Introduction to Digital Templates: Part 1

Welcome to a new series all about digital templates – what they are, how to use them, why to use them, and how to adapt them to your style!

So what are digital templates? Think of digital templates the same way you would think of a sketch you might use for a traditional layout. In fact, some templates are really just that – sketches with digital placeholders. When you open these types of templates in your software, all you have are the empty placeholders for photos and paper – you have to add all your own paper and embellishments, as well as journaling and a title. Others come with almost everything done for you – the title, the embellishments and even the paper. All you have to do is add your photos and journaling and you’re done. We’re going to start by looking at these second type of templates because they’re just easier to start with.

Here’s a couple of examples from templates I’ve used recently from Designer Digitals.

In this first layout, I chose to work with the following template. It includes all the elements you see below, including the title, frames, and all of the embellishments.


Layer Works No. 294 by Studio Double D


All supplies from Designer Digitals | Template: Layer Works No. 294 by Studio Double D. Patterned Paper: Spring Fields Solids Paper Pack by Katie Pertiet.

As you can see, the layout I made looks almost exactly like the original template. All I added was a piece of background paper, my photos, and journaling. It was done in under 5 minutes!

Here’s a template and layout that I customized a bit more. Two weeks ago, I used this second template for an article here at Scrapbook Update. You can see the article here – Pinterest Inspiration | Rainbow Theme.

layer works 282

Layer Works No. 282 by Studio Double D

Just like the first template, this one comes with everything you see above, including the frames, all of the embellishments, brushes, title and the journaling placement (called a text path). You only need to add a piece of background paper, your photos, and journaling.  But I chose to change a lot of the embellishments, delete some of them, and added in a lot of new elements as well so that it would suit my theme. It’s different than the template for sure but you can clearly see how the original template is still all there.


All supplies from Designer Digitals | Template: Layer Works No. 282 (template, frames, embellishments) by Studio Double D. Papers: Chandra Solids Paper Pack (light blue cardstock) by Katie Pertiet. Desmon Maskros Paper Pack (dark blue paper) by Maplebrook Studios. Doilies: Blitzen Element Pack (large doily) and Doily Edgers No. 02 (doily edgers) by Katie Pertiet. Word Art: So Totally Love This Brushes and Stamps (blue stamps) and Embracing the Everyday Brushes and Stamps (orange title) by Ali Edwards. Epoxies: Color Study Flair: Red No. 01 by Katie Pertiet. Tag: Color My Love Element Pack (white safety tag) by Katie Pertiet.

I didn’t have to make all of the changes to the template if I didn’t want to, but the beauty of it is that I could. Just like you can take a sketch for a traditional layout and keep the photo placement and journaling placement exactly like the sketch or you can turn the sketch around, move the photo orientation a bit, and change all of the colors to completely customize the sketch to suit your layout and style.

There are many reasons to use templates but they are also one of the best ways to get started with digital scrapbooking. I hope you’ve enjoyed this intro to templates, and I’ll be back soon with more!


8 Responses to Introduction to Digital Templates: Part 1

  1. kathyhpy April 27, 2013 at 6:58 am #

    Great info, Stephanie. I actually bought Photoshop Elements 9…two years ago and have never used it because I’m too intimidated to try digital scrapping! You are taking the fear factor out of it:)

    • Steph April 27, 2013 at 9:59 am #

      It is so much easier than people think! PSE 9 is a great program and makes digi scrapping a joy. 🙂

    • Debra williams April 28, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

      Me too!

  2. Judy Devlin April 27, 2013 at 7:51 am #

    OK, I am really naive. Does this then get sent to you in the mail? I am assuming you don’t print it out at home because of the embellishments. Sorry I am so new to this!

    • Steph April 27, 2013 at 10:01 am #

      Hi Judy! The entire layout is flat – just like a photo is. So yes, you can certainly print it out at home if you have a photo printer! I print all of my 8.5×11 layouts at home. I don’t have a 12×12 printer so I order those. I’ll go over a lot more details in the next article in the series. 🙂

  3. michelle April 27, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

    Can you tell us how to start designing our own? For example, what types of programs are used, how to do different fonts, and just how they start out.

    • Steph April 28, 2013 at 8:39 pm #

      Sure, Michelle! That sounds like a great topic for another article!

  4. Gab May 2, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    Great pages Stephanie. Have you ever thought of teaching a class on how to use templates for absolute dummies?? ie people like me who are not digi scrappers??

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