Tuesday Tutorials : Katie The Scrapbook Lady : 10 Tips For Templates


This week Tuesday Tutorials welcomes Katie The Scrapbook Lady.

If you have never had a chance to visit Katie's site I highly recommend checking it out. One of my favorite things she does is a roundup of memories at the end of each month (she's been doing it for 3 years now). You can read more about her process here.

This week Katie is going to show you 10 of her favorite tips for working with digital layered templates. Don't do digital? Take her advice and apply it to sketches you use for traditional scrapbooking. Here's Katie: 

I adore digital templates and I almost always start each scrapbook page with one because of how they streamline the whole creative process. The beauty of digital products is that they can be reused over and over again and that is one of my favorite things about templates. One template can be used many ways to result in unique scrapbook layouts every time. There are also a few great tricks on how to change a template around for even more versatility (and most of them are even valuable for paper scrapbookers who use sketches as well!).

If you are new to using digital templates be sure to read Ali's tutorial for some helpful tips.

Here are 10 terrific tips to get the most out of templates: 

1. Use the same template over again in a completely different album, or by making sure plenty of pages separate the layouts if they are in the same album. No one will ever know that you are reusing a template unless they see the two finished layouts side by side. Each page will be unique simply because you use different photos and papers on each one.


These two pages turned out very different from each other, but when you look at them side by side it is easy to tell that I used the same digital template for each one. However, they are placed in different scrapbook albums so I'm pretty certain no one will ever even think twice about the designs being similar.


Ali Edwards template no. 25. Full credits here.


Ali Edwards template no. 25. Full credits here.

2. Don't use all the layers on a template to get a different look. You can "turn off" selected layers in PSE and Photoshop (just click the eye next to the layer to make it inactive.) I decided not to use the red title block from the above layouts and I removed some of the paper strips to come up with this page from the very same template. If it wasn't for the measuring tape along the side of the page, I bet you never would have even known it was the same template again!


Ali Edwards template no. 25. Full credits here.

3. Just as you can take away layers from the template, you can also add other elements to it. Don't be afraid to add a few things to the template!


I loved this template on it's own but I had fun adding some slide photo frames, word art, and some stitching to give it a different look.


Ali Edwards template no. 7. Full credits here.

4. Use a photo instead of a paper or vice-versa to freshen up the template design.

Ali Edwards Mix and Match no.1. Full credits here.

When I replaced the top paper with a large photo, the template takes on a whole new look.


Ali Edwards Mix and Match no.1
. Full credits here.

5. Change the location of the journaling. By using a different space for writing, you can give the template a whole new look. Using the same template pack as listed in #4, I journaled on the template layout around the edge.


Ali Edwards Mix and Match no.1. Full credits here.

In contrast, on this next layout, I put the journaling in 2 of the rectangle spaces.


Ali Edwards Mix and Match no.1. Full credits here.

6. Re-use holiday or special theme templates. Just because a template is designed for a Christmas layout, doesn't mean you have to use it that way. Of course this set of December Daily templates is great for Christmas layouts.



Ali Edwards December Daily template pack. Full credits here.

The same template works equally as well for any other subject. I simply removed the holiday text and turned this into a fun and summery page.


Ali Edwards December Daily template pack. Full credits here.

7. Move things around. The layered pieces of a template can be moved around on the canvas. Grab a shape and stretch it. Or move tags and elements to different locations on the page. It's ok to modify templates, just be sure you mention that if you are posting to public gallery or magazine. I list the template in the credits like 'Ali Edwards template no. 14 (modified)"

Here's a layout using the template with only a few minor modifications.


Ali Edwards template no.14. Full credits here.

Here's a layout using the template after I modified it a lot. It was easy to stretch out the area for the main photo and delete the paper strips. I also moved the background pieces around.


Ali Edwards template no.14. Full credits here.

8. Add more photos to the template. I organize all of my templates by the number of photos they hold, but I force myself to look at them differently sometimes and think about how I could increase the number of photos that would fit within the template design. Or you could remove some of the photo spaces and turn a multi-photo template into a single photo template as well.


