A Tiny Templates Tutorial + a free fraction conversion chart download for you

Cathy ZielskeFree Downloads, Project Life, Tutorials81 Comments

I have a new digital product at Designer Digitals called Tiny Templates.


The idea is very simple. Seven 3 x 4 layered digital templates that allow you to create tiny little cards containing photos and a story. I created them for use in my Project Life album, and I’ll be posting about my Week 3 of Project Life later in the week, but today the Tiny Templates are on sale and I thought I’d show you exactly how to use them, and how to size them to fit exactly into the Project Life Design A small pockets.


I put together a 20-minute video walking you through working with one of the templates, including how to size the templates down. Just a word of caution: you may see Tiny Elvis at some point during the clip.

Tiny Template Tutorial from Cathy Zielske on Vimeo.

I wanted to include the written instructions for resizing a 3 x 4 file to fit perfectly into the Project Life Design A page pockets. You can always trim them down after printing them at full size, but heck, why not just print them at the exact size and employ the use of crop marks for easy trimming? It’s your choice!

1. To change the width of the card to 2-7/8 wide (the actual width of Project Life cards), or 2.875, go to Image > Resize > Image Size. In the Width field, type in 2.875. Make sure that Scale Styles, Constrain Proportions and Resample Image are all checked. Click OK.

2. To change the height of the card to 3-15/15 (the actual height of Project Life cards), or 3.9375, go to Image > Resize > Canvas Size.

3. Click on the top Anchor Point. Change the height to 3.9375.

4. This will add a small amount of extra space to the bottom of your page. You will need to adjust your elements to fit the space, including moving the Background layer clipping mask down to fit, or moving your photos or type layers down to fit.

I have this nifty little chart I use all the time when working on digital and hybrid scrapbooking projects. It converts fractions to decimals and millimeters which is very handy when converting for sizing in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. Download, print and enjoy!

Download CZ_Fractions2Decimals

Questions? Comments? Post in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer. And look for my full Project Life post on Thursday.




Cathy ZielskeA Tiny Templates Tutorial + a free fraction conversion chart download for you

81 Comments on “A Tiny Templates Tutorial + a free fraction conversion chart download for you”

  1. #1

    I love this idea Cathy, it can be used for so many ideas/themes. How cool that you did all the books being read right now, so happy your on the PL wagon and keep adding more fun ideas for us to use.

    Thanks for the video and keep those ideas coming!!!

  2. #3

    I remember Tiny Elvis but for some reason (probably since I lived in Hawaii) I keep singing “Tiny Templetas…..in the wine…” LOL

  3. #4


    Just wanted to say THANKS! I love, love, love the 3×4 mini templates. I am not doing Project Life but I am making a scrapbook for Jacob who is a freshman in college this year and I am using the divided pages, so these will be PERFECT! Thanks for sharing and for inspiring!


  4. #5

    Great idea. The mini template will be a little fun extra for those days when you want to just say a few words. (And they are CUTE!) Thanks for the walk through video and the conversion chart.

  5. #6
    jacquie d

    Is there ANYTHING you can’t or won’t do? I have already used your tutorial for resizing the 3 x 4 cards, and as usual, you rock! (And so does that chart.) Thanks CZ! P.S. I would also love to see a ‘month in review’ pack.

  6. #7
    Marty Ward

    thanks for these adorable little cards…love the cards and tutorial and conversion chart too.

  7. #8
    Carrie O

    This will be so helpful with Project Life. Also thanks for the conversion chart this will be so helpful. I’ve already ordered my template and plan on playing with them today.

  8. #10

    Thanks for sharing! I’m working along with you this year. We’ll see how it goes. My first attempt.

    By the way I LOVED 11/22/63. You need to read it when they finish.

  9. #11
    Allison Rust

    How cool! Great idea Cathy. And might I say your family has very good literary taste. Just finished 11/22/63 a few weeks ago… one of my all time favorites.

  10. #13
    Sarah Hofseth

    What a cool idea, Cathy! I wish they were landscape orientation, because I’m using the B style page protectors, which have the 3×4 spots set up that way.
    Are you considering making some of these like that, or can these be changed in PSE? Thanks for sharing such great ideas!

  11. #15
    Abby P.

    Absolutely love this mini set – it will be making many appearances in my PL book…I was on the fence about making such a huge commitment to the project, but decided that with you and Ali’s constant encouragement, there was simply no excuse NOT to jump in and give it a whirl! Thanks much for the great ideas.

  12. #16

    Great templates and video. Thank you.

    After watching the video though, I have question. Wouldn’t it be easier to just make the templates 3.9375 x 2.875 to start with, so that no editing was needed at the end?

  13. #17

    Cathy as usual you TOTALLY ROCK! Love the template and ahem, think I am making a purchase from DD today! Thank you soooo much – I just love your design aesthetic!

  14. #18

    I love this adaptation of Project Life. Although I haven’t attempted yet, this idea makes the project more accessible for me, I think. Must remember for later!

