From blog to layout (plus a freebie template download for you!)

Cathy ZielskeFree Downloads, Scrapbooking99 Comments


I love when something you write on your blog inspires you to take it one step further and move it into the scrapbook realm. I always thought this would happen with much more frequency than it does, but que sera sera. When it does happen, it’s a happy, creative thing.

That said, after writing Aidan’s birthday post, I knew it was a stop, drop and save kind of story, and that’s exactly what I did. Here is the resulting page:

Click on the image to see a larger image in a new window.

I created a design that let me copy and paste the words from my blog post, then dress it up very simply with a photo and some patterned paper. A true hybrid creation. And I’m sorry, but I love this page. I keep walking through my dining room/scrap room, looking at it, and thinking, “Hello! Scrap skills are in the hizzouse!”

Today I’ve got a free template download of this design for you, my awesome blog readers, as a thank you for all you contribute here, your comments, your support, your encouragement—it has meant and continues to mean a lot to me.

There are two templates in this package, one is an 8.5 x 11 that looks like my page, and one is a 12 x 12 with the same overall design, but including a few more spots for photos.


You will need Photoshop or Photoshop Elements to open and use the templates. Download the package by clicking on the link below:

Download CZ_FreebieTemplates

This is a very simple design to use for creating a hybrid page. After you open the file in Photoshop and type in your journaling and title, you simply turn off the photo layer and send your file to print. Then trim a photo to size and paste it onto your page. The text box on the design is set to have an indent so the photo can jut into the text space creating a wrap effect.

I used a PNG file for my title from my Little Labels 1 Brushes and Stamps set. It’s a set of little labels to use on both digital and hybrid pages. Here’s a short video showing how to drop a label in and then erase part of the outline frame on the free template to create the same look I did.

Working with templates and PNGs from Cathy Zielske on Vimeo.

Enjoy the templates and if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments.

Little Labels No. 01 (Cathy Zielske) • patterned paper (My Mind’s Eye) •  Threading Water Paper Punch (Fiskars) • Archer font



Cathy ZielskeFrom blog to layout (plus a freebie template download for you!)

99 Comments on “From blog to layout (plus a freebie template download for you!)”

  1. #3

    another wonderful design, thankyou

    Have just been doing my The Monthly for March – loving those templates – 4 pages per month.

    They are making me take more portrait orientation photos which is giving me a fresh eye – big thank you

  2. #4
    Amy Stackhouse

    Thank you so much for your tutorials. I have several photoshop instruction books, but it’s in watching you that I learn the most (and the best) tricks.

  3. #7
    Barb M.

    Thank you! I can’t wait to play with this template over the weekend. And a belated happy birthday to Aiden.

  4. #8
    Lori P.

    Fantastic templates, Cathy! Thank you for cheering-up my rainy, cold Thursday with such a great gift!

  5. #9
    Dorothy F

    Thanks for the great video, it was very helpful and also for the free template. I love your stuff.

  6. #10

    Hi Cathy
    Thank you for another great template with helpful tutorial. I love your designs and all the details you include. Thanks again.

  7. #11

    Oooooooh, I love this layout… you’ve got some mad scrapbooking skillz, Ms CZ! Great job putting that heartwarming blog post onto a page. And thanks so much for sharing your template with us. <3

  8. #15

    Thank you very large Cathy! I think I may even go hybrid myself with this one but printing the digital patterned paper to add on top of the white.

  9. #16
    hollycorbett@bellsouth. net

    Thank You Cathy!
    Very inspiring and beautifully done! Enjoy your weekend!
    Holly Corbett

  10. #17

    I love what you did with the photo and your sweet words. Thank you so much for sharing a template with us.

  11. #23

    Thank you Cathy! My first born was 15 two weeks ago too so I will definitely use this template to document this.

  12. #31

    Thanks for being so generous! You rock! I have been wanting to try a little hybrid stuff and now I’ve got something to practice with and inspire me to move forward!! Happy Friday eve!!

  13. #33

    Thanks, Cathy! I also have to tell you that your Amazing template is my go-to template (it was another freebie). Despite the many digi classes I’ve taken, if I want to put together a quick page, I always come back to “Amazing” – whether 8.5×11 or 12×12, horizontal or vertical, it is so flexible! Thanks again – you rock!

  14. #35

    Thank you! I love that feeling also..I often ‘admire’ my pages by looking at them often when they are done. Such a wonderful feeling!

  15. #41

    hell-o. i love your page, too. and really, how could you not be inspired by a cutie patootie kid (and photo) like that. keeping it simple is where it is at. thanks for sharing.

  16. #42

    don’t you just love it when you’ve made something that you can’t take your eyes off of? thanks for the download! 🙂

  17. #45

    Thank you so much for the template and video! Happy birthday to Aidan! I absolutely love what you wrote.

