For this tutorial, I will show you several different ways to frame a photo. As we walk through the process, you will see that framing your photos can be anything from simple to elaborate, depending on your mood, the purpose of your framing, or your time available to scrap! Let’s get started.
The simplest, most basic means of framing your photo is to use a finished frame. These frames are created with a pre-made picture opening, so all you need to do is to place your photo on a layer underneath the frame and position it accordingly. To size the photo, select the Move tool (or key stroke V), hold the Shift key, and click and drag your photo at the corner tabs. This allows you to size your photo while maintaining the correct aspect ratio of the photo.
The Layers palette would look like this for stamping a brush frame over your photo:
Select for the exact shape of the interior photo opening of the frame by drawing your mouse along the frame’s interior. With the blank layer active and the marching ants active from the rectangle selection, select the Paint Bucket tool (key stroke G).
Then with any color as the foreground color, click within the marching ants. You will now have a solid box in the exact shape of the interior of the Brush Set’s Frame – a seamless mask to hide the edges of your photo that fall outside of the frame edges.
Now, simply clip your photo to that rectangular mask by hitting Ctrl+Alt+G or hover over the line between the two layers and hit Alt+Click. This is my favorite means of clipping – fast and easy!
The Layers palette now looks like this:
For the sample below, I am starting with a lifted frame from Zoomba Collection Biggie. It is comprised of three layers – a frame, a mask, and a shadow. After making another new workspace, the photo is placed on a layer below the frame layer and above the shadow layer. Next, the photo is duplicated and placed beneath the shadow layer.
Lock the photo layers together to prevent any shift between them as you work with them on different layers. This step is done by highlighting both layers and then clicking on the chain link icon at the bottom of the palette.
Clip the top photo to the photo mask layer (clipping is described in the sample above). It will look unchanged; but by studying the Layers palette, you will see that you are looking at the center part of the top photo (only the part that is clipped to the frame mask), and the outer edges of the bottom photo.
You can test this and understand what you are looking at by turning on and off your photo layers.
Now comes the fun part. Make a blank layer below your lower photo layer. Now clip that photo layer to the blank layer. You will see the lower photo layer disappear. All you will see in your workspace will be the frame, the top photo under the frame in the exact shape of the mask, and the shadow.
Now, select a decorative brush. I selected Brush Set: Sketched Leaves but it could be anything you like. You can set your foreground to any color. (I chose white because it would allow for the Blending mode on the brush layer to be changed without altering the color of the photo too much when it’s clipped to the brush layer.) Then, stamp the brush right onto that blank layer which has the lower photo clipped to it. As you do so, bits of the photo will emerge in the exact shape of the brush that you set down.
The Layers palette will look like this:
Remember all that you are doing is exposing small bits of your photo to make a unique and creative frame! This effect may be useful for photos you love that don’t have the most appealing background.
For the crowning touch, create a new layer above the lower photo layer. Highlight the lower photo layer and Ctrl+Click on the thumbnail. This will give the marching ants around the photo. Then, with the new blank layer highlighted and the marching ants active, go to Edit > Stroke, set the pixel size to 4, location to Center, and pick a pleasing color from your background (the bits of your photo that you just exposed).
Finally, hit OK. This will create a nice, neat stroke around the “footprint” of the lower photo and provides a clean finishing touch to the framework you just created.
The Layers palette for the final photo with all the framework looks like this: