Digital Scrapbooking, Your First Digital Layout using GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)

Like paper scrapbooking, digital scrapbooking utilizes a combination of digital kits, papers, alphas, stamps, ribbons, and a variety of other digital scrapbooking embellishments. Unlike paper, however, digital scrapbooking gives you the freedom to resize, recolor, and reuse any product in your supply stash. Best of all, there's no mess to put away when you're finished with your page! And this is a great way for getting started, capturing your memories with your first layout! Here at DesignerDigitals we offer one of the largest varieties of digital products featuring Katie Pertiet's designs. This guide will help you get started on your layouts with some great tips.

When you create a digital scrapbooking layout or image, you do it in much the same way that you would with traditional scrapbooking, in that you layer papers and elements on top of one another. Each paper, photo, or embellishment exists on its own layer in your document, and you can reposition them at your discretion.

Here are some simple steps for creating a basic digital layout using GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) to help you get started.

  1. Open GIMP.
  2. Go to File > New> and set your document size to 12x12", 300 dpi, transparent background. Click OK. This will be your layout document.
    Repeat until done
  3. Go to File > Open and locate the file of a paper you would like to use for a background. Click Open.
  4. Position your layout document and your background paper document windows so that both are visible.
  5. Click on the patterned paper document. Choose Select > All and Edit > Copy from the Menu Bar.
  6. Click on the transparent document and select Edit > Paste from the Menu Bar.
    transparent document

    The paper should now be centered on your layout document. Make the patterned paper a layer by clicking on the Create a layer icon in the Layers Palette.

    patterned paper a layer

    You will know that the paper has become a layer when the Floating Selection in the Layers Palette changes to a thumbnail of the patterned paper and the name changes to "Pasted layer."

    Pasted layer

    When this is complete, close the patterned paper file, leaving the document with two layers open.

  7. Add a photo, frame and other embellishments to the layout, using the same method repeating steps 3-6.

    Position your elements on your page by clicking on the element layer in the Layers Palette. Get the Move tool, and drag the element into position. You have created a simple, but beautiful layout.

    Finished Layout

Make sure to check out all our other great kits in the store. Our digital scrapbooking kits and paper packs are a great place to start! They include designer papers and an assortment of digital elements, brushes and alphabets for your layouts. Included also are such things as journal spots, ribbons and so much more! Once you bring up the list you can sort by title, designer, price, date added and popularity just by clicking on the column title. If you click on the same title again it will do a reverse sort as well.


  • To reposition a digital element on your digital scrapbooking page, simply click on its layer. Select the Move Tool and click and drag the element on your layout to a new position.
  • To resize an element on your page, select the Scale Tool and click on the element to activate the handles. Drag one of the corners of the photo to reach the desired size and then click Scale in the Scale dialog box.

    resize an element
  • To add depth to your digital scrapbooking elements, go to Filters > Light and Shadows > Drop Shadow and adjust the settings in the dialog box to your liking then click OK.
  • To move elements in front of or behind one another in your digital page, simply click and drag the layer up or down to a new position in the Layers palette. The higher it is in the palette, the closer it is to the "top" of your digital scrapbooking page.
  • To tilt an element on your page, get the Rotate Tool and drag the corner of the element in the direction you'd like to tilt the image. Click the Rotate button in the dialog box to confirm the tilt.

    tilt an element

Products used in this tutorial:
Almost Layered Template by Katie Pertiet
Hush-a-Bye Kit by Katie Pertiet
Pure Solids Paper Pack by Katie Pertiet

This Guide is also available on PDF:

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