Article courtesy of by Denise Gormish

The use of templates or sketches for paper crafts  continues to be very popular. Templates and sketches make it easy to create a well-designed layout quickly.  Paper crafters are not limited to printed templates, but can also use digital templates. 

Digital templates can be opened as .psd files in software programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Elements. A digital template is a multi-layered file. Each layer is an element of the page; for example, a layer might be the spaces for photographs . For paper layouts, parts of a digital template or the entire template can be used as a scrapbooking aid. Here are some ideas:

Use the template as a sketch for a paper layout. When you find a digital template that appeals to you, use it the same way you would a sketch. Use the design for your own paper layout and change it as you are inspired. Kate Pertiet's Cherished Moment Layered Template provided inspiration for me and I created my own paper layout, "On the Phone," from her template.


Add photographs to the photograph layers of the template and print. Digital templates will contain a photograph layer as one of the layers. Add and crop your digital photographs to the template. Hide the other layers of the template that you don't want printed. Now you have the photographs ready for the rest of your paper layout.

Add photographs to the photograph layers of the template and print the photographs and more. You may want to print more than the edited photographs for your layout. You may want to print journaling, paper, embellishment or photograph layers. To print those items, keep them visible and print them in addition to the photographs. Cut out the pieces you want in your layout and place them on your paper layout.

Use the template as one part of a paper layout. A substantial portion of a layout can be created with a digital template. Use the digital template, print it, cut it out and place it on the layout. In my layout "Happy 40th Mom" I used a large section of a digital template, arranging the five photographs with the help of the five photograph layers. I printed the template section, then cut it out and adhered it to cardstock. I added a 3-dimensional chipboard title.


Combine a portion of the template and your  own design for a hybrid layout. When a portion of a digital template works well for your layout, feel free to use it. It can be adjusted as needed, printed and added to a paper layout.

 Take advantage of the numerous digital templates available for scrapbooking inspiration.

Paper Supplies: BasicGrey Blush paper, Bazzill white cardstock, American Craft Sarah Script letters, American Crafts Shoe Box and Gift Box Thickers.

Digital Supplies: Kate Pertiet (Cherished Moment Layered Template and Create a Book Posted) and Michelle Martin (Nia Solids), DesignerDigitals.


Shop all digital scrapbooking products at