Hybrid layout project: the Me, Right Now Template

Cathy ZielskeScrapbooking37 Comments


Today I'm going to show you how to make a hybrid scrapbook layout using a layered digital template as your base.

Many of you know I've been using my computer to create pages since my very first page back in 2002.


See that little journaling block and the understated title? Aw yeah. That's called Old School Hybrid. I was old school before hybrid was new school, dawg. Er, right.

Anyhoo, my goal with these hybrid posts is to help those of you who want to get a bit more tech savvy with your scrapbooking, while still preserving that thing you loved about it in the first place, the creative, hands-on process involving paper and glue.

I've recorded a 10-minute video tutorial explaining how I used my newest StoryGuide template as the base for creating my hybrid page.

Here's the page:


Here's the video:

Hybrid Scrapbooking Tutorial: the Me, Right Now layout from Cathy Zielske on Vimeo.


Use these instructions as a companion to the video tutorial.

1. Open the template in Photoshop Elements or Photoshop and choose a font you'd like to use for the journaling questions. The template comes with Arial, but I chose Avenir Light and Heavy for my page. You can choose a color for the questions if you like, and apply them to each one. I used orange for mine.

2. Next, choose a color for your title bar to match your chosen background paper. I picked a hot pink color using the Color Picker. (Click on the Set Foreground Color icon in the tool bar to bring up the Color Picker.)

3. Once you have a color chosen, be sure you're on the target layer (Title Bar Background) and go to Edit > Fill Layer and under Contents and Use, make sure it's set to Foreground Color. Also, make sure the Preserve Transparency box is checked as well. When you click OK the color will apply to the bar.

4. Next, choose a color for the "me" in the title. I changed mine to white using the same process in Step 3. However, under Contents and Use, I changed it to "white" as my color. Then I changed the color of "me" to a light pink by using the Opacity Slider in the Layers Palette. I set my Opacity to 60%, and it created the look of a lighter shade of pink.

THE NEXT STEP is to group together the Title Bar Background, the "me" layer and the "right now" layer, and rotate them in order to print out the title bar on the same sheet of cardstock as you're printing your journaling onto. You will need to turn off all three "photo" layers by clicking on the little Eyeball icon next to each layer.

1. Make sure the Title Bar Background layer is directly under the "me" and "right now" layers. You can move it by clicking on it, holding down the mouse, and dragging it up. Hold down your Shift key and select all three layers so they are all highlighted.

2. Go to Image > Rotate > Layer 90 Left, and the three layers will rotate. Using the Move Tool, drag the rotated layers into the open white area of the document.

3. Click on only the Title Bar Background and enlarge its size by clicking and dragging on each of the four center handles. You need to make this a little larger to accommodate for trimming it on all sides.

4. Next, turn off the Date Tab Outline layer, and then on the Date Tab text, enter the date for your page.

5. Send this file to print onto white or other cardstock.

Next, you will trim out the pieces.


Using a paper trimmer or Xacto knife and metal ruler, trim the journaling just inside the dotted lines on each side.


Then trim out the title strip, trimming just inside the edge of the strip.


Next, cut out the date, leaving room to use for an underlapping tab, and round the lower corners if desired.



Trim a piece of background paper to size. For my page, that's 8-1/2 x 11.


Position the tab beneath the title strip before adhering.



Now, simply add your pictures.

I strongly recommend doing three shots of yourself at the time you answer the questions. Now, if this means you need to get dolled up prior to answering the questions, then by all means, do! I conveniently forgot to wear makeup for mine. So be it. It's real life, baby.

To use the template for your photos, simply open the template back up, turn ON all of the photo layers and turn off all the other layers. (You turn layers off by clicking on the Eyeball icon next to each layer.)

Then, you can clip photos into the three photo placeholders and print them onto a sheet of 8-1/2 x 11 photo paper.

TO PLACE PHOTOS into the template, with the three photo layers back on:

1. Open the photo you'd like to use, Select > All (Command or Control+A), Edit > Copy (Command or Control+C) and close the photo.

2. Click on your target layer on the template ("photo") and then Paste the photo into the template via Edit > Paste (Command or Control+V). You will probably have to size your photo down, and you do this by grabbing any one of the four corner handles, clicking, holding down the mouse, and dragging.

3. To pop the photo into the layer mask, go to Layer > Create Clipping Mask (Command or Control+G). Repeat for other photos.


And that, dear blog readers and story tellers, are the basic steps to putting this bad boy together.

Now, some of you might be thinking, "Yes, that's all well and good, but I'm not going to do a page about myself when I have so many other photos and stories to be scrapbooked," and that's when I reply, and rather loudly: "HELLO? Your story is part of your overall picture!"

(Yes, that's my soapbox rant for the day.)

In short, tell your story. All you have to do is answer a handful of questions. Each template comes with 20 extra questions to get you thinking. In this way, StoryGuides make it fun and painless. Let's hear it for painless journaling solutions about ourselves!

And for Clairol Hair Dye No. 4 Chocolate! (Sorry, I just didn't realize my hair was as grey as it is. For now, I'm keeping it. But never say never.)


SUPPLIES: Story Guide No. 5a (Cathy Zielske) • patterned paper (BasicGrey from the Green at Heart Collections) • corner punch (Creative Memories) • font (Avenir)

This template is also available in 12 x 12.


Cathy ZielskeHybrid layout project: the Me, Right Now Template

37 Comments on “Hybrid layout project: the Me, Right Now Template”

  1. #1

    Oh! Thank you. Thank you! You always make this digital process so understandable and do- able. I am definitely going to give this a try and I’ll share the results…TBC

    Also, can’t wait til you start digi scrapping on your new iPad so we can all learn that!


