Back in the days, when I made photo albums of the pictures that I had taken during a holiday, I would find some colored paper and cut out a passe-partout and glue under the picture. The photo album’s pages always were black and so the photo mount’s color helped make the image stand out against the page. In later years I haven’t made any photo albums, but I still like framing my photos with some passe-partout, even if it is only a digital one. In this post, I will show you how you can create a border around a picture with Adobe® Photoshop® in a few easy steps. The photo I am using as a base for this post is this one:
The goal is to create an image that has a double-frame, an inner, thinner and brighter frame surrounded by a much thicker and darker frame, like this:
In this little tutorial, the frame is created in a destructive way, changing the entire image. A later tutorial will show how to create frames like this in a non-destructive way.
How to create the double border
First of all, I am opening the photo in Adobe® Photoshop®. The photo I have chosen for this article exists as a DNG (Adobe® RAW) file in my Lightroom® catalog. Photoshop® is opening this file as it would if it was imported from Camera RAW, but saving it will convert it to a TIFF file. Thus I am this time not asked what type of copy I want to work with in Photoshop®, as I was in the Cyanotype article. But, as before, Photoshop® is asking me which color profile I want to use, and again I am choosing the Embedded Color Profile of PhotoPro.
For the inner frame I want to use a lighter color, but not a clear white. Against the darker color that I want for the outer frame, it should help lift the image visually a little from its underground. I also decided to choose colors that are part of the photo to enhance the natural look. I am using the eyedropper tool to sample a color from the image and saving it as foreground color into the color palette in Photoshop®.
Now I can create the inner frame by extending the canvas. To enlarge the canvas, I choose Image -> Canvas Size… from the menu. This opens the Canvas Size pop-up window with a few options.
To get my frame in the desired color, I choose “Foreground” as Canvas extension color. I do want my frame to have the same width on all four sides. Therefore I am leaving the Anchor Point in the middle of the nine-square-field and am choosing the “Relative” box. Since it is easier for me to determine a size in millimeters, I am changing the measurement unit from inches to millimeters. This has to be done before a size is entered. Otherwise, Photoshop® will convert the given number from its original measurement unit into the new unit.
Important to notice here: the number entered for the width and height determine how wide/high the frame is going to be. For a two millimeter wide frame, I need type in a width of 4mm, since I want the frame to extend the photo by 2mm on each side.
Clicking on OK to confirm my choices leaves me with an image that now has the first of two frames attached.
Creating the second, outer border
For the second, outer frame I am repeating all the steps from above, but am choosing a slightly darker color than before and a wider and higher canvas size.
If you don’t want to use a color from your image for the framing, you can also choose “Others” in the Canvas Size pop-up and either specify a color or use the Color Libraries to find a specific one.
The result looks like this:
Saving and reimporting my image back into Lightroom® made me realize that it needed a third frame to make it complete. Therefore I re-opened the photo in Photoshop® and added the third frame.
Please let me know if these kind of tutorials are helpful for you, in the comments. If you’d like, share a link to a photo of yours with an added frame in the comments too.