3 Ways to Incorporate Photo Collages in your Project Life Layout

Hi Crafters, Harkee of AS they grow here with this month’s Project Life tutorial. This month’s challenge theme is florals and, since all unicorns seem to be wearing floral crowns these days, I am creating a layout using photos from my daughter’s recent unicorn themed birthday party.

In this month’s tutorial I am showing you three ways to incorporate collages into your Project Life layouts. Collages can take different forms and can be used for different reasons, here I will be showing you how to use collages to:
– give more impact to a single photo;
– fit more photos into a single pocket page; and
– elevate a photo with ephemera and embellishment collaging.

The materials I used in this project are all linked up below for your ease.


Large Impact Photo Collage

There may be times in your memory keeping where you want one photo to the a main feature or have a bigger impact. This is easily achieved in digital memory keeping when page layouts can be easily manipulated and adapted but in the world of physical Project Life memory keeping you need to work with the limitations and sizes of the various pocket page designs. There are a number of ways you can incorporate enlarged photos that are bigger than the 6”x4” pockets, including creating a full page scrap-booked page to fit in a 12”x12” protector as I did in last month’s tutorial, printing a whole 12”x12” photo to place in a page protector or, as I will show you, splitting one photo across a number of pockets. This creates a bit of a jigsaw effect where the individual pieces make up the whole picture and can be an interesting change to the usual single photo per pocket arrangement.

Since I am working with a 12”x12” page layout and want to fill up most of the page I could have printed my chosen picture in size 12”x12” and trimmed it down with a paper cutter to fit into the slots. However, it may be difficult or cost a lot more to get such an enlargement printed.

So instead I used a free online photo editing site to crop my photo into 4”x6” pieces ready to print easily and slot into the page pockets. The site I regularly use for this kind of thing is picmonkey; it has lots of great features and is fairly easy to use once you play around with it for a little while.

My method starts with selecting the photo to edit then following the steps below:

Step 1: Crop picture to a square.

Step 2: Use the alignment tool to set up a grid. I am using Page Design L so I set up a custom grid of 2 rows and 3 columns to match the layout of my page pockets. Other page designs would need other grids, e.g. for page design A a grid of 3 rows by 4 columns would be needed, for page design D a grid of 4 rows by 3 columns would be needed etc.

Step 3: Using these grid lines as a guide, crop down to the section that you want to fill the first pocket.

Step 4: Save this cropped image.

Step 5: Use the undo button to return back to the full image with the grid lines. DO NOT use the back button on your browser as you will lose your image and need to start again!

Step 6: Repeat cropping and saving action for each section that you want to include in your pockets collage.

Once you have all your pieces saved as separate images you can print them and slot them into the relevant pockets to create your overall big impact image.


Multiple Image Photo Collage

The second collage type I am using is a collage of multiple photos on a 4″x6″ print. This is a great way to include lots of details in your layout that might not be appropriate for a whole photo pocket on their own. We had so many beautiful details in the party decor that I wanted to include as many of them as possible in my layout and this was a really easy way to do that.

Again I used picmonkey but this time used the photo collage feature rather than the photo edit feature that I used above.

To ensure the collage printed perfectly on to a 4″x6″ print I locked the proportions to 1200 x 1800 pixels ( the landscape version would be 1800 x 1200 pixels.

You can then select and drop in your photos in the configuration you desire.  I created two picture collages in this way to include all the details I wanted to and so the final page layout would be balanced with the two collages. Once created and saved they are ready for printing and slotting into the pockets.

Embellished Photo Collage

My design kit this month included lots of lovely embellishments and ephemera which are perfect for an embellished photo collage, almost a mini scrapbooked square. There was also this gorgeous Dear Lizzy Stay Colourful paper pad which has lots of pretty patterned papers, perfect for creating my own Project Life filler cards and backgrounds.

First I cut some of the papers down to size, 3″x3″ for the Design R page spaces I was using and 4″ x3″ for one of the Page L empty spaces. I am using one of the 3″x3″ pieces for the background to my embellished collage.

To mix things up a little I used an instax mini print as the base photo for my collage, it fits nicely on the 3″x3″ background with room to spare for the embellishments. As an alternative you can cut down a regular photo. Once I laid out the various bits I was thinking about using for my collage I started layering up the background with some of the patterned paper offcuts and the photo and then adding the floral ephemera using sticky foam pads to give some height. Then I added sequins and flowers from the haberdashery embellishments, enamel stars and finally finished the photo collage off with some of the stars from the table confetti that had been used at the party.

Filler Cards

The various collages I created for this project filled most of the pockets in the double page spread I was preparing but there were a few spaces left. To fill these I made 3 different types of filler cards:

– by using the patterned paper cut down earlier with ephemera from the Pink Paislee pick-me-up set stuck on with sticky foam pads for a 3D effect;

-by painting a watercolour unicorn sentiment stuck down with the Shimelle Box of Crayons corner embellishments; and

-by including the party invitation which just happened to be a perfect 4″x6″.

For some more ways to DIY your own Project Cards you can check out my previous post by clicking here.

All that’s then left to do is slot them into the pocket pages! Simple!

I hope you enjoyed this Project Life photo tutorial and are inspired to include some collages in your layouts! Let me know if you have any questions and I will do my best to answer them.

Happy Memory Keeping!

Harkee x

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