Anyone that joined in our LAD: Snowed In on Thursday received a wonderful striped paper as part of their mini yesterday (side note: you can make up Thursdays LAD & still get this mini on Sunday). I love striped papers! Did you know you can easily make your own? All it takes is a little math.

Before we start calculating like wizards, you can skip the whole math process if:

  1. You like chaos.
  2. You just want to download the free stripes template below.

I’m going to show the math I used to create the stripes below, if you want more stripes or less stripes simply use a smaller (for more stripes) or bigger (for less stripes) number.

For how unique each scrapbooking kit is, we use a lot of consistent measurements. This helps you, the scrapper, get consistent results on your pages. One of the biggest consistencies is paper, or background, size. We always create at 3600 X 3600 pixels (for 12 X 12 books) at 300 dpi as the industry standard. That makes it easy to make nice, evenly distributed stripes.

I wanted quite a few stripes so I divided 3600 by 39. Why an uneven number? You can do even but then you have different stripes on the top & bottom. With an uneven number you have the same strip beginning & ending, and therefore the same stripe on the top & bottom. I like that look better. 3600 / 39 = 92.31 pixels

Now, let’s put our Math to work! First;

  • Open a new document: 3600X3600; 300 dpi.
  • Use the Rectangle Tool to draw the first stripe,
    using 3600 px for Width; 92 px for Height
  • then Duplicate the Rectangle 1 layer by dragging it down to the New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers Palette.
    note: there are multiple ways to do this, but this is my favorite way.
Repeat until you have a total of 20 Rectangle Layers

Once you have all 20 Rectangle Layers, align them all with the bottom of your document. It will look like you have a solitary stripe.

  • Select all 20 Rectangle Layers
  • Make sure you select the Move Tool
  • Click on the Align Bottom Edges icon

Now, scroll up in your layers palette and:

  • Select only the very top Rectangle, mine is Rectangle 1 copy 19;
  • And the Background layer
  • Again, make sure the Move Tool is selected and;
  • Click on the Align Top Edges icon

Now, again select ALL the rectangle layers and click on Distribute Vertical Centers.

One last step, with all the rectangles still selected, right-click and choose Merge Shapes. You now have stripes! Time to play!

The easiest thing to do is grab matching cardstocks from your favorite kit or collection. I grabbed two of the cardstocks in Carin Grobe Designs’ Santa Claus is Coming to Town & dragged them both into my document.

I applied a quick Clipping Mask to the top paper…and TaDa! I have stripes!

That’s the easiest way. You can also apply color overlays, use blending modes (try Color Burn), or use patterned papers for a fun, new look.

Look how fun my new striped paper is using two of the Snowed IN papers (again the Studio4 DesignWorks paper that is in the Jan. 13 prize; and the Antebellum Press paper that is in the Jan. 15 prize):

Try creating more stripes, or less. Try merging & stripes & papers and then using blend modes. The possibilities are endless!

I promised if math wasn’t your thing, you could skip to the end. Well, this is the end. I’ve take the above math & photoshopping and created a simple striped template for you to download. I even went the extra mile & made a second horizontal striped template as well.

Just click to download & enjoy. Have fun!