Pracken's Paint Shop Pro Tutorials

Christmas Card Album


One day I was playing with the kaleidoscope filter in PSP and hit upon a shape that looked like those corner holders in photo albums. So, I figured I just had to use them for something.

I've always saved Christmas cards, and one year, I made a pretty album to put them in (such a shame to bury them in a box in the closet). So, I decided to make a cyber Christmas album and use the corners I'd happened upon. This tutorial is the result of that.

While I've made a Christmas card album, feel free to use whatever items you wish in yours. Get creative!

This tutorial uses vectors, but very, very easy vectors (don't let that scare you off!)

For this tutorial, you will need the following:

Paint Shop Pro. I used version 7.04 but if you are familiar with PSP, you should be able to convert the tutorial without problems. You can download the latest PSP version demo here.

Optional: Texturizer filter (you can do this tutorial without this filter).

Items for your album. (I've used Victorian Christmas cards (since it's only 11/1, I don't have any actual cards yet, so I've substituted these. When I do receive actual cards, it'll be a cinch to just substitute them and then have an actual album for my 2004 cards). I've also used two items from my tutorials: cotton snowflakes (the tutorial is here) and mistletoe (tutorial is here).

My color chart. Right click on this and save it to your computer.


Step 1. Open a new image 500 x 250, white background. Copy your color chart and paste it as a new layer onto your canvas. Move it to the top out of the way. When you need a color, just click on it with your eye dropper. [Another way to do this is just drag the color chart onto your canvas - just make sure it's on a new layer].

Step 2. Add a new layer. Set your foreground and background colors to color #1. Choose your preset shapes tool, rectangle (antialias checked, create as vector checked). Draw a shape approximately 220 x 210 (watch the numbers in the bottom left of your screen). (Note: the rectangle screenshot below is smaller than actual size).


Step 3. Now you'll reshape the box just a bit. Choose your object selector tool , then click "Node edit" on your tool options palette.

Step 4. You'll see 4 boxes in the corners of your rectangle. Click on the upper right one and the box will turn black. Move the corner in just a tad, similar to mine. Right click and choose "quit node editing."


On your layers palette, right click on the layer and choose "convert to raster layer."

Step 5. Set your background color to color #2 (Note: You're doing this so it'll show up in your recent colors list). Select your rectangle (selections>select all>selections>float; OR, choose your selection tool, any shape, and draw all around your object. Then click inside to select and float it). You'll see the "marching ants" around it.

Apply a cutout (effects>3d effects>cutout), using the settings in the screenshot (the shadow color is color #2 (click on the shadow color and then choose it from your list of recent colors).

Repeat the cutout but change the horizontal and vertical to -10.


Step 6. If you have the texturizer filter, apply it (sandstone, scaling 100%, relief 1, light direction top). If you don't have the texturizer filter, you can either leave it as is, or try one of the textures that comes with PSP (effects>texture effects>texture).

Step 7. Duplicate this layer (right click on it in your layers pallete and choose "duplicate"). Mirror it (image>mirror), and move it into place.

Hide your color chart and background layers and merge visible layers. Turn all layers back on.

Step 8. Now you'll need to decide what graphics you want to place in your album. For each item you add, place it on a new layer - makes it easier to work with and change. Arrange them into something that pleases you.

Step 9. Now that you have everything arranged and ready to go, you'll make the little corner holders for your cards. Open a new image 300 x 300. Set your foreground color to whatever color you want them to be (I used color #2) and your background to null. Choose your preset shapes tool, ellipse (retain style unchecked, antialias checked, create as vector unchecked, line width 26). Draw a circle approximately 190 x 190. (Note: screenshot is smaller than yours will be). Move the circle to approximately the middle of the canvas.

Apply kaleidoscope filter (effects>reflection effects>kaleidoscope, and use the settings in the screenshot.


Choose your selection tool, ellipse, and draw around the circle in the center. Then hit the delete key on your keyboard. You're left with 4 corners. (Save this as a psp file or tube for future use).

Step 10. Now all you need to do is add your corners to your items (copy and paste as new layers, as many times as you need). The corners you made are square, and if your graphics are square, it should work fine (you may need to reshape a little, depending on your graphic - just use the deformation tool to do this). If your graphic isn't square, then the easiest way to do it is to select out 1 corner, copy and paste a new selection (mirror as you need to). Add corners to as many of your graphics as you wish.

I also applied a drop shadow (effects>3d effects>drop shadow) to my coners - use these settings: vertical 1, horizontal 1, opacity 100, blur 1, color black.

Step 11. I added a cord to my album. Add a new layer. Choose your picture tubes >rope tube (set the scale to 20). Draw a rope down the center. Draw a little ball at the bottom. Change your rope size to 10 and draw some fringy bits coming down.

Step 12. Add any captions you want to your pages. I used color #3, and the font is Enviro.

Step 13. And that's it....When you're satisfied with your creation, delete the color chart and background layers. Merge visible layers and save as a psp file.

Feel free to get creative with the album, and I'd love to see your creations!

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This tutorial was created on November 1, 2004.
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