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Using Dingbats in your Scrapbooking Projects


By Pattie Knox 

This is short excerpt from a lesson in “Even More Mad Digital Skillz,” a self-paced online class by Pattie Knox at Get It Scrapped! 
Pattie is offering a brand new (and very cool) class starting April 5th: Digital Techniques for Art Journaling (lots more details & a peek at the digi goodies included are at the end of this post).  

Digital Tutorial: Using Dingbats  

You’ve probably encountered dingbat fonts as you scrolled through the popular online font sites. You may even have wondered about their purpose. Why would anyone use images for a font? Who could ever read that? Since many people don’t understand how dingbats can be used they miss an amazing graphic resource. 

There are many ways to utilize dingbat fonts when designing your layouts … here’s one suggestion: 

Create a Custom Page Overlay 

This example uses the font Seeing Stars by Blue Vinyl available at for free download.

1. After downloading and installing the font create a new blank document with the following settings:  

Width: 200 pixels

Height: 200 pixels

Resolution: 300

Color Mode: RGB

Background Contents: Transparent 

2. Select the Type Tool from the main Toolbox. 

3. In the Options bar at the top of the screen, click on the downward arrow and select the font Seeing Stars from the drop down menu. 

4. Still in the Options bar, enter a value of 36 points as your font size.  

5. Click in the open document with the Type tool and press the h key. 

6. Switch to the Move tool and position the star in the center of the document. 

7. From the Edit menu, choose Define Pattern, enter a name for your new pattern in the pop up dialog box, and click OK. 

8. Create a new blank document with the following settings:  

Width: 12 inches

Height: 12 inches

Resolution: 300

Color Mode: RGB

Background Contents: Transparent 

9. In the Layers palette, click on the Create New Adjustment Layer icon and choose Pattern. 

In our example the Pattern Fill layer fits the dimensions of the 12 x 12 inch document nicely. Some patterns may not work out quite so well immediately however and may need to be repositioned. Before clicking OK in the Pattern Fill dialog box, you can move the pattern around as desired by clicking and dragging. If you have already clicked OK and decide that you would like to reposition the pattern fill you can bring the Pattern Fill dialog box back by double-clicking on the thumbnail of the Adjustment layer in the Layers palette. 

You can also increase or decrease the size of the pattern fill by using Scale in the Pattern Fill dialog box. (You may need to move the pattern fill around a bit after

applying Scale to line the edges up nicely.) 

Because you are using a vector graphic rather than a bitmap image such as a brush, your pattern edges stay crisp and clean when scaled. 

10. From the File menu, choose Save As, enter a name for the overlay and choose PNG as the file format to maintain the transparent background of your new overlay. 

You’ve now created a transparent page overlay that you can add to your designs! Be sure to experiment with layer blending modes for a variety of looks.  In this example I’ve layered the overlay on top of a sheet of digital cardstock and changed the blending mode of the overlay to Soft Light. 

About Pattie’s Newest Class

Are you ready to take your digital skills in new directions? Digital Techniques for Art Journaling with Pattie Knox starts Monday, April 5th and teaches digital scrapbookers how to get looks that mimic those achieved by art journalers using traditional mediums.  

Learn techniques for backgrounds, layering, silhouettes, images, text, and dimension. If you’re interested in digital gesso, realistic textures, interesting text and grunge effects, and much more, sign on to study with Pattie. She’ll present 6 detailed lessons over 3 weeks in April, 2010—and those lessons are backed up with lots of support in the private class forum and gallery.  
One more thing–while Digital Techniques for Art Journaling is all about teaching you how to achieve effects with Photoshop Elements and Photoshop CS, it also includes a bundle of digital products designed by Pattie and her generous friends at


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  1. Jennifer B.
    March 30th, 2010Posted | Permalink

    Thanks for the dingbat tutorial!

  2. March 30th, 2010Posted | Permalink

    Terrific Tutorial!

  3. March 30th, 2010Posted | Permalink

    Wow never ever thought of dingbats in this way. Thank you so much for this tut!

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