Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

July 8, 2008

Hybrid/Digital Scrapbooking : 6 things to do with Title + Journal Photo Overlays


A little something to dress up your photos : 6 Things to do with AE Title + Journal Photo Overlays


Yesterday we took a look at layout sized overlays. Today I want to focus on smaller overlays that are designed to be used right on top of a 4×6 photo (or as a journal block) and can be used as a brush (the .ABR file – to learn how to load brushes into Photoshop, read here) or as a .PNG file.

Same process as yesterday in terms of opening your photo and the .PNG file overlay in Photoshop, selecting the overlay with the move tool (the black arrow), then dragging and dropping the overlay on top of your photo.

Here are 6 ways to play with these photo overlays:

1.    Add the overlay to a photo, print at home/upload to your favorite developer + add it to a page just like you would a regular photo. When printing at home on 8.5×11 photo paper I usually create a new canvas that is 6 inches x 10 inches. I open a couple photos, drag + drop them onto the canvas, open the overlays and drag + drop them onto the photos, and print.


2.    Print overlay on a transparency + add to a layout (could be on a photo or a group of photos or on journaling, etc).

3.    Print lined version onto cardstock or patterned paper for a journal block.


To print on patterned paper I opened a new file (6 inches x 10 inches) and placed two photo overlays on the canvas. I cut my patterned paper to fit in my 8.5×11 printer, loaded it in the printer, and hit print.


4.    Print on transparency + bind together into a transparent mini book. The ones featured below are part of a travel set – each theme includes no. 1 through no. 10. My plan is to use the fabric to create a cover + use the transparencies for the interior pages (adding the photos + journaling on top of the overlays rather than underneath).


5.    Print lined version and bind together into a mini book (or adhere onto a chipboard book) – great for a travel book.

6.    Create a 4×6 album that includes the photo overlays in conjunction with the journal blocks. This one is super simple and would make a great gift. If you don’t print your photos at home you can add the overlays to your photos before uploading or taking your photo card to the developer.


[ 4x6 album: Kolo; Spinner: Tim Holtz; Patterned Paper: My Mind's Eye; Photo Overlays: Ali Edwards for Designer Digitals Number One + Number Two ]









Another great site to check out for digital education is Scrap Girls. Check out their University section for a ton of tutorials. I found this section on Digital Brushes especially helpful.


For more information on hybrid and digital check out Getting Started With Digital Scrapbooking.


  • 1.
    Suzanne said…

    Wow these are so great and easy to use. Thank you for instructions. I like the 4×6 album with the overlays and journals blocks beside them.

  • 2.
    melissa deakin said…

    love, love, love these overlays Ali!
    i am off to purchase some.
    thanks for taking the time to share all of this.
    you are amazing!

  • 3.
    diane said…

    Cannot thank you enough for sharing your passion and knowledge with so many of us!
    Thanks Ali

  • 4.
    Susan Bowers said…

    Thank you so much for your inspiration!!! This morning I saw your blog entry and I so wanted to be able to do that!!! Well, I tried it (I have Microsoft Digital Image Pro) and I did it! I made my own overlay. I was so excited. Check out my blog with my first created overlay – yeah I know it looks suspiciously similar to yours!!!!

  • 5.
    yvonne said…

    Love the hybrid inspiration. I’ve been hybrid for years and love seeing it more mainstream now!
    Great projects!

  • 6.
    Michelle said…

    I just love these. Digital always intimidates me, but I think I can do this mini book. Thanks for the inspiration. Oh by the way, I just made your ‘pieces of me’ book that is in Life Artist. I love it!!

  • 7.

    Yay, thanks Ali for doing this…I was looking forward to this series since you emailed me back and said you would be doing something like this…great ideas..never thought of printing them onto patterned paper? how that looks!

