enlarging and cropping a photo for project life

12x12 sneak

The first time I enlarged a photo to fill one full page protector for my Project Life album was in 2012 and I was hooked!
2012 12x12

This is what I’ve found works best for me. I know there are many great tutorials online about how to go about breaking up an enlarged photo for Project Life. After trying several different ways, I’ve found this to be the easiest and the most cost effective for me.

Step 1: Open your photo in your photo editing program. I’m using (a very old version of) Photoshop Elements. If you don’t have something similar you can download a free 30-day trial of the latest version of PSE here.
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Step 2. Crop your photo to 12 inch x 12 inch with a resolution of 300 ppi. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a full 12 x 12, you can enlarge a photo to span 2/3 of a page or just spread across two 4×6 pockets as well.
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Step 3. Add guides. For the 12 x 12, one vertically at 6 inches and two horizontally at 4 inches and 8 inches. To add a guide point your arrow on the ruler, left click and drag down or across for the new guide to appear.
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Step 4. Reset your crop tool to 6 inch x 4 inch, maintaining your 300 ppi. Start cropping each 4×6 box that you’ve already set up. After I crop the first one I save it to a folder on my desktop that I’ve set up for photos to print. Then I “undo crop” and move on to the next one and so on until all 6 are saved as individual photos.
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Step 5. Now you have six 4×6 photos ready to print. To fit into a Design A Page Protector simply cut the two middle photos in half. Into the pockets they go and you’re done!

If you’re interested you can see a couple other 12 x 12’s I’ve done here. And different size enlargements here and here. I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have and I’d love to see if you try it!

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8 thoughts on “enlarging and cropping a photo for project life

  1. You know I have been wanting to do this forever. Sadly I don’t think any of my free editing programs have the ruler. I may have to breakdown and join the PS world. Love your Mega pics.

  2. I’ve wanted to to do this for ages – my main problem is that my photo processor prints on marginally smaller than 6×4, so there is always a little bit of each picture cropped off the right hand side. Maybe about 2-3mm (not sure what that is in inches) – would you bother about this, or do you think the gap between the photos in the divided page protector would hide the small piece that’s missing?

  3. Pingback: Project Life – multiphoto page | pastpresentfuture

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