Creating You First Digital Scrapbook Layout
How does this apply to Digital Scrapbooking?
This is it. You are about to create your very own
Digital Scrapbook Layout! This tutorial will teach how to:
- Open your Digital Scrapbook Elements
- Copy and Paste your Digital Scrapbook Elements into
- Move your Digital Scrapbook Elements within your
- Add Text to your Layout
- Arrange your Digital Scrapbook Elements within your
- Save your Layout in the most popular image File
Save your Layout in the Native GIMP File Format: "XCF"
So, although this is your first digital scrapbook
layout, you will be learning a lot! If you haven't already done so, I
strongly recommend that you read the previous three Digital Scrapbook
GIMP: Digital Scrapbooking 101
GIMP: Understanding Layers
will be creating this simple digital scrapbook layout:
Getting the most out of this tutorial
To get the most of this tutorial and to get a better
understading of how to use and manipulate the digital scrapbook
elements using The GIMP, it is strongly recommended that you practice
doing all of the steps included on this tutorial. You will only learn
by doing and you will only master digital scrapbooking by practicing.
All the steps in this tutorial were created using the
kit below. To purchase this kit, just click on its image.
Opening the First
Element- the background paper
Let's open the background image from this
Making sure your Layers Dialog window is open
The layers dialog window is a very important tool for digital
scrapbooking. It allows you to see how all of the digital scrapbook
elements are place in relationship to each other in your digital
The GIMP opens the layers dialog upon starting the program, but
if you close it, The GIMP does not re-open it again, unless
you tell it to.
The layers dialog window can only be open from an image window. In our
example, we are going to use the window "backg-04.jpg".
To open the layers
dialog window perform these steps:
Go to the Menu "Dialogs" -> Create New Dock -> Layers,
Channels & Path
** Please note:
This window can display three diffrerent dialogs:
The Layers, The channels and The Paths. To view the Layers tab, click
on the layers icon [above the word "Layers"] on the top-left corner of
that you layers dialog window will only have the background layer,
since that is the only image we had open so far.
This is Layers Dialog Window.
Adding Elements to our Layout
This is the fun part. In this section you get to pick your
embellishments and add them to your layout. All embellishments are
added to the top of the background paper, each on its own layer [more on this later]. From
now on, we will be refering to the window with this backgroud paper as
the "Layout Window".
In this section, we are going to be doing a lot of "Copy" and
"Paste". In general, we will be opening a digital scrapbook element,
then we will "copy" it from its own window and "paste" it on our layout
After we paste the digital scrapbook element to our layout window, we
will close the embellishment window. When closing the embellishment
window do not save any changes, since 1) We did not modify the file 2)
You need to conserve your originals intact for future use. That is the
beauty of digital scrapbooking!
Now let's add the halloween elements:
Open this file:
Let copy the Boo.png element to our background page:
Click on the Boo.png image
Now, Let's Paste it to our
Pasting the "Boo" image in our new layer consists of
1: Adding the boo image to our layout thru the
2: Making the boo image a new layer.
We have to make the "boo" embellishment a new layer
because this is how we can manipulate that embellishment. When the
"boo" embellishment is on its own layer, we can apply commands like
"Move", "Resize", "Rotate", etc, etc. to that embellishment only vs
applying those command to the entire layout. When the "boo"
embellishment is on its own layer, your entire layout is not "stuck
To help you
understand why each digital scrapbook element has to be on its own
layers, let's picture this: When you create a tradional
scrapbook, you take your pictures,your frames and your embellishments
and place them on your layout paper. In the begining you do not "glue"
them because you are still trying to see what is the best way to lay
them out. You move them around, you place them on top of each other,
and once you find the right place for each element -you start glueing
them. Once all of the elements are glue, they are basically stuck
together and you can no longer move them around.
Digital scrapbooking is the same way. By placing each
digital scrapbook element on its own layer, you are adding them to your
layout, but not glueing them. You are just positioning them. You can
move, resize and rotate each element on its own layer until you fnd the
right place for each element. Once you find the right place for each
element, you can then start glueing them. In Digital Scrapbooking we
call this process: "Merge
Layers". Saving your layout as a JPEG file,
also has the same effect as glueing it. ---all layers are
stuck together now and you can no longer move them.
On the Layout window, Click Edit->Paste
Step 2: On
you Layers Dialog you
will now see a "Floating"
[If you don't see the Layers Dialog window do this:
Go to the Menu "Dialogs" -> Create New Dock -> Layers,
Channels & Path]
On the Layers
click on the "New
[This is the first button on the bottom of the
background image/layout should now look like this:
Now that we pasted the BOO embellishment in our Layout
Window, we no longer need the original BOO.png file open. Let's close
On the "BOO"
[This will also help us avoid confusing while creating
our first layer]
Moving our Elements around our Layout
move our elements within our layout, we will need to use the "Move"
Tool. The Move Tool is the one with the "cross" on it. Below is The
GIMP Tools Window. The
"move" tool, is the 5th one in the second row on The GIMP Tools Window.
It is also the one highlighted.
To use the
select the layer that contains the element that you want to move. In
our case, we want to move the layer that contains the "Boo.png" file.On
the Layers Dialog window,
click on the "Boo" layer.
click on the "Move" tool. This tell The GIMP to move the element(s) on
that layer ONLY and not the entire layout.
The GIMP Tools Window:
Now let's try to move the BOO to the
bottom of the page:
On the Layers Dialog Window:
Click on the Layer that contains the "Boo" image.
[This will make sure that the BOO.png file is
selected for the move]
On the GIMP Tools Window:
Click on the "Move" tool.
[This is the one that look like a cross, is
highlighed and is the 5th tool on the 2nd row]
On the GIMP Tools Window [lower
section]: Make sure that the "Move the current layer"
option is selected.