Here's a layout using the template in the original format.


Ali Edwards template no.3. Full credits here.

I could have easily added 9 more little pictures to this template but I chose to use only 3 with some embellishments.


Ali Edwards template no.3. Full credits here.

9. Flip the template. That's right, flip it around or turn it on it's side.



Ali Edwards template no.13. Full credits here.

Here's a layout using the template after I rotated the template 90 degrees to the right. (Image> Rotate> 90)


Ali Edwards template no.13 (rotated). Full credits here.

10. Stretch the template into a 2 page spread. You can just use the same template on both pages, or you can combine templates or even stretch out some of the pieces of a single template to fill both sides of the 2 page spread. A good way to tie together both sides visually is to have an element like text or a background paper running across both pages.


I used a template from this pack on both pages:


Ali Edwards Bread And Butter Templates. Full credits here.

I bet you can't wait to dig through your template stash now and find a whole new way to use each and every one of them! Enjoy the creativity that can come with finding new and fresh ways to use the same idea all over again.


6a00d834528d5569e200e5505da6708833-150wiKatie became a scrapbooker when she was only 14 years old and got her hands on a jar of rubber cement and a giant scrapbook album! She was a die-hard paper scrapper for more than 20 years before switching to digital in 2005.

She is an experienced scrapbooking educator having taught at crops, classes, and online for more than 11 years. She has had a feature article and several layouts published in various scrapbook magazines. Her passions include; scrapbooking, photography, blogging, and tweeting. To see more examples of her work, visit: http://scrapbooklady.typepad.com/ and you can follow her twitter postings at: http://twitter.com/ktscrapbooklady

Katie lives in Utah with her husband of 18 years and her 2 children (ages 12 & 15). Her 15 year old son has high-functioning autism. She keeps busy homeschooling her children using a virtual academy online program, and enjoys playing board games and building legos with her kids.

28 thoughts

  1. SusanD

    2009-10-06 02:47:19 -0400

    I love this tutorial! So much great information to digest!
    Thank you.

  2. brandie

    2009-10-06 02:48:37 -0400

    i really like the idea of digital scrapbooking, but i don't know what you do with the pages once you complete them. do you print them out?

  3. Betheroo

    2009-10-06 02:50:20 -0400

    What a fabulous tutorial, and what great ideas for mixing and changing up the templates. I had shied away from using digital templates since I am primarily a paper scrapper, but Katie has given me a world of ideas!

  4. Petra from the Netherlands

    2009-10-06 02:51:03 -0400

    Great post! Very useful information.
    Thanks Katie....

  5. Erin

    2009-10-06 03:14:22 -0400

    Even though I'm not a digital scrapper, this post is incredibly useful for paper scrappers too! I'll definitely be coming back to this post often to use as a jumpstart for my paper scrapping projects.

  6. Nancy

    2009-10-06 03:36:49 -0400

    Katie and Ali, Thank you for the practical ideas. Super simple. I own most of Ali's templates. Thank you! Love this series and the variety you are sharing. Nancy

  7. carla stolte

    2009-10-06 03:46:48 -0400

    I've been fighting it, but I think I may be making the shift to the other side...

  8. carla stolte

    2009-10-06 03:48:06 -0400

    I print mine out at costco (I'm in canada), and they do 12X12 prints for only $2.39! That's a pretty inexpensive scrapbook page. I know there are quite a few more printing options in the States...

  9. Andi Sexton

    2009-10-06 04:03:07 -0400

    Wow!!! This was such an awesome 'top ten'!!! I feel like we got '100' instead... So so so much info!
    Thank you so much:)

  10. Deb

    2009-10-06 04:07:39 -0400

    This is sure an economical way to use digital products. Thanks Katie for the great information.

  11. Lisa

    2009-10-06 04:23:29 -0400

    These are great tips! I'll never look at a template the same again!

