Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Digital Stamps Basics

Hello everyone! Today's post does note have a card. It's a short tutorial on how to use digital stamps for making cards. I recently saw a few posts on Facebook where people wanted to know how to print and use digital stamps. I use Microsoft PowerPoint to print out my digis - you can also use Microsoft Word, Google docs or Google Slides which are very similar.

I used to be very intimidated with digis, because I didn't know how to size them to exactly the way I need. Now, I love using digital stamps because of a lot of reasons!! I hope this tutorial helps you in using digital stamps.

Let's start with the digis. When we buy a digital stamp, it is usually sent as a zip (compressed) file. A zip file is nothing but a file or a collection of files and folders which are compressed in size. A compressed file is faster to download because of it's small file size. So our first step is to extract the image files from the zip file. To do this, right click on the zip file and choose Extract All...

This will open a small pop-up window which shows the location of the folder where the extracted files will be placed. 

 Now, click on the Extract button. All the files from the zip (compressed) file will be copied to the folder mentioned. 

Now comes the important part - printing a digital image to fit in my card.

Like I said, I use Microsoft PowerPoint. I open a blank presentation and delete everything already present on the slide.

I start by sizing the slide to the size of my card stock on which I'm going to take my printout. I normally use 8.5" x 11" card stock which makes 4 A2 (4.25"x 5.5") card panels. Click on "Design" menu --> "Slide Size" ----> Custom Slide Size

This will open a small pop-up window with the size and orientation of the slide. Since I use 8.5" x 11" card stock, I entered the respective values. The orientations can be landscape or portrait.

Now, to give me an idea of the size of my card, I insert a rectangle to represent my card panel. To insert a rectangle, click on Insert menu --> Shapes --> rectangle image

Draw a rectangle of any size. Now since I make A2 cards (4.25" x 5.5"), I want the rectangle to be of that size. If you make a different card size, you can change the size of the rectangle according to your measurements. To change the size of the rectangle, select the rectangle and click on Format menu. On the top right end, you will see the size of the rectangle with height and width in inches. Enter the measurement.

Next, I just want a rectangle border not a blue rectangle. So to change that click on Format --> Shape Fill --> No Fill

Now I have a rectangular border that represents the front of my card. Now like I said, I can make 4 A2 card panels with 1 A4 card stock. I move this rectangle to the top left corner of the slide. Then I copy the rectangle and place the second one like shown in the pic.

Now I have 4 card panels in here. I can insert any images I want. To insert an image, click on Insert menu --> Pictures. It will open a pop-up window with the file location. You can select you image from it and click on Open.

Once you have placed the image, you can resize it as you like. With the rectangle, you can see the relative size of the image with the card panel.

I like to do no-line coloring. Some companies offer the light grey lined version of the digital image for no-line coloring, some don't. To get a light grey version, select your image, click on Format --> Color and on the Recolor option, select the 4th option (washout). I hope the pic below shows it in more detail.

Before hitting print, it is always better to get a preview of how your printed sheet will be. To see the Print Preview, click on the File menu --> Print. This shows exactly how it'll be printed. Many printers have a default margin which cannot be removed. Mine does, so I don't place my images very close to the edge. Once you are satisfied with the placement, you can go back and remove the rectangles.

Once you are ready, hit the print button. You can use your paper trimmer to cut out the card panels and enjoy coloring!!

If you found this tutorial useful, please let me know. Hopefully this covers all the basic stuff. If you need any help with the sizing or placement of the digital images, please let me know in the comments below. I will try my best to address them.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a great day!


cotnob said...

Thank you for sharing your method, I always use Microsoft Word to manipulate and print my images.
Pauline - Crafting with Cotnob

Stir Your Creativity said...

Detailed tutorial which really is very helpful.

Reusing Cards & Quilling said...

Very helpful !

Donna said...

I just might like this better than Word. Thank you!

Jasleen Kaur said...

Yes, Berina, your post is very helpful. Saving it. Thanks for sharing such a detailed post.

Robin said...

If using a standard inkjet printer, can you color with any medium without smearing the image?

Berina RGA said...

I'm using a HP inkjet printer. I always use copics on my images. I've never had any problem. I tried to do watercoloring today. But my image in a very light grey. I didn't have any problem with that either.

aussie aNNie said...

Well written. I use paint shop pro but too hard to explain how to use it.x [aNNie]

Barbara said...

Thanks for these instructions. I am going to save them and give it a try.

Kate Darnell said...

Oh my stars! This article has changed my life! I have had nothing but failure in formatting and printing my digis. Your post was perfect and gave me immediate, easy to follow success. I can't thank you enough for this pearl of wisdom on digis. Hats off to you, Moxie Craftie. I am in your debt!

jordanbev5@yahoo.com said...

Thanks for your informative post!! Have pinned it for future use! Never knew all of this and tended to print 4 of the same image. Great tutorial!

Cheryl Hewak said...

WOW very helpful tutorial. Now I hope I can do it. Thanks a bunch.