Using Photoshop to Create Decorative Printed Frames

Al and Sandy put their pictures in frames when they want to exhibit them in their homes, but have you ever thought about making a ‘frame within a frame’ for your snapshot or artwork? What I mean is adding a decorative edging to the original image, thus producing a second outline. If you’ve got a computer and some Adobe software (and some semblance of skills with said software), you can construct your very own customized Photoshop frames in a few short steps.

Now, when I say ‘decorative’, it doesn’t exactly have to be something with intricate detailing done in one-pixel-wide lines. If you fancy that look, have at it, and good luck. But in this case, ‘decorative’ applies to anything that is in the image besides the initial photo and the physical external frame. There are quite a few ways to make digital frames, but for the sake of keeping your attention for the rest of the article, I’ll describe the easy ways to do this. Heck, if you really try, you could probably create some graphic design jobs for yourself by making some trouble-free tailored image borders.

First, you’ll need to take your photo or artwork into Photoshop…this is a very highly recommended way to embark on this kind of editing. Make a New Layer and then choose the Rectangular Marquee tool; proceed to draw in a rectangle that is smaller than the picture itself. Then go to Select>Inverse to invert the selected area. From there, fill the selected area in with whatever color or pattern you want (using the Paint Bucket, Pattern Stamp tool, or Gradient tool). If you so wish, you can download some neat brushes and patterns legally and for free online that would make some attractive accompaniments. Play around with the filters too, as they tend to result in some cool effects. That’s it for this one type of framework.

The other sort of frame actually involves putting white and black frames around the image. To start, once again, get that picture to work from, and from there, go to Image>Canvas Size. Check the “Relative” box and adjust the size by however many pixels you choose. And make sure your background color is white for the sake of this tutorial. After that, make your background color black and go back to the Canvas Size window. Increase the size by a couple of pixels (like 2 or 3), and you’ll have a black line around the image. Change the background tint back to white and, once more, adjust the Canvas Size again, maybe to about half of what the original increase was. And that’s it. Feel free to experiment with shades and patterns with this too…if your walls are beige, why not go with a nice burgundy inner frame as a compliment to your wall color? Or, if you’ve got a rustic theme going on, choose some earthy colors to match nicely with your country decor.

Either way, the end result will be something stylish and will add a little finesse to an otherwise typical image in a typical frame.

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