Posted by Katie smith / 3/26/2011 / 4 Comments / downloads , guest blog , sponsor feature
Guest Post w/ Susan Godfrey Designs + Free Kit
Hello everyone! My name is Susan Godfrey and I’m a digital scrapbook designer and owner of Susan Godfrey Designs. I’ve been digital scrapbooking and designing since 2003. One of the most common questions I receive as a digital scrapbooking kit designer is “How do I create my first layout?”. Thankfully, this is really pretty easy, but it does require a few tools that aren’t required in paper scrapping. The main tool for scrapbooking digitally is to have a graphics program of some sort. These range in price from pretty reasonable to extremely expensive. There are quite a few to choose from as well. Some programs are geared especially for digital scrapbooking, while others are more powerful and can do more. Whatever you choose, depends on what you can afford and personal preference. The three most common graphics programs used (with their prices) are:
- Photoshop – this is the full professional version. This is what the professionals use for photo manipulation and design. This is a very powerful program. – Current version is CS5 – $699.00 – This can often be found cheaper, but still pretty expensive. You can get a “Educational” version at a MUCH better price, but you have to either be using it for school or homeschool to get that price.
- Photoshop Elements – this is a “home” version of Photoshop, while it does not have all the bells and whistles of the full version, it’s still VERY powerful. - current version 9 – $79.99 – it does have a free trial for you to try it out. You can usually find it cheaper, if you do a little googling
- Paint Shop Pro – this is a program very similar to Photoshop Elements. I’ve used it in the past and created many layouts with it successfully. - Current version is X3 – $79.99 - they do offer a free trial if you’d like to try it.
Personally, I use Photoshop Elements 7. I like it and it’s the program I’ve learned the best. I’ve used Paint Shop Pro and the full version of Photoshop in the past and both work just fine. Although PSE is still pretty powerful for it’s price and is pretty simple to use.
Once you choose a graphics program, the next thing you will need are some digital scrapbooking kits. These can be purchased at stores all over the web, including my personal store. In fact, at the end of this tutorial, I will be giving all Punk Projects readers a coupon code where they can download a FREE kit that I created just for Punk Projects and was inspired by it’s sweet author, Katie! So don’t miss it! Anyway, you can purchase these all over the web in some great little stores. Here are some of my favorite:
- Faith Sisters (specializing in Faithbooking kits)
But you can find many more just by googling “digital scrapbooking store/shop”. Not only that, but you can often find lots of freebies available on the web, just try googling “digital scrapbooking freebies” and you will be amazed at what comes up. The digital scrapbooking community is VERY generous with freebies! Not to mention that digital scrapbooking is so economical! Once you purchase a kit, you can use the pieces in it over and over. You can’t do that with paper scrapping!
Below is a listing of some tutorials for different programs that will help you create you very first layout. These are very good and contain lots of photos to help you along.
Also, here are links to a video tutorial for creating a layout using Photoshop Elements 7.
Once you get your layout finished then what to do? Well the first thing I do is save the entire file in the format of your program. For PSE7 that would be a .PSD file. I do this just in case I have to go back and make any corrections. This file should not be consolidated, but include all the layers of your layout.
Then I save the full sized file as a .JPG file. This is for printing purposes. You want this set to the highest quality setting.
Finally, I shrink the layout down to 600 pixels x 600 pixels and save it as a .JPG file. This file you will want to set at a medium level quality setting (under 200 kb). This .JPG file can be used to upload to Galleries at the stores you purchase kits from. Most stores do have Galleries where you can upload your layouts to display them and get comments on them.
So, you have you layout finished and saved, now what do you do with it? Why print it! There are a couple of ways to print your layouts, 1.) from your home computer and 2.) my having them professionally printed.
Unless you have a printer capable of printing 12 inches x 12 inches, you will need to shrink your layout down to probably 8 inches x 8 inches before you print. Home printing is a good option, it’s easy and instant. BUT, unless you have a photo quality printer, the layouts may not be as clear and sharp as you’d like. Also, you will want to print on photo paper. While you would think that printing at home would be cheaper, it’s really not the cheapest option, nor I think, the best option.
Having your layouts professionally printed will ensure that your layouts look crisp and clean. It also allows you to print your layouts out at full size (12 inches x 12 inches) or at smaller sizes, such as 8 inches x 8 inches or 6 inches x 6 inches. The best place I’ve ever found for having your layouts professionally printed is at an online store called Scrapping Simply. I have found that by using Scrapping Simply that I save money printing my layouts and that their service is much cheaper than printing at home. They offer professionally printed layouts geared specifically to scrapbookers. Their prints are VERY reasonably priced and are cheaper than any place else I’ve found (EVEN Wal-mart). Their prints come out SOOO nice! You can get 12x12 layouts printed for $1.99 each and 8x8 layouts printed for $0.99 each. I prefer the 8x8 sized and that’s what I order. Scrapping Simply does a fantastic job, they are very professional and their customer service is out of this world. And I don’t even get paid to promote them, I just LOVE their service!
Once your layouts are printed, all you have left to do is put them in albums. You can purchase these in a variety of sizes, 12x12, 8x8, and 6x6 being the most common. You can have them framed and even have them printed out as a book (Scrapping Simply does this as well). There are so many ways you can use them without just putting them in an album. I like to display them in my home framed. Also, because you can print the digital file over and over, it’s easy to make multiple copies for gifts. Grandparents and other family members love this!
Well, I didn’t mean to write a book, but that’s pretty much all you really need to know to get started in digital scrapbooking. To help you along, I am going to offer the readers of Punk Projects a FREE kit— ”Geek Chic”. This kit was created just for Punk Projects and was inspired by Katie’s creativity and even includes some of her cute doodles. Here is a preview of what the kit looks like.
How to Get it for FREE!
- Use the coupon code: PunkProjects at the time of check out to get it for FREE! This coupon code is good only for the “Geek Chic” kit and expires on 04/30/11.
- Enjoy it and have fun creating your digital scrapbook layouts! I’d love to see what you create!
Blessings!Susan GodfreySusan Godfrey Designs