• Creative Techniques with Filmstrip Frames in Photoshop and PSE - Part 4

    This week's tip is the fourth part in a series on how to customize Katie Pertiet's Filmstrip Frames in creative ways. This series shows you how to alter the look of the frames whether you are using a filmstrip frame set or a template with filmstrip frames. The series gives you tips on how to use the frames over and over again to match your page designs.

    Digital Decoupage Technique
    What I like about Filmstrip Frames, Tag Frames and Photobooth Frames is that they are a great basic page element. They have "good bones" that can be embellished to create an infinite number of combinations. You can make the frames look like they are constructed from cardboard, fabric, glitter, or patterned paper. Here's how:

    • Open the frame image in Photoshop or PSE. For the sample, Iím using Katie Pertiet's Hugs and Kisses No. 3 Template. Select the frame layer.
    • Open the paper you want to use to "slipcover" the frame.
    • Use the Move tool to drag the paper onto the frame document.
    • Make sure the paper is one position above the frame in the Layers Panel. You can drag the paper up or down the Layers panel to get it into position.
    • With the paper layer selected, press Alt Ctrl G (Mac: Opt Cmd G) on the keyboard. In older versions of Elements, press Ctrl G (Mac: Cmd G) instead. This causes the paper to be "glued" to the frame and is called creating a "clipping mask."
    • Another way to create the clipping mask is to position your cursor between the paper and the frame layer in the Layers panel. Hold the Alt key (Mac: Opt key) when the cursor changes shape, click.
    • And because Adobe gives you many options for achieving the same results, you can also select the paper layer and click the panel options at the top right corner of the Layers panel. Choose "Create Clipping Mask." Or choose Layer > Create clipping mask from the Menu bar.
    • You can even arrange several images on top of your frame (like postage stamp images, collage elements, or torn papers) to cover the frame. Just create a clipping mask from each image layer to "glue" them all to the frame.
    • Any of these methods will attach your chosen paper to the frame. Now you can embellish the frame to give it your own special touch.


    Using this technique is like decoupaging the frame. Try a heavily textured fabric like burlap or linen. Get on point with a chalkboard effect. Or glitz it up using glittered or foiled paper. Dress it down with cardboard or a patterned paper that coordinates with your project. Whatever you choose, it's a great way to change the way the frames look so you can use them on different projects.