Not that long ago I saw a layout that took my breath away. To this day I’m not sure if it was the photo, or the layout itself. The two, working together so perfectly, just made for a stunning visual. Ever since then, I’ve been looking for a way to scraplift this layout & make it my own.

A couple of weeks ago I finally took the perfect shot. After heavy rainstorms, followed by some very hot (for us) weather, the sky here was spectacular. I stopped in a farmers field, just up the hill from my house, along with a slew of other cars, everyone enchanted with the sunset.

Today I grabbed the amazing template used to create the original layout, a fantabulous free brush & got to work.

I. Am. In. Love.

My final result (before embellishing my layout, of course):

Do you love it too? Does it just grab you in the feels? Would you like to give it a whirl? Let me help you! I wrote down my steps & even recorded a brief video for the background mask. First, my supplies:

I started by opening the template file: jmadd-creativecanvas-no19-12X12-temp5.tiff and dragging in the background paper jmadd-hygge-solidsombre-pp-18:

Then, making sure I’m on the top layer, I dragged in my photo:

So far so good. I then used a Clipping Mask  and clipped my photo to the top photo frame. I wriggled it around until it was positioned just right:

Now comes the tricky part… though tricky is a little exaggerated. We need to duplicate the photo & move the duplicate photo layer above the next photo. One way to duplicate a layer is:

  • Make sure you are on the photo layer;
  • Right-click; then
  • Click on Duplicate Layer

You can name the new, duplicate layer anything you like. I just left it as is. Quicker & easier.

Now take your new duplicate layer and move it down above the next photo matt again creating a Clipping Mask:

The next step is not necessary, but it will make your life easier if you decide to move the photo later.

  • While you are on your photo (Layer 1) hold down the CTRL key;
  • And click on your duplicate photo (Layer 1 copy)
  • With both photo layers selected; click on Link Layers in the bottom palette menu

You can also do this by selecting both photo layers (CTRL + Click); right-clicking and choosing Link Layers:

Now each time you duplicate your photo (Layer 1), the duplicate layer will automatically be linked to all your photo layers. Again, this is important if you decide to reposition the photo layers later.

Repeat the duplicate photo steps until all the photo matts are covered with your photo. Once you are done, you can move your photo so it is really perfectly placed. This is when the extra step you took to link your photo layers comes in handy. All your layers will move together, whether you click on one layer or all the layers!

I’ll be honest, it looks pretty good already. But. I always want more. I decided this would look even cooler with part of the photo spilling out of the frames. A little less perfectly contained. A little more artistic. I decided to add a photo mask.

I also decided, since Jill just released her Dynamic Brushes, to create my own photo mask.

  • I grabbed her Paint It Dynamic Brush Freebie;
  • Created a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N)
  • Once again duplicate my photo and created a Clipping Mask above my new, empty layer (Layer 2)

Then I painted with Jill’s free brush on my empty layer (Layer 2). Here, watch!

I was pretty happy with my result. It was almost perfect. Almost. I wanted a little less mask on the right side of my photo frames. I changed my brush to the Eraser tool, still using Jill’s free dynamic brush, and erased just a little:


And that’s it. I’m very, very happy with my end result. But. Before I go, I want to share the layout that inspired me. I’m not sure what she calls it, but I call it Peace. By Carmen.