Converting a Digital Template to a Hybrid Layout


Greetings! You may have noticed that we have been holding some Hybrid Layout Challenges here on Deena’s blog; so I thought this might be a perfect time to go over how to create a Hybrid layout from a Digital template. Deena has recently released Vol. 11 of her Template Kits, and today I chose one of her newest templates to use in this tutorial. I hope that by the end of this post, those of you who have been a little “nervous” to test out Hybrid projects will feel more comfortable…and have some fun with paper and glue. Digi is awesome, don’t get me wrong; but sometimes it’s awesome to create something with the real thing!



Step 1:  Choose a Template

With so many great templates to choose from in Deena’s collections, the first order of business is to narrow it down to one. This is the template I chose to use for my layout. I love that she has included both 8.5 x 11 and 12×12 sizes in this particular kit. It works perfectly for my purposes today; teaching how to literally use a template designed for digi, and translate it to paper construction (especially help those who are beginners to this process).




Step 2:  Choose your Kits.

Select papers to create the foundation of your layout, according to your template. Of course, you’ll need to choose which photos you’d like to tell and your story as well. I happen to LOVE Deena’s most recent release, ELB –Daydream Collection, and it worked perfectly with the story I had in mind to tell about an incident with my grandson. It is so versatile though, you’d be amazed at how many ways you could incorporate it into your Pocket Pages, layouts, cards, etc. Anyway…I used the paper and elements from this collection, and the speech bubble from the Bloom Collection. For the background, I used a Kraft paper from Deena’s Neutral Pack…truly indispensable! When it came to deciding upon my title, I knew the exact alpha I wanted to use, too.


Step 3:  Create Foundation

Just like you would when creating a digital layout, clip your desired papers to the base shapes of your template. Here is what mine looks like, with the photos added as well.


I went ahead an added drop shadows as well, for realism. In actuality, I AM creating a digital layout, however, drop shadows are not necessary; and by not adding them it will save you a step as I will show later on in this post.

Step 4:  Add Embellishments

This is always the most fun part of creating a layout, right? It’s the little things that bring a page to life, helps to tell the story…puts YOU into your creation. The Daydream Collection is all about fun, sun, surf, etc. and it also worked out perfectly in a whimsical way to tell my 2 Boys in a Tub story. I found fun bits and pieces to put here and there, wherever felt right to my eye. An advantage to choosing an 8.5 x11 layout design is that I can run it through my printer; so I did my journaling directly onto the base of the page. I LOVE that! These photos demonstrate my chosen papers, embellishments, journaling, and title.



…and this is how it all ended up.


**Note: Because this is a tutorial for a beginning Hybrid layout artist, I was very specific to place every element precisely where I planned for it to end up. Sometimes, after I get my foundation in place, I choose elements to support my story, and once printed out…I create it from that point–without a fully solidified plan. I just let my creativity go to work.

Step 5:  Create Printable Pages

As mentioned, I typed my journaling directly onto my base page. On my computer screen, I used a kraft background paper; when I printed the journaling I did it directly onto a kraft paper as well. Furthermore, to help in placing my photos and other embellishments in the correct location, I created a block on the page where my photo mat would go. This is a screen shot…


…and this is how it looked out of my printer.


At this point, create a NEW 8×5 x 11 document to drag your printable elements onto. If you happen to have a wide format printer, GREAT, but most of us have traditional letter page sized printers. Lay your finished layout on one side of your screen, and your blank document next to it on the other side. Now, drag each embellishment over to your blank document.


For those shapes which have a paper clipped to them, select both the paper AND shape layer, then drag both to the new document–as illustrated below.



This is what my page of printables looked like as I sent it to the printer. **Remember to eliminate all drop shadows from layers before printing. Natural shadows will be created as you layer your project.


Step 6:  Cut and Assemble

No Silhouette was used when creating this layout; I did it the old-fashioned way with a pair of scissors! For the blue scallop border, I used my Fiskars border punch because I did not want to have to cut each scallop out by hand. I planned to use a manual punch for the speech bubble as well, but instead just free-hand cut it out instead. Once I had all the pieces cut out, I inked around the edges so they would stand out more against the background paper. This is just a personal preference.



I do have a confession to make. From the time I cut out my pieces and went to attach them to my page, I misplaced the sun. Then, wouldn’t you know it…I found it after I had finished adhering everything to my page! Oh, bother. I replaced the sun from Deena’s kit with a different sun shape I had cut previously from a piece of canvas. I hope I’m not alone in these little mishaps. Anyhow, by lining up the photo mat onto your background page properly, you merely start building your layout again. Just as before, start at the bottom and work your way up.



Notice all the natural shadows and dimension from layering papers atop one another; especially the effect of using pop-dots? Making hybrid pages sometimes can be a good study for making your shadows look more natural when creating digital layouts, as well.  One of the great things about creating with Hybrid techniques, is YOU can choose how many items you would like to add onto a digital page. For example, I could have created this layout so it printed with everything on the page except for the buttons, twine, and those word strips where I used pop dots.

It is my hope that you will experiment with the techniques discussed in this tutorial. If necessary or desired, start with only a few printed add ons; then use more as your comfort level increases. Remember how fun it was to play with paper, scissors, and glue as a child? Well, you can do it again, in a much less-messy way! Of course, it’s not as clean and tidy as digital, but it’s another way to create and get your stories told. Thanks for sticking with me through this rather long tutorial today…and HAPPY HYBRID CRAFTING!


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