Saturday, January 30, 2010

Photo Overlays

One of the contributing artists asked how to add painted edges or a snow look to the edges of her photos before printing. The easiest way to do it is to use photo overlays! To use an overlay, you open your photo, and the overlay file you want to use in Photoshop Elements. (I'm sure there are ways to add overlays in other programs but PSE is the one I'm most familiar with.) Click on the overlay down in the layers palette so it pops up in your workspace area. Use your move to to "grab" the overlay and drag it down onto the top of the photo you want to use it on in the bin along the bottom. The photo should pop up in your workspace with the overlay on top of it. Use your move tool, and the arrows to drag and re-size the overlay to the size you need. This is what your layers palette should look like with the overlay on top of the photo.

The best way I ever heard to describe using layers in the layers palette was to think of it as building a sandwich. One layer is the bread, then mayo, then meat, then lettuce, and cheese. To rearrange the layers you can drag them by clicking on them with your mouse and pulling up or down in the layers palette. See the little slider setting that says opacity? If the overlay looks a bit too bright and strong on your photo, you can drag the slider to make it more transparent, and tone down the effect a bit.

Of course I wouldn't tell you all of this without providing some overlays to play with! Here is my photo before adding the overlays I made...

This is how it looks after I applied the first overlay...

Here is the second overlay...

And the third...

And one more!

After you apply your overlay and get it sized how you want, go to Layer-Flatten Image, and then save the image with a different file name so you don't write over the original file in case you want it later.

To download the zipped file with all 4 overlays click here...


  1. Thank you for freebies. Link on your post was added to Lori's freebie list

  2. thanks so much for that heather! :) great info! :)


  3. Thank you! Your blog post will be advertised on the CraftCrave DigiFree search engine today (look for timestamp: [31 Jan 02:00pm GMT]).

  4. Thank you so much for this Freebie. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in CBH Digital Scrapbooking Freebies, under the Page 4 post on Jan. 31, 2010. Thanks again.

  5. This will be very useful. Thanks for sharing.