The Retreat Files: Double Page Layouts

Do you ever find yourself with a huge amount of photos from certain events or holidays and become overwhelmed with trying to fit all of the “important” ones onto one scrapbook page? In this class we will learn a simple way to perhaps ease some of your frustrations—making a double page layout! A double page spread will allow you a larger yet still cohesive space to fit more of your precious memories! Here are the simple steps.

Step 1: Create a new canvas
There are two main ways you can create a double page layout:

1. As one large canvas (12 x 24 in. or 11×17 in.)
2. As two separate canvases (12×12 in. or 11 x 8.5 in.)

I like to do it on one large canvas just so I can see the whole spread together all at once, like a magazine.

So to start, create a new document. (File > New)









Step 2: Add a guideline to separate the pages (optional)
This step will provide an optional “visual aid” so that you can visualize the two sides of your canvas that will eventually be your two separate layouts. By adding a guideline, it may be easier for you to remember where you will “cut” your layout and help you avoid placing a photo, journaling or any embellishments in the middle that will be chopped in half.

To add a guideline in Photoshop CS4, go to View > New Guide, with the vertical placement at 12 inches.





This is what it’ll look like with the guideline added.

The nice thing is that the guideline won’t show up in your prints, so you won’t have to delete it before printing.

Step 3: Design your layout
Now comes the fun part! Add your papers, photos, embellishments, journaling, etc. to create your amazing layout. Again, I like to avoid placing things in the middle of the canvas because I don’t want things to be chopped in half when printed, but it’s completely up to you in your personal design preferences. However, strips of paper that span the entire canvas or perhaps even large landscape photos would work just fine, just as long as a person’s face isn’t cut in half.  You’ll also want to make sure that your journaling isn’t too close to that middle line, because you don’t want anything to be cropped off in printing.

Step 4: Save your project and prepare for printing
When your double page layout is complete, first save the entire project as a layered .psd or .tiff file, just so you can go back and make changes later or use it as a template for another project. Also, this will “protect” the file from any changes you will make when preparing for printing or posting in galleries.
Next, we’ll prepare for printing by flattening the layout. (Layer > Flatten image)

Then you’ll want to separate your pages by using the crop tool. In the options bar at the top, type the dimensions for the page. For example, type in 12 inches by 12 inches with 300 resolution.

To crop, start in the left corner, then click and drag out the crop lines until the whole left side of the canvas is selected. Hit enter or the check mark to confirm crop.


After cropping, save the left 12×12 layout as a JPEG and it is ready to print! Then undo the crop and do the same thing for the right side of the canvas, and save it as a JPEG.
Now you can send your layouts to your favorite printer or online publisher.

Special Thanks to Brooke Kemp for teaching our class on Double Page Layouts!

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