  18. #46

    Thank you for another great template. My dd will be eight in a few weeks so I’m going to make a page like yours. 🙂

    Hope Aidan had a great birthday!

  19. #48
    Bea Medwecky

    Cathy, I haven’t commented in a while, but I still enjoy reading your blog on a daily basis. Thanks for the free template. And I just love your videos. Have a happy day.

    P.S. My son is 25!! today. I can not even believe I am old enough to have a son that is a quarter of a century old!

  20. #50

    Your words in this layout are PERFECT! As the Mom of 3 teenagers, it expresses exactly how I feel. I totally get it. I have tears in my eyes. I wish I had written it. BRAVO to you. Happy (belated) Birthday to Aidan. And thanks for the free download that I added to my collection of stuff to use someday!

  21. #52
    Sheri Elmont

    Love this template! I’ve been scrapbooking my friend’s blog as she has such wonderful journaling about her family. Things that would get lost in future years. I’m dreaming of owning Photoshop and this will help when I do. Thanks!

  22. #55

    Thanks for the template! Your templates are my favorites always. I use them very, very frequently.

    And thanks for the scrapping inspiration you give us via your blog. What can I say? I’m a fan!

  23. #57
    Karen Lazar

    Love this template, Cathy! Thanks so much. My oldest child just turned 18 and is going away to college this fall. My other child is 13 going on 20 so I can so identify with your feelings! Enjoy your next 3 years with Aidan. Thanks again. I love your templates and I am going to buy the little labels too.

  24. #59

    you can always try a free version of Photoshop Elements for 30 days! Just to play. Its available on the Adobe Elements website!

  25. #60

    When I saw your freebie today I knew I wanted to use it straight away because I loved the layout you had completed. My layout was a complete scraplift (apart from the label)and finished in record time – thank you so much!
    I’ve put a photo of my layout on my blog. xx

  26. #63

    thanks cathy!! i’m going to use your template to document my daughter’s 3rd birthday. love your blog and appreciate your humor and honesty!

  27. #65

    Ok – I’ve been following your work for years and yet today was the first time I heard your voice. How fun – to put a voice with a face! Love, love your work. It inspires my scrapbooking, my design of various work flyers and such. And what a doll you are to give us a template for free – thanks!!!!!

  28. #66

    Cathy, your layouts always remind me of how much I enjoyed “Simple Scrapbooks” and how much I miss it. Thanks for keeping it simple, and for sharing your amazing talent with us!

  29. #67

    Thank you! It’s always fun for me to see how other people work and do things. I learn something every time… “every day is a school day ” 🙂

  30. #68
    Tiffany H.

    I love how the photo goes into the text box…adds a bit of interest to the page. Thank you for sharing the template.

  31. #72

    Thank you so much for the template. Great, I get to learn one more trick from you using photoshop elements.

  32. #73

    Thanks so much, Cathy!! 🙂 I think I might turn the letter I wrote for my daughter’s 1st birthday into a scrapbook page with your template. 🙂 A nice, quick project for the weekend, and a lovely addition to her album. 🙂


  33. #74

    Thanks Cathy 🙂 I hope you know that week after week you provide such an enormous amount of inspiration to so many scrappers throughout the world, I certainly appreciate dropping by over here for various forms of inspiration and entertainment! Thanks for your generosity … now to make the time to put this beauty to good use …. hmmmmm 😉

  34. #76

    Thanks Cathy! I would like to ask you a question. I am having difficulty uploading the pages to I believe I have to flatten the layers, but what do I do after that? I feel like this is a silly question, but I have so many finished pages that I am just waiting to print. Thanks in advance.

  35. #79
    Karen F form New Zealand

    A beautiful page – you write so well – so from the heart and it shows . Thanks for the inspiration and sharing your thoughts and thanks for the template I so love your simplified approach.

  36. #80
    Cathie in Ut

    Although I don’t use photoshop I love the idea and I bet I can adapt my Word program to do a similar thing!
    Thanks for the idea
    PS I am a new reader of your blog and will be coming as often as I can!

  37. #87

    I’m a long-time “blurker,” first-time commenter, but I had to finally say that I think you are awesome, and I really love your style. Plus, freebies – excellent! Thanks!

  38. #90
    Cari Cummings


    Thanks so much for the free template! Do you teach Photoshop elements classes or do you have any suggestions for where to look for instruction?

    Thanks again,

  39. #95
    Allen Helms

    Impressive … It worked great … and I am clueless within it’s all this stuff HTML!, but much great more offer freebie template here freebie template , weekly freebie Thank you … I used a model of your too and so far everything I tried from your site is so easy to do with the instructions you give !!!!! I can not thank you enough! 🙂

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