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How to Create Personalized Christmas Tags in Photshop

The bargain hunters are getting very excited. Black Friday is days away and in the time leading up to it, the sales begin. As folks take advantage of this to get that Christmas shopping under way or over with,  retail outlets, malls, big box stores and downtown businesses are filled to bursting with zealous buyers jostling others and grabbing deals. 

I love this time of year.  Searching for those perfect gifts for my loved ones is pure enjoyment on its own. But since that typically involves an outing with a friend, highlighted by a break or two for a nice glass of wine (during which we pretend the reason for this was all about going over our lists) it speaks to a lot of my favourite things.

What is different about me, though, is that I generally don't search out sales. I don't wait for Black Friday or any specials for that matter. I'm an early shopper, always have been and always will be. So if something catches my eye, provided it's within reason, I get it. Which means, that as we head into a week known for its good buys, I'm ready to say hello to getting it all wrapped up.

And this is where the tide turns. I abhor the task of making my purchases festive with paper, ribbons and bows.  I find it tediously time consuming, at a point in the season when I really have little of that to spare.  And yet, a few years ago while looking for a way to add a personal touch, I decided to make the job even more labour intensive and  create gift tags in Photoshop. Rather than pretty little labels on which I would write the recipients' names, however, the idea came to me that I could use an image to represent them. Well acquainted with the variety of graphics to be found on websites like iCLIPART.com  I knew that finding ones to suit everybody would be beyond easy.

As the project did put an aumusing twist on our Christmas morning, and, with the festive season set to kick into high gear for another year, I thought sharing a how-to might be fun.

There could be no better way to start this project than choosing an image that exemplifies my sweetie. An avid car buff who rarely takes himself, or anyone else for that matter, too seriously, I did a little search in the Cartoon category and found the perfect image #164927, literally in seconds.

Once you have collected enough images to match ever personality on your Christmas list, which really can be entertaining, it's time to create. Here are the steps you need to take:

First, open a new canvas in Photoshop by selecting File>New, then set the dimensions to 11" wide by 8.5" long. Next,  open the  (File>Open) and drag it onto the document. To adjust the size, go  under Edit to Transform>Scale and holding the Shift key move in the corner, then hit Return. (Sizing them will be a bit of trial and error, but the ultimate goal is to have three rows of tags in each direction on the document, with space for trimming.

To add your message, and/or name, switch to the Text tool, then type, Move it where you want it on the tag.



And that's it. If you want several of the same images, move the cursor to the box with the Layers, Channels and Path. Hold the Ctrl key (Windows) or Command key (Mac) and highlight each of the layers. Click on the top right corner to select Make New Group from Layers, then Duplicate Group. 


Complete this process as many times as you need. If you're not sure which one you've copied, hide the others in the Group box.



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