View > Snap To > Grid.
  • In the Layers panel, while holding down the Alt key (Mac: Opt key), double click on the Background layer.
  • Press the letter D to reset the Color Chips to the default of black and white.

Step Two: Create a Square (Optional)

Note: I'm going to use this square later to create a border around my chevron pattern. If you're using different shapes, or you don't want a border around your design, feel free to skip this step.

  • Get the Rectangle tool.
  • In the Tool Options, open the Geometry Options and choose Square. Click on the Create New Shape Layer icon. (Photoshop: Set the Tool Mode to Shape.)
  • On the document, position your cursor at the 0.5 inch horizontal mark and the 0.5 inch vertical mark. Click and drag to create a square, leaving a half inch border around the entire document.

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  • In the Tool Options, click Simplify. (Photoshop: In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Rasterize > Shape.)
  • In the Layers panel, click on the Visibility icon of the square shape layer to hide it.

Step Three: Create an Arrow

  • Get the Custom Shape tool.
  • In the Tool Options, open the Geometry Options and choose Unconstrained. Click on the Create New Shape Layer icon. (Photoshop: Set the Tool Mode to Shape.) Open the Custom Shape Picker and choose the Arrow 2 shape. If you don't see the Arrow 2 shape, open the drop-down menu and choose All Elements Shapes. (Photoshop: Open the fly-out menu, choose All, and click OK.)
  • On the document, click and drag to draw an arrow shape that extends from the top of the document to the bottom and is about two inches wide.
  • In the Tool Options, click Simplify. (Photoshop: In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Rasterize > Shape.)
  • Get the Move tool.
  • Press Ctrl T (Mac: Cmd T) to get the Transform options.
  • In the Tool Options, set the Angle to 90º. (Photoshop: In the Options Bar, set the Rotation to 90º.)
  • On the document, click inside the Bounding Box and drag the arrow shape into position at the top of the document. Click on the checkmark to commit the transformation.

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Step Four: Create the Chevron Pattern

  • On the document, while holding down Alt Shift (Mac: Opt Shift), click on the arrow shape and drag out a duplicate arrow, positioning it below the first arrow shape and leaving some space in between the two arrows.
  • Repeat four more times until you have six arrow shapes with equal spacing between them, using the Grid as a guide.
  • In the Layers panel, activate the top arrow layer then Shift click on the bottom arrow layer to activate all of the arrow layers.
  • Press Ctrl E (Mac: Cmd E) to merge the layers together into a chevron pattern.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose View > Grid to hide the Grid. (Photoshop: Choose View > Show > Grid.)

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Step Five: Create the Cutouts

  • In the Layers panel, make sure the chevron pattern layer is active.
  • Ctrl click (Mac: Cmd click) on the thumbnail of the invisible square layer to get a selection outline.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose Select > Inverse.
  • Press the Backspace key (Mac: Delete key) to create a border around the chevron layer.
  • Press Ctrl D (Mac: Cmd D) to deselect.
  • In the Layers panel, click and drag the square shape layer to the Trash icon.

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  • Activate the bottom layer.
  • Ctrl click (Mac: Cmd click) on the thumbnail of the chevron layer to get a selection outline.
  • Press the Backspace key (Mac: Delete key) to cut the chevron pattern out of the background.
  • Press Ctrl D (Mac: Cmd D) to deselect.
  • In the Layers panel, click and drag the chevron layer to the Trash icon.

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Step Six: Save the Template

  • In the Menu Bar, choose File > Save.
  • In the dialog box, choose a name and location for the template. Set the Format to PNG. Click OK.
  • In the PNG Options dialog box, click OK.
  • Use the saved template on top of any background paper and add a drop shadow.

Here's my layout:

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I can visualize using this idea with so many different shapes--diagonal or horizontal stripes, stars, anchors--the options are endless. Be sure to post your layouts in the Digi Scrap Tutorial gallery and show us what you create!

Credits:
Digi Scrap Tutorial: Oversized Cutout Template by Lydia Tarbox
Kit: Liberty for All by Mommyish; part of July 2014 Premier
Font: DJB Lydia Print

Download this Digi Scrap Tutorial

8 Responses

  1. Mary
    | Reply

    I use PSE 7 and could not get the alt shift to duplicate. Love the idea of making this. I’ll keep trying other things. Thanks for sharing.

    • ltarbox
      | Reply

      Another option for duplicating the shape is to press Ctrl/Cmd J. Then, you can click and drag the duplicated shape into position. Holding down the Shift key as you drag simply keeps the shape lined up with the original shape. Hope that helps!

  2. Jenifer
    | Reply

    Love this idea and the page you made w/ it! 🙂

    • Lydia
      | Reply

      Thank you, Jenifer! I’d love to see a page from you using the tutorial! 😀

  3. Joy
    | Reply

    I can not figure out how to have different colored papers between each chevron how do you do that?? I am sure it is something simple but I can’t do it please help!!

    Thanks

    • ltarbox
      | Reply

      I’m sure there are several different methods for doing that, Joy. This was my method: Open the paper you want to use and drag it onto your scrapbook page placing it below the cutout layer. Then, use the Polygonal Lasso tool to get a selection outline around the area where you want the paper to show through, make sure that the paper layer is active in the Layers panel, and then click on the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the panel. Hope that helps and that you’re enjoying the tutorial. 😀

  4. bean
    | Reply

    Thanks for the quick response I will try that.

  5. Tammy Graf
    | Reply

    What a cool effect! I can’t wait to try it out. Thanks for the tutorial.

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