I am always on the look out for tricks and tips to help my digital scrapbooking to look more realistic.  Today I’d like to share with you one I have been practicing recently.  It has to do with stamps that cross over the edge or papers or elements.

Let me start by trying to explain the concept I’m getting at.  Take a look at this close-up of my title (where the red arrow points to):



Do you see how my photo is shadowed to look like it sits a bit above the green photo mat layer?  Now imagine that this was a physical photo and paper mat instead of digital, and that I took a letter stamp and stamped it over the photo and mat.  As I push down with the stamp the photo pushes tight up against the mat so that the stamp makes a mark directly onto both.  Then as I pick up the stamp, the photo lifts back up a bit off the mat paper.  This makes the part of the stamp that is on each separate a bit.

Digitally if I were to put the alpha stamp over top of the photo and mat layers it would not look like this.  Instead, it would be smooth over both, not taking into account the lift off the page.


Can you see how static and unrealistic this looks?  So here are the steps for how to create a more realistic look.

1. Add your stamps to a layer above the pictures and papers you want to stamp on.  In my case I added all the letters and merged them together to make one stamp layer.

2. Duplicate the stamp layer and place a copy of the stamp in the layer just above each thing you want to stamp on.  See the layers palette in my first image.  Do you see how I have an alpha stamp layer about the green mat and another above the photo layer.  Clip the stamp to each layer.

3. Click on one of the stamp layers and use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move it over a tiny bit.

4. For an added trick you may want to cut away a bit of the stamp.  I did this by clicking on the stamp layer just above my green mat.  Then I selected the area of the picture by holding down the ctrl/command key and clicking on the photo icon in the  layers palette.  (Note: You want to click right on the little icon image of the photo in the layers palette and then you will get the “marching ants” or dotted lines around the area of the photo on your layout.)  Then I went to “Edit – Cut” to cut away the part of the stamp that was in that space.  Then I could move that stamp layer down a click or two and show a bit of a gap in the stamp just under the picture.

And that is it!  If this all sounds a bit confusing to you, don’t worry.  I challenge you to open up your scrapbooking program and try to work through it step by step.  I bet you can figure it out.  🙂

So that you can see the bigger picture, here is my completed layout:


It was made using this fabulous kit by Shawna and Traci.


Thanks for following along on this Tidbit Tuesday!