Saturday, August 13, 2016

Digital Baby Book: Custom Calendar Page

Today's post is the first in a new series on the digital baby book that I have been working on for Lyla's first year.  This is a massive project so I thought I would break it up into a series of posts instead of writing a massive post.  The book is almost complete, I just need to add the photos from Lyla's professional 1st birthday photo session once we receive the gallery.  You can take a look at the almost completed book here.  

I chose to use Mixbook for this project because there seemed to be a lot more customizable features than other websites I've used in the past.  So now let me tell you about the first page that I am featuring in this series: a custom calendar page.  I created this page in Pixelmator but it would be easy to create it in any photo editing/graphic design software.
I started by opening up the program and then selected "create new image." I set the preset to "custom" and set the dimensions for 4429 by 4499 pixels with a resolution of 600 pixels/inch.  I can't remember how I came up with these particular dimensions since I did it so long ago but I am sure I looked up the best dimensions for making a custom page and somehow came up with those numbers.
Next I did a Google image search for herringbone background (you could search for any kind of background of course).  You will want to make sure that the image you use doesn't have any watermarks.  I saved the image to my desktop and then dragged the file onto my Pixelmator canvas.
Next I enlarged the image to the size I wanted and duplicated it as many times as I needed to fill the canvas (in this case, I needed 4 images to cover the canvas).  I carefully lined up the pieces so that it looked like one continuous background.
I then drew a square over the background.  
Then I turned down the opacity of the square so that I could see a bit of the background through the square.
I added a boarder to the square using the shape controls right about the canvas.
Then I drew lines until I had the square divided into enough small squares for a month. This was the trickiest step because it took awhile to get it lined up just right. It probably isn't perfect but it looks good enough to me.
I added numbers and the name of the month using the text tool.  You can use any font on your computer for these steps.  You can also change the color of the text using the text controls above the canvas that show up when you are using the text tool.
Then I duplicated the name of the month.
I changed the copy to navy.
My layer with the text copy was actually in front of the other text layer so I just dragged the copy layer down below the original layer in layer window to put it behind the original.  Then I offset it a little from the original text to make a shadowed look.  I saved the image and then exported it as jpeg file with maximum quality.

Next I opened up Mixbook and uploaded my calendar files into my photo library for the project.  
I selected a full page picture layout (it had text but I just deleted the text box) from the layout tab.  I then dragged the month that I needed onto the page from my photo library.
Finally I added text to the days that included milestones, trips, and other special events from her first year.  I added stickers from the sticker menu or that I uploaded myself to decorate the page and make it a little more fun.

I hope you gained some inspiration on how you can create your own calendar page for your digital book project.  I am so excited to share more posts in this series in the future because I am pretty proud of how her baby book looks so far.  Next up on the blog: I will finally post about the teepee that I made for her 1st birthday!  

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