Add Interest With Shaped Photos

I know what you’re thinking; “NOOOO!!! Not circle cut photos!”

Don’t panic!

I haven’t turned back the clock to fancy edged scissors, sticker sneeze and every photo cut into a different shape.

This is the updated way to create some fun, some interest and, in my case, emphasize the subject matter by using a background die cut with photos peeking through.

Hoop Shoot by Alison Day Designs

This all started with a challenge hosted by the team at the Paper Issues blog back in March. They challenged us to use a die cut from the 17 Turtles shop and make it the main feature of our layout. I saw this one with all the circles and fell in love with it. I knew it would be perfect to showcase photos from my eldest daughter’s basketball Hoop Shoot Competition.


I used a couple of the larger circles as frames for group shots. This one was also perfect as a place to add my title.

Tip #1: placing my title on the curve keeps the feel of the layout consistent. It’s all about circles so a straight title would be out of place here.


I did want to highlight this photo of my daughter lining up to take her shots so instead of round I went with rectangle. To make it stand out even further I mounted it onto black patterned paper and popped it up with foam squares.

The basketballs were also a cut file but this time from the Silhouette store.

Tip #2: to get the size right for two cut files from different designers, open them both on the same screen and use your move and scale tools to fit them together. Then you can cut out just the smaller file (in my case the basketballs) and place them into your larger file confident that they will be a perfect fit!


The extra circles were good for adding little bits of decoration. Buttons, wood veneer pieces, tags for journaling, and even some of the back side of the patterned paper.

Tip #3: don’t throw out the negatives of a cut file right away. Sometimes you know that you won’t use them (for example, the insides of letters) but in this case I had many different sizes of circles which can easily be added to a page or card as an accent. Do you see the piece of wood grain paper under the punched tag in the photo above? That’s the reverse side of the yellow chevron patterned paper. It worked perfectly, in both shape and colour,to be used as an accent piece.


Tip #4: if the accent piece you want to use isn’t the right shape for your project, don’t be afraid to make it the right shape. The ‘dream big’ piece here was punched from a larger square. Now it works to accentuate the theme.

Hope I’ve inspired you to think about your photos in a different way. Outside the box so to speak! If it’s too scary to cut them into a shape, use a die cut shape as a frame. It creates interest in your albums!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! Around here it’s a long weekend so I know we’ll be getting outside to enjoy the sunshine.

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