Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

October 13, 2010

December Daily 2010 | Working With The 6×8 Printable Overlays (+ Video Tutorial)

One of the key elements of my 2010 December Daily are these 6×8 overlays available through Designer Digitals. Below I’ve included a few different ways to work with these overlays including information on how to open and print the PDF file, how to open and recolor PNG files in Word, and an 8 minute video tutorial on working with the PNG file in Photoshop Elements (includes recoloring and photo-cropping information if you want to add the overlay onto a photo before printing).

When you purchase and download this package from Designer Digitals you will find that it includes the following:

1. A folder of the daily PNG files sized to 6×8 (December 1 through December 31).
2. A print-ready PDF file.
3. A preview file.
4. My terms of use (personal use only).


Let’s start with what’s most likely the simplest way to get these files printed: the PDF file.

Double click on the print-ready PDF file to open – for most people it will open in Adobe Reader. If for some reason you don’t have Adobe Reader on your computer already you can download it free here.

The PDF pages include “crop-marks” that will help you trim these pages to the exact 6 inch x 8 inch size. Go to file/print and your print dialog box should pop-up.

IMPORTANT NOTE: When printing the PDF file, make sure that you have selected “shrink to printable area” rather than “fit to printable area” under Page Scaling. This will position the overlay and crop marks in the middle of the page at the correct size. If you select “fit to printable area” it will stretch the overlay and it will end up printing larger.

I printed all my overlays on Bazzill Cream Puff cardstock using my HP Photosmart B8550 printer.


If you’d like more control over how the overlays look, or want to place one on a photo, or want to make any other adjustments, you’ll want to use the PNG file.


You do not need to have Photoshop Elements to recolor or print a PNG file. Here’s how to do it with Microsoft Word:

1. Open a new Word file.

2. Go to Insert/Picture/From File and navigate to the PNG file you downloaded to your computer and select the day you want to work with.

Here’s what the PNG file looks like when it opens in Word.

3. To recolor the lines of the overlay, go to View and select the Formatting Palette (I’m working in Word for Mac 2008). Click the Recolor icon near the top and select More Options at the bottom of the menu to choose a color. Click the color and the overlay should automatically change to that color.

4. Print on cardstock.


I’ve put together a quick video tutorial for those of you who might be interested in learning how to recolor or add an overlay to a photo in Photoshop Elements. You can download a free trial version of Elements here. If you’d like written step by step directions for recoloring PNG files in Elements, go here.

Ali Edwards’ 2010 December Daily 6×8 Overlay Tutorial from Ali Edwards on Vimeo.

One thing to keep in mind with the overlays is that in addition to being printed directly on cardstock, they also work great layered on top of a photo. More information on that is included with the video above. Depending on what photo you choose to use they might offer a great spot for journaling as well.

Please let me know in the comments if you have any additional questions on working with these overlays.

More information on the December Daily project can be found here.


  • 1.
    Jeni said…

    I am reading this post on a demo iPad at a London Drugs in Vancouver. I want one of these. Everytime I am here I always check your website. Love the overlays and this simplicity of your design this year. (of course I love it every year)
    My husband is saying “let’s go”!

  • 2.
    Susan said…


    Will you be printing your pictures off at home or doing digital layouts or a combination of both with these overlays? Thanks.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Most likely a combination of both. I printed them all off already on cardstock to give myself a head start and to see how full the book was initially. I’ll be printing photos here at home to fit in that 5.5 x 6.25 space and will also likely print some photos 6×8 to go on the back.

  • 3.
    Deirdre said…

    Thank you! Can’t believe I never knew about color foreground before—I always tried using the paint bucket to change word png’s and would get so frustrated (like when I realized the dot on an “i” wasn’t changed).

