Creating a Torn Edge on your
Digital Paper using

(Adobe® Photoshop® , Jasc Paint Shop Pro, Corel® PHOTO-PAINT,
Ulead PhotoImpact 7 and higher would follow similar instructions)


There are numerous ways to create a ‘torn’ edge.  This is just one method to create this look at the right.

What you’ll need:

  • Adobe Elements 2.0

  • Background paper in digital format

You’ll learn how to:

  • Use the Lasso tool

  • Use Layers

  • Use the Move Tool

  • Use the Eraser Tool

  • Add a Drop Shadow

Open Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.

Open your Photo.

Choose File > Open and browse your system for photo.

Click photo of choice and then choose Open.




Select the Lasso  Tool from the Toolbox.


Draw a freehand shape around the area of the background paper that you want to use in your layout.



Now, we are going to put that selection on a new Layer. 
Choose Layer > New > Layer via Cut.






The Layer Palette should look similar to this. 

The part of the paper we are going to ‘tear’ should be on its own layer.






Now, we need to do something with the Background layer.  You can either paste in another paper, or make it a solid color, as shown here.  Here’s how:

Click on the Background Layer in the Layers Palette to make it active.

Use the Eyedropper  Tool to select a color from your image, by clicking on the image.

Choose Select > All.









Choose Edit > Fill.  Make sure Foreground Color is selected, and click OK.







Now, to make the ‘tear’ look a little more realistic, we are going to use Layers.
Make sure the top ‘torn’ layer is selected. 

Choose Layer > Duplicate Layer.

Now, click on the middle layer to make it active, as shown at the right.


Select the Move Tool  from the toolbox.


Use the down arrow on your keyboard to nudge the layer downward, one pixel at a time. (Try 5 or 6 pixels).


Then choose Enhance > Adjust Color > Hue/Saturation.  Increase the Lightness by 50. 


(You will only see the edge of the middle layer lighten.)



To apply some texture to the torn area, 
choose Filter > Texture > Craquelure.

Experiment with the settings until you get the desired amount of texture.

Click OK.



With the middle layer still active, select the Eraser tool .

On the Options Bar, make sure you have the default options selected, as shown at the right.

With the Eraser, draw along the edge of the paper to make the ‘torn’ part more irregular.



To combine the two torn layers together, make the top layer active.

On the Layers Palette, click on the MORE button, and choose Merge Down.







Now, you can add a drop Shadow to your torn edge by choosing the Layer Styles Tab in the Palette Well.


Choose Drop Shadows from the pull down menu, and select a drop shadow for your tear.  Soft Edge works nicely.






You’re finished!


Now be sure to save your file.


  Written by Roseanne Miske. CottageArts, LLC, Copyright 2004, All Rights Reserved