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Epson Computer Tips: How to create the illusion of dimension while eliminating bulk from your album

A good photo scanner can be a scrapbooker’s best friend. Anything that is 3-dimensional can be scanned to look 3-D, yet still remain perfectly flat. Digital technology is a wonderful tool – and if you learn just a few tricks, you’ll know all that you need to.

Why would you want something with dimension to actually be flat? For a few good reasons!
1. so that your album stays streamlined and light
2. so that when you save files or make copies of your layouts, all of the embellishments are included.

Trick #1: instead of gluing something with dimension to your page, scan it and use the scan instead. This could include anything from layers of torn paper . . . to tags and eyelets . . . to soccer team jerseys! You name it – there’s a way to scan it and to use the scan as part of your page or as the entire background to your layout, especially if you’re printing in 12x12” format.

Trick #2: Once you have the scanned file saved, you can use it over and over. From that original scan, you can change the color, change the size, flip the direction . . . but the point is, you can get a lot of use out of that time spent scanning. (166)

Trick #3: You can add shadows to enhance the 3-D look. You’ll have to touch it to see that it’s not the real thing stuck to the page.

Trick #4: Here’s a real short-cut. On the website called “”, there is an entire collection of things that have already been scanned and saved as files for you to print out and use as page backgrounds or page elements. Click on the section called “patterned pages” and browse all of the photo file options. Each of these pages started with that website. It’s hard to image more texture or dimension than some of these! And they’re already scanned for you

Trick #5: You can make a page by hand, gluing 3-D embellishments to your page in the traditional way, but then to make identical copies of the same page, scan your original page and put that in your album! The copies will look as good as the original if you use a good scanner. Better still, all of the 3-D elements will be turned into album safe, if you scan and print onto acid free paper like this PremierArt Matte Scrapbook Photo Paper. So less worries: even if what you made your initial page with is not acid free, additional copies of that page will be and also they’ll look as good as the original.

Trick #6: and this one is a trick within a trick: with that paper comes the software you need to scan an original page in 2 sections and to seamlessly stitch it back into one 12x12” page, using just a letter size scanner. You will need a wide format printer, however, to print out the 12x12” page.

Lastly – the best trick of all. Here’s the fastest way to instantly reduce the bulk of your scrapbook in half. Use double-sided paper like this! If you use paper that is coated on both sides, then you can print on both sides and place just one sheet, instead of two, into each sleeve. You will still end up with two scrapbook pages, at half the bulk!

Sponsor: Epson America

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