  • 4.
    Teri Mason said…

    I love these. Thanks so much for the design. I am glad you posted the video tutorial on how to use the overlays. I have PSE7 but really do not use it to its full potential, only to sort my pics. Can these pages be made larger through PSE? I am using the Pink Paisley Parisian Anthology binder and do now know how well the 6 x 8 will work in the binder. Thanks!!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Teri – you can enlarge them. In elements you should be able to just grab one corner with the Move Tool (black arrow) to enlarge while keeping the correct proportion. In regular Photoshop you need to hold down the shift key while dragging the corner to enlarge.

    • ….
      Teri Mason said…

      Thanks Ali! I just downloaded them. I will print out this week and if they do not work in my binder I will have to modify my plan. So excited that you are posting about DD this week (it is my favorite scrapbook). I plan to work on it at an all day Crop for the Cure event on Saturday that benefits our county’s Relay for Life.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Cool Teri – have fun at your crop and let me know if you have more questions.

    • ….
      Rebekah Pontow said…

      I have a similaur question – how would I modify in a PDF format? I’m working in 8.5 X 11 size and was wondering if I could still ue these?? Also, I wanted to start my days on Black friday – can I modify the dates?

  • 5.
    Danielle Galindo said…

    Excited to create my December Daily album this year. I was a mere spectator last year so I’m getting a jumpstart and preparing my album now!

  • 6.
    bdaiss said…

    I’d love to know what font you used for the numbers. I’m planning to “play along” this year, using it with our advent calendar activities. I’d love to have my notes that go in our advent box match the overlays.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      It’s called Depot and it’s part of a package of number fonts called Numbers from Hoefler & Frere-Jones. Here’s a link:

    • ….
      Terri Porter said…

      Ahhh, Depot again. I lusted after this font when you used it for some things in Yesterday & Today. Still lusting, but, alas, it’s just too expensive to justify. Wish it was possible to just buy Depot and not all the other fonts.

    • ….
      Heidi Roux said…

      Love the concept!!! am planning to make them as gifts for my SIL (who lives in AUS and is coming for a visit in Des) and MIL. would LOVE the font too but for me its the price x7!!! (live in South Africa). would like to make the overlays 8,5 x 11 to fit the Parisian Anthology album. any pointers?

  • 7.
    Juanita said…

    When printing at home what kind of photo paper do you use? Also thank you for the tutorial.

  • 8.
    Kelly said…

    I am so excited to actually participate this year, with my transparencies more than halfway done! I’m thinking of printing the 6×8 printables on white cardstock, as it seems to pop best with my transparencies. Just wondering if anyone thinks this will give me issues later (getting dirty, etc.) I know mostly it’s personal preference; just wanted to get some thoughts as I make my final decision between white and kraft.

  • 9.

    Ali, I love the overlays, and your album is already stunning. You mentioned in the video that it’s possible to change the day of the week so these could be used for other years. Can you show us how? Thanks so much. I’m always so inspired by your work.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Sure – here’s the basics. Using the rectangular marquee tool (the one that looks like “marching ants” – select the area you want to delete (such as around the day of the week word) and hit delete. This will remove the word. To add a new word grab the T tool and type your word in that boxed area.

      If you are wanting to have a different day (with that same typeface I used) you can open an overlay that is the day you want (say a Monday) and using the rectangular marquee tool again select the area and go to Edit/Copy and then Edit/Paste to paste it onto the overlay you want.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Also, here’s a video tutorial I did in the past about adjusting journaling blocks/overlays that might be helpful:

    • ….

      Awesome! Thanks so much, Ali. Oh, and I previously started a December Daily album and was excited to get it back out and DO IT for this year. I thought, “I’ll just take the 2009 off and change it to 2010, so I can use what I already have!” Imagine my surprise that it actually said 2008! This year I’m doing it. For sure! Thanks again for all your inspiration.

  • 10.
    Cathy said…

    Thank you so much for all of this information. I took your yesterday and today class and loved it. You have inspired me to do DD this year. P.S. I love the tutorials.

  • 11.
    Lana said…

    Thank you for the tutorials, Ali!