On your Layout window:
Click on the BOO embellishment and
with your mouse button still pressed down, move the BOO
embellishment around your layout page.
layout should now look like this:
Let's now add more halloween
The next steps are more like a repeation from the
previous "Cut" an "Paste" steps. We will be adding more elements to our
layout by using the same technique.
In the same way that we added the BOO embellishment to the layout
window, we can add as many embellishemnts that we want.
Summary, to add an embellihsment to our layout window, follow these
Open the embellishment:
Copy the Embellishment:
embellishment window: File ->Edit->Copy
Paste it in the layout window:
layout window: File ->Edit->Paste
Make a new layer for the embellishment on the Layers Dialog:
On the Layers Dialog Window, click
in the "Floating Layer"
Click on the "New Layer" button
[located in the bottom of the Layers Dialog Window]
On the Layers Dialog: Click
on the layer that contains the embellishment that you wish to
On the GIMP Tools:
Select the "Move" Tool
On the "GIMP Tools Window":
Make sure that the "Move the current layer"
option is selected
On your Layout Window:
Click on the Embellishment that you want to move and while
holding your mouse key pressed move it to the
Now that you
learn how to add embellishmens to your layout window, go ahead and add
the "Pumpkin Frame" (filename = frame-7.png), following the steps above.
how the layout should look after adding the pumpkin frame embellishment:
the same steps above, add the Halloween Word Art to your layout:
the same steps above, I added three more embellishmens to my layout:
We are now ready to add the date to our layout. On The
GIMP Tools, click on the Text Tool, represend by a "T". This one is on
the 3rd row, and is the 4th on in that row. It is also highlighted
below for better visibility.
Now click on your background image. The GIMP Text Editor
box will show up:
Sometimes The GIMP's popup window, popup on the back of the
current windows. So if you do not see the Text Editor popup, is
probably hidding on the back. Move your windows around to see if you
can find it on the back.
Type the date as show above and click on "Close"
You layout should now displayed that text, but it might
be too small. To make the text bigger:
On the Layers Dialog: Click on the layer that contains
On The GIMP Tools Window: Click on The Text
Tool [The "T"]
Click on the Text Tools Options [Show Below]
Click on the UP arrow of the Size option to increate the
Tex Tools Options
layout should now have a bigger text and it should look like this:
Arranging our elements within our layout
In this step, you will get to move your layers in
relationship to other layers. You get to play around with the
visibility of the layers because by placing one on top of the other,
some layers become more visible than others. This technique is use when
adding frames to pictures. The layer that contains the frame is place
on top of the layer that contains the picture, thus framing the picture.
We will now be adding our picture and frame it using it
the pumpkin frame.
In the same way that we
added the BOO embellishment to the layout window, add
one of you fun halloween pictures to the layout window.
After adding your picture, your picture will appear on
the top of all the layers [Shown below in Layers Dialog], but we want
the picture to be BELOW the Pumpkin Frame layer.
To move you picture to the bottom of the pumpkin frame,
follow this steps:
- On the Layers Dialog, Click on the layer that
contains your Picture Layer [As show below]
- On the Layers Dialog Window: Click on the Bottom
Arrow on the bottom of your Layout Dialog. Each time
you click the down-arrow, the layer will move one layer down. Click as
many times as necessary to place the picture layer below the frame
picture layer is below the frame layer, your Dialog Layer
should look like this:
your Layout now look like this:
Saving our work in JPEG Format:
It is important to save our layout in JPEG format
because this allows us to share it with friends and family over the
internet, it allows us to view it with most image viewers and also to
print it. But once we save our layout in JPEG format, we can no longer
move our layers around or change our halloween picture. It becomes
finalized. This is where we "glue" the embellishements to the
In the following steps we will be saving our work in
JPEG format, but if you want to do extra credit and learn how to save
your layout as a GIMP Template to reuse it later, DO NOT
CLOSE YOUR LAYOUT WINDOW and see the section below on "How to save your layout as a GIMP Template"
To save your work as a JPEG File:
You did it! Your layout is now saved as a JPEG format.
Click here to see your GIMP
Scrapbook Homework and finish the tutorial.
A File Dialog Box appears, type your file name WITH THE EXTENSION:
Click the button "Save"
A Dialog box will appear and it will ask you to
"Export" your file.
Click on the "Export" button
Make sure Quality is select at 100%. This will save
your layout to its best quality possible.
Click on the Preview button to be able to see the what
your file size will be
Click on "OK" To save your file
To do extra credit [is so worth it!] and save your layout as a GIMP
Templates, follow the steps below.
Saving you work as a GIMP Template:
What is a GIMP Template anyway? In the digital
scrapbooking world a GIMP Template is a file that we can use to create
more scrapbook layouts. For instance, if we save the layout that we
just created as a GIMP template, we can come back a year from now, open
the file, and with new Halloween pictures create another halloween
layout without having to recreate the entire layout. We would only need
to exchange the pictures. You should aim to save all of your final
layouts as templates in order to reuse them and to have your own layout
library for future layouts.
A GIMP Template is save as a XCF format and has the
".xcf" file extension.
Saving our work as a GIMP TEMPLATE:
A File Dialog Box appears, type your file name WITH
Clik on "Save"
Congratulations!! You now have your first
GIMP Digital Scrapbook Template!
Congratulations on completing this
GIMP Digital Scrapbooking Tutorial and creating your first GIMP Digital
Scrapbook Layout, I'm sure it will not be the only one!
Have questions ? Got lost in the process? Would like to
thanks us? We love to hear from you! Post your comments in our GIMP
GIMP Tutorial Forum
Copyright 2007 Scrapbooks gone Digital !
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