Tutorial: Create More Realistic-Looking Text

Fonts. Who doesn’t love them?  There are hundreds, probably thousands, of fonts from which to choose.  Font choice is important because a font style conveys information, simply by its design.

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But even when you make a great font choice, if your text doesn’t integrate well into your layout, the result could be  less than satisfactory.

Here’s an example. See how the text just seems to be sitting on top of the paper?

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There’s a simple fix for this.  Here’s how:

1.  Double click your text layer to bring up the Styles Panel. (Alternatively, you can click on the FX icon at the bottom of the layers panel.)

2. Click on Blending Modes (on the left) to make that option active.

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3. In the middle of the Blending Options Panel, all the way down at the bottom, notice the “Blend If” options. Leave “Blend If” set to Gray. We are going to look at the “Underlying Layer” sliders. Grab the slider on the left, and while keeping an eye on your text, drag the slider to the right until the text starts to disappear.

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4. Hold down the Alt Key (Option on a Mac), and click in the middle of the black triangle. This will split the Triangle in half. While still holding down the Alt Key, grab the left side of the triangle, and drag to the left, bringing back as much or as little of the text as you like.

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It’s personal preference; you can be as bold or as subtle as you like.

Here is my original text, followed by my results. A subtle change, but one I’m happy with.

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And here is the final layout.

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Credit: This layout was created using one of the Album pages in the ABC Teach Me Collection available at:

SnickerdoodleDesigns    |    theStudio

If you would like to keep this tutorial on your computer for easy reference, you may download a PDF here: Creating Realistic Text by SnickerdoodleDesigns.

If you are a visual learner, you can view this tutorial on SnickerdoodleDesigns You Tube Channel and on theStudio’s YouTube Channel.

Please head over to YouTube and take a minute to Follow both channels.  Each Channel will have some exclusive videos, so by following both channels, you will be sure not to miss a thing!

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Thanks for stopping by!

Do you love texture?

It’s no secret I love texture!  And last week I was lucky enough to come across some more books dating as far back as 1835! I just HAD to create some more vintage textures with them!

Enjoy a 30% savings on the individual sets and a 45% savings on the Duet!

 Vintage Book Overlays Sets 9 and 10 are now available  at:

Vintage Book Overlays Set 9
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Download a Vintage Book Overlay Sampler and have some fun!
Experiment with Blend Modes and Opacity Levels.  Colorize, add Hue/Saturation Adjustments. Play with Levels and Curves!
There is no limit to the fun you can have with Textures!
Click on the image below to download!
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Thanks for stopping by today!

School is in Session! Create a Quick and Easy Album for your favorite Student!

How many of us have been in the stands at a graduation ceremony – be it kindergarten, elementary school, high school, college, technical school, or whatever – and beamed with pride as a loved one earned their diploma?   It is times like these when we reflect upon how far the graduate has come in their educational journey.

It all starts with the basics.  Our ABC’s.

My ABC Teach Me Collection was designed to help you create a unique and personal album in just about an hour.  The Collection was previously released, but I’m back with a Quick Page Album to make things go even more quickly for you!

The Quick Page Album is available separately, but it is also included as a Free-With-Purchase of the entire Collection!   Let’s take a look!

Available at:
SnickerdoodleDesigns   | theStudio

Included in the 50% off Back To School Sale!
Or save 67% on the Collection (which includes the Quick Page Album!) Of course, this is your BEST VALUE!

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Quickly and easily create a gift featuring your favorite child or children (or friends!).
I loved these pictures of my grandson, Owen, and “H” was perfect to feature this cute hat!

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And here is some more inspiration for you from Renee!

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So go ahead!  Create a keepsake album that will be treasured forever!

Here is a Teach Me Cluster to help you get started. Click on the image below to download!

cluster-freeThanks for stopping by today!

DIY: Plank Wall

Last week I mentioned that I was working on a project in my craft room.  It is currently painted a soft yellow.  I wanted to add a little pizazz to the walls, so decided on a plank wall at one end of the room. The photos make the room look very narrow, but it’s 9′ wide.

