• How to Shorten Paper Strips in Photoshop and PSE

    Many Designer Digitals kits include torn paper strip embellishments. These fun patterned strips look great tucked into groupings and borders or slipped behind photos. You can even create a frame around an image with them. There are times when a shorter strip is needed for a project. Here's a quick tip that shows you just how to achieve that look.

    • Open a torn paper strip in Photoshop or Elements.
      Make a copy of the strip so that you don't accidentally overwrite the original. In Photoshop, choose Image > Duplicate from the Menu bar. In Elements, choose File > Duplicate. You can give the duplicate document a new name if you like, then press OK.
    • Get the Rectangular Marquee Tool. In the Tool Options, choose Normal mode with a feather of 0. This gives you a crisp, clean cut.
    • Position your cursor over the paper strip and drag out a rectangle the length you'd like to cut off of the strip.
    • In the Layers panel, select the paper strip layer and press V on the keyboard to change to the Move tool.
    • Now the selection you made will be surrounded by marching ants.
    • Hold the Shift key and click/drag to the right or left to move the selected portion on top of the remaining strip. Drag until you find a portion of the strip that matches up with the cut edge of the selection.
      If the design is has a repeating pattern like words or stripes, match up the pattern to make the strip pattern continuous.
      If the design has a random pattern, make the selection edge a blank spot so that you can drag the selection to another blank spot. It might be difficult to match up half a flower or butterfly, for example.
      Press Ctrl + (Mac: Cmd +) to zoom in on the paper strip while you are positioning the selection this helps you match the design with precision.
    • When you have the selection in its new position, press Enter (Backspace) on the keyboard, then press Ctrl D (Mac: Cmd D) on the keyboard to remove the selection.


    Now the shortened strip is ready to be used on your digital project. Just get the Move tool and drag it onto your working document to continue.