Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

January 28, 2010

Scrapbooking With Your Computer : Adjusting Digital Journaling Blocks To Fit Your Story

Scrapbooking With Your Computer: Adjusting The Size Of Journal Blocks To Fit Your Story from Ali Edwards on Vimeo.

Today’s Scrapbooking With Your Computer video is 13 minutes long. You can view the video larger by going here.

This layout and video tutorial features my Title & Journal Overlays from Designer Digitals. These are also available in other themes as well: baby, christmas, hello life, celebrations, and summer.


We spent New Year’s weekend on the Oregon coast. Daddy joined up on the first after needing to fly to San Diego for a funeral. You were so excited to go to the little Coos Bay airport to pick him up – you even decided that you wanted to make a special card to give to him when he came out of the terminal. Adapted from a Blue’s Clues episode, this card talks about how much you missed Daddy and what he did on the plane and how much we love each other.

Sometimes I want to use a digital journal block that isn’t large enough for the story I am planning to tell. In the case of this layout, I was able to adjust the size of the journaling block in Photoshop Elements before printing. The video above and the instructions below walk you through the process of adjusting the size of a journaling block to fit your story.

Here’s a look at some of the process images before working with the digital journaling block:

I started with the photo/embellishments/Simon’s drawing placement first. I love circle accents. It’s no secret, I use them often.


I have a couple little containers filled with random embellishments (many of them circles) that I pull out and keep on my table when I am working on a page. For this layout I looked around until I found six (5 circles and one small white heart) that went along with the story I wanted to tell: a circle cut from love pattern paper, a plastic heart, an airplane rub on, a wood smiley face, a chipboard circle with an added “s” and a yellow flair that says “you are sensational.”

Here are the steps in Photoshop Elements to adjust the size of the digital journaling block:

1. Measure the size of the journaling area you are aiming for on your traditional layout. I needed my journaling block to be about 6.5 inches wide x 2.5 inches tall.

Picture 1

2. Go to File/Open and navigate to the journal block you want to use. I am using The Details from Ali Edwards Title & Journal Overlays.

3. Adjust the image size. Go to Image/Resize/Image Size. Change the width to 6.5 inches (or whatever size you need the width to be). You will adjust the height in the next step.

Picture 1
3. Adjust the canvas size. Go to Image/Resize/Canvas Size. Change the height of the canvas to 2.5 inches tall (or whatever size you need the height to be). Use the Anchor section to have the content stay in the top area of your canvas and create the new area below. If you forget this step simply use the Move Tool (black arrow) to move the overlay up towards the top of the canvas.

5. Using the rectangle marquee tool, draw a box around the bottom line of the journal block and cut (Edit/Cut). Immediately paste what you just cut onto your canvas (Edit/Paste). Pasting will create a new layer in your layers palette and bring back the bottom line.

6. Select both layers (the original journal block and the new pasted line) by holding down the shift key and clicking on both layers in the layers palette. With both layers selected go up to the drop-down “align” menu and select “Align Left Edges.”

7. With the original layer selected copy and paste (Edit/Copy and Edit/Paste) the vertical dotted line. I started below the portion where the “s” comes over the line to make it easier. Use the Zoom Tool to see where you are placing the line after pasting. Repeat the copy and paste until you have created a line long enough for your journaling block. Use the Rectangular Marquee Tool to remove any excess that goes beyond the bottom line.

Picture 2

8. Add your journaling on the computer or print on cardstock and hand-write your journaling. Here’s a look at my printed sheet of cardstock before adding the journaling.

9. Trim to fit and adhere. I waited to adhere my photos, etc until I had trimmed this journaling block and adhered it first. The circle embellishments ended up being adhered to the journal block cardstock (rather than the background cardstock). I rounded the bottom left corner of the cardstock, the top left corner of the photo, and the right top and bottom of Simon’s folded drawing.

Here’s a close-up look at the printed journaling block and hand-written journaling:

And a look inside Simon’s sweet little note:



  • 1.
    Cynthia H said…

    love this window into your process – thank you for sharing so much!

  • 2.
    Amanda said…

    I assume you use your HP printer and scan your pages in for sharing on your blog. I’m amazed at the clarity in the scanned image.
    Great story and super sweet pic of dad & son.
    Thanks once again for sharing!

  • 3.
    Ali Edwards said…

    I have an Epson scanner – it’s an Epson Perfection 2480 Photo that I have had for years (probably 5+ now).

  • 4.
    Anilu Magloire said…

    I meant to post this here…
    Can you share where you got the digital stitches and label you used on your blog banner?

  • 5.
    Deb J said…

    Thanks for the tutorial. It really helps to know how to do those types of things.

  • 6.
    tracy j said…

    Ali, could you share sometime how you use the stuffit expander that you suggested? I’ve downloaded it, but I’m not quite sure how to use it. Thanks.

  • 7.
    Maica said…

    Thanks, I’ve got the journaling overlays and this tutorial will be a good help.

  • 8.
    Expat said…

    A really helpful post. Thank you for taking the time to include the video!

  • 9.
    Barb M. said…

    Thanks for such a great post. It is a wonderful gift to be able to make the journaling box. Thanks for sharing and what a lovely layout. It shows the love/bond your boy and husband have for each other.

  • 10.
    Judith said…

    Thanks for replying on the resize issue! I will try it out step by step on the weekend when I have time to play. I love the page too! Can I ask what type of card stock you pring onto? I use Bazil (the hatchy one) for my photos which has a good canvas look, but need to get something for the regular type printing. Any suggestions? Thanks again :)
    Judith (Adelaide!)

  • 11.
    Steff said…

    Not sure if it’s me, but the blog is loading strangely – looks like the main posts are going into the left hand column instead of the middle, blog looks blank when you first enter it, you have to scroll way down…

  • 12.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Hi Steff – what browser are you using?

  • 13.
    Rhonda said…

    Thanks Ali! Love this tutorial!

  • 14.
    Judith said…

    It is doing this for me too – just today – Internet Explorer 7

  • 15.
    Kelli T said…

    Oh how cute!! Your note from Simon! My friend asked me to help her (OUR, lol) 13 yr old with a 12pg scrapbook for school project about his life (lol, the whole 13 years!!) and I am definately incorporating that in it! As always, you are non-stop inspiration!

  • 16.
    Sylvia said…

    Thanks so much, this was very helpful!!!

  • 17.
    katie_g10 said…

    Loved the video tutorial! Straight forward instructions and easy to follow. I know this will be a skill I will use over and over. Thanks Ali!

  • 18.

    Love Simon’s note :)

  • 19.
    Leora said…

    Thanks Ali! Your tutorial is very helpful, as always!

  • 20.
    Gina said…

    Ali, I am so inspired by you and appreciate you so much and all the hard work that you put in to let us into your world and teach us about words and photos and how to put them on paper! Thank you so much, I have learned so much from you.

  • 21.
    amyellen said…

    Hi Ali, I am really liking the video tutorials. It has been very helpful to newbies to PSE like me. I will try it today at nap time and see how it goes :)

  • 22.
    Karen said…

    Great tutorial, so easy to understand. After watching the process, the written directions are so easy to follow. Thanks!

  • 23.
    Anonymous said…

    I have a happy synthetic eye to get fine detail and can foresee problems before
    these people happen.

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