    I have been playing around with the overlays in Elements and have managed to switch the positioning of the number block to the other side – so it sits on the left edge rather than the right.

    This is because I am envisaging having a double page spread of the overlay pages and wanted the pages to mirror each other rather than having the numbers on the right on both pages (hope that makes sense). :)

    I am new to using Elements but after watching your adjusting journaling blocks video, I managed to figure it out!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Awesome Lana! So glad you found the tutorial helpful.

  • 12.
    Terri Porter said…

    Just thought I’d pass this on to anybody who is interested. If you have a wide-format printer and Photoshop or Elements, you can create a new document that is 12×12 and then drag two of the PNG files onto it and then print. This way you can use`12×12 paper (cheaper than using two 8-1/2x11s). I printed all of mine yesterday that way and they turned out great.

    • ….
      Monika Wright said…

      Thanks Terri…we use an Epson R1900 and your tip is great news, TFS!

  • 13.
    TracieClaiborne said…

    If I wanted to use this in Word – could I add text inside, like for my journaling or can you not add to a .png file in Word? I’m too dumb to know.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Yes, you can do that Tracie. After you insert the overlay (following the instructions above), with the overlay selected, go back to the formatting palette and find “wrapping.” Under wrapping/style select “through” – this is going to allow you to place a text box on top of the overlay.

      To add a text box go to the top menu and select Insert/Text Box. I usually also change the text box wrapping to “through.” Move the text box to the place you want it inside the overlay and begin typing.

      Hope that helps!

  • 14.
    digiSara said…

    Are you going to be talking about a fully digi album in a future post? Because I was wondering how to incorporate the concept since we won’t have transparencies in digi? I was thinking you could do it as 2-page spreads, so the left-hand side is a decorated page and the right-hand page uses these templates. Or do you have a different idea?

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Sara – look for a post next week. I made some 12×12 overlays and layered templates that will be available this weekend at Designer Digitals. I’ll give some examples/ideas next week.

    • ….
      digiSara said…

      Awesome Ali! I look forward to it!

  • 15.
    Terri Porter said…

    Ali, I have a question. I printed out and trimmed all of my digital pages as well as the printed transparencies. I am waiting for my order of Hambly Clearly Heavy Overlays. My book is already about an inch thick and I’m afraid it is going to be huge once I add in the Hambly Overlays and the photos. I think I’m a little confused about the purpose of the overlays. I can see in a couple of occasions you have attached something to them, like the page with the acrylic star and the page with the green numbers, but other than that, are you just attaching the thinner printed transparencies to the thick overlays to give them more weight?

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Terri – I only used the Clearly Heavy overlays on just a couple pages. The one with the star, the one with the red frame, and the two that have the die-cut numbers adhered to them. All the other transparent pages are by themselves. Mine is currently about 1 inch thick with all the pages.

    • ….
      Terri Porter said…

      Oops! I misread the product list and now I understand that you only used a few. Sure hope Hambly will take back the eight overlays I ordered that I won’t need. Or, maybe I’ll like them so much that I’ll want to use them on something else. Thanks for your quick response, Ali!

  • 16.
    Theresa said…

    hi Ali….I am wondering if you will be putting anything on the overlays? ….pictures , journaling??…. or will you just leave them alone?….Theresa

    • ….
      Kelly said…

      I’m also wondering if you usually put pictures from the 8th or the 9th, for example, on the back of the 8th transparency (for the days you might put a picture on the back). Thanks!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Definitely Theresa – up above in this post is an example of an overlay printed on cardstock with a photo and pattern paper adhered on top (the one with the bear on the bed). On some days I might use the big area for journaling with a small photo in the bottom area. There’s a ton of possibilities.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Kelly – I’m thinking that I will use the back for the next day (that’s my thought right now anyway). So it will be the left side of a two-page spread for the day (which means I’ll likely add one more page to the front with some sort of intro).

