Okay so you have a great high quality scan of an image, one that is okay for commercial use that is!!!
how do you get the image off the paper?
Well I'll tell you how I do it
1. scan the image at a high resolution, I usually scan mine at over 600ppi.
open your image in photoshop or your favourite editing program that allows layers, your scapping program will do in most cases.
This is what I have scanned for the purpose of this tutorial
2. Next find your levels tool (this is where it is in photoshop)
3. drag the black handle to the right and the white handle to the left till everything is either pure black or pure white
4. Now choose your tool that allows you to select one color throughout your image, in photoshop it is Select>Color Range...
choose to select black #000000 and set the values high so that you get every last bit of black and you will get marching ants all around the black part of the image like I have in my image below.
5. Select inverse and hit delete, voila the paper is gone and you just have the image, hmmm, and the text but we'll take care of that in the next step
6. if you are using photoshop you can add a stroke in your styles palette to find any stay pixels that might be left. This is where we delete the type too
7. Now that the type and strays are gone you just have your graphic. You can now remove the style that you used to stroke the image with. And then save your image at 300ppi. If you can't do this in the resize options of your program, create a new image at 300ppi and paste the image onto it, it will convert to the new image's resolution.
Finally you can use your image on papers, elements, anything your little designer heart desires.
Here's how my little girl turned out. In this paper I made a cardstock paper then I duplicated the layer, and clipped it to my image, I then changed the image's blend mode to Linear burn to get this effect.
I hope you enjoyed learning how to remove the paper background. And remember to always check your images for quality before using them. A lot of older images in books have a bit of natural jaggieness but some softer blend modes will not show them as much and texture is your friend
happy scrapping and designing