Text Mats

with 11 Comments

sara-horton-xsmThey say a picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes a word is just the thing you need to enhance a special photo.

Creating a customized photo mat gives your project a personalized touch. In just a few minutes, you can make your scrapbook page one-of-a-kind!

 

For Adobe Photoshop Version click here.

Step 1: Create the Photo Block

Begin by creating a new document at 300 pixels per inch in RGB color mode. For the sample, I created a 12×12-inch scrapbook page.

Create a new transparent layer over the background by clicking the Create a New Layer icon above the Layers panel. Get the Rectangular Marquee tool and draw out a rectangle on your document.

Fill the Rectangle by selecting Edit > Fill Selection from the Menu. Choose Black for the contents and make sure that the Preserve Transparency box is not checked.

2009-10-19-tip01el

Press Ctrl D (Mac: Cmd D) to remove the selection.

Step 2: Add the Title

Next, get the Text tool and select a font that matches the theme or style of your photo. Chunky, filled, headline fonts work well for this technique. For the sample I used Titania font, which I downloaded from 1001 Free Fonts.

Press the letter D to reset your Color Chips to black and white. Type your title word in black, across the top or bottom of the black rectangle you created in Step 1.

Click the check mark in the Options Bar to confirm the text.

Get the Move tool, and make sure Show Bounding Box is checked in the Options Bar. Move the text so it rests along the upper or lower edge of the black rectangle, flush with the left side. To resize the text so it fits all the way to the right, click and drag a corner handle to make the text larger or smaller. When you’re satisfied with the size, click the green check mark to confirm the change.

2009-10-19-tip02el

With the text layer selected, press Ctrl E (Mac: Cmd E) to merge the text and the rectangle layers.

2009-10-19-tip03el

Step 3: Insert a Photo

Add a photo to your block by opening an image. Get the Move Tool and drag the photo over the text mat you created in the last step. Make sure the photo layer is just above the mat layer in the Layers panel. With the photo layer selected, press Ctrl G (Mac: Cmd G) on your keyboard to create a clipping mask which will “glue” the photo to the mat. At this point, the photo will take on the shape of the mat beneath it.

2009-10-19-tip04el

Variations:

  • Try placing the text up the left side or down the right side of your photo mat.
  • A scripty font gives an elegant, lacy look to the text mat.
  • Add a phrase or quote around the entire perimeter of the rectangle for a different look.
  • Create a very large text mat, then clip patterned paper to it as a background mat for your scrapbook page.

2009-10-19-tip-layout

Credits: Scrapbook page by Sara Horton Out-of-a-Box Elements by Katie Pertiet at Designer Digitals; Audubon Notebook Paper Pack 1 by Katie Pertiet at Designer Digitals; My Family Geneology Clippings No. 2 by Katie Pertiet at Designer Digitals; Digitally Pressed Petals No. 2 by Katie Pertiet at Designer Digitals; Vintage Photo Frames Curled and Flat by Katie Pertiet at Designer Digitals.

Download a PDF version of this “Text Mats” tutorial.

Windows: Right click on the link and choose “Save Target As” or a similar command. Mac: Click on the link to download the file.

 

Step 1: Create the Photo Block

Begin by creating a new document at 300 pixels per inch in RGB color mode. For the sample, I created a 12×12-inch scrapbook page.

Create a new transparent layer over the background by clicking the Create a New Layer icon on the Layers panel. Get the Rectangular Marquee tool and draw out a rectangle on your document.

Fill the Rectangle by selecting Edit > Fill from the Menu. Choose Black for the contents and make sure that the Preserve Transparency box is not checked.

2009-10-19-tip01ps

Press Ctrl D (Mac: Cmd D) to remove the selection.

Step 2: Add the Title

Next, get the Text tool and select a font that matches the theme or style of your photo. Chunky, filled, headline fonts work well for this technique. For the sample I used Titania font, which I downloaded from 1001 Free Fonts.

Press the letter D to reset your Color Chips to black and white. Type your title word in black, across the top or bottom of the black rectangle you created in Step 1.

Click the check mark in the Options Bar to confirm the text.

Get the Move tool, and make sure Show Transform Controls is checked in the Options Bar. Move the text so it rests along the upper or lower edge of the black rectangle, flush with the left side. To resize the text so it fits all the way to the right, click on a corner handle, press the Shift key to constrain proportions, and drag the corner to make the text larger or smaller. When you are satisfied with the size, click the check mark in the Options Bar to confirm the size change.

2009-10-19-tip02ps

With the text layer selected, press Ctrl E (Mac: Cmd E) to merge the text and the rectangle layers.

2009-10-19-tip03ps

Step 3: Insert a Photo

Add a photo to your block by opening an image. Get the Move Tool and drag the photo over the text mat you created in the last step. Make sure the photo layer is just above the mat layer in the Layers panel. Press Alt (Mac: Optand click between the photo and mat layers in the Layers panel to create a clipping mask which will “glue” the photo to the mat. At this point, the photo will take on the shape of the mat beneath it.

2009-10-19-tip04ps-

Variations:

  • Try placing the text up the left side or down the right side of your photo mat.
  • A scripty font gives an elegant, lacy look to the text mat.
  • Add a phrase or quote around the entire perimeter of the rectangle for a different look.
  • Create a very large text mat, then clip patterned paper to it as a background mat for your scrapbook page.

2009-10-19-tip-layout

Credits: Scrapbook page by Sara Horton Out-of-a-Box Elements by Katie Pertiet at Designer Digitals; Audubon Notebook Paper Pack 1 by Katie Pertiet at Designer Digitals; My Family Geneology Clippings No. 2 by Katie Pertiet at Designer Digitals; Digitally Pressed Petals No. 2 by Katie Pertiet at Designer Digitals; Vintage Photo Frames Curled and Flat by Katie Pertiet at Designer Digitals.

Download a PDF version of this “Text Mats” tutorial.

Windows: Right click on the link and choose “Save Target As” or a similar command. Mac: Click on the link to download the file.

 

 

11 Responses

  1. Joyce
    | Reply

    Thank you for the great tutorial. Cant’t wait to check it out.

  2. Carla Jo Peterson
    | Reply

    I sure to hope I can get this to work. I have been wondering how to do this for some time and really do appreciate the instructions. Thanks!

  3. Geri
    | Reply

    Love that you showed how to do this, so simple once you see the steps! Thanks.

  4. Bev
    | Reply

    this is so exciting…I actually did it…1 problem however, I could not merge the word to the black Rectangle using my PC I ended up just duplicating the pic and using it twice to merge to each…If I merge the word to the black rectangle it disappears on me. Any ideas? Bev

  5. Bev
    | Reply

    All fixed, I figured it out…actually just like you said press Ctrl E ..LOL I must have been tired Thank You so much

  6. Donna Vittorio
    | Reply

    Wow I made my first text mat and it looks great! Can’t wait to use this skill for lots of things.

  7. Marie Faubion
    | Reply

    Hmmm… I am using Photoshop CS6. I’ve followed this tutorial before in PSE 10 and it worked perfectly. In CS6 the when I clip the picture to the photo mat it does not conform to the text portion. The text layer is merged down to the rectangle to create one layer. I can’t figure this one out 🙂

  8. Marie Faubion
    | Reply

    I started over and it worked fine 🙂

  9. lsattgast
    | Reply

    Glad you got it to work for you, Marie. It’s a fun technique!

  10. Diana Ericson
    | Reply

    Thanks so much you just empowered me!

  11. Nancy Cashwell
    | Reply

    Thank you for the tutorial I will try this out real soon

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