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Photoshop: Add a Border

Adding a border to a photo is a way to give it a hand-developed look. Depending on the type of border you chose it could create a clean printed look or a more grungy-distressed look.

STEP 1: Choose your border.

I’m using this photo but it has a vintage look to it so I don’t really like the clean edge on it.

I chose this border because it’s not too distressed but still has uneven edges.

STEP 2: Copy and paste your border.

Select your border.

(or Ctrl A on a PC)

Copy it.

(or Ctrl C on a PC)

Select the window with your image and paste the border over it.

(or Ctrl V on a PC)

STEP 3: Scale your border.

Your border probably won’t fit perfectly. As long as it’s relatively close to the same size you CAN scale it up without it getting pixelated. First make sure that you have “Transform Controls” selected.

Then you should be able to grab the corners and scale the border to fit your image.

STEP 4: Multiply the border layer.

Your border layer should be selected but if it’s not select it in the “Layers” palette.

Then where it says “Normal” select “Multiply” from the drop down list.

What “Multiply” does is basically makes lighter colors transparent – so the white in the border will disappear completely.

But…what if I wanted a white border?

If you’re using a black and white border it’s easy to make the border white. Just select your layer again. Then select Image: Adjustments: Invert

This will flip the image to a black center with a white border.

“Multiply” won’t work for this since the white will be transparent but the black will cover your image. So rather than selecting “Multiply” this time select “Screen” from the drop down menu.

Screen will make dark colors transparent and keep light colors opaque, so the black will disappear and leave a white border behind.

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