  • 8.
    Faith said…

    Ali, you rock!
    Thanks so much for sharing your talents and ideas with us. You never fail to give me some sort of inspiration everyday…whether it be scrapbooking or as a person.
    As a former desktop puplisher (Quark Express) I can’t wait to start into this hybrid scrapbooking world. Best Buy has Photoshop Elements on sale this week for $69 and I hope to get it today. Your timing couldn’t have been better for the week long column. Thanks again so much for all you do! Keep it up…

  • 9.
    Robin said…

    Thanks for sharing this info. I’ve been wanting to do a week in my life album like the one you showed in Life Artist but the thought right now of a 12×12 is a little overwhelming–someday soon though! So when I saw the “Today you…” overlay my mind started churning. I downloaded the 8.5×11 size and opened it in Photoshop. Resized it by dragging the edges to be pretty much square. Took the eraser tool and erased the word “you” and replaced it with “I”. I’m still thinking but my plan right now is to print 7 of these on transparancies–one for each day. Put my activities & thoughts on the bottom for each day, maybe a picture(s) or receipt or something else in the top portion and make a mini book. I’m also thinking of including chipboard pages in between the transparancies so I can include more “stuff.”
    Thanks again for the inspiration. I love the 4×6 overlays too and plan on printing some for journaling blocks!

  • 10.
    Melissa said…

    OMGoodness… just when I think your blog can’t possibly get any cooler… IT DOES.
    Thank you so much!!

  • 11.
    Becky said…

    Wow – you always have such great ideas! One thing about the world of digi is that I’m just not very creative when it comes to the use of the elements that I buy. Thanks for all of these tips. :) Becky

  • 12.
    Kim H. said…

    Those must be pictures of your new niece. She is gorgeous.

  • 13.
    Judy said…

    Ali…I LOVE these!!! Do you have to have Photoshop in order to use them? I currently do not have that program and was wondering if there is ahy other program that you can use them with? Thank you, so much!! Judy

  • 14.
    Michelle said…

    You always amaze me with your never ending stream of fantastic ideas!
    The printed 4X6 journalling blocks in a travel album is such a great idea.

  • 15.
    sue Treiber said…

    I love the album and am itching to make something like it!
    I also love that you used frogs as a photo stand!

  • 16.
    Sarah Doyle said…

    I love these Ali! I have to buy these;) I especially love the set you made for 365 project people like me. I want to use those overlays somehow in my completed book for 2008! Thank you for sharing how to get the most out of these.. really helpful:)

  • 17.
    Emily Morelli said…

    You are fantastically helpful! Love these.

  • 18.
    Donna. said…

    I Love those overlays!!! I am looking forward to getting them. Thans so much for your inspiration!

  • 19.

    Lovely! I will be linking to this in my hybrid scrapbooking roundup tomorrow on my blog.

  • 20.
    Monica Humphrey said…

    I love these. Great ideas as usual

  • 21.
    Lauren said…

    Oh boy… yum yum yummy!!!!

  • 22.
    Tamara said…

    You are toooooo smart!
    I am motivated to take out my PS and start it up , to see if I could do the same thing. Are the overlays somewhere where we can find them?

  • 23.
    Nikki said…

    Hi Ali,
    You have the neatest ideas and I’m so grateful that you take the time to share them with the world. Every morning I look forward to a new post from you. You give me the itch to create and you push me to continue to evolve. Thank you for being you!!!

  • 24.
    Sally said…

    Wow, I love your ideas! Keep them coming!

  • 25.
    christine_h said…

    Wow.. best use of overlays EVER ;) Haha thanks for the inspiration, as always Ali!!! I’m off to travel again, hope to make a kickass minibook with your overlays when I get back! :)

  • 26.
    Molly said…

    these posts are getting me all fired up to make something. I love your entire line at designer digitals and really like the immediacy of receiving my new goodies. Thanks, Ali.

  • 27.
    Margaret C said…

    As my 2 yr old is saying right now; LOVE IT!!!

  • 28.
    Brandi Osborn said…

    I have the purchased overlay in my Photoshop Elements, but I’m not able to pull one of the five parts of the package out of its original state. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Sorry for this silly question. You could say I am a total beginner with this sort of thing and with photoshop. Its almost like I still need to unzip the purchased file or something.
    Any help would be great-thanks!

  • 29.
    Ali said…

    Hey Brandi – which part is it? What is the file name?

  • 30.
    Ali said…

    I am betting that the one you can’t open is the .ABR file. That is the file for the brushes…you need to load those into your brush palette before using them.

