Digital Scrapbooking

I have been digital scrapbooking since 2006 and it is my second love – cross stitching/design is my first and that’s over at Coal House Designs. My hands don’t allow for hours of stitching, impacting my desire to design and limiting my portfolio. I learned cross stitch in 1992 and still count it my first hobby love.

Digital scrapbooking took over in 2006 when holding a needle became difficult. I mastered using a mouse with my left hand and perhaps I’m now ambidextrous?

I do have one problem: I can’t manage to handle the traditional scrapbook page size of 12 x 12 inches. Over the years I’ve tried various sizes – 8 x 8 inches, 6 x 6 inches, A4 pages etc. You may wonder “Well, if you’re digital, does page size really matter?” Yes, because sometimes I like to see my pages in print. And I am not the only one who might want to see these creations; my husband likes reminders of the things that happened over the year too!

Digital Scrapbooking Is Even Easier

The smartphone, and technology in general, has made digital scrapbooking easier.

This year I have used my phone’s camera, a massive 16 megapixels at my fingertips, for almost all of my photos. I also use Snapseed, an app for editing photos quite a lot more than I thought I would. However, I still do the bulk of my editing, cropping, and general fussing about in my beloved PaintShop Pro.

In 2016 I finally found a page size that works – 7 x 5 inches. Then I found a great app called FreePrints, and their sister app, PhotoBook ( you can find them in the Google Play store) and had two books printed last year, Week In The Life and Come Fly With Me, a scrapbook of my husband’s flying lesson.

I like the clean, graphic look with a bit of text and it doesn’t take an age to do. With the introduction of text wrapping in PaintShop Pro creating my pages became even easier! Here’s an example of my home-made templates, still in use over a year later.

7ByLife | Templates

PaintShop Pro doesn’t have a clipping mask like Photoshop does so I make use of layer masks for my templates. This means that each element of the template has its own layer mask, making it a simple task to slide in a photo or journal card/paper and have only what I want showing.

7ByLife | Templates | Mask Example

The image above shows how layer maskes work in PaintShop Pro. The grey bounding box shows the outline of the whole January card. The red outline shows the mask layer. Only the part of the image within the red outline is visible. Each element on the page has its own mask layer and this makes moving the individual images easy, without interfering with any other images on the page.

Below you can see the Layers Palette, with the cards and photo under their respective Mask Layers.

7ByLife | Templates | Mask Layers Example

Creating my weekly digital scrapbook pages is a simple process. In 2016 I used only one kit (Project 52 2016) and as my text is already formatted on the template page, theoretically all I have to do is choose the photos for the week.

Photobook Love 2016

You can read more about my completed book in my unashamed brag about how gorgeous it is in Photobook Love 2016. The final book is 6 x 8 inches, the perfect size for my hands and my bookshelf!

Photobook Love | My 2016 Digital Scrapbook |

I now make all my pages to fit 6 x 8 inches and this first photobook was quickly followed by my WITL™ 2017 book.

Week In The Life 2017 | photobook

My book for 2017 is underway, using month and week title cards I created myself. These cards are available in the Free Digital Downloads area.

2017 Pocket Calendar Cards | free digital scrapbook downloads2017 Week Title Cards Cards | free digital scrapbook downloads

Updated August 2017