  • 17.
    Nita said…

    Thanks for that awesome tutorial, Ali. I can’t wait to get started!

  • 18.
    Olivia said…

    I am very intrigued by these overlays…seriously considering purchasing them. Curious about how to get them printed if I choose to go all digital. Do I have to flatten all the layers into one layer to get them to print in Photoshop? Is that a crazy question? I know I have heard other digi people say something about flattening layers…Anyhoooo. If you don’t want to give me a long winded explanation can you point me to a good video that would help me with this process… Thanks SO MUCH!!!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Olivia. If you will be uploading the files to a printing service (like Shutterfly, Persnickety Prints, Color Inc, etc) then you will want to either flatten the layers or just go to “save as” to save as a JPG for printing. If you are printing at home you don’t have to flatten the layers and can just print from the PSD (Photoshop) file.

  • 19.
    trisha said…

    I am so excited! I finally found a piece of the white circle paper for my DD cover! Yahoo! It was the LAST one in stock at my local art supply store. So happy! Now if I could only find the overlays. :)

  • 20.
    TracieClaiborne said…

    Thank you for answering my question. Yay!!! I’m so getting these.

  • 21.
    Shelbie said…

    Thank you for all of the great ideas and tips for my December Daily album! I was also SO excited to see your article in my new Scrapbooks etc. magazine!! Loved it. I think I may actually get my entire DD album done this year. :) Thanks again.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Thanks Shelbie! I was excited that they wanted to feature the album!

  • 22.
    Sheri said…

    thank you for including a PDF printable file for those of us who might not be using PSE.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      You are more than welcome Sheri.

  • 23.
    Brenda said…

    Thank you for sharing so much information! While I probably wont be able to do the December Daily, it has inspired me to add some creative touches to christmas card holders I have created as gifts. ( I’d like a tag that is 2×3 that I could add to the inside. Do you have such an item (i like the look of your pages for the December Daily.)


  • 24.
    Julie S. said…

    I have a question about resizing the photo… is there a reason why you resize down before you crop rather than just grabbing the crop tool, entering your 6×8 @300 dpi size and cropping the original? I think I’ve seen you do this on a tutorial before and wonder about the difference between the two methods.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      There is a reason I do it this way – if you have the proportions of the photo locked you can’t enter 6×8 because that’s not the same proportion as the original photo. If you look at the width + height area under Image Size you’ll see a little “locked” icon – that icon keeps the proportions correct (and that’s why I just enter one number and then crop).

      All that said, as I looked at this again in Photoshop you can grab the Crop tool and enter 6×8, 300 dpi in the toolbar to achieve the same effect. COOL – I don’t think I’ve done it that way before. Thank you!!!!

  • 25.
    Maureen said…

    Great video Ali – as always. I’m doing mine as 5×7 as I just got a few of the Heidi Swapp mirrored albums. The timing was perfect!

    I can also see using those overlays for printed travel cards in the future with the dates changed. Sadly not with Depot unless I do a lot of fiddling with your overlays!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Cool Maureen. You can always leave the dates and just change the days of the week :) . I used Avenir for the days of the week but you could use any font you like for that.

  • 26.

    Since you have an Epson printer, and you use Ilford paper, I assume you are happy with the quality? I tried other brands besides Epson in the past and was very disappointed, but my supplier frequently has good deals on Ilford papers. ( Sometime can you do a post on printers and paper?

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Yep – happy with the quality of the Ilford + HP printer :) .

  • 27.

    Oops! Just went back and saw you use an HP printer, not Epson. Where did I get that idea?!