  • 31.
    jennifer said…

    I am loving the new series and am so happy to see you doing more hybrid/digital techniques! Your digital elements are awesome. I’ve already gotten some but will need to get more. Great projects – thanks for the inspiration! :)

  • 32.
    Miriam said…

    this is such a fantastic idea Ali, can’t wait to purchase your digital elements :)

  • 33.
    Terri Bradford said…

    Bought them. Love them. Love that I don’t have to design these myself and can just print & scrap! Thanks, Ali! Love the simplicity and clean design.

  • 34.
    Miriam said…

    Hi Ali, will this whole series once complete be available as a PDF?
    Thank you

  • 35.
    Amanda said…

    Love these!! I have already bought two sets and have my pictures uploaded to the printer! Thanks for the fun ideas. Today and everyday :)

  • 36.
    annette said…

    Once again you never cease to amaze me with your creativity!!!!!!!!!!! Couldn’t help myself bought them all and I don’t digital scrap hardly at all. Can’t wait to use them.
    Thanks Again. :)

  • 37.
    Crazy Daisy said…

    Wow! I love it! Thanks for sharing this!

  • 38.
    Brandi Osborn said…

    It is the title and journal overlay. When I open it in Photoshop Elements it just shows like I downloaded it from Designer Digitals. I can’t use the move tool to move each individual part into Photoshop. I am truly a beginner so there is probably something very simple I’m not doing, but I don’t know what it is. I keep trying to drag the “today you” page from the picture it gives me onto my Photoshop screen. Is this making any sense? I’m not sure how to explain it.

  • 39.
    Brandi Osborn said…

    It says Photoshop could not open my file because it doesn’t recognize the type of file (.png)??? What am i doing wrong?

  • 40.
    Rachel said…

    I love this series. I’m totally inspired by the 4″ x 6″ album. I can totally see myself making this as I go, especially while traveling.

  • 41.
    Jen said…

    I’m so freaked out by photoshop but I went in and poked around…everything has worked except when I drag my photo into the canvas I created it the photo is HUGE…way bigger than the canvas…and then when I drag the overlay on to it it looks tiny so I guess I’m missing something…HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 42.
    DeDe Smith said…

    You are so amazing Ali! I love your posts! You are such an inspiration!
    I nominated you for the Brilliant Weblog Award on my blog today!!
    Thanks for all you do!

  • 43.
    Tonya said…

    Thanks for sharing all the nitty gritty details, Ali! You rock! I love your style – simple yet stunning!

  • 44.
    nicoleprather said…

    hi i was wondering how you resize your overlay to the picture i have CS3 extended and yesterday tried for two hours to get it resized….i am very green to the digital scrapbooking this is the very first thing i have boughten for digital.. i love your work and you are very inspirational… thanks

  • 45.
    Rebecca said…

    Fabulous! Thanks for sharing!

  • 46.
    Marlyn said…

    Hi Ali- I am still working on finishing my Jessica Sprague class & I am finally getting the hang of all this digital stuff. I love these overlays!
    Thanks for the step by step instructions!

  • 47.
    julis sujai said…

    Great post! I especially found it useful where tou stated.

  • 48.
    Vianna (in Florida) said…

    Thank you, Ali, for sharing your ideas. It’s good to see you in the digital/hybrid world (it’s where I can be found mostly) – and I have only one question, but it’s one vexing issue. When I use a service to print my photos (I have been using Sams Club) I find that the edges of every picture (about 1/8 inch on all sides)get cut off. These are regular 4×6 photos. Do you, or anyone else, experience this, and if so, how do you deal with it? I place my photos on the 4×6 canvas leaving a small white border around them, which fixes the issues, as the border doesnt show and I get everything to fit in the photo. Maybe it’s just a matter of how Sams Club machine is set up and I should try a different service? Thanks, if you can find the time to answer.

  • 49.
    Bre Thompson said…

    Hi Ali,
    I was just checking out the overlays and that is such a clever idea! So this leads into my ridiculous question…what type of printer do you use that allows you to print in white? I know every time I try this it is a no go for me,any suggestions? :)
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  • 50.
    valerie said…

    here is my mini book made using your fantastic inspiration thanks for sharing

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