Use imperfection for that perfect touch

by | Scrapbooking Freebies, Scrapbooking Ideas | 13 comments


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!


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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.


Did you find this post helpful?

We believe simple is not how your page looks, but how your scrapbooking hobby works. We have a free workshop called SPARKED and it is the best way to learn more about Simple Scrapper and start creating consistently.


  1. Robin

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

  2. Jenn White

    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

      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

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

  4. Abby

    Thank you for the freebie!

  5. Ramie

    Thanks so much!

  6. Suzanne

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

    And congrats to the winner!

  7. becky

    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. Lois

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

    • Jennifer

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

  9. gabs

    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

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



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