5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders using Photoshop Elements

October 06, 2016

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders using Photoshop Elements

Putting a simple border around an image can give it a finishing touch. In this post, I'll show you how to create 5 really quick borders in Photoshop Elements. Plus I'll give you some ideas for even more. And they’re all non-destructive and editable.

Simple Outside Border

Step 1. Double click on the Background layer. When the New Layer Dialog box appears, leave the name as it is and click OK.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Step 2. Choose Image>Resize>Canvas Size from the top menu bar.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Step 3. The Canvas Size dialog box will appear. Make sure that the box next to Relative is checked. This ensures that the border you are adding is the same thickness on all sides of the photo.

Step 4. Type in the border thickness that you want in the Width and Height boxes. These numbers are going to depend on your image size and resolution. The image in my example is 8x12, so I'm going to add 1.5 inches all around.

Step 5. Leave the other options at their default values and click OK. You will see the canvas expand around the image.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element
5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Step 6. Add a new layer by clicking on the Create a new layer button at the top of the Layers panel.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Step 7. Move the new layer below the image layer by clicking and dragging it there.

Step 8. Fill the new layer by clicking on it in the Layers panels and then choosing Edit>Fill Layer from the top menu bar. The Fill Layer dialog box will open.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Step 9. Click on the drop down box to choose a fill color. The choices include Foreground and Background colors, Black, White, and 50% Gray. You also have the option to use a different color or fill the layer with a pattern.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

If you select Color… the Color Picker dialog box will open. From there you can pick any color in the Color Picker center box or choose another Hue from the Color Slider just to the right.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Or you can use a color sampled from your image. To do this, move your cursor over the photo (the cursor will change into an eyedropper shape) and click on any color there.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

You can also choose to fill the layer with a Pattern, selecting from among patterns that come with Elements. This can be a really nice looking option.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

When you are happy with the fill selection, click OK and the layer behind the photo will fill, creating a border around your image.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Simple Outside Border with a Drop Shadow

You can spice up the border that we created above by adding a Layer Style to give it some depth.

Steps 1 - 9 are the same as those for the Simple Outside Border above.

Step 10. Click on the image layer. Then click on the Effects button at the bottom of the Layers Panel.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Step 11. Click on the drop down box at the top of the Effects panel and choose Drop Shadows.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Step 12. Choose the Low option from the Drop Shadows Panel.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Step 13. A drop shadow will appear around your photo, making it look like it is matted to the border.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Step 14. If your want to adjust the look of the drop shadow, click on the small gear icon at the top right of the Drop Shadows panel. The Style Settings dialog box will appear and there you can adjust the drop shadow to your liking.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Simple Outside Border with a Inner Shadow

Adding an inner shadow layer style makes your photo look likes it's positioned behind the border/frame.

Steps 1 - 9 are the same as in the Simple Outside Border above.

Step 10. Click on the image layer. Then click on the Effects button at the bottom of the Layers Panel.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Step 11. Click on the drop down box at the top of the Effects panel and choose Inner Shadows.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Step 12. Choose the Low option from the Inner Shadows Panel.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Step 13. An inner shadow will appear around your photo, making it look like it is behind the image border.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Step 14. You can adjust the angle of the light creating the inner shadow by clicking on the small gear icon at the top right of the Inner Shadows panel.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

To adjust the size of the inner shadow, choose Layer>Layer Style>Scale Effects

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Simple Inside Border

Now we will look at creating a border just inside the image boundaries.

Step 1. Double click on the Background layer. When the New Layer Dialog box appears, leave the name as it is and click OK.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Step 2. Click on the Effects button at the bottom of the Layers Panel.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Step 3. Click on the drop down box at the top of the Effects panel and choose Strokes.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Step 4. Choose any of the Strokes by clicking on one of them in the Strokes Panel. It doesn't matter which you choose because we are going to change the Stroke settings. And regardless of which one you choose, you won't see any change in the photo yet.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Step 5. Click on the gear icon at the top right of the Effects panel. This will open the Style Settings dialog box. Change the stroke position to Inside. You will now see the stroke appear around the outside edge of your photo.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Step 6. Change the color of the stroke by clicking on the small colored box to the right Size slider.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

The Color Picker dialog box will open. From there you can pick any color in the Color Picker center box or choose another Hue from the Color Slider just to the right.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Or you can use a color sampled from your image. To do this, move your cursor over the photo (the cursor will change into an eyedropper shape) and click on any color there.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

When you are happy with the stroke color, click OK to close the Color Picker dialog box.

Step 7.Change the size of the stroke by sliding the Size slider back and forth until you get a look you like. Be careful about making it too thick because, since this is an inside border, it will start cutting into the photo area.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Step 8. When you are happy with the look of the stroke, click OK to close the Style Settings dialog box.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Two Colored Border

This border combines the Simple Inside and Simple Outside Borders above.

Steps 1 - 8 are the same as in the Simple Inside Border above.

Step 9. Choose Image>Resize>Canvas Size from the top menu bar.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Step 10. The Canvas Size dialog box will appear. Make sure that the box next to Relative is checked. This ensures that the border you are adding is the same thickness on all sides of the photo.

Step 11. Type in the border thickness that you want in the Width and Height boxes. These numbers are going to depend on your image size and resolution. The image in my example is 8x12, so I'm going to add 1.5 inches all around.

Step 12. Leave the other options at their default values and click OK. You will see the canvas expand around the image.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element
5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Step 13. Add a new layer by clicking on the Create a new layer button at the top of the Layers panel.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Step 14. Move the new layer below the image layer by clicking and dragging it there.

Step 15. Fill the new layer by clicking on it in the Layers panels and then choosing Edit>Fill Layer from the top menu bar. The Fill Layer dialog box will open.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Step 16. Click on the drop down box to choose a fill color. The choices include Foreground and Background colors, Black, White, and 50% Gray. You also have the option to use a different color or fill the layer with a pattern.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

If you select Color… the Color Picker dialog box will open. From there you can pick any color in the Color Picker center box or choose another Hue from the Color Slider just to the right.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Or you can use a color sampled from your image. To do this, move your cursor over the photo (the cursor will change into an eyedropper shape) and click on any color there.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Or you can also choose to fill the layer with a Pattern, selecting from among patterns that come with Elements.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

When you are happy with the fill selection, click OK and the layer behind the photo will fill, creating a (second) border around your image.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Play Around to Create Other Border Effects

You can create all sort of border effects by playing around with the Layer Styles available in Elements. So if you liked the Two Color Border that we just did, here are some other ideas that can take it another step further:

Add a drop shadow to the image layer as we did above:

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Add a Big Border Inner Glow to the colored border layer:

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Add a Fire Inner Glow to the colored border layer:

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Add a Small Border Inner Glow to the colored border layer:

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Try an Outer Glow on the image layer instead of the stroke

For example, here's what we'd get with the Small Border Outer Glow applied to the image layer instead of the stroke.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

Or Small Border Outer Glow and Small Border Inner Glow, both applied to the image layer instead of the stroke.

5 Quick and Easy Photo Borders Using Photoshop Element

You can create all sorts of fun border effects by just playing around with the the Elements Layer Styles. Try it and see what you get!




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