Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Scraptastic Store: Map Background Tutorial with MME's Hello World

This tutorial was created for and shared on the Scraptastic Club blog. I hope you like it, and I also hope these instructions translate well for those of you with newer die-cutting machines and photo-editing programs. ;)

When I had the idea of creating a patterned paper map background, I wasn't exactly sure how it would turn out, so I plugged away without taking photos or screenshots of anything. Once complete, and not a disaster, I knew I wanted to share how it was done. So back in I went, retracing my steps for the tutorial below.

Here's the finished page with a photo taken on a leisurely lunchtime drive through Jackson, MS.

I centered the map and gave it a large border with room for a title, journaling, and embellishments:

And now, here are the steps for creating an amazing custom map background of your own. If you give it a try, I'd love to see your page!

Map Background Tutorial

1.) In google maps, locate and zoom in on the area that you want to use for your background. I was originally was going to use this idea for a photo taken in another city, but the streets were too grid-like. The irregularity of this location was more appealing, so Jackson it was. I also made sure to include the exact spot where my photo was shot, so that I could mark the finished page with a geotag, as seen below.

2.) Using a screen capture tool,  save the desired area of the map and open it up in your photo-editing program.  I use Photoshop Elements 6.0. Yes, it's old, but it gets the job done!

3.) With a brush tool set wide enough to span the streets and cover up their names, carefully trace all of the streets in white. I wasn’t concerned with being perfect. The slight waviness and imperfections give it charm. For any big mistakes, there was always the option to undo and try again!

When all the streets are finished, there may be a few spots that need to be fixed, where landmark names or other designations that are written over the map as shown below:

4.) Use a clone tool or brush tool set to grey and paint over the undesired words and symbols.

5.) Next, use the paint bucket fill tool to change each of the grey and green areas to black. Avoiding the streets, carefully clicked on each section of the map, one by one. My end result was this:

6.)With the image complete, you can now trace, resize, and cut  your background with a digital cutting machine.  

7.) Finally, the fun part! Back each opening with a mix of colorful patterned papers. The easy way to accomplish this was to lay the die cut map onto a backing paper and trace the openings, then fill the traced sections with papers cut ever so slightly larger. The die-cut map section should fit over this perfectly. (As you are adhering patterned papers, check every so often correct alignment.)

Do you recognize this section of the map from the image above? Cool, huh?!

The end result was truly worth the effort, as I now had a unique city street background for my page! 


Bi Medeiros said...

Awesome tutorial and a super cute layout!

Nancy Thomas said...

This is an amazing technique Madeline - it adds so much interest to your page.

Cris AdF said...

It's a super nice LO and useful tutorĂ­as. Thank you for sharing!