• How to Use Torn and Ripped Photo Frames (PNG Frames) in Photoshop and PSE

    Katie Pertiet's Torn Classic Photo Frames and Ripped Vintage Photo Frames (PNG) are a favorite among digital crafters. These sets are an easy way to give dimension and texture to your project. I'm frequently asked the best way to use these frames since they are delivered as PNG frames with one layer.

    If you are used to working with layered frames, you may be wondering how these are different. The first thing you'll notice is that the frame files are like a digital image with a transparent window. You'll slip your photo behind this window so that your picture peeks out through the "window."

    Here's how:
    • The Torn Classic and Ripped Vintage Frames are delivered as PNG images. Each frame will have a shadowed version and a shadow-free version. Begin by opening the frame of your choice. For the sample, I am using Katie Pertiet's Torn Classic Photo Frames. You can use this technique with any PNG digital frame that is one layer.
    • Also open a digital photo and a new blank document or your digital project.
    • Get the Move tool and drag the photo onto your new document or digital project.
    • Using the Move tool and drag the frame onto your new document or digital project. In the Layers panel, the frame should be the top layer with the photo under it. The new document or project background will be below these layers. You can drag the layers up and down the layers panel to get them into the right order.
    • Move the frame into position over the photo in the editing window.
    • Click the photo layer to select it. Press Ctrl T (Mac: Cmd T) and use the corner handles at the corners of the photo to resize the image at this point if necessary. Just drag toward the center of the photo to make it smaller or away from the photo to make it larger. Tick the checkmark to confirm the size change.
    • Now you'll need to remove the sections of the photo that are sticking out from behind the frame. You may be tempted to use the Eraser tool to erase away the portion of the photo outside the frame, but the most non-destructive way of doing this is to use a mask. It's very simple and unlike erasing, it can be easily altered later if you decide you want to tweak the way the photo is positioned inside the frame.
    • To continue select the frame layer. Get the Magic Wand tool and click inside the opening of the frame. Marching ants will surround the frame "window." Slightly expand this selection by choosing Select > Modify > Expand from the Menu bar. Choose a small number of pixels (7 worked for the sample) to type into the Expand By box. Click OK. Now the marching ants will be a little larger than the opening.
    • In the Layers panel, click the photo layer and click the "Add Layer Mask" icon. This icon looks a little like a camera Ė rectangle with a circle inside. When you click the icon, the parts outside the selection disappear and your photo looks perfectly framed.
    • Press the Ctrl key (Mac: Cmd) select both the frame and the photo layers in the Layers panel. Holding the Ctrl (Cmd) key allows you to select both at the same time. Now click the Link Layers icon in the Layers panel. This looks like a link in a chain and it links together the frame and the photo so that you can move them around your page together.
    • If you later decide that you donít like the way the photo is framed, just drag the layer mask icon down to the trash bin in the Layers panel to delete it. Now your entire photo is visible again. Unlink the layers and move or resize the photo. Create a new mask to hide the portions that stick out behind the frame.


    Using these simple steps, you can use any of the PNG-type frame sets to place realistic-looking frames around your photos.