• Backing Stamps in Photoshop and PSE

    Some brushes and stamps are designed with transparent windows that allow the layer below to peek through. If you place one of these stamps on a photo, you can see your photo through the holes. If you place the stamp on a background paper, youíll see the paper through the holes.
    On occasion, you may want to create a backing for these types of stamps so that you can choose a color to show through instead of the photo, paper or layer below.
    Hereís how to back a stamp.

    Begin by opening the stamp image in Photoshop or Elements or stamp the image on a new transparent document or layer.
    Get the Custom Shape tool by pressing the letter U on your keyboard (in some versions, you may need to press U several times) or by finding the Custom Shape Tool that hides under the Rectangle tool near the bottom of the tool bin.

    In the full version of Photoshop, make the following choices in the Options bar:
    Shape, Fill (select a contrasting color), Stroke (none), New Layer, Align to Selection, Unconstrained, Shape (select a shape that will fill the transparent sections of the image)

    In Elements, make the following choices in the Options bar (located at the top or bottom of the Editing window.)
    Shape (Custom)
    From the Shape picker, choose a shape that will fill the transparent portion of the image. To see more shape choices, click Shapes and tick All Elements Shapes.
    Style (none) Color picker (choose a contrasting color), Unconstrained, Create a New Shape Layer.

    After youíve made the selections, move your cursor to the document and click/draw out the shape. If a checkmark appears, tick it to confirm the shape.
    Switch to the Move tool and click on the shape.
    Use the Transform controls on the bounding box to adjust the shape so that it covers only the section that you want to back. Again, tick the checkmark in the Options bar or below the shape to confirm the change.

    Now look in the Layers panel at the right side of your screen. Drag the shape layer below the stamp layer.
    Youíll see the color you selected peeking through the transparent holes instead of on top of the image.
    (If you canít see the Layers panel, choose Window > Layers to activate it.)

    To change the color, simply double-click the shape thumbnail in the layers panel and select a new color from the color picker. Click OK.

    You can use the shape as a clipping mask to clip a piece of digital paper or contrasting image if you wish.
    This allows you to create more contrast if your page design calls for it.