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Tutorial: Adding borders to photos in photoshop

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you may have noticed that virtually all my photos have a simple black border. Such a simple thing, but in my opinion makes all the difference in making things look more pulled together and professional. Today I thought I’d demonstrate a quick way of doing it in Photoshop*.

For years I used to make the borders using Picnik after I had uploaded my photos to Flickr, but because Picnik is web based it often ran slow, particularly at peak times. This is so much quicker!

So anyway, let’s get started with the tutorial.

Here’s the picture I want to add the border to. I’ve chosen it because it’s light round the edges and therefore looks a bit washed out on a white background, which means it will really benefit from a border.

IMG_5106 copy

Adding the border is easy:

1. Click Ctrl + A to select our photo

2. In the edit menu at the top, go to Edit/Stroke

bordered photos - screenshot

3. Enter the number of pixels you want your border to be. My pictures are 3000 by 4000 pixels big, so I usually add a 30 pixel border, ending up with a 3030 by 4030 canvas size. It’s worth playing around with different thicknesses. I find a border that’s about 1% of the image width usually works best.

4. Select the colour you want the border to be by clicking on the field where it says color. You can change the colour using either the mouse, the box with all the swatches in the top right hand corner of the screen, or the six digit hexademical (?) code (in the field with the hashtag). I used black, which is the swatch at the end of the second row, and code #000000. Once you’ve selected the colour you want, click OK.

5. