Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

January 21, 2010

Scrapbooking With Your Computer : Creating Layouts With Layered Templates (Video Tutorial)

Today I want to share a video tutorial (see below) that walks you through the process of creating a layout using a layered template in Photoshop Elements.

I have come to love layered templates. They are one of my favorite things about digital scrapbooking. They work so great as a foundation for your stories. I like that they take some of the additional thought out of the design process and let me focus more on the words and the photos.

To assist you in the learning process I am including a freebie layered template that is the same as the one I am working with in the video tutorial. Click the text below to download to your computer:



Here’s a look at my completed layout:

Supplies: Cardstock: Michelle Martin Just Linens No. 1; Pattern Paper: Katie Pertiet Krafty Ledger; Capturing Brush & Template:

Because I am an advocate for not reinventing the wheel I am going to direct you to a previous layered template tutorial for specific written instructions on working with layered templates and a step by step walk-through with images using a different template. The steps and the process are essentially the same. Go here to access that tutorial.

Here are a just a couple quick tips from today’s video tutorial.

  • Shortcuts in Elements for masking one layer into another: (mac) command + g and (pc) control + g.
  • Use the eye-dropper tool to select colors from your photos to recolor embellishments, accents, etc.
  • Don’t forget to make a new layer when you placing a brush design on your layout – this gives you the ability to move it around without it being stuck on a layer with other elements.
  • Don’t make things more complicated than they need to be.

I strongly suggest clicking the link below to watch this tutorial on Vimeo or download it to your own computer. The tutorial lasts just about 40 minutes (it’s literally a step by step through my process).

Ali Edwards Digital Layered Template Tutorial from Ali Edwards on Vimeo.

Enjoy this tutorial and free download. GO TELL A STORY.

For other posts in my Scrapbooking With Your Computer series go here.

Today is Simon’s 8th birthday. We’ve got some fun things planned for him, including taking cupcakes to his classroom. I can’t believe it has been 8 years. What an amazing journey it has been so far.


  • 51.
    alyssa said…

    Happy Birthday Simon!!! Yay for cupcakes!!
    Thanks for the series, Ali. I’m loving it!

  • 52.
    Annika said…

    Happy Birthday to the little man!
    8 years huh? WOW! When I think about where we are going to be in 8 years, exciting!
    Enjoy the day! Every day. :-D

  • 53.
    Cynthia H said…

    Thanks for the download! And Happy Birthday Simon!!
    I know you said you opted against talking about hybrid scrapbooking on traditional layouts in favor of the png recoloring, but at some point would you still walk us through your process of how you choose products for hybrid scrapbooking?

  • 54.
    Carrie P said…

    Happy Birthday Simon, my how you’ve grown!
    Thanks for the tutorial!

  • 55.
    Rani said…

    Thank you for the freebie and many birthday wishes to Simon! Doesn’t it all go by so fast!!!! Thank goodness for scrapbooking!

  • 56.
    heidig said…

    Will you be leaving this series with the tutorials on your sidebar for future reference? When it comes to digital scrapbooking, I’m a slow learner and need refreshers constantly!

  • 57.
    Linda J said…

    Thanks for your generous sharing Ali. Happy, Happy Birthday to Simon!

  • 58.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Absolutely – I am actually planning to dedicate a whole week to hybrid instead :) .

  • 59.
    Stephanie R said…

    Awesome :)

  • 60.
    Annette said…

    Happy Birthday Simon!!!!! Eight is Great…. Ali love the page, it focus’s on the experience of trying something new with a special needs kid, and how much fun they do have when they give it a chance… Need to try this one with my boy…I love how you turned it into a positive fun time.

  • 61.
    DawnS said…

    Happy 8th birthday Simon! Hope you have a great day :)

  • 62.
    Carrie said…

    Birthday wishes for Simon from Kamloops, BC Canada! Have a great day and enjoy the cupcakes!
    From, ~ Carrie
    PS Ali, thank you for the beautiful template.

  • 63.
    Nicky said…

    Oh Ali
    As always you are such an inspiration. Thank you for putting your ideas out there. I am sure almost everyone would agree that your teachings go far beyond the scrapbooking page and permeate into the lives of those that are reading and learning from you. And a very big happy birthday to Simon – isn’t it strange that I can be halfway around the world and have never met any of you and yet feel like you are old friends!
    Thank you again and have a great day…
    Nicky (from Brisbane, Australia)

  • 64.
    janis said…

    Happy Birthday to Simon! And a most happy day to you, also, birthday mom! My kids’ birthdays are 2 of my favorite days of the year, every year!! :-)

  • 65.
    Pam said…

    Great tutorial…keep up the nice work.

  • 66.
    Cate said…

    Happy birthday Simon! My son turns 16 today and I can’t believe that time has gone by so fast. It makes me tear up a little. Enjoy it!!

  • 67.
    Sarah said…

    YAY! Happy Birthday Simon!

  • 68.
    Kim said…

    Happy Birthday Simon! 8 is great!!

  • 69.
    Amybug said…

    Holy smokes, thanks Ali! What a great freebie, I think I know the perfect layout to make with it.
    And happy birthday to Simon! Our little boy who is four just got tested for Autism last week, we’re still waiting for the appointment with the neurologist for a diagnosis but his OT and ST say that his tests point to him being on the spectrum. I love how you have documented Simon’s journey with Autism and I am going to do the same with our little man.

  • 70.
    Samantha L. said…

    I love the template. Thank you. Do you think you will ever do a tutorial on how to create a template or possibly sell a tutorial at Designer Digitals on this topic?

