Quick Starburst Background Paper

with 18 Comments

It’s that time again.

At our house, the hunt for the perfect Christmas tree always happens on the day after Thanksgiving. This year’s hunt was no exception.

We made the 20 minute drive to Eby Pines and drove around for an hour before spying ‘our’ tree. It’s kinda funny that I call it ‘our tree’, when in fact it is actually ‘my’ tree.

When walking around the tree farm, I can usually be heard saying things like…

“Eww, too full.”

and “Uh, no, that’s ugly.”

and “There is no way that is going in my living room!”

My poor family… I might as well just go by myself and then call them in when I find one to cut down!!

Hunting for the perfect background paper for my scrapbook page is a similar experience. I could probably search for an hour or more till the Hallelujah Chorus sings and shines a spotlight on ‘the perfect paper’ for my project.

OR I could just use this quick tip for revamping a background paper to suit my needs… check it out!

 

For Adobe Photoshop Version click here.

Step 1: Open a Background Paper

  • Open (File > Open) any background paper that you would like to add a starburst to.
    I am using Paper4 from Julie Billingsley’s Christmas kit — available with the December 2011 Premier package.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose File > Duplicate and click OK to accept the name in the dialog box.

Note: It is never a good idea to work with original files. Simply working with a copy of the original insures that the original file is not altered in any way.

  • Close the original paper file. (Closing the original file after duplicating it will help you not to mix the two files up.)

Step 2: Activate the Registration Target Shape

  • Get the Custom Shape tool. It is nested with the Rectangle tool.

  • In the Options Bar, open the Shape Picker and choose Registration Target 2.
    If you do not see this shape, open the flyout menu and choose All Elements Shapes.
  • In the Options Bar, click on the Color Chip to open the Color Picker.
  • In the Color Picker, choose the color white and click OK.

Step 3: Apply Shape to the Paper

  • Press Ctrl – (Mac: Cmd -) to zoom the background paper way out in the document window.
  • Holding down the Shift key to maintain proportions, click in the outer boundaries of the document and drag to the lower right side of the document to drag out the shape (see the image below).
    Note: Press the Space Bar to reposition while dragging.

Step 4: Blend the Shape to the Background

  • In the Layers panel, make sure the shape layer is the active layer.
  • In the Layers panel, change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.
  • Lower the Opacity to around 30%.

Step 5: Merge the Document and Save

  • In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Flatten Image.
    Flattening the image will also crop it.
  • Save (File > Save As) the new background paper as a JPEG file with a unique name in a location of your choice.

Here is my scrapbook page that I created with my new background paper…

Credits:
Tip: Quick Starburst Background by Jen White
Layout: by Jen White
Kit: Christmas by Julie Billingsley
Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 10.0
Font: Myriad Pro Light, Zapfino

Download a PDF version of this “Starburst Background Paper” 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 1: Open a Background Paper

  • Open (File > Open) any background paper that you would like to add a starburst to.
    I am using Paper4 from Julie Billingsley’s Christmas kit — available with the December 2011 Premier package.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose Image > Duplicate and click OK to accept the name in the dialog box.

Note: It is never a good idea to work with original files. Simply working with a copy of the original insures that the original file is not altered in any way.

  • Close the original paper file.
    Closing the original file after duplicating it will help you not to mix the two files up.

Step 2: Activate the Registration Target Shape

  • Get the Custom Shape tool. It is nested with the Rectangle tool.

  • In the Options Bar, choose the Shape Layer icon.
  • Open the Shape Picker and choose Registration Target 2.
    If you do not see this shape, open the flyout menu and choose All.
  • In the Options Bar, click on the Color Chip to open the Color Picker.
  • In the Color Picker, choose the color white and click OK.

Step 3: Apply Shape to the Paper

  • Press Ctrl – (Mac: Cmd -) to zoom the background paper way out in the document window.
  • Holding down the Shift key to maintain proportions, click in the outer boundaries of the document and drag to the lower right side of the document to drag out the shape (see the image below).
    Note: Press the Space Bar to reposition while dragging.

Step 4: Blend the Shape to the Background

  • In the Layers panel, make sure the shape layer is the active layer.
  • In the Layers panel, change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.
  • Lower the Opacity to around 30%.

Step 5: Merge the Document and Save

  • In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Flatten Image.
    Flattening the image will also crop it.
  • Save (File > Save As) the new background paper as a JPEG file with a unique name in a location of your choice.

Here is my scrapbook page that I created with my new background paper…

Credits:
Tip: Quick Starburst Background by Jen White
Layout: by Jen White
Kit: Christmas by Julie Billingsley
Software: Adobe Photoshop CS5
Font: Myriad Pro Light, Zapfino

Download a PDF version of this “Starburst Background Paper” 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.

 

18 Responses

  1. Geri
    | Reply

    Thanks for the tutorial and the printout. Oh! It’s good for PSE10 to!!

  2. Joanne
    | Reply

    I have always wanted to know how to do this. Thanks for the tutorial. Love it 😉

  3. Donna English
    | Reply

    Thank you. I love this tutorial and love your write up to go with it! LOL There are some things that just need to be perfect.

  4. Margaret Powell
    | Reply

    Is this just for PSE 10? I don’t see anything that looks like Registration Target shape.

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      Hi Margaret.
      What version of Photoshop Elements are you using?
      The registration target should be available many versions back from Elements 10.0.
      If you cannot find it, I would suggest two things.
      In the Shape picker, click on the flyout menu and choose Large List.
      Then click on the flyout menu and choose All Shapes.
      You should see the Registration Target 2 way down in the list of shapes.

  5. Ruth
    | Reply

    Thankyou
    for all the goodies and tutorials videos etc.Wishing you all a Merry Christmas

  6. Karen
    | Reply

    Awesome! Thank you!

  7. zita b
    | Reply

    Thank you for the hints – I always look forward to them. But as newer and newer versions of PSE come on the scene – I try the hint, but find it must apply only to later versions than mine. Perhaps a little note at the beginning that tells us the oldest version of PSE that can be used with the hint. Happy Holidays!

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      Hi Zita B. 🙂
      Sorry you are having problems with the Starburst tip.
      What version of PSE are you using?
      Can you tell me which part of the tip is not working for you?
      We try our best to point out version changes when writing the tips, but we sometimes miss them.

  8. dorisedgar
    | Reply

    Hi Jen
    I want to thank you
    for this tip and the
    many others you have
    posted they are the best.

    I also want to with you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      Thank you, Doris! Merry Christmas to you too!

  9. Donna Knighten
    | Reply

    I have done this using several papers. What a great tip on how to get this look. Thanks. PS It works fine on PSE8.

  10. Geri
    | Reply

    Great idea! Thanks.

  11. Bonnie
    | Reply

    I don’t see the registration target spot either. I use elements 9. I am going to try what you suggested. Yep I put on the large icon and there it is thanks. Love your tips.

  12. Wildcat - Erika
    | Reply

    Thanks for this, I have already started using this new technique.

  13. Janet Trapp
    | Reply

    I do not see how you are supposed to do this on the page. Is there a video or directions that are no longer showing? I really want to know how to do this it looks so cool! TIA! God bless!

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      Hi Janet. Sorry for the confusion. This tutorial has been archived for Premier access only. To view the entire tutorial, you have to be logged in as a Premier Member.

  14. Rikki
    | Reply

    What a fabulous tutorial – and so so easy. THANK YOU!

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