5 Ways to Use Masks in Digital Scrapbooking

In the past few months I’ve been sharing some of my favorite mask tips and techniques:

Today, I’m going to share with you some of the ways I put these masks into action on my scrapbook layouts.

1 Extract images

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For this page I used the magic wand selection tool and a layer mask to make a cute extraction of my son’s Sven the reindeer costume from a busy background. I just left it unshadowed as the focal point of this layout.

You can also use an extraction as embellishments. As I did in this layout from way back in 2008. Do you still have that Shabby Princess Freebie?

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2 Create Composite Images

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Make a composite of multiple images by layering them on top of each other (or paper) and use the layer mask to erase parts of the top image. I also used blend modes to create this look.

2 Embellish a Quick Page


I have used layer masks to take a simple quick page and edit what’s already on the page to add more papers and embellishments. Just erase parts of the papers you add to the quick page to make them looked tucked under the existing embellishments.

3 Cropping Paper

Here I held down the shift and ctrl keys while drawing the selection to get a perfect square in the centre of my paper.

A click of the new layer mask button and voila! Perfect paper layers!

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4 Editing Embellishments


You can see the whole process of creating this layout (and editing the ribbon) in my new class coming to Big Picture Classes.

One thing I’m always doing is editing paperclips or pins to make them look like they are clipped onto the paper.

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A tiny bit of masking goes a long way!

You can also erase parts of scatters/clusters that cover parts of your layout.

5 Swapping Heads

You can use PSE’s built in features to swap heads…

But sometimes two photos and a layer mask is all you need!

There are many more uses for masks in photo editing. Adobe created masks with traditional photo developing techniques in mind. I’ll often mask an adjustment layer to apply the adjustment to only part of your image (colorize a black and white image or brighten only part of it).

How do you use masks?