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Use imperfection for that perfect touch


Many digital scrapbooking fans, myself included, enjoy the level of precision offered by the computer and mouse (or even a pen).  However, some of the charm of traditional paper scrapping comes from imperfection, from that human element. Slightly irregular shapes, lines that aren’t exactly straight and handwritten stories help illustrate that someone’s hands touched this artwork.

While we may be pouring the same amount of love into a digital layout, it sometimes takes deliberate acts of imperfection to give a page that perfect finishing touch. For example, this reader put her own spin on last week’s template by rotating the squares a smidge.

This post will share 3 tips for adding paper-scrapped flair to your digital layouts.

1. Not quite square. Using the shape tool in Photoshop Elements, draw a square or rectangle. Then, press the Ctrl key (Cmd on Mac) to drag any corner in a slightly wonky way.

2. Location rotation. Rotate an otherwise square or rectangular shape just a few degrees, to make it look like you just glued it down that way.

3. Stitch it messily. Imperfect stitches are a scrapping staple. Use them to tack down papers or elements so they don’t “fall off”.

Bonus Tip: You can also use templates with wonky paper strips to get you there lickety split!


Download link moved to subscribers-only archive.
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And the winner is…
Congratulations Dana! You’re the winner of Scrap Simple #4 and a $10 gift certificate to the digital scrapbook shop of your choice.


Need a creative boost?

You’ll feel more inspired and productive when you try this unconventional approach to scrapbook albums. Learn how in our exclusive PDF guide.

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15 Responses to Use imperfection for that perfect touch

  1. Robin October 12, 2009 at 12:18 pm #

    Wow, I’ve never had a layout used as an example before. Thanks!

  2. Jenn White October 12, 2009 at 1:18 pm #

    You are so SWEET! Thanks for the cool template! And the Ctrl+drag corner thing is one of my favorite quick tips – I tend to like things a little bit ‘off’ too! Guess that says something about me 🙂

    • Jennifer October 12, 2009 at 1:22 pm #

      I tried this morning to use that tip in CS4, but there are no corners to my shapes! Can you enlighten me Jenn? Do I need to add control points first?

  3. sascedar October 12, 2009 at 3:24 pm #

    congrats to the winner and thanks for the lovely new template! I am enjoying visiting here.

  4. Abby October 12, 2009 at 5:45 pm #

    Thank you for the freebie!

  5. Ramie October 14, 2009 at 12:53 pm #

    Thanks so much!

  6. Suzanne October 14, 2009 at 8:57 pm #

    Love that template! Can’t wait to use it!

    And congrats to the winner!

  7. becky October 16, 2009 at 6:30 am #

    Thanks for the great template and I so did not know about that dragging the corner thing in PSE–so excited to try it!

  8. amymom24 October 26, 2009 at 6:54 pm #

    LOVE this template – I usually don’t dl templates since I have so many already, but I just saw a LO on the GSO made with this so I had to come and get it. Thanks, Jennifer! This is the LO that made GSO:

  9. Lois November 10, 2009 at 2:49 pm #

    How do I get to the subscribers only archive. Love this template and gotta have it. Help!!!!

    • Jennifer November 10, 2009 at 3:09 pm #

      If you subscribe in a feed reader or get updates by email, the link and password are at the bottom of every post.

  10. gabs November 10, 2009 at 3:10 pm #

    I am subscribed from the very first beginning and I subscribed a second time today but I can’t find access to subscribers only archive. any help would be really appreciated.

    • Jennifer November 10, 2009 at 3:14 pm #

      See my note above to Lois. The link is in each new post.


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