Scrap Along With Sir Scrapalot: Shrinking Digital Scrapbooking Templates

As I have mentioned before, I use digital scrapbooking templates to create most of my layouts.  There are a variety of reasons why, but mainly I use them because they speed up the scrapbooking process and help me create layouts that I may not have created without one.

One drawback that some people often mention when talking about using templates is the fact that after one use, it’s really unlikely that you’ll use that template again.  I am so guilty of this, I often will pass over templates I have used before, even if they are the ones that first speak to me.  I was really eager to figure out a way to really stretch my templates, and I had read about the idea of “shrinking” the template.  I gave it a shot, and let me tell you, there is no easier way to at least double the use of a set of digital templates.

It happens like this:  a template is taken, and the elements of the template are shrunk down to create a totally different layout.  This approach works really well for creating white space layouts, especially when you start with a template where most of the elements are grouped together.  Today, I am going to show you how I used this approach to create a layout.

I started out using a template by Cindy Schneider.  I love Cindy’s templates because they are always intricately layered and clustered, which is not my strong point when creating a layout.  After looking through my collection of Cindy templates, I decided to use this one, from Cindy’s Layered Templates – Set 49.

Notice how, in the template I chose, almost all of the elements are centered and grouped together.  This is the perfect type of template to shrink.  I start by going through the layers, and while holding down the CTRL button, I click on all of the layers I want to shrink.  In this case, I want to shrink everything but the three background paper layers.  Once I have all the layers selected, I hit CTRL+T, and while holding the SHIFT key, I grab the handles and start shrinking the elements in the center.  Once they are a size I am happy with, I drag them to the bottom right corner, and flip them horizontally to balance the page.  When I am done, it looks like this:

You’ll also notice, that to keep balance in the layout, I took a small cluster of the stars and a tag, and moved it to the opposite upper left hand corner.  Once I am happy with how it looks, I start adding my papers and elements.  Already, though, the template looks like a completely different template than I started with.

When I am done, this is the layout I end up with:

As I was working on the layout, I decided to eliminate the scalloped paper, as well as take the journaling block out of the layout.  When I was trying to get the elements to fit in the bottom right corner, those two things just didn’t work out, so the best thing I could do was to eliminate them from the template.  I also nudged the elements a little off the page, to prevent them from “kissing” the edge (when an element of a layout touches the edge exactly).  These changes made the layout really work for me.

I am really happy with how the layout came out.  I think what I really enjoy about shrinking down a template like Cindy’s is that I am able to combine the white space style layout that I am really comfortable with and gravitate too with the really layered look of Cindy’s templates.  I would recommend giving this a shot, it really can make a huge difference in the appearance of a template.  If you are so inspired, you can check out Cindy’s shop at SSD HERE.  If you do shrink a template for a layout, I would love to see the results.  You can link me up here in the comments.

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22 Responses to Scrap Along With Sir Scrapalot: Shrinking Digital Scrapbooking Templates

  1. dreamscrapper says:

    Great little technique and love the layout you did! Thanks for sharing this.

  2. SirScrapalot says:

    So glad you liked it! I'd love to see what you come up with if you give it a shot!

  3. Rachel says:

    Great Post Aaron, I gave it a try today 🙂 The original template for someone who I CT for is the one with circle layers… Here is my finished Page…Hugs Rach x

  4. Pingback: Tutorial: Shrinking Digital Templates · Scrapbooking @ CraftGossip

  5. Francine says:

    Great technique! I love templates and this will definitely be a cool way to use them more than once! I am featuring this tutorial on Craft Gossip today

  6. SirScrapalot says:

    Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed it!

  7. SirScrapalot says:

    That looks great Rach! I love how you used the balloon to create balance on the page. Thanks for playing along!

  8. Pingback: { free friday finds } for June 18, 2010 | Simple Scrapper

  9. Lisa_pinkunicorn says:

    This is fantastic!! I tried it and it works beautifully. Now to scrap a page with my new template!!

  10. SirScrapalot says:

    I'm so glad it worked out for you! I would love to see the layout you come up with!

  11. Pingback: Weekly Wrap Up with Sir Scrapalot Designs | Sir Scrapalot Designs

  12. Southflascrapper says:

    I can't believe that I haven't thought of doing this myself! I have removed items from templates, but have not thought of shrinking them down. It's funny, but I too pass over templates I have used before (I have way too many in my stash) even when I made a killer layout from them. Thank you for this fantastic post, I am off to shrink!

  13. SirScrapalot says:

    Glad I could help! I love being able to “reuse” a template while still making it look different.

  14. ScrapperT says:

    WOW I never would have thought of that. GREAT post.

  15. ScrapperT says:

    Love your layout Rachel.

  16. SirScrapalot says:

    Thanks! I am glad you liked it! I would love to see what you come up with!

  17. dreamscrapper says:

    I finally got the chance to try this technique . . . from necessity, though, not design. I have recently started harvesting image clips from old videos (learned the technique after signing up at Because the old video is not HD, the pics are not high quality and cannot be too large. For my first layout using this technique, I actually combined both a layered stack of papers with a layered template. I shrank only the template pieces to about 80% but it allowed me to create a pleasing layout using less than perfect photos! Here is my layout: Next time, I hope to apply this technique for more video captures but play more with the actual design.

  18. SirScrapalot says:

    That looks amazing! I can't wait to see more!

  19. dreamscrapper says:

    Well, I just had to post once more about using this technique . . . again, I used a picture captured from video so it needed to be much smaller than usual. I used one of Cindy Schneider's templates from set 43:…. I greatly reduced the size of the template pieces and repositioned some. Here is my result: can see that I will be utilizing this strategy several times in the future . . . it has become invaluable to me!

  20. SirScrapalot says:

    I'm glad it is so useful for you. I love the way you are working the templates to fit the video captures. It really is invaluable to me as well!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Again a very useful tutorial!! I am guilty on using templates only once when I get them but this is a great way to re-use them 🙂 Thank you!!!

  22. ava-j says:

    Hi! I’m a new template junkie (it’s Kayla Lamoreaux’s fault really,lol!)…and I always end up with gorgeous lay-outs with minimal fuss. Templates don’t just save me time, but they always inspire me to tweak the pages to make them my own somehow. 🙂 Thanks for your post, will definitely try shrinking and using photo spaces for journaling too. Love your lay-outs! 🙂

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