Favorite Computer Techniques for Scrapbooking

by Kelly Purkey

After investing in a shiny new MacBook Pro last summer, it's now become my new best friend.  I love being able to use it to enhance my scrapbooking!  And, now that I am able to use Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, I am constantly finding myself learning lots of new techniques, too.


Kelly Purkey Carnivale layout

Carnivale by Kelly Purkey. Supplies Cardstock, buttons, stickers and pen: American Crafts; Patterned paper: Heidi Grace Designs (stripe, green) and October Afternoon (yellow); Rub-ons: Heidi Grace Designs; Software: Adobe Photoshop CS3; Digital frame: Made in France by Sande Krieger; Punch, circle cutter and adhesive: Fiskars; Font: Filosofia.


For my Carnivale layout, I used three of my favorite techniques in Photoshop that are quick and easy. Read on to learn more about these go-to computer techniques:

Adjust Photo Lighting with Color Curves

One of my favorite go-to techniques is editing my photos in Photoshop. Adjusting the curves of a photo is such a simple way to make a good photo even better. In this layout, my focal-point photo was a bit dark, because the photo was taken in a dimly lit restaurant. To lighten the photo, I opened the curves dialog box to adjust the highlights and shadows a bit.


Screen shot

To adjust curves using Photoshop Elements:

1. Go to Enhance > Adjust Color > Adjust Color Curves

2. Click on one of the styles at the left of the dialog box or click and hold on the sliders in the center of the screen to adjust your photo to your liking. Notice the adjustments taking place in the after portion of the screen.

3. Click on OK to apply the changes.

Place a Frame on a Photo

Adding a frame to my photo helps it stand out a bit more on my page (and also adds character to the photo). There are so many digital frames on the internet to choose from-go download a few!


Kelly Purkey screen shot

To add a frame to a photo using Photoshop Elements:

1. Open your photo in Elements, and open your digital frame.

2. Click and drag your digital frame down to your photo in the project bin. The frame appears as a new layer in the layers palette.

3. To resize the frame to fit your photo, go to Edit > Transform (or press Ctrl+T) and drag the outer corner over your photo until the frame fits.

*These instructions also work using Photoshop Elements

Use Type in a Shape

The last computer technique I used on my Carnivale layout was using type in a shape. Applying type in different shapes (this is called typing on a path) is a fun way to add even more interest to my pages.


Screen shot

To type on a path using Photoshop Elements:

1. Download a text path from the web and open the file in Photoshop Elements.

2. Select the Horizontal Type tool and double click to select the text.

3. Type your text and print onto cardstock.


*In Adobe Photoshop, users can also create their own text paths. To create your own text path using Adobe Photoshop, follow these steps:

1. Select the Ellipse tool and click and drag on a new document to create your circular shape.

2. Select the Type on a Path tool (nested with the regular type tool) and click directly on the outline of the circle.

3. Type your text, and the text will follow the shape of the circle.


What are some of your favorite computer techniques? Leave a comment and let me know--I'm always looking for good ones!



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Adding a frame
Thank you so much for the great instructions for adding frames. I am finally learning how to use the layers! So fun!
Text Path
Thanx for the text path how to...I will deffo give it a go!
love your layout
thanks for the computer tips! I didn't know how to use the type on path tool. now i do!
Favorite Computer Techniques
I could not find this article or layout in the May 2009 issue. Did anyone else?
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