Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

March 9, 2011

12×12 Photo Background | Digital Scrapbook Layout

Click to view larger.

A couple ideas to consider:

1. Use a photo to fill your entire background. I’ve done this a few times in the past and I love it. Here’s another recent one that’s a traditional paper scrapbook layout (includes a how-to) which could be easily translated to digital.

2. Take an element, such as a tag, and mask a photo inside. The lower tag shown in the layout above is simply one of the Awakening Tags with a photo masked into it.

3. Add elements on top of other elements to create something new. I masked the crayon-drawn heart onto the middle tag to create a new design.

4. Using the eye-dropper tool take color from your photo and then repeat it two more times. I took a red color from Anna’s boots in the bottom photo tag and recolored the crayon-drawn heart and the arrows on the long vertical word art.

5. Erase stuff to make it work. I erased the bottom portion of one of the journal blocks from my Story HandDrawn package because I just wanted to use just the word art. Don’t be afraid to erase (make friends with saving and with undoing). Also don’t forget that you can rotate things. I rotated the “remember this lovely little story” and adjusted it to be the same width as the tags so that they create a nice straight column along the right side.

6. Sometimes the story is short. Hooray! I added just a bit of journaling onto the masked photo tag that references the date, place and why we were there.


TAGS | AE Awakening Tag Collection
WORD ART | AE This One (coming this weekend), AE Outline Moments, AE For The Love Of Love, AE Story HandDrawn Journal Blocks
STITCHING | Anna Aspnes StraightLine Stitched White No.2

Interested in getting started with digital scrapbooking or learning more about using your computer for telling your stories? Check out my list of posts and video tutorials on my Getting Started With Digital Scrapbooking page. All video tutorials can also be found in my Video Tutorial category archive or check them all out together on my Vimeo channel.


  • 1.
    Shannan said…

    It’s great, I love these kinds of layouts.

  • 2.
    Beth said…

    What a great layout! I love how you masked the photo over the tag! Great idea.

  • 3.
    Kerry said…

    Love this fantastic xx

  • 4.
    Rosa said…

    L.O.V.E. this!

  • 5.
    Alexandra said…

    so fabulous!
    You may have already answered this somewhere along the way but…
    do the tags match up with any particular paper punch?? I’d love to be able to punch them out.

  • 6.
    Tina J. said…

    ADORABLE! I can’t imagine having only a boy for so long and then adding a pink, frilly person to the mix! It’s awesome!

    She looks like your sister in this picture!

    Can’t wait to scraplift this whole page. Thanks, Ali!

  • 7.
    dawn said…

    so cute and precious. love it

  • 8.
    Stefanie said…

    Very cute. I like the layout, you can do alot with it.

  • 9.
    Nicky from Canada said…

    Perfect – I love using full photo pages

  • 10.
    Dori said…

    OhMyWord so precious!

  • 11.
    Lee said…

    “Love this” indeed! GREAT layout :)

  • 12.
    Kim said…

    I realllllllllllllllly need to break down & get PSE now!

  • 13.
    Dee said…

    Do you think any of this could be done on the NEW Ipad?
    Just dreaming how easy it would be to get digital pages done during all the “waiting periods” of my day…

    I suppose Photoshop requires too much memory for the Ipad???
    Do you know??

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Dee – I don’t know the answer to that one. I haven’t used an iPad yet so I’m not sure. Any one else?

    • ….
      Jules said…

      I have never used photoshop but do have an iPad – depending on how much memory photoshop used it could totally work on there I would think. Please comment back if you find it works as I have never used photoshop but would definately try it out if it worked on iPad. It would be amazing to be able to put pages together while waiting … makes scrapbooking while travelling a whole new thing!!!

    • ….
      Maureen said…

      Dee, you can’t use the Photoshop program but there is an free app for the iPad (and iPhone if you can imagine that!) called Photoshop Express. And to answer your original question re size, PS is a memory hog. :(

    • ….
      Dee said…

      Today when I am buying that Ipad2, I will quiz the helpful sales guys as I can’t be the first person to ask this? For me it would revolutionize my scrapbooking. I don’t do digital now, this would be “just the ticket!”

  • 14.
    Patricia said…

    Such sweet photos ~ love this! I don’t do any scrapping digitally, but this sure makes me wish I did!

  • 15.
    Susie Leggett said…

    Oh Ali, this is precious of your little Anna. I so love incorporating your digital elements in my layouts, which are mostly hybrid. Sometimes I will purchase one of your layout templates both for the design and also because I love the elements you’ve included. I might use the whole template on a digital layout and then simply pull one of the elements (the layer from the template) and use it for a hybrid page.

    I am loving the ‘love this’ arrow. Is that coming this weekend? Thanks so much for all of your creative inspiration and wonderful products Ali.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Yes – coming this weekend :) .

  • 16.
    Nicol said…

    I love this!

