Discover how to use scrapbook templates in Photoshop with this in depth tutorial.
Using scrapbook templates in Photoshop makes scrapbooking easy and fun! When compared to traditional scrapbooking, it's much quicker and still looks incredible! Scrapbook templates make it easy to get started. They can be used as is, or you can use elements from them to create your own scrapbook pages.
Before we begin, gather your photos, patterns/digital papers, and digital scrapbook embellishments. We'll be using a six-photo digital scrapbooking template and some cute pastel digital papersfrom Design Bundles. Your files should be downloaded and unzipped to your computer, and your fonts should be installed.
Your background can be a solid color, or you can use some digital paper to add color and texture to your scrapbook page.
Change the Background Color
Select the background layer and the Paint Bucket Tool (G). Now click on the foreground color icon, pick the color you want to use, and click OK. Then click on the artboard to fill the background layer with the foreground color.
Add Digital Paper for the Background
Import the Digital Paper
Select the background layer, so the digital paper layer gets placed directly above it when imported. Then click + drag the digital paper file from the File Explorer/Finder into Photoshop.
Resize if Needed
Click + drag the handles on the bounding box to resize the digital paper to fit the entire artboard. If your digital paper is not keeping its aspect ratio while resizing, hold down Shift as you click and drag. Click the checkmark at the top or press Enter when it’s at the correct size.
Lower the Opacity if Needed
We want a lighter background, so we’ll be lowering the opacity of the digital paper layer. We’ll first hide the original background layer by clicking its eye icon so it doesn't show through. Then select the digital paper layer and lower the Opacity setting at the top of the Layers panel.
Step 2 - Apply Digital Paper Patterns to the Template Elements
We’ll be using the patterns of the digital papers to decorate the borders on the top and bottom of our template.
Import Digital Paper
Select the element to which you want to apply the pattern, and then import the digital paper/pattern file. Note: the digital paper layer needs to be directly above the element layer. Simply drag + drop layers to rearrange them.
Resize Digital Paper to Fill the Template Element if Needed
With the digital paper layer selected, press Control/Command + T to enable Free Transform. Then resize it to your liking. If the layer is not maintaining its aspect ratio while resizing, depress the chainlink icon in the Options bar at the top, or hold down Shift.
Duplicate and Move Layer if Needed
If your digital paper is too small for your element and is a seamless design like ours, right-click on the digital paper layer and select Duplicate Layer. Select one of the layers, enable Free Transform, and move it over while holding Shift.
Repeat until the element is completely filled. We then copied those layers and moved the copies to the top border. See our image below for a better understanding.
Create and Rename Group if Needed
If you have a lot of layers, select the layers that work together. Then click the Create a new group icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to put all the layers into a group folder and condense the list of layers.
Double-click on the group folder name and change it to something more recognizable.
Repeat this step (Step 2) with the other template elements and digital papers.
Step 3 - Add Text
Now we’ll delete the text that came with the template and add our own. Select the Horizontal Type Tool (T). Pick your font, font size, and font color in the Options bar at the top or in the Character panel (Window > Character). Then click on the artboard, type your text, and click the checkmark icon at the top.
You can repeat this step (Step 3) for any other text you’d like to add. Our text will say “Our LITTLE World,” and we split it into three separate objects.
Step 4 - Add and Apply Photos to Elements
We’ll be applying photos to the rectangle elements on the template. We’ll import the photos the same way we imported the digital papers, ensuring each photo layer is directly above the correct element layer. Right-click on the photo layer, choose Create a Clipping Mask and resize the photo. Repeat this step for the rest of your images.
The photos we used are part of our diversity collection in the Plus Hub.
Step 5 - Add Digital Scrapbook Embellishments
Import your digital scrapbook embellishments and resize them using Free Transform. Repeat for the rest of your embellishments.
Note: keep in mind layer order when you’re adding the embellishments. The further up in the list a layer is, the more in front it will be.
Step 6 - Edit Elements/Embellishments With Adjustment Layers
You can non-destructively change a layer’s brightness, contrast, levels, exposure, hue, etc., with adjustment layers. We’ll change our teddy bear using a Hue/Saturation and a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer.
Select the element layer and open the Adjustments panel (Window > Adjustments). Then click on the adjustment you’d like to add.
Edit the adjustment layer settings to your liking in the Properties panel. Here’s a before and after of our teddy bear.
We’ll edit the Hue/Saturation layer mask, so it doesn’t affect the heart on the teddy bear. You can learn how to do this in our tutorial on using layer masks in Photoshop.
Step 7 - Apply Effects to Elements/Embellishments Using Layer Styles
Layer styles can non-destructively change how a layer looks, making it a bit more 3D and realistic.
For this example, we’ll be applying layer styles to our bunting banner in the corner. Double-click on the element layer to open the Layer Style dialog. Avoid double-clicking on the layer name or thumbnail.
Make sure the Preview checkbox is checked to see the changes in real-time.
If you don’t see Color Overlay in the list on the left, click the fx (Effects) icon at the bottom of the Layer Style dialog, and choose Color Overlay.
Click the color icon and pick your color. Then click OK in the Color Picker dialog. If you’re not adding any other layer style, click OK in the Layer Style dialog.
Oftentimes, actual paper scrapbook embellishments have a white outline/offset. We’ll be adding that to our digital decorations using the Stroke layer style. We’ll also use Stroke to add borders to our photos.
Select Stroke from the list or the fx (Effects) dropdown menu. Click the color icon and pick your color. Next, set the Size for the thickness. Select a Position depending on the element and the look you want. Leave the rest of the settings and click OK if you don’t want to add any other layer style.
Set the color to black and adjust the Opacity, Angle, Distance, Spread, and Size to your liking for each element.
Repeat this step (Step 6) for as many elements/embellishments as you’d like. We added layer styles to all our elements to match the overall scrapbook page better. Our finished scrapbook page is below.
Scrapbook Page Examples
Below are a couple of examples of how you can create different looks from one scrapbook template.
You just finished learning how to use a scrapbook template in Photoshop! Let your creativity run wild and make some beautiful scrapbook pages that will last a lifetime.
The fonts and design elements used in this tutorial are Plus products from Design Bundles. If you're not a Plus Member yet, you can have access to all of them today by signing up for a free month of the Gold Plus Membership.