Thursday, May 22, 2008

Turning Papers and Photos into Shapes

This week, we will learn how to play with shapes. This is a great way to give your digital pages lots of color and pattern without getting too cluttered and stealing the focus from your photo. I will be making "Paper Shapes" in this tutorial, but the same instructions will apply to photos as well. Here's the layout we will be making today.

**NOTE: To see how to start a scrapbook page from scratch, see The Basics of Creating a Layout tutorial.

1.) The first thing you want to do is to select your Shapes Tool from your tool palette as shown below:

2.) Now, look at the top of your screen and you will see all of your tool options. (If you do not see these, click on Window there at the top and make sure Options is checked by clicking on it.) In this case, you will want to choose the Ellipse Tool as shown below. Notice that it appears as an Oval shape. You will need to hold down your SHIFT key in order to draw a perfect circle. Same with the Rectangle tool. If you want a perfect square, just hold down your SHIFT key while drawing.

3.) Now, holding down your shift key, simply click anywhere on your layout and drag your mouse down diagnally.

4.) Now we can choose one of the papers we would like to use. Drag your paper onto your layout. Make sure your paper layer is positioned right above your shape layer on your layers palette. Hold down your ALT key and run your cursor over the line in between your paper layer and your shape layer. Your cursor should change in shape as shown below.

5.) Now, continuing to hold down your ALT key, simply click. This should "clip" your paper to your circle.

6.) Now you can add a drop shadow if you wish, but make it subtle. A thick shawdow will make it appear as if it's floating on the page and will appear unrealistic. I simple used the basic shadow located in my Styles menu. (If you do not see this anywhere, go to your top menu and choose Window and click on Styles to make them visable.) Make sure your SHAPE layer is active and click on Basic Shadow.

Here is what it should look like now. The shadow is so subtle, it simply looks like you cut the shape out of a piece of cardstock.

7.) Since we used the clipping mask feature, your shape is still editable. This way you can change the size of your shape. Simply click on your shape layer and then holding down your SHIFT key, drag one of the corners diagnally in or out depending on whether you want your shape larger or smaller.

8.) Now simply repeat these steps to make more circles. Use several papers... different colors and patterns to really make it pop. And that's it. Again... here is our completed layout:

**I made this layout into a template! GRAB IT HERE !!!**



For my layout, I used:

Mango Berry and Lemon Ice papers from the QUENCH paper pack by TAYLORMADE DESIGNS

Orange Dotted paper from the ZIPPY HIPPY Collab Kit by PAISLEE PRESS + QUEEN OF QUIRK

Carefree word art sticker from Kinda Stuck Vol. 1 by TAYLORMADE DESIGNS

Frame from Mailing Label Frames Vol. 2 by PAISLEE PRESS + TAYLORMADE DESIGNS

**all products available at

I would LOVE to know what you think of this tutorial. Feel free to leave comments. If you have any questions regarding this tutorial, you can certainly email me at

I would also love to hear what type of tutorials YOU would like to see! While your here, drop a not in the SUGGESSTIONS box! If I don't know how to do what you are asking, I will find out! Then we can learn something new together!!!

You can also find this tutorial and all of my others in the Tutorial Section at Oscraps!


Celeste said...

HUGE help!!!! Thank you sooo much! I love it!

Just another Betty said...

Thanks so much for all your help.

Tali said...

I love this tut, Amanda! can't wait to try it. Great template as well! I'm off to pick it up at the O.

Phoebe said...

Another fabulous tutorial!! And such an adorable page!! LOVE it!! Thank you so much!!

faery-wings said...

you just rock the hizzy! what would we do with out ya?? xoxoxoxo

Scrapping Mom of 5 said...

This was great. I kept wondering about a perfect circle. Thanks so much for the SHIFT tip. I can't wait to try it out.

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ハリソン said...

this blog is kawaii XD
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I like to drinkコーヒー these days.
you know?
its food for sake.

ハリソン said...

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theassistant said...

You are the BEST! I don't even search the web for help with photoshop... I go directly to your site. Simple and easy! xoxox I really, really appreciate it!

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Sumi said...

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