Over the last month I’ve shown you why I think that PicMonkey is a fantastic tool that you can use to create your own free digital scrapbooks, why I prefer it over other online scrapbooking tools, the steps you can take within PicMonkey to brighten and enhance your family photos in preparation for including those images in your scrapbook, and a list of websites where you can find free downloadable scrapbook paper that you will be able to use in your page layouts. And last week I got you started on assembling your digital scrapbook pages by matting some of your photos and pulling them together on scrapbook paper using the Overlay function within PicMonkey. Today we will talk about adding titles and text (journaling) to your scrapbook pages. I will explain how to personalize the text for each of your children, and how to swap out pictures on a scrapbook page so as to make each child’s page unique. Finally I will explain how to layer elements on a page, if you want them to overlap in a specific manner.
Adding Titles and Text to a Scrapbook page
Adding a title or text is as simple as clicking on the 4th icon down on the right side of the page (the one with a “P”) and then clicking the “Add Text” button at the top of the page. A text box will appear in the middle of your page, and you can begin to type the title or the text that you’d like. The font that will appear at first is the default font “Didact Gothic”. To change it, highlight your typed text and then select a font from the left side of the screen. (Note: if you purchased the Royale version of PicMonkey for $33 per year, you will have more fonts available to choose from.)
Then you can stylize your text a bit by rotating it (as I did to fit the ribbon background above). To rotate anything in PicMonkey, either text or an image, just click on it until the items has a box around it and then grab the circle at the top of the box. You can drag it in either direction to rotate the item. You can also change the color of your text by selecting any color from the palette in the text box. You might find it helpful to know that white is always ffffff and black is always 000000.
Good To Know Layering Tip: “Bring to Front”
Many times when you are scrapbooking, you want to bring in lots of images and then drag and drop them onto different areas of your page. And sometimes you want to get that overlapping look- where one picture that slightly overlaps on top of another. If you happen to add your images in as Overlays in the correct order, then you can just move them around and overlap them as you wish. But if you decide you want an image that was added to the page earlier to overlap an image that was added later, you’ll need to know how to use “Bring to Front”.
In my example above, I added the image of my son Spencer (in the red shirt holding a football) before I brought in the image of three of my kids opening up “Card Games for Dummies (a gag-gift given to them by their grandparents!). See how Spencer’s head is hidden beneath the picture of the other 3 kids? To bring the image of Spencer to the front, I select the image, and then I right-click (or on a Mac hold down the Control key and then click) to open up a window. Select “Bring to Front”, and poof- the image you selected will now lay on top of any other image it touches.
Sometimes when I am layering images, I have to play around with “Bring to Front” several times with my images to gain the overlapping effect that I desire.
Adding Text and Resizing:
So now I have created my scrapbook page and have added in all of the images that I want on the page, and even added an embellishment or two (check out the holly sprig along the bottom!), and it is time for me to add some text- to tell the story of the day so that years (or weeks!) from now I will be able to read over some of the details from this day that will by then have escaped my memory. The first thing I usually do is add an Overlay to my page that is in some sort of a shape- it can be a geometric shape or a label shape, but something that my text will lay on top of, so it can stand out on the page and easily be read. (And if you are unsure of how to add Overlays, please see my last post on assembling a scrapbook page).
After the overlay is in place, click on the “P” icon to add text, and then begin to type the text. When you are done, highlight your text and select your font from the left hand column. You can then decide if you want to center your text (you can select that in the text pop-up box), and/or change the color of the text. Then you will want to re-size it by clicking on the box that surrounds your text and dragging and dropping it into place over your background. You can make it larger to fit the label or smaller, as is needed.
Making Pages Unique to Each Family Member
Way back in Part 1 of this series, I explained that one of the reasons that I love to use PicMonkey for scrapbooking is that it is so easy to take a page that I have made for one of my kids, and then change it up to personalize it for another one. In the earlier example, you can see that I created a Christmas page for my daughter Charlotte- she was in most of the pictures on the page, and the text talked about her experience on Christmas morning, outlining the gifts that she received. Now I would like to take that same page, and change it up just a little so that it is unique for my son Kyle. This is so simple to do- as long as you understand one key “rule” about PicMonkey.
*As long as you are working with a page in PicMonkey- you can make changes. This is true even if you have saved the page you are working on- as long as the page remains open on your computer, you can remove elements from the page, you can change text, you can move things around etc. But as soon as you save your page and then close that PicMonkey window, the page becomes “flattened”, and when you reopen it- it is a single image, no longer composed of components that can be moved around.*
So, the key is- if you want to create a scrapbook page and then create different versions of that page- just make sure you do it all on one day- without closing the PicMonkey window you are using. As long as that window is open, the elements can be changed! (I am hoping that this makes sense!)
So in this example, I took the photo of Charlotte holding her new earrings in the bottom right hand corner of the page, clicked on it to select it and then pressed the delete key on my keyboard. Now it is gone. Using the Overlay icon and Your Own button, I opened up an image of Kyle, re-sized it, and dropped into the same space.
Then I had to play around a bit with the “Bring to Front” function for the images- first the image of Alex with the truck, then the image of Spencer and the football, then the holly sprig embellishment, and then with the white text background, and finally with the text itself to have the layout assembled the way I wanted.
Next I updated the text- to change the story to be about Kyle’s experience on Christmas morning.
One last small tip- sometimes when playing with text backgrounds, text, and “Bring to Front”, you accidentally end up hiding your text behind the background- and the only way to bring the text back to the front is by moving the background out of the way first so that you can see you text, and then right-clicking on the text, and selecting “Bring to Front”.
I hope today’s tips have you inspired you to give Free Digital Scrapbooking with PicMonkey a try! Next week I will wrap up this series with a printable document that outlines all of the steps that I have described in the last month- so you’ll have everything you need in one handy reference sheet to get started!