Posts Tagged ‘printables’

This is a post I’ve been trying to write for a long time now, but it’s been difficult, as it’s one of those topics that can quickly become very complicated. This is not exactly a miniature printing tutorial and it’s definitely not a Photoshop tutorial. I can try to answer any specific Photoshop related questions, but if you’re new to it you’d probably be better off searching for more in-depth tutorials online. It’s a complex program. I’ve got 10+ years experience with it and still don’t know how to do everything.

Also, just because this is how I do things does not mean that it’s the ONLY way. I’m no expert and am continually learning and trying new things.

For miniature making and printing, I almost always use Photoshop CS6 or Photoshop Elements 6.0, depending on the project. Elements is basically a smaller version of Photoshop… it lacks some features the other has (like Actions, which I use to quickly resize a bunch of images at once, which is nice for sales posts… goodness I’m already trailing off topic here…) but I’m still able to do a lot with it.

I use these programs most often because many of the minis I’ve made have had to be edited, rebuilt or repainted in some way. (I’m picky about micro stuff you can’t even see half the time)
Adobe offers a free 30 day trial for their software, as well as a subscription program. Another alternative (and it’s free!) is GIMP ( but I have absolutely no experience with this program.

Having photo-editing software really comes in handy, but honestly, it’s not something you NEED if you want to print up something simple. If you just want to re-size something, Microsoft Word will work, and maybe Paint. (kudos to you if you can do ANYTHING in paint) You just need to be able to see rulers around the edge of your document. (be sure to check settings to make sure they’re enabled) Just because something looks like it’s the right size on the screen does NOT mean that it will print up that way.

For this post, however, I’m going to assume that you have some sort of photo editing software, and have a basic knowledge of how to use it.

The two things I pay attention to when shrinking stuff is resolution and scale. For high-quality minis you’re going to want your images at a high resolution.

When creating a document I know I’ll be printing, I set the DPI (or digital pixels per inch) to 300. This is a good number for any image you want to print up. If I’m just making things for the web (such as my blog’s banner image) I’ll keep that number much, much lower. (72, usually) Those types of images can still be printed of course but the quality won’t be as good.
Basically, the higher the dpi number, the higher the quality. The lower the number, the “fuzzier” the image will become when printed.

Here’s an example. The book on the right was most likely printed with a 72 dpi resolution, while the one on the left was printed with a 300 resolution.

Guide New and Old

Since it’s a lot easier for me to show this process rather than talk about it, I’m going to make a tiny version of one of my Just About Horses magazines. (I miss this magazine so much)


The first thing I did was scan both the front and back cover, then open them up in Photoshop.


Next I’m going to create a new document. My personal preference is to set the size at 8 ½ X 11 inches (standard printer paper here, it will vary elsewhere) with a 300 DPI resolution. Color mode is CMYK. (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) PS Elements only allows me to choose RGB, (red, green, blue) but either setting will work. Ideally you want CMYK for images to be printed, as RGB images are much better suited for the web.


I have a confession to make: half the time I guesstimate when scaling stuff down. 1:9 is a weird scale, what can I say. Also, math. So much of miniatures is creating the illusion of the real thing… so that’s my excuse.

My JAH magazine is 8 ¼ inches wide by 11 inches tall. To scale this down, I’m going to cheat and use a conversion calculator.


It looks like my mini magazine should be 0.916666… inches wide by 1.222222… inches tall. These are lovely numbers to work with, right? (*cough*whyIguesstimate*cough*) I’m going to adjust this to 1 inch wide by 1 ¼ inch tall. Usually I take these measurements and sketch them out on a piece of scratch paper, then compare that to a doll or model to see if I’m happy with the size, making adjustments as necessary.


Back to the document.

There are multiple ways to do this, but my preference is to start with a solid color shape in the size I need. This is where rulers come in handy… here I’ve made a selection in the very top corner of my document, using the rulers on the side as a guide. This can be filled with any color.


Another (and more exact) way is to create a new shape in the right size.



I’ll use this as a guide when adding the JAH images. You could skip this step of course, and just re-size the images themselves using the rulers.



