Over the last three weeks I’ve shown you why I think that PicMonkey is a fantastic tool that you can use to create your own free digital scrapbooks, why I prefer it over other online scrapbooking tools, the steps you can take within PicMonkey to brighten and enhance your family photos in preparation for including those images in your scrapbook, and a list of websites where you can find free downloadable scrapbook paper that you will be able to use in your page layouts. Today we are going to start assembling our digital scrapbook pages, by matting some of our photos and pulling them together on scrapbook paper using the Overlay function within PicMonkey.
Select the Correct Scrapbook Page Size
Start by opening PicMonkey, and then open the scrapbook paper that you intend to use for the background of your 12 x 12 page. (Remember you can always check out my Pinterest Board (Free Digital Scrapbook Papers) to find a large selection of free digital papers to use.) Click on the resize button and check out the size of the paper that you are working with. Ideally a 12 x 12 scrapbook page should be 3600 x 3600 pixels, but you can go as low as 2400 x 2400 and still be able to get a high-quality print of the page when you are finished.
Open Another Window of PicMonkey to “Mat” Images
I find it easiest to create digital scrapbook page when I use one window with PicMonkey opened to build the page, and another window of PicMonkey open to mat the images. So open a second window of PicMonkey and open a scrapbook paper file that you'd like to use to frame one or two of the images on your page.
Click on the Overlay button in the left-hand column (5th icon from the top) and then click Your Own and select the image you want to frame. You can click on any corner of the image and “pull it” to make it larger or smaller. You can also put your cursor over the image and move it around on the background paper.
Click on Basic Edits icon on the left side of the screen (1st icon) and click the Crop button. A large box will present itself over the image, which you can move and re-size to define how you want to crop your new image, inclusive of the new frame. When you like the way that it looks, Click Apply.
You'll need to re-name your image (it will default to the original name of the background paper you used). Save your image as a .jpg file.
Go Back to Your Page PicMonkey Window And Bring In Your Images as Overlays
Back in your original PicMonkey window, where you opened the background paper you plan to use for your page, click on Overlay, click Your Own, and open the matted image that you just saved in your other PicMonkey window. You can resize it and move it by dragging and dropping.
Continue Matting Images and Bringing Them Into Your Page
Repeat the steps above with the other photos you intend to include on your scrapbook page. But keep in mind that not all photos need to be matted. Sometimes your page will look better if only some images are framed and other smaller images are grouped together unframed.
Some of the free scrapbook sites I showed you last week include matching embellishments in their free download of the scrapbook paper. These are wonderful because they match the papers you are using. To add these embellishments to your page, click on the Overlays icon, click Your Own, and open up the embellishment you want to add. You can move it and resize it as needed. (on the page above, I added the two cute ornaments to my page).
Create Space to Add Text
On this particular page, all I plan to add is a page title “Christmas in Michigan- 2012”, but on other pages I will want to create a much larger text area to “tell my story” and write about what took place that day, why it was special, all of the details that will be forgotten in just a few years (or even months) time.
Since I am only adding a page title, I wanted to use a ribbon background and I will add the text later. You can add all kinds of PicMonkey overlays that are available in the left hand column (some are free and some only come with the paid Royale version of PicMonkey ($32 /year)). I clicked on Overlays, then scrolled down and clicked on Riboons, and selected one of the ribbon options on the menu. Using the pop-up Overlay box, I changed the color of my ribbon to white, and I flipped it upside down, because I liked the way the curve looked better this way. Then I re-sized the ribbon to fill the space I intend to use for the title.
You're Done with Page Assembly! (But This is the Time to Create Multiple Versions of the Same Page)
Your page is now assembled, and you are ready to add you title and text (which I will discuss in next week's post). But let's say you'd like to modify this page a little and make it different for each of your kids- this is super easy to do, as long as you do it right now- while your page is still open in PicMonkey. You can delete any of the images or embellishments on the page, and you can add new ones in as overlays- resizing pictures as needed to fit the modification you intend to make.
But keep in mind, once you have saved your image- and closed the PicMonkey window that it was edited in- then it is “flattened”, and you will no longer be able to move things around, add new elements to the page, or make any changes. (Of course you can re-build it from scratch rather easily too- following the steps above).
The next posts in this “How To” series will be:
- Adding Text to Your Digital Scrapbook Pages Plus a Few Extra Tricks
- Printing and Enjoying Your Digital Scrapbook
And you can find them here on Wednesdays on Momof6!
So what do you think? Are you getting comfortable with the idea of using PicMonkey to create your free digital scrapbook?