  15. #19

    You do wonderful video tutorials all of which I need. Please tell me that this process of Project Life gets faster. This second week has been a steep learning curve, but I was snow bound (north of Everett)so it did not matter, but LIFE might get in the way.

    The biggest tip for me here was how to make the cut marks.

  16. #20

    Well yes! But the problem is that in a regular page protector, like from We R Memory Keepers, the pocket is true to size. Make sense? Its just that the Project Life cards arent true to size 3 x 4. Thats honestly the only reason. That way, if someone is using a regular divided page protector, they dont have to size up or down. : )

    In fact, if I post free downloads on my blog, Ill size them to size for the PL card size, just to make it simpler!

  17. #22

    It does get faster, but… i definitely approach PL actively, always looking to jot down ideas for stories to save and photos to take!

    EVERETT! My hometown, you know!~

  18. #23
    Mary Rogers

    fabulous! picked these up yesterday and will hopefully try them out after work today. thanks C!

  19. #24
    Lynn L.

    Thanks so much for the tutorial! I appreciate the help! I love these templates and can see using them a lot!!! Love your design style. Thanks for sharing!!

  20. #28

    These are great. I will add to wish list for quarterly sale! Are you saving each template you make with each week or just printing? Hope that makes sense.

  21. #29

    I am saving them in each Weeks folder for my Project Life, though Im guessing I wouldnt have to, considering its printed once and done. : ) This set is on sale today through tomorrow, just to let you know!

  22. #30

    I *love* these! Just downloaded and used for the first time today. I’d love to see a template for the 4×6 pockets, if you’re ever thinking about those! Thanks for sharing the free download too! 🙂

  23. #32
    Jenny B.

    Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! You ROCK! 🙂 I love the teeny tiny layouts – never would have thought to do that in the 3×4 spaces. And thank you SO much for the helpful (and pretty) conversion chart! As my 7-year-old son would say, “Woot! Woot!” 🙂

  24. #33
    Annet Maurer

    I’m not doing Project Life (the more I say it, the more I’ll believe it) but am committed to using your “The Monthly” templates. Thinking now I could use some of the PL templates that I like for adaptation with The Monthly templates. That should work, right?

  25. #35

    I bought these this weekend and LOVE them! I used four of them to show a friendly get together from Saturday. I wouldn’t have been able to share so many pics in my PL without these. They are AWESOME!!!

  26. #39

    Love these Cathy. Have just downloaded them from DD, can’t wait to use them tomorrow for my Project Life. The square photo one is perfect for instagram photos!

  27. #40

    The conversion chart is such a great idea. Thank you! However, when I tried to print it, I was unable to. When I view it in the Print Preview function, nothing is there. No doubt it’s operator error on my part, but can you please advise. Thank you again!

  28. #41

    Thanks for another great tutorial. I’m not doing project life but purchased the cards because I do lots of mini albums and they will work great for that. You make it sound easy . . . I’ll probably watch that video a few times! Our book club just selected 11/22/63 for later this year and I can’t wait to read it. Just finished Room – great book.

  29. #42
    Gretchen France

    Thank you so much for the tutorials! Its taking me alot of trial and error but I’m slowly learning photoshop! The tutorials are really helping so thanks! Cant wait to use the tiny templates in my project life!

  30. #46
    Bernice J

    WOW! great minds think alike….I have the exact same conversion chart hanging on a hook by my desk! But yours is so much more professional looking; I handwrote mine) so I think I’ll download yours. Thanks!

  31. #47

    Thanks so much for the video Cathy; I absolutely adore the tiny templates, but thought it was my printer error when they were printing out a little too big, hee hee! They are my fav spots in PL; look forward to seeing 4 x 6 templates too!

  32. #48

    THANK YOU so much for the conversion chart and the video! I’m not only new to Project Life this year, but I just got PSE 10 (it came on my new computer), and without your tutorials, I would certainly be lost in the sauce. Who knew PSE could be so wonderfully complicated at first and then so easy once you get the hang of it?! I’m really happy I found your blog, and I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

  33. #49

    Owh love these! Will need hubby’s approval first though as last time I decided to treat myself to some Designer Digital stuff the credit card company cancelled my card and called him at work! Thanks for the fraction conversions too – I’m still learning imperial (it’s metric here). Ha!

  34. #50

    thanks for the conversion chart cathy!!! i had one but no clue where it is now and instead of printing another one, i keep doing the conversions on my calculator. it would also be perfect at that 3×4 size, laminated, next to my sewing machine:O)
    a long time ago i read john krakauer’s into thin air, about everest. i’ve never forgotten it.

  35. #53

    Thanks for the conversion chart, Cathy. And, I just downloaded the tiny templates. I’m not doing a full-fledged Project Life this year, but still have tons of the page protectors and will do something. Love these little ones!

  36. #54
    Megan -Best of Fates

    Those look so fabulous – I’ve never bought a digital template, but now I’m tempted! (Especially as Picnik is closing and now I’m going to be forced to learn Photoshop, even though it’s far too complex for my meager brain to understand!) And I love how you memorialized what everyone is reading, what a great idea!

