Applying shadows in digital scrapbooking is very broad and many scrappers adopt different criteria. Today I will talk specifically about how I like to apply the shadow when I create a cluster. See our earlier Quick Tip about the Cluster Exercise here.

We will do together a cluster using painted and real elements. Search your stash for some items to apply shadow. I selected from my newest kit and collection Strawberry Mint following items:

  • Painted Accent
  • Frame
  • Natural Flower
  • Leaves and Foliage
  • Painted element (raspberry)

Below you can see elements that are clustered together with no shadow.

The painted accents and masks usually don’t have shadows. These items are flat, painted directly on paper and have no raised dimension or relief, unlike frames and photos. Each element must have its own shadow, varied according to the intensity of the background color.

Shadowing the Frame:

  • Double click on the frame layer
  • The dialog box for Layer Styles pops up
  • Set it like I did it here below:

Shadowing Flowers and Greenery
The flowers are a little more prominent on the paper and therefore deserve a greater shadow than the frames. See it here:

By using Global Light, the direction of the light will be the same for all elements. I like to use the angle 135°. Choose your own light direction, if you want to experiment.

Painted Elements (raspberry)
Elements that are painted usually look weird if you add shadow. But it depends a lot on the composition. Here my raspberry is in a higher position, like a cut-out and I opted for a very delicate shade. See my settings:

My cluster with the shadows:

Now let’s add more elements using the settings above.

And then add background papers and a photo to finish our layout:

Everything see in this post has been created with my new Strawberry Mint kit and collection. The sweetie on the picture is my dear Sasha. She is the granddaughter from my brother.

Below my dear Creative Elly made a sample Cluster from this Strawberry Mint collection as a gift for you! Visit her gallery here and enjoy all her fabulous layouts and be inspired by her clusters.


Happy creations!