• Creating a Cut-Out Page Frame in Photoshop and PSE

    Browsing the Idea Gallery at Designer Digitals gives me all kinds of creative inspiration. I literally "ooh" and "ahh" while Iím admiring the beautiful pages there. Recently, I was blown away by This Face by Tracey (Tracermajig). I was drawn to the way she cut out a heart from a piece of cardstock and then used it to frame her grouping of photos on the right side of page. Itís a wonderful technique. Here's how to get that look on your own project:

    • Open two coordinating pieces of digital paper, Trace used Botanical Colors Pink No. 8 and Simply Moroccan No. 4-9 by Katie Pertiet.
    • Get the Move tool and drag one paper on top of the other. Holding the Shift key as you click/drag will center the paper.
    • Next, open a mask. Trace used Heart 8 from the Clean Stitched Hearts Pink No. 1 set by Katie Pertiet. Any mask or shape will work with this technique, so choose a shape that coordinates with the theme of your page. Using the Move tool, drag the mask onto your paper stack.
    • Using the Corner Handle, Shift/drag the corner away from the center of the mask to enlarge it if necessary. Position the mask on the corner of the page, allowing it to hang off the document. Tilt the mask by moving the cursor outside one corner of the mask layer until the cursor changes to a curved arrow. Click/drag to twist the mask. Click the checkmark that appears in the Options bar (or under the mask) to confirm the adjustment.
    • Ctrl click (Mac: Cmd click) the thumbnail of the mask layer in the Layers panel. This selects just the mask. You'll see "marching ants" surround the mask to let you know it's selected.
    • Next, click the top paper and press Delete or Backspace on your keyboard. Press Ctrl D (Mac: Cmd D) to remove the selection.
    • Hide the mask layer by clicking the layer visibility icon on the left side of the mask layer. Now you'll see the shape cut out from the top paper so that you can see the bottom paper peeking through.
    • Add a drop shadow to the top paper. I find it easiest to use Katie Pertiet's Drop Shadow Styles No. 2.
    • Finish the page by clicking the background layer. Drag photos, papers and embellishments between the background and the cut-out paper to fill the shape. Tracey layered paper strips, torn paper strips, ribbons, a photo and embellishments artfully on her page. It is a delightful effect.
    • Finally, add a title and journaling above the cut-out paper layer to complete the project.


    Thanks for the inspiration, Trace! Your page is an amazing visual confection.