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Make Your Own Digital Scrapbook and Craft Papers in Photoshop

They say that a quilter can never have enough fabric. Well, a digital crafter or scrapbooker can never have enough paper and embellishments One of the easiest and fun projects that you can do in PhotoshopR is to create your own digital scrapbooking papers using the built-in filters. Once you create the papers, you can use them as a background for your digital scrapbook page or as a starting point for other craft projects. In this tutorial, we will make some background papers.

  1. Set up a new document that is 8 1/2 x 11 (or 12 x 12) inches, depending on your preference. If you plan to print the paper or the finished scrapbook page on your ink jet printer, set the resolution to 300 ppi. Otherwise, a resolution of 72 will do fine.

  2. In the Layers palette, right-click on the Background layer and choose Layer From Background from the pop-up menu. In the New Layer dialog box, name this layer "Base Color".

  3. We will now set the Foreground and Background colors in the Toolbox. If you have a certain project that you wish to create papers for, choose two colors from the color scheme for that project. For the example, I have set the Foreground color to dfcdb1 and the Background to bba786.

  4. We are ready to create our base color. Use the Paint Bucket tool to fill the layer with the Foreground color and the click Filter, Noise, Add Noise to add a little texture to the solid color.

    Variation 1 From the Menu bar, click Filter, Render, Clouds to create a marbled effect.

    Variation 2 Use the Foreground and Background colors to create a gradient. Click on the Gradient tool (stored under the Paint Bucket tool). Set the Gradient Type of your choice in the Options Bar. Click and drag in the image window to fill the layer with a gradient.

  5. Now that you have your base color set, we can experiment with Photoshop's built-in filters. From the Menu Bar, click Filter, Filter Gallery to open the Filter Gallery window. You will find many filters divided into categories including Artistic, Brush, Strokes, Distort, Sketch, Stylize and Texture. My favorites are Artistic, Sponge or Palette Knife and Sketch, Halftone Pattern. You can use the Slider controls to the right of the filter list to fine tune each filter effect.

    If you are using a 300 ppi resolution, it may take a few seconds for the preview to appear in the Preview window at the left.

  6. When you find a filter that you wish to use, click OK to apply the filter to the base color layer. Save your new paper in the default Photoshop .psd format, so that it will be ready to use in your next project.

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