When I’ve got all the images re-sized, I’ll arrange them in the way I want them to be printed:


I went ahead and scanned in a few spreads from the magazine, and re-sized them as well:


To prepare for printing, I first arrange everything towards the middle of the document. You don’t want anything right against the edges, or they will be cut off when printed.
If I’m putting something up for download, I’ll usually save it as a PDF file, to make printing easier. For personal use I normally print straight through Photoshop. I never check the “scale to fit media” box, as it will shrink the entire document and make the images smaller than they already are. I always double check my printer settings as well.





Now all that’s left to do is cut and assemble all the pieces. Here’s my mini JAH all finished:


And that’s (basically) it! If you have any specific questions feel free to ask. 🙂


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Backdrop Building II: Textures

Printables are available for personal, non-commercial use only please! They are for fun – I do not make any money from these and will remove them if necessary or requested. 🙂


Here’s a quick post for today. I’ve put together an assortment of printable textures to use for backgrounds/props/etc. The files are all in .jpg format, so feel free to resize, recolor, or edit further. Please note that these aren’t perfect seamless/tiling textures. (the wood ones especially) Also, the images shown are just previews. The actual images are linked below and are much, much bigger!

First off, a metal siding, in light grey:

Metal – Light Grey

And a darker grey:
Metal – Dark Grey

I’ve also got bricks in a few colors. I saw a picture of this gorgeous stable made from red brick with white and green wood trim, so this was kind of inspired by that.
Red Bricks

Grey Bricks

Tan Bricks

And last but not least, a wood siding texture. There are two sizes for each color as well.

Light Wood:
Light Wood WIDELight Wood THIN

Medium Wood:
Med Wood WIDEMed Wood THIN

White Wood:
White Wood WIDEWhite Wood THIN

Enjoy 🙂

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Printables are available for personal, non-commercial use only please! They are for fun – I do not make any money from these and will remove them if necessary or requested. 🙂


Horses are particularly good at finding new ways to hurt themselves. Every barn needs a well-stocked first aid kit, right?FirstAid01I was inspired by some things I came across on Pinterest and decided that I needed to re-create a kit in miniature. Besides, I’ve been on a “shrink all the things!” kick in Photoshop lately… so it miiiight have been an excuse to find more horsey-related things to print up.

It’s kind of funny (or crazy?) that I wanted to make a first-aid kit at all, because anyone who knows me knows that I have issues with anything medical related. Seriously, I can’t listen to people talk about medical procedures or problems without starting to feel light-headed. It’s bizarre.

So let’s google horse first-aid Nichelle, THAT’S A VERY GOOD IDEA.

Luckily I’m slightly better with animal stuff.

The bag I actually put together last, after realizing that I had dozens tiny pieces and no way to contain them all. It was sewn up from fabric, with an added ribbon strap.


It can’t actually close, but since it overlaps some it doesn’t bother me too much.


All the bottles were sculpted from polymer clay, then covered with labels I put together in photoshop.FirstAid08

FirstAid09The bandage scissors and tweezers were made from some very thin cardboard I had on hand, and the vet wrap was made from scrap fabric, wrapped around a paper tube. (formed around a toothpick first)


There’s also a first aid book – this was an attempt at creating a spiral bound book, and apart from one ripped hole (why is it always the VERY LAST one?!) I think it turned out ok:FirstAid05

I also made sure to add a tiny roll of paper towels and duct tape, as well as a box of gloves, a bag of gauze pads, a roll of cotton, and a box of ointment with a name I can’t pronounce. Oh, and a teeny tiny thermometer.FirstAid07

The only piece I didn’t make was this – it came with one of Breyer’s vet dolls and is terribly out of scale. I just added the label to it, since I wasn’t feeling adventurous enough to make one of my own.

And even though it’s not first-aid related, I also printed up some packaging for horse wormers. A year’s supply, because having one just wasn’t good enough nooo…FirstAid012

Everything can be tucked away into the bag, in case of plastic pony emergencies.



Also, HERE’S a PDF file of the boxes/labels if anyone is interested! (betadine label was re-sized… mine is a bit too big)

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