I love using lots of different patterns on my scrapbook pages. I even like using busy patterned papers for the main background paper. But, there are times when a more subtle approach is called for. In these cases, I want the look of a soft, neutral background paper. And, then again, when I create a layout with a simple background, I often find myself wishing that I could add a little more pizzaz without making the background too busy or distracting. So, I’ve come up with a super simple method for adding some of my favorite patterned papers to my layouts without sacrificing the softness and light of a simple, neutral background. And, you won’t believe how easy it is!
Here’s the layout I’m going to work with in this tutorial. It’s quite lovely as it is, but it needs that extra little “something.”
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Create a Feathered Mask
- Open a layered scrapbook page (File > Open).
- Press the letter D to reset the Color Chips to the default of black and white.
- In the Layers panel, activate the layer on which you would like the masks to appear.
- Click on the Create a New Layer icon.
- Get the Rectangular Marquee tool.
- In the Tool Options, click on the New Selection icon and set the Aspect to Normal. Set the Feather to 200 px.
- On the scrapbook page, click and drag to create a selection outline around the area where you want the mask to appear. Hold down the Space Bar to reposition the mask while dragging.
- Press Alt Backspace (Mac: Opt Delete) to fill the selection with the foreground color.
- Press Ctrl D (Mac: Cmd D) to deselect.
Clip Paper to the Mask
- Open (File > Open) a patterned paper of your choice.
- Get the Move tool.
- On the document, holding down the Shift key, click and drag the paper onto the scrapbook page, placing it on the layer above the mask you just created.
- In the Layers panel, while holding down the Alt key (Mac: Opt key), position the cursor between the paper layer and the mask layer and click when you see the Clipping icon appear.
- Activate the paper layer.
- Press Ctrl E (Mac: Cmd E) to merge the paper and mask layers together.
- Continue creating masks and clipping papers to the masks to achieve the desired look for your scrapbook page.
Add the Finishing Touches
Here are some tips for different ways you can experiment with the masks to achieve different looks:
- In the Rectangular Marquee Tool Options, adjust the Feather for each mask to change the softness and roundness of the edges.
- In the Layers panel, reorder the masks to change the ways they blend into each other.
- Reduce the Opacity of any or all of the masks to achieve a softer look.
- Experiment with different Blend Modes.
Note: In Tool Options, reset the Marquee tool Feather value to zero when you’re finished making clipping masks. This will keep you from unintentionally creating a feathered selection the next time you use the Marquee tool.
And, here’s my finished layout. I love the subtle addition of color and patterns that the masks give to the layout. I hope you’ll give this method a try and let us see your creations in the Digi Scrap Tutorial Gallery.