I Was Framed! : A Photoshop Tutorial

Good Morning everyone! I hope everyone had a great Easter! We had a fantastic weekend full of  family and fun! All five of my kiddos were home this weekend (which is a rarity since two are now away in college/Navy) and we traveled to my parents to spend some time with them and my sister and her children! I think I gained 5 pounds on all the food, but it is a great time of visiting with all of them! I came back rested and renewed and ready to teach!

As I was working on a layout earlier this week, I came across a situation that actually occurs quite often for me.  You know the situation. You are working on a layout, and you need a square frame, but the one that you want to use is rectangle , or you need a rectangle frame and the one you want is a square! Sometimes you can stretch them and make them work..other times, however, if you try to stretch the frame, it will  look out of shape or warped. If  it is a scalloped frame, the scallops will become distorted and your frame will never look right.  So today, I thought I would show you a quick and easy way to make your square frames fit your rectangle pictures!

In my example layout below, I need to add a frame to one of my pictures. Unfortunately, the frame I want to use only comes as a square, and you can see below that my picture is rectangle.


If I stretch the frame, however,  the circle cutouts on the frame look more like ovals and the frame just doesn't look right.

In this instance, stretching the frame will not work, but do not fret, there is an easy fix so that you can still use the square frame but have it fit your rectangle picture!  Begin by resizing the frame as close to the size of the picture as you can...but DO NOT ROTATE it and DO NOT SHADE it. Shading and rotating the photo will only make it harder to work with and it will not fit together properly later on.

Once you have it as close to the size as you can get it, duplicate the image by selecting it in your layers panel and hitting CTRL+J.  The new frame will duplicate right on top of the old frame, so you will not see it on your layout, but it will show up in your layers palette.

Next, click on the top frame layer in your layers palette (highlighted in blue above) With the MOVE tool selected, press and hold the SHIFT key and slide the frame over to cover the length of your frame.

You can see that the two frames together now form a rectangle. BUT, because there is a pattern formed on the outside of the frame, you need to make sure that you match them there as well or your frame will not look right. Zoom in close and match the patterns so that they look like one seamless frame on the OUTSIDE of the frame.

Once you have arranged the frame and the patterns to fit your photo, it is now time to erase part of the frames. Select the TOP frame in your layers palette and cut the layer off by clicking on the eye on the panel next to your layer. The eye indicates the layer visibility. In the photo below, the bounding box indicates the invisible layer. You can see where it overlaps the frame that is not hidden, so the part of the frame that we want to remove is indicated by the black box I placed over the frames.  You want the two frames to overlap a little which is why we will only erase a portion of the frame.

To do this, we need to add a layer mask to the bottom frame layer by hitting the ADD LAYER MASK icon on the bottom of the layers panel.

Now that we know the area we want to erase, we can turn the Visibility Eye back on for the top layer.  Select the rectangle marquee tool from the tools palette.

With the bottom layers Layer Mask Thumbnail selected, draw a rectangle over the area of the frame that you do not want to keep.

go to EDIT>FILL. Since the Layers Mask Thumbnail  is white, select BLACK as your Fill color and select OK.  Your Layers thumbnail will have a black rectangle on it and your frame "extra " will disappear. Hit CTRL D to deselect.

Now, we will do the same thing with the top frame.  Add a layer mask to the top frame layer. Make sure you have the layer thumbnail highlighted and, with the rectangle marquee tool selected, draw a rectangle on the part of the frame that you are erasing.

Go To EDIT>FILL and select Black as your Fill color.Select OK. Your frame will disappear and the black rectangle will appear on your Layer Mask Thumbnail. Hit CTRL +D to deselect.

When you are finished, you are left with a rectangle frame that you are now ready to merge.  Select BOTH frame layers in your layers palette. Right Click on the highlighted layers and choose Merge Layers.

Once your layers are merged, you have a completed rectangle frame. You can size it to fit your picture and give it a great shadow to make it shine!


In just a few short steps, you can turn a square frame into a perfect rectangle frame! You can do the same procedures in will just have to add your mask a different way by creating an adjustment layer (Levels) and clipping the frame layer and the adjustment layers together. I hope you find this tutorial as useful as I do. I think I use this procedure on almost every layout I create.  Have a GREAT week ahead and I will see you NEXT Monday with something new and exciting!