GIMP: Beginner Tutorial For Scrap Booking


I think I will start off by saying that GIMP is a wonderful program, but as is the case with most software it does have its ups and downs. If the program stops responding or if it is not doing what you think it should shut it down for a few minutes and restart it, this usually takes care of the problem.

So you should get in the habit of periodically saving your work by going to the file menu and clicking on save.

Another thing you should remember is to always, always click the close without saving button on the bottom of any .png file or picture file that you have been working on. The only thing you want to save is the layout you are making.

Please notice the box below! When you click out of a page you will get this box, if this is not the picture you want to save then click on the close without saving box. This is very important!! If you don’t click this box you may mess up original material. This will come into play a lot learning how to scrapbook with GIMP.

These are the main operating screens of GIMP. Please become familiar with them as they are very important.

The left side of the screen is your tool box dialogue box. You will be using a lot of these tools for the tutorials to follow. The middle part of the screen is the manipulation screen. I will call this the working screen because this is where all the work is done.

The right hand side holds the layer-path dialogue box, when we work on layers or paths this will be the dialogue box that will be used.

When you hover your mouse cursor over the icons, you will be told what the icon is used for. For example: put your cursor over the very first icon in the tool box: you will see that the icon is named the rectangular select tool, next to that will be a description of what the tool does (sometimes these description can be pretty crypt), this one says it will select a rectangular region, it will also make a square.  . Next to the description you will see a letter; this is the shortcut to use.

These are the icons you will probably use the most in scrap booking:  

These are the tools I use the most in scrap booking layouts so you will want to practice with each of these tools for the upcoming tutorials.

Let’s try it out.

First you have to have something in your working screen, so select a picture from your picture library to use. To do that, go to the file menu at the top of your working screen.

A dialogue box will open, click on open.

All of your pictures will come up and you can choose whatever you want.

The picture you chose will be in the working screen. Now click on your rectangular select tool. Move the cursor to the picture. See how the cursor has changed? The cursor now looks like a cross hair with a small box to the bottom right. This will happen every time you change a tool. Try to become as familiar as you can with these changes. When you become familiar with this you can tell instantly what tool you are using just by the cursor.

Now holding down your left mouse key make a square or rectangle anywhere on your page.

See the lines; this is where your picture would be cropped.

Try going through all the tools listed above using these guidelines just to become familiar with the icons and what they will do.


6 thoughts on “GIMP: Beginner Tutorial For Scrap Booking

  1. Hi Shirley. Thanks for dropping by Scraps of Mind. This is a really clear tutorial. And I love those embellishments you’re using. Do you have a tutorial on how to install GIMP? If not, I have one on Scraps of Mind that was written by a guest poster a couple of years ago. It’s very detailed and might be of some use to your GIMP readers. you can see it here
    It’s not about actually using GIMP like your tutorial is. It’s just about how to download and install the files.

    • Thank you so much for the wonderful compliment about my post. I really appreciate the offer of one of your posts also. It will be nice if we can do some back and forth, it would help both of us (although you don’t seem to need much), and I could really use some since I’m such a newbie at this blogging.
      Thank you again for taking the time to look at what I have.

    • Hi Karen,
      Wanted to let you know that I did go back and read this post, however, every link was outdated and no longer available. I was really sorry about that too, because there were some great ideas in there. I may use some of the tutorial but it will have to be revised. Do you still know how to get in touch with the author? Please let me know if you do.

  2. Hey Shirley! Your tutorial is great – i love that you’ve put in so many pictures….they are sooo helpful for visual learners like me! Great start to your blog! xx kel

    • Thanks,
      It’s been my intention to make using GIMP in scrap booking as easy as possible. I’m so thrilled that you found it helpful. I love your site too and I hope that we can learn a great deal from each other.

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