I’m always looking for ways to squeeze every last bit of creativity from my scrapbooking tools, and digital elements are no different. Using a digital element multiple times on a layout does more than make me feel like a thrifty scrapper, though; it also reinforces a number of design principles.
I always try to put an element to use three times on a layout, which helps me to create a visual triangle; this helps to direct the viewer’s eye across my layout and frames my central point of visual interest. Changing the size, color, and texture of the element provides variety, while the repetition creates subtle pattern and unity.
For this layout featuring my niece’s 1st birthday, I decided to see how many different ways I could use Karla Dudley’s Jumbo No. Cards. (Other credits: kraft cardstock from Neutral Stock by Audrey Neal; Fun Day elements, Everyday papers, Let’s Go papers and elements, all from Robyn Meierotto; Pacifico font)
My first use of the Jumbo Numbers element was to create a repetitive background on the kraft paper. To do this, I simply resized the number 1 and created rows. Once I merged all the individual rows together, I changed the blend mode in my Layers palette to Overlay and adjusted the Opacity to 70%. Then I merged the layer with my background paper.
My second use of the Jumbo Numbers element was to use it as a clipping mask. I covered the template with the grid paper from Robyn’s Everyday paper pack, then placed the #1 brush on top of it. I filled the brush with paint using the Fill (bucket) tool first, to remove the decreased opacity. Then I placed the diagonal stripe paper from Robyn’s Everyday paper pack on top of the brush and “clipped” it (CtrlG, CtrlE) to the brush. I finished things up by adding a slight drop shadow.
My final use was as more of a brush element. Again, I used the fill (bucket) tool to make the brush less opaque, filling it with a couple of different colors. For a little extra impact, I added key words (with the background graph paper clipped to them) on top of the brushes.