  • 71.
    Bec said…

    Happy Birthday, Simon!!! I am really partial to cute little boys. Mine are all grown up. Hope you had a very fun day.

  • 72.
    Kathi B said…

    Thank you! This freebie has been posted at All Things Digital Scrapbooking.

  • 73.
    Wendy said…

    Ali you are such an inspiration, Thank you! I love the tutorials and the template was fantastic. I probably could have done a better job but I’m tired and it’s late. Here’s my go at it!
    I hope Simon had a wonderful Birthday!!

  • 74.
    Emily said…

    Go Ducks! And Simon… I was also disappointed I couldn’t get nachos at Mac Court during my four years there ;) Happy birthday!
    Thank you so much, Ali, for these lessons. I got a DSLR for Christmas & bought Elements a couple of weeks ago so your tutorials are coming at a perfect time! Just out of curiosity… Do you ever teach scrapbooking classes around Oregon?

  • 75.
    nancy faith said…

    Happy Birthday to Simon!!! Today is my son’s 15th birthday and I am with you…I cannot believe it has been that long. (unfortunately, they dont want you bringing cupcakes anymore) Ha!!!
    Thanks for the wonderful tutorials. I am learning SO MUCH.

  • 76.
    Kristen said…

    Happy Birthday Simon!!! I hope you have many great stories to share about the joys of being eight! :-)

  • 77.
    Jesa said…

    Hope you had a great time with your son on his birthday and that you capture many beautiful memories!

  • 78.
    gudrun said…

    Thank you Ali for this great tutorial. I love your “scrapbook with your computer”-class. :)
    And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Simon! Have a great day.

  • 79.

    Hope your boy had a FAB DAY being 8, yesterday!
    Can’t believe how time goes … my daugher turns 10!! on Wed! *sigh*
    Anyhoo … here’s to a great year ahead for him!!

  • 80.
    Conchita said…

    Happy Birthday Simon!
    Thanks & hugs

  • 81.
    Mary said…

    Happy Birthday Simon!! You are a GREAT KID!!!!

  • 82.
    Nicky from Canada said…

    Happy Birthday Simon – hope the day is amazing.

  • 83.
    Holly S said…

    I have spent a lot of time stumbling through working with PSE over the last few months-lots of time spent online looking for help-free help and I finally feel like I’ve mastered the basics. I love working with templates too. I have a question about working in layers with my templates-> I have trouble with my background moving-I click on the layer in the palate I want to move and it highlights but when I go to move it, the background moves instead. There must be an easy solution to keep that background paper in place-do you lock yours in place? Any help would be wonderful. I have enjoyed your links and the DD forum is fabulous! This week has been one of the most educational on your blog-thank you for that and also the goodies you have given us to work with!

  • 84.
    Linda McCoy said…

    Happy Birthday Simon!!! Great job Mom and Dad!!!!

  • 85.
    Aunt Adelheid said…

    Thank you for this great series of tutorials.
    One request…could you crank up the volume for us oldsters. Please.

  • 86.
    Lisa said…

    I have been really inspired by your blog to get back into scrapbooking. I have a lot to catch up on and I love this weeks topic.

  • 87.
    Julee said…

    Happy birthday, Simon. I love eight, there is so much fun to have at that age. Trust me, my son is eight also!!

  • 88.
    mary said…

    thanks for the template. funny that the top tab says “remember this”; i’m taking design your life from cathy z. @bps and this weeks template said “remember this”
    yep, that’s why we scrap to record those memories. I know exactly what i want to do with your template.
    thanks again and for all the info this week.

  • 89.
    Patti said…

    Happy Birthday Simon!!!
    Thanks again for another fab download Ali!:)

  • 90.
    Cindy said…

    Ali, thanks so much for the tutorials! I’ve been digiscrapping for years, but just got PSE8 for Xmas so I have to re-learn how to do what I want to do! Have a great weekend and I hope Simon enjoyed his birthday!

  • 91.
    Trisha said…

    Ali – question – what setting do you put your camera on to get the inside/non-flash photo without the shutter staying open too long and getting a “fuzzy” photo?

  • 92.
    Melleny Ams said…

    Hello Ali,
    I want to say a huge thank you to you, for sharing your tutorials this week. I have learnt so much and I managed to complete, not one, but two layouts using your download. It was my first ever attempt and I think I’m hooked. Thanks so much.
    Happy belated birthday to your gorgeous boy too!!!

  • 93.
    Chastity Thompson said…

    Hey Ali! I absolutely LOVE your layouts and would really like to start buying some of you pre-made kits. I followed your great tutorial step by step and for whatever reason, my Elements (version 6) is not allowing me to mask my photo into the photo block..even when it is on top of the photo block. I’m using a PC (control + G) but nothing happens. Just wondering if you have had any trouble with this from other customers? Thanks so much!

  • 94.
    GrannyCharlotte said…

    This is awesome help with layers for PSE. Thanks very, very much for sharing your expertise with us.

  • 95.
    josephine said…

    Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you for the free digital template! Love it.

  • 96.
    marsha said…

    HaPpY BiRtHdAy SiMoN!

  • 97.
    Rosie Stonham said…

    Thanks Ali for the template & tutorial. And Happy Birthday Simon!!!

  • 98.
    kathy bolduc said…

    Thank you.

  • 99.
    PrinzessinN said…

    Hi Ali

    Thank you for this great tutorial. I started yesterday and had not lot of experience in Photoshop. Just finished with my first digital layout and I am happy.


  • 100.
    PrinzessinN said…

    You can see my project here:

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