  2. #2
    Dorothy F

    Thank you so much for this video. I am still learning Photoshop and tend to do things the “hard” way. You have simplified so much for me. Also, I LOVE your hair like that – don’t change it!

  3. #3
    Nancy McM

    Oh Cathy you are so cool and you make PSE8 look so easy… sigh… I’m just not a digi-gal. I am guessing I could type out the answers, title, and date, and then just print out 3 pics of myself and put it all together following your layout? Anyway, thanks so much! and have a wonderful Wednesday 🙂

  4. #7
    Kim G

    Cathy – love your style and what you are doing with Project Life, but the big question swimming around in my noggin – what paper stock do you print on? I LOVE the texture!!!!

  5. #12
    Julie B

    I had a Clairol moment over the weekend also. We were at my mothers (fell and dislocated BOTH of her shoulders!) and I washed my hair there. On the way to the hospital, I flipped down the visor to look in the mirror (high winds that day–you probably had them too up your way) and said to my husband “do you think washing my hair in the water here makes the gray in my hair stand out more?” His reply…”No, it always looks like that.” Lesson learned; if you don’t really want to know, don’t ask. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your hybrid layout today!

  6. #13

    Love it! 🙂 I have a quick q: what corner rounder do you use? I have a very old one (from when I first started scrapbooking…15 years ago maybe?) and it tends to leave little edges instead of making a nice, smooth corner. It also doesn’t match the roundy corners of most digital corners, it seems. Or maybe those vary so much that I just haven’t gotten lucky!

    Anyway, if you could share what you used to make those LOVELY corners (I mean it 🙂 on the date tab, I would be muchly grateful. Thanks!!

  7. #19

    Is there ANY WAY to digi scrap/follow these instructions without Photoshop or Elements? I have Aperture for my MBP and that’s about as advanced as I’m willing to go right now. I’ve tried PSE several times before it likes to beat me with rubber hoses and the like. Thoughts?

  8. #20

    I’ve been noticing with pleasure your gray side! I for one think it’s awesome. I keep my hair quite short like yours, and made the switch a few years ago. I still get random comments about how great it looks – sometimes from someone much younger than I! You go, girl!

  9. #21

    Wonderful as usual Cathy – you are always such an inspiration.

    When are we going to see another online class somewhere from you? Miss you out front teaching!!

  10. #24

    I love this page about you Cathy. Great photos and colors for you. Thanks for showing us how to do this.I wish computering came more easily to me so I could learn this. Thanks for the reminder also about us moms who need to be in the albums too.

    Did you watch Jamie Oliver last night and last week. I want them to let him in so I can see what he’s going to do to help them. It’s driving me crazy and how about those yummy burgers he’s got going at the fast food shop. I liked that they showed a little of his family this time and his little girls are precious. I hope you had a good day.

  11. #27





    I created my page yesterday. I’m a paper scrapper so I just created my own page (journaling done in word) but oh, so proud of myself. I defiantely need to do more pages about me. Thanks for the inspiration!

  12. #28

    Cathy, I absolutely LOVE your “Me Right Now” pages. It was one of the very first digital layouts I did, a handful of years ago, after seeing it in one of your books. Since then, I periodically revisit the idea as my life changes, and I have done them for my kids, too (which I think was an idea I stole from you too!) Absolutely love these ways of *really* capturing what my/our life is about, since I’ve pretty much abandoned scrapping events for the past few years. This is so much more meaningful to look back on than some lame Easter pics on an uninspired layout!

  13. #29

    Thank you for a great post, layout and look into CZ’s life. I am letting my hair grow out bit by bit and coloring the roots lighter and lighter each time. Sadly my own natural color is still a yellowish salt and pepper. Oh well.

    I am curious as to what kind of corner rounder you have. I appear to have misplaced the one I really loved, and it sadly had no maker’s mark on it. (Can you imagine that???)
    AND do you like it? tia Cathy!

  14. #32
    Lisa Dickinson

    oh you hybrid goddess, you! i love that you are still keeping that “tangible” portion of good ol’ glue & paper in the equation 🙂

    Now…will you please share the font you used for “me” in the title? It’s killing me over here trying to figure it out. (And the half-finished beer next to the keyboard isn’t helping.)

  15. #34
    Beth R.

    Not sure you will even see this but I’m gonna give it a shot anyway.
    I have never done one thing digi and just bought my first digi file, for making photo collages ( Kerri B.)
    I have been using the 30 day trial of PSE 9 in an attempt to see if I can learn anything before I buy it and then realize I cant figure this out.
    Question: When I bring my photo into the mask and use the corner things to enlarge it, my photo get extremely distorted. Is this because I am streching it too much? Do I have to click something to keep it in proportion? For example my mom looks like she is 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide, not very flattering at all.
    The help tab on the program does not address this issue.
    Your tutorial was so clear and easy to understand I need BASIC PSE for dummies classes.
    Any ideas would be great !
    Thank you for sharing your humor and uber talents with us , it really brightens my day.

  16. #35

    I believe that in pse, you need only to click and drag on any of the four corner handles to size your photo down. In full photoshop you have to hold down the shift key in order to keep the proportion correct. When you paste your photo in, make sure you have the layer with the actual photo on it selected in the layers palette. Remember, you can always delete that photo layer and start again. Good luck!

    Sent with love from my iPad

  17. #36
    Beth R

    Thank you for your iPad love.

    Sent with envy from my old school laptop 🙂

    someday….someday ipad2 …..someday ….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *