HOWTO: MYO paper from digital photos

One of the things that is sooooo easy to do once you’ve got a digital camera and a copy of Photoshop Elements (or equiv.) is to create your own patterned papers for scrapbooking.  I tend to print mine out to use for a hybrid project, but you could use them for digital as well.

I made this background paper, which I will use for some Florida pages.


I took three pictures at the waterpark, all without leaving the cozy beach chair, mind you, and smashed them together to make that paper.

One is a closeup of sand.


The second, some palm fronds:


And lastly, the beach towel on my chair:


First, the sand.  I didn’t want it to be as gritty looking as the real thing.  And lets face it, this is an EXTREME closeup.  Hey, I was playing with Super Macro mode.  So the first thing I did was go into the Filter Gallery and try out an artistic Watercolor filter.  This is really something you can just play with.  A Gaussian blur might work just as well.

Secondly, I copied and pasted the beach towel picture into my open file, as a new layer.  I selected this layer and changed the blend mode to SOFT LIGHT.  You will see this drop down selection in the layers palette.  It usually says NORMAL.  Change it around and see what you like.  This blending mode just gives my sand some pretty colors.  Almost as if I’d sprayed some watered down ink into it.

Lastly, I copied and pasted the palm fronds picture into my open file, as a new layer.  I selected this layer and changed the blend mode to OVERLAY.  It almost acts like a transparency when you do this blending mode.  It lightens and lends transparency to the layer.  So now we have those cool natural textures going on.

This took maybe 3 minutes of playtime to make.  I would probably add beachy words or lyrics to a summer song to the background, fading in and out to complete it.  But I like it the way it is for now.

Oh, and make sure and save your image with at least 300 DPI so it will print nicely.

Have fun!

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