In the layout I made using the night time digital scrapbooking kit “Little Dreamer”, I used a very simple technique to blend the photo and the elements from the kit into the background.
To do this, first I opened my background paper. The papers from this kit in particular are perfect for this type of technique because they are naturally easy to blend with, so this is a good one to use to practice with at first!
Once you have your background paper ready, here are the step by step instructions to do this type of digital scrapbooking technique:
Step 1: Make All Necessary Extractions: If blending a photograph, the first thing you will want to do is extract the item/person from the photo so that when you blend it in it will not appear to have a square or rectangular shape. (See How to Extract People From Photos in PSE).
Step 2: Add Photos/Elements to Page and Convert to GrayScale: After you have placed your elements and extracted photos into the page, you are going to want to convert all of your scrapbooking elements and photographs to grayscale (except for the background paper). Turning them into black and white will help them blend in better without worrying about different colors mixing to make new colors. (For example, blue on yellow would make green when you go to blend them together!) To do this in PSE, go to Enhance->Convert to GrayScale. Choose whichever grayscale setting makes the photograph look the best.
Step 3: Select the Element & Change the Blending Mode: Once you have the element in grayscale format, your next step is to make it actually blend into the paper. Make sure the item is selected in the layers panel, and then click on the box in the layers panel that says “Normal” and experiment with the various settings. To learn more about the most common settings and the effects they produce, read our tutorial on How to Recolor Items in Photoshop.
Step 4: Change the Opacity: If none of the blending modes give you exactly what you’d like right away, you can next adjust the opacity settings until getting the desired effect. You can see in the screen shot above it is directly beside the settings for blending modes. Changing it from 100% to 50% (and anywhere in between) will usually make it blend seamlessly.
Step 5: If Need Be, Clone Stamp: Usually this step is not necessary after doing the two previous setps, but once in awhile you may need to use it. Once the clone stamp is selected, you’ll want to go to the settings below the menus and check the box that says “Sample All Layers” – this will make it so the background area you define will be stamped and not just the element you are working with. Simply use the clone stamp tool and clone stamp your way around the edges of the element until it looks like it is part of the background you are blending into. See Using the Clone Stamp Tool in PSE for more information on how to do this.
And there you have it! 5 simple steps to blending your photographs and elements into your digital scrapbooking pages and layouts!