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How to Use Scrapbook Templates in Photoshop
  • By Kia Lor
  • 06 May 2022
  • 17 Mins
  • Intermediate
  • Photoshop Tutorials

How to Use Scrapbook Templates in Photoshop

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.

How to Use Scrapbook Templates in Photoshop

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.

We have guides on unzipping files and installing fonts if needed.

Step 1 - Add a Background

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.

Change the color of the background layer with the Paint Bucket Tool in Photoshop

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.

Import the digital paper 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.

Resize the digital paper using the handles on the bounding box

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.

Lower the opacity of the digital paper layer after hiding the original background layer

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.

Rearrange the layers by dragging and dropping the layers in Photoshop

Create a Clipping Mask

Next, right-click on the digital paper layer and choose Create a Clipping Mask.

Create a clipping mask to apply the digital paper to the element

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.

Resize the digital paper to fit the element better in Photoshop

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.

Finish filling the entire element with the digital paper

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.

Group layers in the Layers panel to shorten the list

Double-click on the group folder name and change it to something more recognizable.

Double-click on the group name to rename it

Repeat this step (Step 2) with the other template elements and digital papers.

Finish adding digital papers to the rest of the elements

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.

If you're wondering, we used the fonts Market Walkin and Too Cute.

How to Use Scrapbook Templates in Photoshop 26

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.

Add the rest of your text objects to the scrapbook page

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.

Add and apply photos to elements using clipping masks in Photoshop

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.

Our embellishments came from a baby shower clipart bundle, a planner clipart bundle, a banners scrapbooking kit, and a wedding clipart bundle.

Add digital scrapbook embellishments to your scrapbook page

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.

Add adjustment layers to your elements/embellishments

Edit the adjustment layer settings to your liking in the Properties panel. Here’s a before and after of our teddy bear.

Shows a before and after of the teddy bear embellishment

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.

Double-click on a layer to open the Layer Style dialog in Photoshop

Color Overlay

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.

Enable Preview and add a Color Overlay layer style in the Layer Style dialog

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.

Click the color icon to change the color of the color overlay


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.

Add a Stroke layer style and change its settings in the Layer Style dialog

Drop Shadow

Set the color to black and adjust the Opacity, Angle, Distance, Spread, and Size to your liking for each element.

Add a Drop Shadow layer style and change its settings in the Layer Style dialog

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.

Shows the finished digital scrapbook page in Photoshop

Scrapbook Page Examples

Below are a couple of examples of how you can create different looks from one scrapbook template.

Shows an example of a scrapbook page created from the same scrapbook template

Shows another example of a scrapbook page created from the same 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.

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