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I started doing some digital designing to make party printables and digital scrapbooking paper a couple of years ago. I tried out a digital scrapbooking program called My Memories and then moved to Photoshop Elements. Photoshop Elements is the cheaper version of Photoshop, but since I’m not a professional graphic designer it works great for my purposes. I purchased my copy on Amazon a couple of years ago, and while I have played with the idea of upgrading to the Adobe suite subscription, Photoshop Elements has really been perfectly fine to meet all of all my needs.
I began by making things like party circles, waterbottle labels, and digital scrapbooking packs. I wanted to share some great YouTube videos as well as some other things I have learned along the way. This series on using Photoshop Elements to design party printables is going to be in four parts.
Part 1 – Making Party Circles
Part 2 – Making patterned backgrounds (for digital scrapbooking paper or surface design)
Part 3 – Making water bottle labels
Part 4 – Making party hats and favor boxes
Alright, let’s get started.
To begin, I open Photoshop Elements, and click CTRL+N for a new file. This menu allows you to choose a name if you want (I generally don’t, I just name it when I save the file), as well as a size. You can select US Paper from the Preset menu, or insert a width of 8.5 and a height of 11. I use a resolution of 300 pixels/inch, RGB Color mode, and a white background.
Next you want to select the Ellipse tool and select a Fixed Size of 1.75 inches by 1.75 inches. This is for finished 2″ party circles, but you can of course make them any size. Lay out 12 of these by clicking where you would like the circles. Don’t worry about aligning them properly, that’s the next step.
Click and drag your cursor to select the top 3 circles. When you do this, an align menu will appear. Select Center from the Align menu. Do this for each row. For each column, you will have to click and drag to select, then choose Middle from the Align menu.
Next bring in an image you would like to use. Click and drag the image, dropping it on top of one of the circles.
Resize the image as needed, and align it with one of the circles. You can now save your new file as a PDF printable. Want to download these? Here’s a freebie file for you:
I’m also posting below a YouTube video on how to use Photoshop Elements to make party circles. This has some great basic information like drawing and outlining shapes, adding text, duplicating layers, merging layers, and saving as a pdf. I use these features of the program all time. She also demonstrates how to make a checkered or gingham style background. This was a really great way to get to know the program, especially understanding layers. At first layers really annoyed me, but as I’ve gotten to understand the program, I’ve really come to love using them. It’s a great way to quickly explore different options.
Photoshop uses some keyboard shortcuts that I love. These are the ones I use the most:
CTRL N : New
CTRL J : Duplicate layer
CTRL E : Merge layers
CTRL+ : Increase screen size
CTRL- : Decrease screen size
CTRL Z : Undo
CTRL Y : Redo
Once you’ve made your party circles, how can you use them? I use them as stickers for envelopes or gift bags, confetti, or cupcake toppers. To make the cupcake toppers, cut the circles out. Then I punched out 2″ circles with a paper punch and taped some on and added dimensional adhesives to others. Then you can hot glue them to a lollipop stick and add them into cupcakes to make them more festive.
Hope you learned something new! Feel free to share your own tips about making party circles or using Photoshop Elements below. Be sure to come back for parts 2-4 of the series when you’re ready to learn more!