  • 17.
    Shelley said…

    These are great tips–thanks Ali!

  • 18.
    Laura D. said…

    Ali, if you don’t mind me asking, how many megapixels is your camera? I have an 8 megapixel point and shoot and the pictures right out of camera are not high resolution enough to print 12 x 12 at 300 dpi. Thanks.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      I think mine has 21. You definitely don’t need that many to print 12×12 :) .

    • ….
      Gypsy Chaos said…

      Laura – 8 MP is definitely enough.
      Check your photo resolution setting. There are various terms, so look at the online user manual.
      I have a Canon; one unnamed function has L, M1, M2, M3; photos save as low res, ~1Mb, ~2Mb, ~3Mb. The higher the resolution, the larger the file — and the less files will fit on a memory card. Important when cards had 32Mb. With 4Gb and 8Gb cards – so what?

      I use M1; my photo files are 14.4″ x 10.8″ when I initially open them in PSE. I should switch to M2 or M3 since PSE indicates my file has 180 ppi.

      Hope this helps.

  • 19.
    JC said…

    Love this!

  • 20.
    madeline St onge said…

    Love this Ali, what a great LO and I will say it again, your baby girl just makes me smile. What a doll

  • 21.
    lisa said…

    Ali, I’m curious. When you take a photo like this, are you mindful of the open space that will allow you to do a full page photo layout with journalling, or is it a happy thing you notice later. I have been wanting to try journalling on a photo, but there is rarely a space to do so. Most often this is due to the stuff in my house. But I think maybe I need to start watching for scrappable spaces in addition to moments to remember.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Not in the case of this photo, but I do often think about it. I will purposefully move the lens so that the focal point of my photo is to the left or the right – not always with the intent that I will use that space for journaling but just because I like the positioning of my subject to one side or the other.

  • 22.
    Jennifer Levin said…

    Oh my goodness! Anna is adorable in that tutu!! I love this layout. I have yet to do an all digital layout, but I will say you make it seem so easy!

    I have a printer question. I have the HP Photosmart B8550 (I think you have the same or similar). I’m noticing that when I print a 6 x 4 photo (or any size photo, for that matter) and I choose to print “borderless” it sort of cuts off or zooms in on my photo. It doesn’t look that way in the print preview.

    I especially noticed this just now when I tried to print a photo with one of your overlays. It cut off part of the overlay.

    So the questions are: Is there a way to prevent this? Am I doing something wrong? Does this happen to you?

    I hope you can shed some light on this for me.

    Thanks so much! ~Jen

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Jennifer – my guess is that it has something to do with the printer settings. Are you using Photoshop Elements? Try playing with checking or unchecking “Scale To Fit Media” in the print dialog box.

    • ….
      Susie Leggett said…

      Hi Jennifer, I’m using the same printer, HP B8550 and just printed a 12×12 borderless scrapbook page. I noticed that it does in fact enlarge the entire image a bit. My text near the edge of the page was printed to close and I noticed that the photos were cropped in at edges also. This does not happen when I’m printing normal pages/elements and I think it has something to do with the way the printer handles ‘borderless’ printing.

      You may want to try adding a ‘gutter’ around the page. This can be done in photoshop by going to image, canvas size, and then make your page a bit bigger, maybe 12.10 x 12.10 inches. Then when the printer crops or zooms in, you will still get your entire original image on the 12″x12″ print. You may need to play around a bit with the sizing until you figure out how much the printer is zooming in. I typically resize any of my 12×12 scrapbook pages before sending them to the lab for printing so as to not loose any of the page around the edges when the print is made.

      Hope this helps some with your printer problem.

    • ….
      Jennifer Levin said…

      Thank you so much Ali and Susie! This definitely helps. I appreciate it. Hope you’re having a great weekend. ~Jen

  • 23.
    Jules said…

    I adore Anna’s style – you can’t go wrong with boots and a tutu in my opinion :) Just too cute for words !!!

  • 24.
    Debbie S. said…

    Great tips! I have been learning so much PSE from you lately, mostly from Y & T…thank you! I feel like these lessons are helping me so much with the memory keeping processes. And it’s fun! Thanks, Ali P.S. That skirt is FABULOUS! :) Love it…

  • 25.
    PattiP said…

    So lovely. I need to remember to do this more. And to use photo overlays more. I love them.

  • 26.
    Susanne said…

    So lovely!

  • 27.
    Heather H said…

    Another fabulous layout Ali, I just love it. Your little girl is growing up so fast… she is going to be a beauty! :) Also thanks for writing about the customizations you made to the digital products as you were creating this layout. I work so much with paper that sometimes I forget about the flexibility of digital products. :)

  • 28.
    Kris said…

    I just love the look of the photo filling the entire page!
    Your digi stuff is my favorite…my pages don’t seem complete unless they have at least one AE thing on them :)

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