  12. faye

    2009-10-06 04:26:57 -0400

    How do we resize templates to 8x8?
    I've been so afraid of digital templates, but the more I see, the more they just make sense. At the very least, I like the idea of using templates to size photos, then print them, cut the photos out for a paper layout and use the template as a guide for setting up the page.
    I'm very excited about those bread and butter templates!

  13. MaryRuth

    2009-10-06 04:29:00 -0400

    I print all my pages out 12x12 or 8x8 at Costco or at www.scrapbookpictures.com... I love how they turn out and I like that they're less bulky which means I can get more in to my albums.
    After being a die hard paper scrapper for 15 years I've gone 100% digital and LOOOOOOVE it!!!

  14. MaryRuth

    2009-10-06 04:31:06 -0400

    I just still scrap with the 12x12 template but then have it printed in 8x8... I don't resize anything and its turned out great... BUT there may be a better way that I don't know about...

  15. Danielle

    2009-10-06 04:54:20 -0400

    I am not a digital scrapper, but thank you so much for the inspiration this morning. I can see using the templates to make my traditional layouts.

  16. ~Ann

    2009-10-06 06:13:24 -0400

    I too love using templates and I love these suggestions. These certainly help keep things fresh. Thanks so much. ~Ann

  17. falwyn

    2009-10-06 06:15:10 -0400

    Some people print theirs at home - I have a crummy printer so I get mine done at costco or scrapbookpictures.com (I have also heard that mypictales.com is good, but I haven't tried them yet).
    When I first started really doing digi it was weird to not be able to slide it into my album that moment. For me, posting to an online gallery helped make it feel complete. Now I don't do that as much, just save a smaller version for my screensaver folder. I also keep a list of pages I've completed, which helps me feel "done." (My problem at first was that you can ALWAYS UNDO, which is a blessing, but early on I had trouble committing. It's better now.)
    Just a note - I've known a lot of scrappers who print their pages 8x8 rather than 12x12. It saves space and money.

  18. Kate

    2009-10-06 09:26:41 -0400

    Thanks for the digital ideas. I hope to spend the time some day to figure out to do some pages digitally. I spent so much time of a computer for work that I still enjoy using paper and other objects in my hands to make a traditional scrapbook layout.
    You might have seen the new CDC study that says 1 out of 100 8 year-olds has been diagnosed on the autism spectrum. You are not alone on the autism journey.

  19. Maureen

    2009-10-06 10:59:36 -0400

    What a marvelous use of Ali's templates Katie! This is one of the best tutorials so far. There are times when I cannot 'see' how a template could be used or the one example might be much busier than I like. Sometimes I can't see beyond what's there, and this tutorial really breaks that mindset. Good one Ali!

  20. Mary Smith

    2009-10-06 14:53:48 -0400

    Thanks for all the layout ideas. It's inspiring me to start my autumn album.

  21. Carrie

    2009-10-06 16:55:40 -0400

    This is so helpful.

  22. Christy

    2009-10-07 06:59:50 -0400

    Can you combine templates with hybrid scrabooking? I have never purchased a template but thinking about i.

  23. Janet

    2009-10-07 13:54:21 -0400

    Another excellent article, Katie. If you're not a regular reader of K the SL, you should check her out. I love her and her blog. I've learned a lot from her--and her instructions and suggestions are always simple, to the point, and right on target. And always include great pix.

  24. amanda

    2009-10-07 14:45:41 -0400

    i have been a HUGE fan of Katie for a long time. Us fellow utah girls need to stick together lol. thanks for doing a bit about her. she's an awesome woman and very talented.

  25. Jenn White

    2009-10-16 14:19:14 -0400

    Brandie - I print 12x12 and 8x8 at www.scrappingsimply.com. Their 12" prints are only $1.99 - I can't do a paper page for that price! I usually save up a bunch and print them at one time to save on shipping. Then I put them in traditional albums. People I show them to frequently touch them to see if they're paper scrapped or not, as I use a very paperscrap style. You should try it, you just might get hooked!

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