One of the super fun things about Digital Scrapbooking is that you can use papers and elements again & again. Even after “cutting” them up. One of my favorite effects is to have a brighter/busier paper peek out from behind a darker/solid paper. Digital scrapbooking makes this not just easy, but allows for endless possibilities & experimentation.

Today I’m using some of my favorite papers from our Haunted Mansion Mega. This is being gifted as daily participation prizes in our October Layout-A-Day, LAD: Haunted Mansion.

I’ve dragged both papers in to Photoshop. The orange (brighter) paper is my background, the black paper has been layered above it:

The easiest, non-destructive way to create a peekaboo effect is a simple gradient mask. To do this:

  • Select the top layer (my black paper by MLDesign)
  • Click on the Layer Mask icon at the bottom of your Layer palette

A Layer Mask will now pop-up as a white icon next to your Black Paper icon. Be sure to select it by clicking on it. Tiny white lines will appear showing it is the Layer Mask that is select not the actual paper.

You can now draw on your Layer Mask. Anything in white will be visible. Anything in black will be invisible. Grey will be semi-visible.
Note: the Layer Mask determines the visibility of your Black Paper.

Let’s try it out by adding a Black/White Gradient to your layer mask:

  • Double check you are on the Layer Mask next to your Black Paper icon
  • Click on your workspace (ie., the black paper on your screen vs. the small icon in your layers palette)
  • Choose the Gradient Tool from your Tools menu
  • Set your Gradient to Black + White
    Note: mine has White on the right, Black on the left
  • Drag the Gradient Tool from down to up; or up to down
    Note: this affects which color is on top, more soon
  • Again, be sure you are on the Layer Mask in your Layers Palette

Take a look at our first application of the gradient. Because my White color was on the right side of the gradient and I drew from bottom up, my black is on the bottom (visible) and my white (invisible) is on the top.

You can see the Gradient is visible on the Layer Mask in the Layer Palette. You can see it affects your paper in the workspace. The orange paper is now halfway visible.

To be honest, the orange paper is too visible. This is the awesome thing about Digital Scrapbooking. I can redraw the Gradient (on the Layer Mask) and get a completely new effect.

This time I started about 2/3 of the way UP the page & drew my gradient UP.

I like the peekaboo better. It’s more peekaboo-y. But I don’t love the orange paper. I want to try another paper. This time I’ve picked the October 14 paper by Loops and Swirls.

I love the way the bats peek out!

I know that not everyone has photoshop. Not everyone has a way to mask or “cut” digital papers. I’ve taken both gradients created above and turned them into PNG files. You can download these and use them as clipping masks to create a similar effect.