  • 28.
    Kimbee said…

    I love the idea of Daily Dec and tried very hard last year to play along. While I didn’t get far ( only managed 4 all digital pages), I loved all 4 and am thinking I am going to hop on board again this year, love whatever I do and just make this a December Magic album with multi years. Ali thank you for all your inspiration. You really do rock the scrapping world(+:

  • 29.
    Elizabeth H. said…

    I have not purchased the overlays (yet) because I have not been brave enough to venture into digi as of now. However, your tutorial here makes me think this would be a great opportunity to learn and play a “simple” layout. One question I have is can you change the color of the different areas (encased by the lines)? For example, in the picture you printed with the overlay on top of the photo (all digi), the long rectangle box on the bottom left is ‘clear’. If I wanted to fill the box in (say in white) so I could use black or another color font for journaling, can this be done? Thanks!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Elizabeth – yes, you can do that. Select the color you want and then use the Paintbucket tool to drop color into that area.

    • ….
      Elizabeth H. said…

      I thought so, but thought I’d check as well. Thanks!

  • 30.
    LynneH in MO said…

    I love the overlays! This year’s album is a very simple, elegant concept and was just what I needed. I resized my overlays to 5.25×7″ so that I could get 2 on each 8.5×11″ sheet.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Great tip Lynne!

    • ….
      Brenda said…

      I had the same thought, was that easy to do? I am a novice at photo shop elements.

  • 31.

    This year’s standard 6×8 format is wonderful! In the past when I’ve wanted to do DD, the fact that your examples use different sized pages always stopped me cold. It looks incredible the way you mix and match, but my brain just will *not* wrap around that concept for this particular project. LOL

    When I saw your concept this year with the overlays and the cover and the standard size, I knew I could do it. It’s so easy to assemble it all ahead of time! Thanks for sharing your time and talent! And for the link to the font site…wow, I forsee a lot of my discressionary “allowance” going to those people, lol!!



  • 32.
    lee said…

    I am very excited about the daily page templates you’ve designed – what a great and simple foundation to build from! I’m looking forward to printing and working with these, and as a few others have said, I appreciate the PDF option being available (for those of us who still haven’t ventured into the Photoshop world).

    Thanks for the inspiration!! =)

  • 33.
    lindsey said…

    I love your step by step videos. I watch it, stop, and try it on my own photo along with you. Thank you so much for taking the time to educate!

    Question: Your photo was nicely composed where you only cropped out from the left and right, if I want to crop from top and bottom as well should I do that before or after cropping it to the 6×8 size? Not sure if my question is clear.

    Thanks again for your amazing inspiration and education!

  • 34.
    Rebekah Pontow said…

    *sigh* I have yet to venture very far into the dehi world of scrapbooking. I use my printer to print my journaling and sometimes make a cute little template around the journaling in Word. I have little time to work on learning this stuff and scrap during nap times and after bed times. I’m afraid to even start!

    I love the template and would love to use it – any tips, or helpful words to get me started?

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Rebekah – the PDF file is really simple to use. Just open and print on cardstock just like you were printing out your journaling. That’s really all there is to it – no need to fear!

  • 35.
    Rosanne K said…

    Hopefully, these are quick questions. I have 2 questions about the size 6×8 (which I absolutely love). 1) Using a 12×12 sheet of cardstock, you can get 2 6×8 pages out of it…how can I do this while using my printer and the PDF file? I can feed a 6×12 sheet through, but how do I resize the pdf so it doesn’t mess up the sizing…I know, beginner question. 2) I am super new to PSE8, just scraping the surface…I need to print pics at like Costco…they don’t print a 6×8 or 5.5×6.25…I would like to be able to make a print…say 8×12, with a bunch of my pics the right size…could you point me in the right direction?
    Thanks for all the info on your album! I am super excited to start.

  • 36.
    Linn said…

    No questions, just a comment…this will be my third or fourth year doing the December daily and my books are always totally different from yours but inspired by your ideas. This year, thanks for posting about your album so early…I’m actually going to do mine just like yours this year. Transparencies and your digi overlays. Love that! Keeping it simple and streamlined for an easy Christmas season! Thanks Ali!

