Do you love patterned paper? I do!!! I especially love the messy or artsy papers that are so popular right now. But sometimes, they can be hard to journal on. The journaling gets lost in the pattern or the text color can disappear into the paper. This tutorial will help you make your journaling stand out, just a little better, while still keeping the look of the patterned paper.
As always, this tutorial is designed for PSE. I’m using version 14, but I’ve been using this technique for years so any version will work!
I’m using Kristmess’s beautiful The Great Outdoors kit with the Camping Addon kit for all of the elements. The artsy paper is from Pixelily’s Tranquil Autumn. Both these kits were part of the GGI collection in September of 2015.
Here is my completed page without the corrected journaling. You can see that some of the journaling is tough to read…especially the last line. So, let’s begin!
Create your own layout (or pull up an old one) with journaling on patterned paper. Or just grab some patterned paper and place some journaling some place where it gets a little lost in the pattern.
1. Make sure that your patterned paper is the active layer. Press the new layer icon at the top of the panels. This new layout will be immediately above your paper and below your journaling.
2. Make your new layer active. Using the rectangular selection tool, draw a box approximately the size of your journaling. I slanted my journaling so this is a little less scientific, but it’s easy to make the box bigger or smaller later…just get it in the vicinity!
3. Now we want to soften the edges so our box blends in well with the patterned paper. Choose Select from the main menu, then choose Feather from the drop down. When the dialog box comes up, choose 20 pixels and press OK.
4. Now we need to fill the box on our new layer with color. You should still have the “marching ants” around the box you drew in step 2. Choose Edit from the main menu and then Fill Selection from the drop down box. That will bring up a dialog box with fill choices. Choose color and then color again from the drop down box.
5. That will bring up the color picker and an eyedropper tool for you to “pick” your color. Pick a light color on the patterned paper, inside the selection box. I clicked the eyedropper on a spot that looked white to me, but got a pale peach. Click around till you get a color that seems right then click OK.
6. Now your box is filled with that color and your journaling should be standing out better, but it doesn’t look that great!
7. Ok, let’s shape up your box a bit. First, hit CNTL/D to deselect. Your marching ants should now be gone. If your text is slanted, like mine, use the move tool to tip the box so that it better matches the text. This is also the time to resize the box, so that it fits perfectly under the text. Get the box as small as possible while still including all the text. When you are done, hit the check mark to commit the change.
8. Now we just need to blend and we are good to go! This is VERY dependent on the paper and the color of your text, so my instructions are what I did for mine, you will need to do some variation of this to get yours to look the way you want. I always start by decreasing the opacity of the new box layer to 50%. Sometimes, changing the opacity is all you need to do. The 20% feather we used when we created the box, should be creating a soft blending edge, but some times your paper goes from light to dark, like mine and you need more help in the darker areas. In my case the top two lines of the journaling were pretty much ok, even without the box. The third line needs some help, the fourth line needs even more help.
So, I use the eraser tool with a soft brush, at 50%, about the same size as one line of journaling. I brushed 3 times on the box, under the top line of journaling, two times under the 2nd line, and, you guessed it, 1 time under the 3rd line. The 4 line I left alone. Play with the layer opacity till you are happy!
9. My final layout! Journaling is much easier to read without compromising the beautiful paper!
Here are some additional samples with various color fills.
No Box. Some letters tough to see
White box. Lettering shows better & less cluttered
No Box, Letter disappear into light spots
Blue Box (same blue as BG) Lettering shows up better
No box. Letters do not stand out
Light orange box (looks much less cluttered)