Text mats are creative ways of integrating a special word with a picture. These can definitely be used for digital scrapbooking. Here, I will show you how to create yours using GIMP 2.
Creating a Text Mat
You can increase each image by clicking on it so you can easily see all settings used.
Create a new layer by right clicking on the layer palette and clicking “New Layer”.
Name it “Layer1” so it would be easier for you to identify which layer you are working on. Make sure that the Layer Fill Type is “Transparency”.
With Layer1 chosen, click on the “Rectangle Select Tool”.
Create a box on your background. This is where the image and text mat will be placed so make sure that the size is according to your liking. Leave enough space on the top of your box for the text.
Click on the “Bucket Fill” tool. Then make sure that the “FG Color Fill” and “Fill Whole Selection” options are chosen.
Click on the box your created earlier to fill it with the Foreground color, which in default is black.
Let’s get started with adding text. Click on the “Text Tool”. Choose the font that you want, block it if necessary to make it a lot more appropriate for the effect we’re trying to achieve. The text color should be the same as the box you filled with color. In this case, it’s black.
Create a text box on top of your box and type the word you want to incorporate. You can adjust the text box by dragging on any of its four corners (as shown below). This way, your text is aligned with your photo, its bottom overlapping just a little bit with your box.
Now click on the “Move Tool” to remove the text box.
On the layer palette, right click on the text layer and click on “Merge Down”. This will now combine the box and the text together as one single layer.
Go to the “Select” tab and click on “None” to remove any selection.
Right-click on Layer1 and click on “Alpha to Selection. This will highlight this layer.
Go to the “File” tab and click on “Open as Layers” to open the image you are going to put on top of the text mat.
Right click on the image, go to “Layer” and click on “Scale Layer”. This is only necessary if your image is smaller or bigger than the text mat. Their sizes need to be close enough.
Go back to the image layer, copy the image (Ctrl C), and then paste it (Ctrl V). It may look like nothing happened but this would create a Floating Selection on the layer palette.
Right-click on the floating selection and click on “To New Layer”. This will create a new layer.
This “Pasted Layer” should now be moved above “Layer1”. To do this, click and drag it to the top of Layer1.
The sequence should now be your image layer, the pasted layer, Layer1, and the background image. Right-click on the image layer and delete it.
The text mat should now be evident. If it is not, add a drop shadow to your text mat to make it pop out from the background. Now, merge all layers together by right-clicking and clicking on “Merge Down” from the top layer all the way to the background.
You can find the PDF Document here. Just click on the link and download the Printable to your Computer.