  • 37.
    Chrystie said…

    Ali, I just wanted to thank you so much for the tutorials you publish on your site. I have been pulling my hair out trying to figure out how to make the overlays and templates work from last year’s December Daily and I finally had time to really dig into it last weekend. I watched your “Remember This” template tutorial and it really answered a lot of the questions I had. It was so helpful and I really appreciate it. Now I am excited to take on this year’s album!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Cool! Happy to help!

  • 38.
    Heather said…

    I have a question about printing the PNG overlays. Did you cut your paper down to 6×8 before printing? Or did you leave wider margins? I just noticed how all your margins appear to be exactly the same on each page and wondered how you did it; I’m also trying to get the most out of my 12×12 cardstock. :) (My printer does do borderless prints, by the way.) Thanks for the help – and the inspiration, as always! :)

    • ….
      Ali said…

      I didn’t cut them down in advance – just printed on 8.5×11 and then cut with my trimmer. To be honest I “eye-balled” it and if you were to see it in person you’d see that they aren’t perfect or exact but good enough :) . If you have a 12×12 printer you could print two at once. Change the canvas size of one of the png files to 12×12 (or so) and open up another png file. Using the move tool, move the new png over on to the first one and print.

    • ….
      Heather said…

      Thank you Ali! I think I’m going to try one page each way and see what turns out best.

  • 39.
    Gerda said…

    can I change the days to German.
    Sunday= Sonntag


  • 40.
    Stephanie said…

    HI there! I am so excited to try this! I am a beginner and was wondering how do you get the overlays to print out in color? What program do I use and so forth? Do you have a tutorial?
    Thanks so much!!

  • 41.
    Allison said…

    I have a question about modifying the DD overlays for other uses. I’m looking to put together a family journal next year, and am not sure if I should buy or make one. I like the ’365′ concept and am wondering, can I use these templates but add more daily numbers (ie. in the numbers box: day 248,for example)?

  • 42.
    Sandy said…

    You are really tempting me to do this you make it look easy. But I just don’t think I have enough stuff in my life going on to find 25 different pics in a row. You know I am a stay at home housewife kids are gone so its just me most of the time. Anyway I may try it and have a whole lot of blank pages. I did one last year with Papperclipping and never filled it up.
    And I really liked your video I have PSE but hardly use it.

  • 43.
    Christina said…

    Is there a way to resize the overlays just slightly smaller, say to 5×7? I’m planning to use a book that size and I think I’d cut off some part of the border and it won’t look the same as the original overlay. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

  • 44.
    Sandy said…

    Well here I am again, I just printed out the overlays I decided to take the plunge and give it a try… what if I have a few blank pages…but I am going to try and fill them.
    Love your video’s I mainly use my PSE for pic storage hopefully I’ll learn how to use it.

  • 45.
    SandraL said…

    Just purchased the overlays and am try to change color in Word but its not working. Followed your example but only the outer line changes color. Help…using Microsoft Word 2007. Thanks

  • 46.

    I have read so many posts concerning the blogger lovers but this paragraph is really a fastidious article, keep it up.

  • 47.
    Katie said…

    I am using the PNG files in another scrapbooking software, I have used your PNGs successfully with my software in the past.I want to use as an overlay, on top of a photo. For some reason the 4×6 journaling cards (DD 2013) aren’t working as overlays. They are coming out opaque, even though I am sure they are the PNGs I am trying to use. Do you know why?

  • 48.
    Meagan said…

    Thank you so much for the awesome tutorial! I’ve seriously been wasting so much time trying to figure out how to do these sorts of thing in elements with no luck, just frustration! ha
    Finally, after probably 30 hours of trying to learn myself I’ve printed off my first edited photo with some PNG stamps that I purchased through Studio Calico! yay! THANKS to you :)
    I would love to see a basics course by you showing the ropes of how to load, and use all the digital bits available in the scrapbooking world on photos in Elements. I love how you and others use them on your photos and in albums. Thanks for sharing the brains! :)

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