Introduction: Graduation Greeting Card and Photo Frame

About: Pinterest directed me to Instructables. I'm not sure if that was a good thing or bad - but now I'm hooked. I have made jewelry since 1988. I have had some designs published, taught jewelry at Michael's Hobby …

Clip art can be used for so many things. I'll be developing instructions to help guide you through using clip art and Photoshop Elements to make great scrapbook pages, greeting cards, and more.

I use Photoshop Elements Release 7. I show screen shots of my release. If you have any questions on coordinating this with your version, just email or message me.

First you must create a "new" file. Use a blank file.

Step 1: Set Up the Blank Document

On the pop up window, name the new file. I've named my Graduation Greeting Card.

Click on "Preset" and choose US Paper as the size of the document.

Click OK.

Step 2: How Does the Card Fit on There?

I use Avery Quarter Fold Greeting Cards but you can use any card stock you wish. Buying your own card stock is less expensive and you can choose different colors. I have found, however, that Avery has some sort of "coating" on it that gives you a much brighter print which is especially nice if you're using photographs on your greeting card.

It helps in dividing up the document to turn on the view of the grid. It helps to see if you are within the boundaries for the cards. We will fit two greeting cards on this 8-1/2 x 11 paper. You can make both the same, similar, or completely different. It's all up to you.

Choose View from the upper tool bar menu. Click on Grid from the drop down menu.

Step 3: Bring in the Clip Art.

I have provided the images of the graduation cap and the diploma for you to use. You may also use any of your own.

Click on File from the upper menu bar. Choose Open from the drop down menu. Open the diploma and graduation cap images.

The bottom tray will show all the documents and images you have open. Click on the diploma to make this the "active" image. The diploma is in color. We want to make it black and white to match the graduation cap and our overall color scheme.

Step 4: Reformat the Diploma Image.

We're going to make the diploma black and white. Many people have different ways of adjusting colors. This is just one way.

Make sure the diploma is the "active" document in your workspace.

Choose Filter from the top menu bar. From the drop down menu, choose Sketch, then Photocopy.

When you choose Photocopy, a pop up adjustment window will appear. It gives you a preview of what the image will look like at the settings shown. Adjust the settings until the image is how you wish it to look. Click OK.

Step 5: Bring the Clip Art to Your New Document.

While on the black and white diploma, right click on the layer. Choose Duplicate Layer from the drop down menu. A pop up box will appear. Choose the greeting card document as your destination.

Next make the graduation cap as your active layer. Do the same process, right click on the layer, choose duplicate layer, and your greeting card as your destination.

Step 6: Resize Your Clip Art.

Choose the Rectangular Marquee Tool from the side tool box. Right click on which ever image is active. From the drop down menu, choose Free Transform.

Use the little square and handles to resize the image and you can tilt it also. Click on the green check mark when you have everything where you want it. If you commit an "oops" just click the "NO" icon and start over.

Step 7: Add YOUR Text

The fun part of making your own card - you get to say what you want! Put in your recipient's name, special greeting - whatever you want.

The first screenshot shows the layout of the text formatting. Choose the style font you want, the color, the size.

Click on the greeting card and type. Do not hit return to complete because this will just make a new line within your text box. To complete your text, just click on the green check mark in the upper tool bar OR click anywhere off of the current document.

If you click on the Move tool, you can move the text anywhere and tilt it or slant it anyway you wish.

Step 8: Duplicate to the Second Card.

With the Move tool chosen, hold the Shift key down and highlight all layers of the card (except the blank background).

Move the Move tool to over the image, press the Alt key, continue pulling the on the mouse, dragging the second copy to the bottom corner position. Release the mouse.

You now have a new set of layers with the same name and the word "copy" after each of them.

If you still need to move the image, make sure you highlight all of the layers or else you will only be moving one of the layers at a time.

Step 9: Change the Text and Print.

If you wish, you can further customize the second card by changing the text. Highlight the text layer you wish to edit - in this case the layer with "Daughter."

Then click on the actual word "Daughter" within the image. Change the text. In this case, we changed the text to "Son."

The layer automatically changes the name of the layer to whatever you just typed. In this case the layer is now named "Son."

Create a new file for the inside card text. Using the Text tool write text for the inside text. Place this text in the appropriate quarter of the 8-1/2 x 11 paper. You can also add any clip art you'd like. 

You can "flatten" the whole file or leave in layers so you can re-edit the image later. Either way you are ready to print. To print the inside text refer to your printer's instructions for printing a second page.

Step 10: Surprise - We've Added Some Photo Frames for You.

You can use the clip art to make photo frames for your photos and scrapbook pages. We have provided photo frames with the clip art for you to use or use as "samples" to make your own.

You can print clip art on sticker paper and make stickers, buttons, key chains, all kinds of things for the graduate in your life. Make them some luggage tags with their name and 2013 on it for their move to college!

Enjoy these directions.

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