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Make a Border with Photoshop - A Step by Step Tutorial to Help Your Photos Stand Out

Updated on September 22, 2012
Framing your photos with a simple border created in Photoshop can really help your images stand out and get you noticed!  This simple step-by-step tutorial teaches you how!
Framing your photos with a simple border created in Photoshop can really help your images stand out and get you noticed! This simple step-by-step tutorial teaches you how! | Source

Great Photos Can Draw Readers into Your Blog or Hub, or Bring Customers into Your Online Shop!

As an Etsy seller, I have come to learn the importance of having good photos as one of the key factors in getting more views and therefore, more sales. If you think about it, your photos are often your site's ambassadors to the outside world; a well composed, professional-looking photograph is a representation of what your site has to offer.  Item photos are displayed as 1 inch square thumbnails on the Etsy search pages, so if you want to draw customers into your shop you have to make the most of that square inch!

The same is true for blogs (or hubs) or any online venue where your photo can show up in a list of search results. Once someone clicks on the photo, you've got 'em through the door, and your content or product will hopefully do the rest of the work for you. (You're on your own there, though...sorry.)

A perfect way to make your thumbnail stand out from the masses is to add a border! The following is a detailed step-by-step series of instructions for creating a simple border for your photos using Photoshop. My version is Photoshop CS3, and I use a Mac, but I will try my best to make these steps applicable to any version of the software and for use on a PC.

⌘ is the symbol I will use for the 'command' or 'apple' key for Macs, and CNTRL references the 'control' key for PC users.

original untouched photo
original untouched photo | Source

Let's Get Started!

After opening the file in Photoshop, the first thing to do is select the entire photo: choose Select All from the Select menu or use keyboard shortcut ⌘ + A (or CNTRL + A for PCs).

You will see the 'marching ants' around the edge of your photo.

Then, from the Select menu again, choose Modify>Border. Here, you set the pixel width for your border. For this demonstration, I am using 65 pixels. (For comparison, the photo above has a border width of 35). After you click OK you will see the line of 'marching ants' move inward, representing the width of the border you just indicated. To change this, repeat this step using different pixel widths until you are pleased with the size of the new frame.

For continuity's sake, when adding a border to all 5 of your photos for your Etsy listing, I recommend that you use the same size border for all of them. It is perfectly acceptable to apply the border only to your main photo, or only a few of your pictures. Keep in mind that the width of the photos (image size in pixels) should be the same as well; the same pixel width border will look different on different sized photos. I use 1000 pixels as the size for all my Etsy photos.

From the Edit menu, choose Fill (or use keyboard shortcut Shift + F5). Choose black, white, or color and make sure your Opacity is not set to zero (I use 100% but you can play with this to fade the border as you like it). If you choose color, the color palette window pops up, and you can use the eyedropper to select any color from the spectrum provided. Click OK.

Great Job!

You have successfully created a simple border on your photograph!

Choose Deselect from the Select menu, or use keyboard shortcut ⌘ + D (or CNTRL + D for PCs) to make the 'marching ants' disappear.

Save your photo and it's ready to post! Be sure to use the Save As option from the File menu so that you can give the new file a unique name, choose where to save it on your computer, and keep the original photo intact.

Congratulations on learning how to make your photos stand out from the crowd. Wasn't that easy?


Thanks for reading! You may also be interested in some of my other articles, which can be found below the 'Vote Up' button or by clicking on my profile.

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Other Great Resources for Digital Photography, Digital Editing with Photoshop, and Success in Online Sales for Craft Businesses


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