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First stop: Home Depot.  I wanted thin wood, so chose an oak plywood, which can be purchased in large sheets (8′ x 8′ as I recall).  I opted for 6″ wide strips, and talked to a friendly and helpful employee who agreed to cut the strips for me.

First challenge:  Bringing 8′  long boards home in a little Scion. :)   No photos. I didn’t want a record of that experience.  Let’s just say…. well, let’s not. Let’s just leave it alone.

First Step:  I designed the wall in Photoshop, so I would have a visual of: 1) the length of the boards, 2) the colors I wanted, 3) the arrangement of the colors.  I put a grid on the document, so I knew exactly how many inches wide and long each board was. That would make it easy to cut the boards the correct lengths.

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First cut: After recording on paper what board lengths I wanted, I cut the 8′ length boards into their appropriate sizes, then sanded them with a medium grit sandpaper.

First embarrassing picture: See below. :)   (Working outside in some little summer pajamas. It was hot out!)

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With some of the left-over boards, I experimented with different looks, using a combination of paint and stains.

I used a green, white, and yellow paint and 2 different stains: golden oak and clear.
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Once I was happy with the color choices and techniques I would use to achieve the results I wanted, I started painting the boards I had cut to size.

I referred to  my Photoshop drawing and numbered the back of each piece of wood (by row) so I would know exactly where to place each plank on the wall.

When the boards were all painted, I sanded them (again!) lightly with a 220 grit Extra Fine sandpaper.

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Now the boards were ready for placement.  I could have trusted my drawing and proceeded with putting the planks on the wall…. but I wanted to double-check and make certain I was satisfied with the colors and how they looked together.  It would be easier to make any changes now, rather than later.  Referring to my drawing once more, I laid the planks out on the floor to get a preview.

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I was happy with this, in general.  I want to give the solid blue and solid yellow planks a little more interest by lightly sanding away some of the paint, allowing the wood grain to show through a bit more. But I decided that was best done when the planks were on the wall. So up they went!

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I started at the top, near the ceiling, because I knew the last row of boards would only be about 3″ in width. I used  brown rustic-looking drywall screws at each plank end, and small Wire Nails to tack down the the middle of the longer boards.

I wanted to add some additional interest with a bit more sanding. Armed with a piece of 200-grit sandpaper, I sanded in between the seams of the planks, to create less of a stark contrast between the different colored boards. It’s not obvious in the pictures, but there really is a significant difference up close and personal.

I also wanted to protect the wood and add a little sheen to it, so added a coat of Paste Wax.

Next, to frame the edges of the wall, I added a border of 2-inch pine strips, painted white. I used the same rustic-looking drywall screws when attaching the border, to keep the look consistent.

I decided the solid, pale yellow walls looked too plain, so I painted the lower 48 inches of the wall to match the plank wall. (The walls sure doesn’t look yellow here, do they?)

You can tell the drywall isn’t entirely straight by the slight gap in between the wall and the border. Of course that annoys me, but I know when I get pictures hung and furniture put back in place, the “obvious” gaps won’t be quite so obvious.

So now the wall is complete. Yeah!

Total cost: wood, paint, stain, nails, and dry-wall screws… about $140.

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If you’ve ever thought about creating a plank wall, give it a whirl. It’s not really difficult.  Like any type of construction, whether you are working with wood or fabric, or anything really…. just remember the old adage: Measure twice, cut once!

Next step… you may remember that several months ago I mentioned I was going to turn a door into a table? Great story about how I got the door, but I’ll save that for next week.  For now, the door is in place… just resting on top of 2 cabinets.

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Once I order glass to cover the top, everything will get moved back against the wall, and picture frames and other what-nots will be put in place!  It’s starting to come together.  I love the warm colors in the room.  When I walk in, they just seem to hug me.

What is it about YOUR workspace that you just totally love?  Please leave a comment and let us all know!

Save 65% on MyPublisher Photobook!

Have you ever created a photo album using MyPublisher? It is MY personal favorite publishing house. The quality is amazing! Here is one of their best-ever coupons if you could like to give them a try!

Flash Sale! 65% off MyPublisher photo books.

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