Hands up, who loves a bit of grunge? I do! Worn papers, distressed alphas, splashes of paint . . . they all add character to a page. I have always adored inked edges in paper scrapbooking, so it’s exciting to be able to simulate the look digitally!
There are various ways of applying inks to edges of papers, mats, frames, tags, etc. The most common way is to use texturizing brushes. But, the method I’m going to show you today uses filters to put an artistic slant on a stroke outline. It’s a simple, non-destructive way to add the look of inked edges to your scrapbook pages . . . and doing it digitally means you get to keep your hands, and your home, nice and clean!
This technique works on various shapes and sizes of papers, and even some elements. For the purpose of this tutorial, though, I am keeping it simple and working on a small, square piece of paper. And, here is the page I will be finishing. I feel that it needs some grunge added due to the age of the photo—early 1970s!
Okay, so now we’re all set. Follow along with me and see how easy it is to add some grunge appeal to your layouts.
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Step One: Prepare Your Workspace
- Open an existing multi-layered scrapbook page (File > Open).
- In the Layers panel, activate a paper layer.
- Double click directly on the name of that paper layer and rename it “Paper.”
- Click on the Create a New Layer icon.
- Double click directly on the name of the new layer and rename it “Ink.”
Step Two: Create a Stroke Layer
- In the Layers panel, Ctrl click (Mac: Cmd click) on the thumbnail of the Paper layer to get a selection outline.
- Make sure the Ink layer is still active.
- In the Menu Bar, choose Edit > Stroke (Outline) Selection. (Photoshop: Choose Edit > Stroke.)
- In the dialog box, set the Width to 25 px, the Location to Inside, the Blending Mode to Normal, and the Opacity to 75%. Click on the Color Chip, choose a suitable color, and click OK. Click OK to commit the changes.
Note: I used Hex color #87c6be for my Color Chip.
- Press Ctrl D (Mac: Cmd D) to deselect.
You now have a stroke outline on the ink layer.
Step Three: Blur and Smudge the Ink Layer
- In the Menu Bar, choose Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur.
- In the dialog box, enter 5 pixels for the Radius and click OK.
- In the Menu Bar, choose Filter > Artistic > Smudge Stick. (Photoshop: Choose Filter > Filter Gallery. Click on Artistic. Open the drop-down menu and choose Smudge Stick.)
- In the dialog box, enter the following settings and click OK:
- Stroke Length: 10
- Highlight Area: 13
- Intensity: 2
Note: The settings may vary, depending on the color you have chosen. Play around with them until you are happy with the results.
Step Four: Clip the Ink Layer to the Paper
- In the Layers panel, make sure the Ink layer is active.
- Press Ctrl T (Mac: Cmd T) to get the Transform options.
- Holding down the Alt key (Mac: Opt key), click and drag outward from a corner handle. (Photoshop: Press and hold Shift Alt (Mac: Shift Opt).) Enlarge the ink layer until it slightly overlaps the edge of the paper layer below.
- Double click inside the Bounding Box to commit the changes.
- In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Create Clipping Mask to clip the ink layer to the paper.
Now you have some fabulously grungy, inked-up edges that will make your papers and elements pop right off the page! Repeat the steps for as many of your scrapbook layers as you wish. Have fun trying out different settings and varying the colors to suit. Rotate the ink layer very slightly to skew it a bit and give it a more natural, hand-finished look. You can also change the Blending Mode and the Opacity if desired.
And, here is my finished layout. I used the inked edges technique on all the small paper squares, the chevrons, and on the background papers to give the whole layout a little extra pop!
I hope you have fun with this tutorial. Please share your layouts in the Digi Scrap Tutorial of the Week Gallery . . . I’d love to see how you all customize your pages with a smudge of inky grunge!
Digi Scrap Tutorial: Easy Inked-Up Edges! by Helen Ash (aka SimplyHx)
Layout: Mother by SimplyHx
Kit: Mother Is A Verb by Krystal Hartley (originally included in the May 2013 Premier issue)
Fonts: Myriad Pro and Courier
Software: PS CS6 and PSE 11