  37. #55

    I started PL last year and made it through March. I am going to adapt it so I can just continue on even though it’s a new year. That’s why I bought Tiny Templates so I don’t have to worry about starting over and running out of the matching cards. They are so easy to use! I was wondering, though, how to put crop marks in and then print them. I don’t see them when I am in Photoshop. Is it because I am using CS4?

  38. #56

    In CS4, when you send the file to print and get the Print window, look on the upper left and youll see a drop down that either says Output or Color Management. Choose OUTPUT and then below, under printing marks, choose Crop Marks.

  39. #58

    It worked! Thank you, Cathy! I have been trying to figure out how to do that for quite a while.

  40. #59
    Sherry P

    I think you need to set up a special entertainment blog. I agree with all of your favorite music, books, etc. You’re are a woman of many talents. I loved Into The Wild. Even though it haunts me, I wish I had the opportunity to live in an abandoned bus in the Alaskan wilderness(for a mini vacay only). Supertramp!
    Enough gushing, is the Bazill cardstock what you print the journal cards on? Even if you plan on handwriting on them, as opposed to doing the whole card digitally? I was wondering how the texture of the cardstock was to write on? Do I need to use different types of paper for cards that I just need to print vs. those that I will be using writing instruments on? Hope that makes sense.
    Thanks for all you do!

  41. #60

    The texture is perfection. For writing on. For printing on. Seriously. I only print my printable cards on that card stock. I print all of them on that card stock. I really love it! Just ordered more of it too.

  42. #61
    toni from

    I watched your video and made my first tiny template today and I am very excited about how it turned out. I know I have told you before, but you are hilarious. I think we have a similar sense of humor (I am from Graham, Washington so maybe it is a Washington thing, lol.) I just wanted to mention something that I noticed about the video that I found especially funny, a little over 3 minutes in you say, “It’s huge man, thank you…” I was waiting for you to say in perfect tiny Elvis, “thank you, thank you very much, huhuhuh…” but maybe you can add that on your next take of tiny templates. Thanks for the great video! Much appreciated.

  43. #62
    Tracy Moniz

    Hi, Cathy,

    Thanks so much for the instructions – I followed exactly, but when I drag my finished template on to a 4×6 background (so I can send off for printing), the newly sized template is bigger than 2.875×3.9375.

    (I had created a 4×6 template for myself, with slightly smaller than 3×4 rectangles, so that I could easily clip small photos and send off for printing. I usually have to trim a little off the width.)

    Sorry to bother you with this, but thought you might have an easy answer! I am struggling with all of my “3×4” purchases for this reason.

    Thanks!! Totally love the templates!

  44. #64

    Hmmm. Trying to think of what this could be… coupla things: make sure your 4 x 6 target doc is set to 300 (Im sure it is, but just check that.)

    That is the only thing I can think of. If you size it and then bring it over, it shouldnt change size. Is your template with the slightly smaller than 3×4 rectangles possibly larger than the size of the resized card?

  45. #65
    Tracy Moniz

    You are so cool for responding! To make sure we are talking apples ‘n apples – I open a new document, change the width/height to 6×4 inches, then change the resolution from the default of 72 to 300. If that’s correct, that’s my background.

    To create my template, I turned the grid view on, and created two rectangles in slightly less than 3 x 4 that I could clip my photos to (then I save the file as a JPG and send off for printing). When I drag my resized tiny template over, it is wider than my little rectangles, and taller than 4″. I will keep playing with it!! 🙂

  46. #66

    Loving this idea . . . as an Elements instructor can you tell me the advantage of resizing the image and canvas vs straight up cropping the image? I know you must have a reason for it, it’s just not coming to me at the moment. Thanks!!!

  47. #67

    To preserve the original design of the card and its proper proportions. If you trim to size after printing at full size, youd be getting pretty tight where the small title and journaling are. Does that help to explain?

  48. #69

    Cathy, the tutorial is marvelous. I already bought all your tiny templates packets and love them. Project life is my only memory keeping project so I just love your templates that work in that format. I’m also really learning a lot in your Ten Tips for Better Type class.

    A question – when you are resizing you said to uncheck “Resample Image”, then you change the 72 to 300, then you recheck “Resample Image”. Why do you uncheck that box?


  49. #70

    I uncheck it, so the computer will interpolate (i think thats what its called) the pixels correctly based on changing the resolution. But then, you Recheck it so that if you go to change the width or height again, you wont alter the resolution.

    Also, a senior designer that i worked with years ago just told me thats how you do it. ha! So I always have!

  50. #71

    Well, since you’re as close as I come to knowing a senior designer, that’s how I’ll do it too. ha!

  51. #73
    Banu H

    Hi Cathy, When you have mixed media journaling card like this which has text and photos together, do you still print them on Bazzill paper? or do you print them on photo paper?

  52. #75

    Hi Cathy,
    I love your mini templates and use them for mini scrapbooking of short stories: I let them be developed as a photo and collect them in an photoalbum. It’s a simple and easy way to save memories in a short time.:-)

  53. #78

    I like your templates and again recheck it so that if you go to change the width or height again, you wont alter the resolution.

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