Archives for November 3, 2009

How to make a template

The Freebie post has been moved to Thursday so stay tuned Thursday for some more freebies!

Angela asked in the forum if we could do a tutorial on how to make templates, so today I am going to attempt to show you all how to make a template.  I will be using Photoshop CS3 but my steps will apply to all programs that use layers.  So you will be able to use this tutorial (with a little adjusting) to Paint Shop Pro, Photoshop, Phothshop Elements,, Gimp and other programs like those.

First you need to decide what kind of layout you want to make.  Do you want to make a 12×12 or an 8.5×11?  I am going to do this tutorial in 12×12 but again you can adjust to make yours work for an 8.5×11 if you would rather.  So now that you know your size go ahead and make your blank canvas remembering to set it at 300 dpi for print quality.  So my blank canvas will be 12 inches by 12 inches (3600 pixels X 3600 pixels) at 300 dpi (pixels/inch).  Now pick a gray color and fill in that layer with your fill bucket.  This will be your background.  To make my blank canvas I go to file, new, and then a box pops up with my dimensions on it.  It will look something like this.


I think I might have gotten ahead of myself.  Although you can make a great template from scratch, it might be easier for first timers to choose a LO that they really like and use it as a guide.  So go ahead and pick a LO of your own that you really like.  I will wait…lol.  Ok now you are going to copy the look of this LO.  I am going to use this LO to make my own template.


Now that I have a LO picked out I can get back to my template.  Every LO is going to have a background so your first step is still ok.  Now depending on the LO that you picked out will determine what you do next.  Most cases you are going to want to plot out where the photos are going to go.  Mine has the one blended into the background (That I will leave up to the person using the template of course) and then a mix and match of pictures and papers.  So I will plot out those squares.  They have a slight curve on the edges so I am going to use a shape for these.  If yours is a circle, square or rectangle you can just use your marque tool.  I will show you both ways.

Keep in mind that each shape will be on it’s own layer, and each layer should be named so the person using your template will know just by looking at the layers where everything goes.

Make a new layer, pick your shape or shape marque (first I will do a marque).  Make your selection and if you are using the marque, fill in the selection with another gray color (different than your background gray color).


Notice how I have made a new layer, set my shape with the marque, filled it in with a different gray, and named my layers.  Now if you have that same shape repeated in your LO like I do, you can duplicate that layer and drag those boxes around the page.  Now the cool thing about CS is that you can use these cool guide lines.  I will show you that next after I show you how to use a shape.

My papers and pictures have rounded edges so I am going to use a shape now.  Pick out your shape.


Now hold the shift key and drag it out.  Shift key holds it’s true shape.


Now you can see that your shape is a shape so just click on your fill bucket and click with it on your shape layer.  It will give you a pop up like this, click ok and you have your template shape.


Now I have duplicated the image I wanted to duplicate and I have placed them on my LO using my guides.  Not all programs have this guide (PSE does not) but if you have photoshop and want to use it go to View and then check rulers and then using your mouse click somewhere on the ruler and drag it out.  The top ruler will make Horizontal lines and the left side ruler will make Vertical lines.


I also added my drop shadows to the blocks.  Don’t forget to add shadows to your layers.

Now that we have all of the papers and photos placed I want to show people where they can place elements.  I am going to use shapes for this as well.

Alright, I have all my shapes placed now except for my title.  I added a shape for my journal box and all my elements.  Now I just need to add the words.  I need words in the journal box to show were to journal.  And I need a big title for the big title.  Here’s what it looks like before the words.


Now for words.  Not everyone has the same font so we are going to want to turn the font layers into images.  First select your text tool and write your words.  They are just going to say things like “Title” “Big Title” “journal, journal, journal, journal” and so on.


As you can see the text layers are still in text form, but like I said before not everyone has the same fonts as you so we are going to turn those text layers into image layers.  Create a new layer below the text layer, select both layers and right click on the blank layer, now “merge layers” don’t merge visible because it will merge all your layers and you won’t be happy.  Of course there is always undo lol.

Template - 9

Now I can add a drop shadow to my title and my template is finished.  I hope you found this tutorial helpful!

Template Finished

I know that car looks so out of place lol but I couldn’t find a toilet and I wanted a big and wide element place holder.

If you would like to share your template please upload them into the Ginger Scraps gallery, under the section for Blog Challenges, and in the “credits” area just put the 4shared link so we can snag it!  You can download mine by clicking on the preview below.