Thank you all for your input on my polls! It has really helped me to see where I should focus my tutorials and what programs I should use. It sounds like I'll be doing a large majority of my tutorials on photo editing, with some other jewels mixed in now and then. I will also try to mix my tutorials equally between Full version Photoshop, and Photoshop Elements. Again, thanks for your participation and your help! And now, on to a new tutorial!
I had a faithful blog reader ask me how to create an invite like the one I created for my dd's baptism HERE. It was actually quite simple, and I'm going to walk you through exactly how to do it with this post. I'll be using Photoshop CS4, however you can do the same steps using Elements. You will nee a horizontal photo (color or black and white) and a digital patterned paper that you want to use. If you are new to using digital kits, you can download several FREE kits at Two Peas In A Bucket FREE digital kits. For my example, I'll be using a paper from the Valentine kit they show. You can't go wrong with FREE, right! Just download the zipped file, unzip, and save your folder somewhere you can find it. Perhaps in "My Documents" or on your desktop.
Okay, let's begin.
1. The first thing we are going to do is create a new blank document. For this invite, I want it to be a 4X6 card, so I can just order it from Wal-Mart as a print. So, after opening photoshop, I click on "File>New" and when the little box opens, I fill in the following information:
2. Open your photo by clicking on "File>Open". When your photo opens, it may not be the right size to add on to your invite. In this case, I want my photo to be 4 inches wide, just like my blank document is. To adjust the size of my photo, I'm going to click on "Image>Image Size" or use the shortcut of "Alt+Ctrl+I".
3. When the little box pops up, make sure the little box next to "Constrain proportions" is checked, then enter in a width of 4 inches. The program will automatically enter in the proper height. Then, be sure the resolution is set at 300. Click OK. Your photo may shrink in size a bit on your screen.
4. Now that we have resized our photo to fit onto our invite, we need to drag it onto the blank document. We do that my clicking on the move tool (the one I have circled in red). Click anywhere on your photo and, while holding the mouse button down, drag your mouse over to touch the white blank document. Let up on the mouse button and your photo should now appear on your blank document. When it does, you can now close your original photo. Click "no" to save changes.
5. Simply click on your photo and drag it so it is flush with the top of the blank document, like so.
6. Here is where you are going to open your digital paper. For this fictional party, I chose this fun valentine paper, but you can choose any paper you like.
7. I don't want an entire 12X12 paper on my invite, just a piece of it. So, I'm going to crop this paper. I selected the crop tool on my tools palette (the one circled in red), then at the top of the screen, I entered in the size I want to crop my paper to (in this case, I wanted it 4in wide by 1 in tall - of course with a resolution of 300).
8. Move your mouse to the left side of the paper, click and drag your mouse to the right side of the paper. A rectangle that is 4inX1in will drag out and you will see where the program is going to 'cut' your paper. When you are happy with your selection, click on the checkmark at the top of your screen. It will automatically cut the paper to the size you specified in the previous step.
9. Follow the same steps as in step #4, dragging and dropping your paper rectangle onto your blank document. You can close the original paper, be sure to click "no" to save changes. Now you can drag the patterned paper rectangle up until it meets the bottom of your photo, like this:
10. If you want the bottom of your invite to be white, skip this next step. I, however, wanted to make the bottom of my card the same color as the backdrop from the photo. So, first click on the foreground color square on the bottom of your tools palette. A box will pop up and your curser will change into an eye dropper. Next move your mouse somewhere over your photo and click on a spot to select the color. Or, just choose your own color from anywhere on the color picker box. The color you select will appear in the top square in the color picker box, under where it says "new". When you find a color you want for the bottom of your invite, click OK.
11. To add that color to the bottom of your invite, you first need to be sure the "background" layer is selected on your layers palette (see 1), then you will choose the paint bucket tool from the tools palette (see 2), and now you will click once on the white part of your invite. It will automatically fill it in with the new color you selected in step 10.
12. Now I get to show you a fun trick that you (if you are like me) will want to use over and over again in your creations! I'm going to show you how to add your own scalloped border to your invite using a simple round brush tool. But first, we want to create a new layer just for our border. The easiest way to do this is to click on the "new layer" icon below your layers palette (the one circled that looks like a dog-earred page). It will create a new layer.
13. You can see the new layer it created in my layers palette (it's called layer 3). Make sure the layer is BELOW both the photo and the paper layers. Drag it down until it's just above the background layer. Now select your brush tool from your tools palette. When you click on it, some new options appear at the top of your screen. Beside the small image of the brush, click on the tiny downward facing arrow to the right of it. When the pop down menu appears, click on a round brush. Enter a Master Diameter of 50px, and a hardness of 100%. Make sure your foreground color is back to white (or whatever color you want your scallops to be).
14. Right now your brush is just a plain circle. We want a scallop shape, so we need to make an adjustment to the brush settings. We need to open the Brushes window first. Click on Window>Brushes.
15. A box like the one below will appear. Click on "Brush Tip Shape" (it should be near the top left hand side of the box) and then near the lower right hand side, click the box beside "Spacing" then enter "85%". Close the window by clicking on the little "x" in the upper right hand corner.
16. Move your mouse just below the patterned paper edge on the left hand side of the invite. Press the "shift" key and hold, then click and drag your mouse across the invite to the right hand side of the page. Holding the shift key down as you drag keeps your line perfectly straight. You should now have a line of scallops. You can drag the layer up or down to position it just right beneath the paper layer. Please ask me if this step loses you :)
17. To add a nice finished look to this, I like to add a plain rectangle between the photo and the paper. Again, we will be creating a new layer for this rectangle, following the same steps as in #12. This layer will need to be dragged ABOVE all of the other layers in your layers palette. We want this to appear on top of everything else. I clicked on the "New Layer" icon, and it created a new layer called "Layer 4". I then clicked on the layer called "Layer 4" and dragged it to the top of the layers palette.
18. Select the rectangle (or shape) tool from the tools palette. Drag a rectangle whatever size you'd like from the left to the right. You will be able to resize it later if it's too high or wide.
19. Now you can choose the text tool from the tools palette (it looks like the big "T"), choose a font you like, and start typing in the details of your party just like you would in Word. You can select the color of your font as well, just like we did in the steps where we chose the background color.
20. You can play with it from here as much or as little as you like! I chose the burn tool and dragged it around the edges a bit to darken them... but you could dress it up with digital brushes, stamps, whatever!