Creating Photo Edges Using the Marquee Selection Tools

Open the photo you want to add an unique edge to. I am using the picture of my dog Cracker when he was a puppy:

Cracker

Crop the photo to include only the part of the photo you want to use by selecting the crop tool Crop Tool and dragging around the part of the image you want to keep. Then either double click the selection and click the green check Green Check to confirm your crop to finish the cropping process. If you want to cancel the crop process select the red circle with a line through it. I did not crop the photo above because I want to use the entire picture.

Double-click your photo layer in the Layers palette to make it a regular (not background) layer. You can rename it at the Layers Property dialog box that appears. I named my layer Cracker.

Layer Name

Click the Create a New Layer icon New Layer Icon (or use Layer > New). Drag this layer to the bottom of the layers palette by holding down the left mouse and dragging the layer below the photo.

Layers

Click the photo layer in the Layers (Cracker layer) palette to activate it. It should now appear blue. From the Layers menu at the top of your screen, choose Group with Previous (Ctrl + G).

Group with Previous

Your Layers Palette should now look like this:

Group with Previous

Back in the Layers Palette, select the blank layer on the bottom, and use either the rectangular marquee tool or the elliptical marquee tool and make a nice oval set of marching ants. This is going to be the shape of our mask.

TIP: Holding down the ALT key allows you to draw from the center outward. Holding down Shift key constrains your selection to a perfect circle. Holding down both keys does both!

Let's make the edges nice and soft by feathering them. Choose Selection > Feather and enter 10 pixels. Press OK.

Selection Options Feather on Options Bar Turned Off
Selection Options
Feather 10

Next we will need to fill our selection with a color (any color). I choose black as my fill color. With the bottom layer still selected, select the paint brush tool tool Paint Bucket and then click on the canvas to fill the selected area or choose Edit > Fill Selection, or simply press ALT Delete. Your Layers Palette should look like this:

Black Fill

See how only our photo only shows through in the area we filled with black? The rest of it is masked off. Also notice the soft feathered edges around the photo. It really gives it a nice touch. Now get rid of those marching ants. Click Ctrl + D to deselect the selection.

Masked Photo

You can also add color to the background. To do this simply add another layer, drag this new layer to the bottom, and fill with a color or add a background from the Artwork and Effects panel. Select Backgrounds from the categories, then select a subcategory. I choose Balloon from the Special Occasions sub-category:

Artwork and Effects

My layers panel looks like this:

Artwork Background Example

Here is how my photo looks with the artwork background included:

Cute Cracker

How cute is that!!!!

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