How to make a vellum mat for your digital scrapbook page

Weeks ago, I shared layouts from JB Studio Creative Team using You’re Rad Collection. All the layouts are awesome, but there’s one that got people’s attention on Instagram.


How cool is this layout!

I love the photos on this page, but something in special caught my attention. How she added a vellum mat to her background, it makes the layout interesting without looking busy. Her photos are full of colors and details and the artsy paper she used as the background would distract our eyes from them, so the vellum mat was the perfect solution for this awesome digital scrapbook page.

So, today I’m sharing a quick tutorial to show you how to create a vellum effect that can solve some design issues and add a special touch to your layouts.

How to make a vellum mat to your digital scrapbook page

P.S.: This tutorial is made using Photoshop CS3, but I believe the steps are the same for Photoshop Elements (PSE) and other versions of Photoshop.

Step 1 | Open the template or create a new 3600 x 3600 pixel file. I’m using the same template Jen used to make her page. When you’re using a template, remember to duplicate your image. You don’t want to mess up the original file, right?


Step 2 | Choose the patterned paper you want and clip to the proper layers. You will notice the spot for journaling is too hard to read because of the patterned paper. I chose the Hot Cocoa Collection to scrap my new habit of drinking tea.


Step 3 | I prefer to use a solid paper from the kit because it has texture. I resize it to the size I want. Hold the Shift key while resizing to make all sides even. I chose the lighter solid paper from the kit so it the page is coordinated.

If you prefer, you can create the mat using the rectangle tool. It is important to hold the Shift key to make it a square.


Step 4 | If you’re using the template, copy the drop shadow from a paper element to make all shadows look uniform, then paste it to the shape layer. If you’re creating a new layout on your own, add the shadow as you like.


Step 5 | To add the transparent look, change the fill rate until you like the way it looks. As I want to add journaling to my page, I made the fill 80%. If I was not going to add journaling, I would make it lower than 70% to show more of the patterned paper underneath it.


And it’s done. You can use the same technique and create any vellum elements or details to your layout. Have fun!





If you like this post, help me touch others
by pinning the images above and sharing with other scrappers
who could get inspired from it. Thanks so much.

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How to use repetition to give your layouts a better look and solve design problems


With the help of my creative team I am starting a serie of blog posts with tips, tricks and ideas. My current plan is to offer you a little help with design, journaling, shortcuts you can use to improve your layout making process and enjoy your memory keeping even more than I bet you already do.

Our first post about design and it covers repetition. It is a technique I really love and I use over and over again. it can make your layouts look better and much more interesting and it can also solve design problems. The best thing about it is that options are endless. You can repeat photos, elements, shapes, create blockings or increase the depth by layering stuff.

Let’s take a look at some examples my creative team and I prepared to illustrate.


Repeating shapes give the whole design a uniform look and sometimes makes it more interesting. You can repeat shapes on the background – something that we can see a lot, especially in page templates – or you can repeat shapes as an element such as rings, circles, hearts, stars, they usually go with the theme to give more meaning to the idea you want to convey.

rpshape_01ETA: Product is retired.

Experts say you shouldn’t center a photo when creating a layout however, you can see Brandi gave it a totally different look by repeating the shape on the background, making the center of her layout the focal point without being boring. She also repeated elements in different sizes. You can see she gave her layout a more interesting look and also solved a design problem when centering her photo.

ETA: Product is retired.

You can also overlay shapes creating more depth. Emily chose circles and repeated them in different sizes and materials as you can see she added a string, rings, patterned paper circles as mats, cropped her photo in a circle shape and repeated a border with circles three times.

ETA: Product is retired.

I am a very traditional scrapbooker, I like to give my layouts a paper and realistic look so repetition helps me with that. On this page, I repeated shapes as mats for the photos adding depth, and to give it a twist I added outlines around every mat.


Nowadays, it is very common to see repetition of elements in layouts because clustered layouts are so hot! It is beautiful and give us so many things to look at. Repeting elements can also solve design problems as it helps you to add balance to a layout.

ETA: Product is retired.

As a paper style scrapper, I don’t feel very comfortable clustering too much but I love layering, so layering elements is something I do a lot. In this layout, you can notice I repeated the tags under the photos layering them. You can also see repetition of flowers, leaves, rings, staples and shapes. I told you I love this technique.


What does a paper scrapper love? Adding pieces of paper to her layouts – That’s Me! – Blocking gives a layout an amazing look because you can mix and match patterns and shapes and overlay paper on and under elements. The greatest thing about it is that it can be done in a very straight/traditional way or in a very interesting/crazy free-style as you can see below.


Andrea created a blocking on her background using square pieces of different patterned paper and added elements on some corners. Rotating the frame a little to add an interesting look otherwise it would be too straight.

rpblock_02ETA: Amanda moved stores, so the link was broken.

My layout has a totally different approach using the same technique because I didn’t worry about adding pieces of paper in a straight line or in a definite space. I love making layouts like this because I just go with the flow. I go cropping patterned paper and layering them until I get a look that I like. Of course, this gives me extra shadowing work – everything has pros and cons.


Some scrappers like to scrap a unique photo, but if you are like me and you like adding lots of pictures, repeating can help you out. Sometimes you don’t have many photos to showcase the story you want to tell so you can repeat them. Sometimes repeating and cropping them in specific ways help you to tell the story.
Christaly repeated her photo, resized and flipped to give it a twist. Besides that, she repeated elements and used repeated pieces of patterned paper and that makes the layout very delightful to look at.
 I got very inspired by the quote “I love every piece of you” and as I rarely do, decided to make a layout that the quote and the pictures would say it all. However, I didn’t have a photo of each piece of my daughter so I repeated the photo and cropped it in specific places to show my daughter’s pieces. You can notice I used the blocking and other repetitions in this layout also. – I told you I love this technique.
Another great idea is to repeat a photo and leave only one colored or vice-versa. It may give a more emotional background to your story.


I love using repetition to give balance to a layout. I use elements such as ribbons, ricrac, decorative borders and/or patterned paper as borders of a page, I usually add them on top/bottom or right/left edges.

rpborder_01ETA: Neia moved stores and the link is broken.

In this layout I added the same ricrac and ribbon on the top and bottom edges just by duplicating and rotating them. As easy as it can be.

rpborder_03ETA: Product is retired.

And we can do that not only on the edges of a page. In this layout you can see a small scalloped border repeated on the left edge, on the right side near the edge and also on the bottom edge. Repeated framed photos and mats in different sizes also give balance.


As you can see in this layout made by Edna, everything creates balance. There are square blocks in straight lines centered in a bigger block, there are repeated frames over some blocks and they contrast with the others. She added the same patterned paper in the first block and the last one. She repeated the photos and flipped contrasting again and added little stars to the left and right edges.

I hope you like this first post and learn from it. If you have a layout using any of the techniques or if you use any of them to create a new page. Leave a link to your layout in the comments and I will leave you some love and also give you a special $2 coupon to JB Studio designs.

Wanna find more inspiration, click here.


If you like this post, help me touch others
by pinning the images above and sharing with other scrappers
who could get inspired from it. Thanks so much.

Remember to sign up for my newsletter to get the latest from the blog and the shop and all positive vibes I can send your way. Besides that, you’ll also get a quick guide to choose your word of the year. Subscribe here.