Fancy Chipboard Letter (Elements)

Fancy Chipboard Letter (Elements)
Tip of the Week by Jenny Binder on June 22, 2009
Chipboard letters make a nice addition to most any page, but a fancy chipboard letter is even better! And making one uses a favorite Photoshop Elements technique of
mine – grouping. After I show you how I created this fancy chipboard letter, I’m sure
you’ll be making a few of your own!
Step 1) Getting Ready
* To start with, I’ve created a new 12” x 12” document called Fancy Letter. Although I won’t make the letter that large, I do like to judge how big my letter is going to be on the page.
* I’ve also opened and added to my Fancy Letter document two coordinating papers, a strip of rickrack,
and a flower embellishment. (To add items to a page, open them, and use the Move tool to drag and drop
them over to the document of your choice. Or you can copy and paste.)
* To keep everything straight, please check your Layers palette and make sure your two paper layers are
next to each other, with no other layers in between them. This will help eliminate confusion later on.
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Fancy Chipboard Letter, © 2009 Scrapper’s Guide, all rights reserved.
Step 2) Starting the Letter
* Choose the Horizontal Type Tool from the tool bar to the left.
* Click once on your document and type your letter.
* More than likely the font and size will need to be changed. If so, highlight the letter, go up to the Options bar and change the font and size to what you want. I have chosen Abadi MT Condensed Extra Bold
with a size of 300. One thing to note, if you click on the down-facing arrow next to the font size, it will only
give you the option of up 72. To choose a larger size, just highlight the number and type the new size in.
* Once you are happy with your letter, click the check mark in the Options bar to accept it.
Step 3) Position the paper
* First, make sure your letter layer is the top layer in the Layers palette.
* Choose the Move tool from the Tool bar to the left.
* Click and drag to position the two paper pieces where you want them. For now, they will be behind the
letter, but we’ll fix that later. You may want to resize the paper pieces, as I did with mine to make the patterns smaller. (To resize, press Ctrl T [Mac: Cmd T], use a corner handle to transform, then double click
on the paper to accept the transformation.) Just make sure the paper pieces extend beyond the edges of the
* Now it’s time to move our letter below our paper. In the Layers palette, click on the letter layer and drag
it below the bottom paper layer. On your document, it looks like your letter has disappeared, but we have
just tucked it under our paper.
(NOTE: You may notice in the image below that I have named my layers. Yours will not look like this unless you have double clicked on the name and re-named yours as well. I did this to help you see what I was
doing, but I don’t want you to be confused if you can’t find a layer named the same as mine.)
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Fancy Chipboard Letter, © 2009 Scrapper’s Guide, all rights reserved.
Step 4) Cover the letter
We are going to use a technique called grouping to cover just our letter.
* Press and hold the Alt key (Mac: Opt key.) Hold it until I tell you to release it.
* In the Layers palette, move your mouse between the letter layer and the bottom paper layer. When you
see the funny symbol pictured below, click.
* Still holding the Alt (Mac: Opt) key, position your mouse between the two paper layers and click again.
NOW you can release the Alt (Mac: Opt) key
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Fancy Chipboard Letter, © 2009 Scrapper’s Guide, all rights reserved.
Look at your document. Your Layers palette and letter should look similar to this.
Step 5) Merge and Bevel
* In the Layers palette, click on the letter layer.
* Holding the Shift key, click on the top paper layer in the Layers palette. This should make 3 layers active: the letter layer and your two paper layers.
* Click on the fly-out menu at the top of the Layers palette and choose Merge Layers. (Or you can use the
keyboard shortcut Ctrl E [Mac: Cmd E.])
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Fancy Chipboard Letter, © 2009 Scrapper’s Guide, all rights reserved.
* To give the letter the dimension of chipboard, open the Effects palette, choose Bevels from the dropdown menu, then double-click on the Simple Inner bevel. To adjust this bevel, click on the “fx” at the right
side of that layer in the Layers palette and adjust the settings. Click OK when you’re done.
Step 6) Add Ribbon or Rickrack
* Your Move tool should still be the active tool.
* Click and drag your piece of rickrack or ribbon invto place, on top of the letter.
* Group the rickrack layer to the letter layer using the same method as above. You may need to rearrange
the layers in the Layers palette because grouping will only work with layers that are next to each other.
* Apply a slight drop shadow to this layer by choosing a Low drop shadow in the Effects palette.
Step 7) Add other embellishments and link
* We’re almost done. At this point you can add anything else, such as the flower I’ve added here. Don’t
forget to add a drop shadow to flowers, bows, whatever else you might add to decorate your letter. This also
would be a good time to add a drop shadow to the letter itself.
* When you’re all finished, you’ll need to link all of the layers you’ve used to make your letter so you can
drag it onto your scrapbook page. To do this, click on the bottom layer used (probably the letter layer) in the
Layers palette, then hold down the Shift key and click on the top layer used to select all the layers in between. Now click on the Link layers icon at the top of the Layers palette.
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Fancy Chipboard Letter, © 2009 Scrapper’s Guide, all rights reserved.
* Now you’re ready to drag this letter onto your scrapbook page. You might wonder why I didn’t just
merge the letter together. I could have, but by linking the layers it will still give me the ability to adjust the
individual layer styles I have applied to each
layer. When you merge, you can no longer
adjust anything.
Here’s my finished letter on my page. Good
luck this week creating Fancy Chipboard letters!
Credits: Tutorial by Jenny Binder, www. All supplies used
are from Cori Gammon’s kits Cinnamon Tea
and Clothesline, except upper flower accent is
from Misty Cato, All American Girl kit.
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