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Make the Frame

Once you have some objects selected and ready to use, you’re ready to make the frame. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the image to frame. Double-click its background layer in the Layer palette to turn it into a regular layer.
  2. Increase the image size by choosing Image, Canvas Size. Click the Relative checkbox and set the Width and Height to 50 percent. Click in the middle square of the Anchor grid and click OK (see Figure 3). Because you’re working on a layer and not the background layer, the extra canvas will be transparent.
    Figure 3

    Figure 3 To add more canvas around the image for your frame, use the Image > Canvas Size option to add extra space around the photo.

  3. Add a new layer by choosing Layer > New > Layer and fill it with the color to use for the frame. Drag it below the image layer.
  4. Open the image or images containing the objects to use for the embellishments and that contain your paths. Working on one image at a time, convert the path to a selection using the Load Path as a Selection icon. Choose Select > Refine Edge to soften the edge of the selection by adding a small feather to it. Make sure to click the Preview box so you can see the effect on your image (see Figure 4). Click OK.
    Figure 4

    Figure 4 The new Refine Edge tool in Photoshop CS3 gives you more control over selections by offering a preview of how your feathering will look.

  5. Use the Move tool to drag the selected object and drop it onto the image to frame. It will appear on its own layer. Drag the layer to the top of the layer stack. Repeat these steps to add one image multiple times or different images to decorate the frame—it’s up to you.
  6. If you are using the same image multiple times, consider resizing each image so each is a different size, and rotate or flip it so they all look different (see Figure 5).
    Figure 5

    Figure 5 When you use the same image multiple times, resize and flip them so they all look a little different.

  7. Move the images into position relative to each other (depending on the images you are using, you can overlap them and overlap the edge of the frame to give a dimensional effect). You can also vary the color of the object using Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation, and vary the Saturation and Lightness or use the Colorize option to recolor the object (see Figure 6).
    Figure 6

    Figure 6 Use the Hue/Saturation adjustment to alter the color of the flower to add some variety them.

  8. To add dimension to the objects, add a drop shadow by clicking on a layer containing an object and click the Add a Layer Style button at the foot of the Layer Palette. Choose Drop Shadow and adjust the settings until you have a good result (see Figure 7). Once you have completed one layer, copy and paste the layer style onto other layers by right-clicking the layer with the style attached (Ctrl+click on the Mac), and choose Copy > Layer Style. Right-click the layer to copy the style onto (Ctrl+click on the Mac), and choose Paste > Layer Style.
    Figure 7

    Figure 7 Add a drop shadow to the object so it looks elevated from the frame and so it has some dimension.

  9. To make your photo appear as if it is placed inside the frame, select the layer containing the photo and apply an inner shadow to it.
  10. Finish the frame with other touches as desired. I like to add some simple lines by selecting a foreground color and a brush and then, on a new layer, click where the line will start, go to its end point and Shift+click to make a straight line between the two points. Continue to make a closed shape (see Figure 8).
    Figure 8

    Figure 8 Using the paint brush you can create simple lines to add interest to your frame.

    After you finish, save your photo, making sure that you save it in a format such as .psd that saves layer data so you can edit it again at a later date, if desired.

Frames like these are easy to make and a satisfying way to finish off your images before emailing them to friends and family, printing or displaying on the Web.

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