Holiday Card Collage with just one image

cardgnomegtgcardkatiesampleIt’s that time of year! Many families are getting family portraits done for their yearly Holiday Cards.  If they are like me, they love that creative collage look that you see for custom greeting cards, but also like the simplicity of using just one photo. Here is something unique and special you can create if you just have one favorite image for your Holiday Card.  A Holiday Card Collage. Gotta LOVE the WOW factor of this creative “collage” look.   Most greeting cards with a collage design require several images. Here is how to create your masterpiece Holiday Card Collage look with just ONE image.

Click to download tutorial Greeting Card Collage Tutorial pdf

Photoshop tutorial:   Create a holiday collage greeting card with only one image
We will use the NEW Photoshop’s Guide Layout to help divide the image into smaller sections. You must have Photoshop CC to use this method.
The image I chose to use for my sample below is a sweet little rescued foster kitten named Denver, a litter of 5.

 

Step 1: Create a new document go to File>New  I used greeting card specs. For my Purposes, I set width to 1575 px, height 2175 px, resolution 300, white background. If you use a different size document, make sure you compensate for it in your gutters, margins and drop shadows, by adjusting their size accordingly.

Step 2: Add a new layer and name it Shapes

Step 3: Make a 3 x 3 grid with gutter, and margin around edges:
  • go to View>new guide layout
  • set column number to 3 leave the width field empty, set gutter to 30 px
  • click rows, set number to 5, leave height empty, set gutter to 30 px
  • make sure preview box Is selected.
  • Add margins around edges of document: click in the margin checkbox, then set each of the four options top, left, bottom and right to 100 px.
  • Click ok
Step 4: Draw the shapes: select the rectangular marquee tool from the tools panel to draw in shapes. Drag selections around different squares in the 3 x 3 grid begin at one corner and drag to make rectangle. To add press and hold shift key to add next rectangle to it. Continue adding each shape so that all rectangles and center square are selected as one.
Step 5: Fill in the selection with black go to Edit>Fill set contents to black, normal and opacity to 100% click ok.
Step 6: remove the selection and the guides to remove go to Select>deselect. Go to view>clear guides
Step 7: Add a drop shadow to the Shapes Layer. Select shapes layer, click on layer styles, choose drop shadow, settings: blend mode: multiply, opacity 40, angle: 135, use global light, distance 50, spread 0 ,size 50. click ok
Step 8: Open the image you want to use in Photoshop.
Go to select>all... go to edit>copy
Step 9: Paste image into shape collage: Switch over to the shape collage document by clicking on its tab.Go to Edit>paste special>paste in place
Photoshop pastes and centers the photo in the document. You will see it as a new layer above the shpaes layer.
Step 10: create a clipping mask. Select the small menu icon in the upper right corner of the layers panel. Choose create clipping mask. This clips the layer directly in the layer below it.
Step 11:use free transform to resize and reposition image. make sure image layer is selected, Go to edit>free transform pres and hold shift as you drag a corner to lock the aspect ratio. Press enter when done.
Hope you enjoyed this tutorial.
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