Digitally frame your photos

Learn the basics of scaling photos to fit frames and show off your family portraits.

Adding a photo frame to your image is a great way to make your photos stand out. In this tutorial you will learn a simple technique for adding a decorative photo frame to your images using Photoshop Elements. We will show you how to work with layers and also use layer styles for that extra creative touch. It’s a very handy technique for making photo albums and scrap books; first you will work with a very simple frame to get familiar with the process. You will use the selection tools to cut and create a transparent background, before adding your image, adjusting its size and placing it behind the frame. You will also learn how to use some auto-enhance tools to fix and correct colours in your photos. Finally, you will learn how to save and print your work. In your resources you will find all the files you need to work with this tutorial, and we’ve included four different frames to use in your own projects.

So go ahead and download the files you need, and get ready to begin creating your own photo frames and scrap books!

Open Image

Ореп Photoshop Elements in Expert Mode. Locate your supplied resources and then go to File>Open, and select the ‘Frame1.jpg’ file. Now, place your mouse cursor over the Background layer, Ctrl/right-click and choose the Duplicate Layer option. Name the layer Framel and then click OK.

Quick Selection

Hide the Background layer by clicking on the eye icon. Now select Frame1 and grab the Magic Wand tool (A). On the Tool Options bar, click on New Selection, set the Tolerance to 100 and check the Anti-aliasing box. Click on the centre of the image and press Delete on your keyboard.

Place your photo

Now let’s place the photo inside our frame. Head to File>Place, find the ‘Woman.jpg’ file and then click Place. On the Tool Options bar, check the Constrain Proportions box and then resize to around 250%. Click on the green checkmark to commit the current operation.

Rearrange Layers

On the Layers panel, drag the Woman layer and place it behind Frame1. Press Cmd/Ctrl+T to open the Free Transform tool. Now, hold the Opt/Alt key and drag the corner handles to resize and reposition the image behind the frame. Again, click on the green checkmark to commit the operation.

Auto Smart Fix Let’s improve our image’s colour and detail by using the Auto Smart Fix command. This command will improve the shadows and highlights, the details and correct the colour balance automatically. Make sure the Woman layer still selected. Ctrl/right-click on the layer and choose Simplify Layer, then go to Enhance>Auto Smart Fix.

Layer Style

Now select the Framel layer. Go to Layer>Layer Style>Style Settings. Change the Lighting Angle to 145°, then click on Drop Shadow and set Size: 20px, Distance: 15px and Opacity: 90%. Now click on Stroke and set Size to 4px, Opacity to 80% and then click OK.

Save File

It’s time to save our project. Go to File>Save As (Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+ S). Choose the location to save in. For the file name, type in Frame1, and then choose Format: PNG. Check the Include in the Elements Organizer and Save in Version Set with Original tick boxes, then click Save. In the PNG options, check Interlace None and hit OK.

Print your work

Go to File>Print (Cmd/Ctrl+P). Select a printer from the drop-down list and choose a paper size. Click Portrait or Landscape to specify the orientation. Select Print Size and check the Crop to Fit box. Choose the number of copies and hit Print.

Another view

Go further with alternative designs

You can create your own photo frame using brushes. First create a new layer, then grab the Gradient tool (G) and apply over the canvas. Now grab the rectangular Marquee tool (M), select the centre and press Delete. Now search online for a decorative brush; download and save it to your desktop. Select the Brush tool (B), Go to Edit>Preset Manager, select Brushes and click Append to load your decorative brush. Create a new layer and apply the brush around the frame. Go to Layer>Layer Style>Style Settings. Select Bevel, change the Size to 3px and change the Lighting Angle to 115°, click OK.

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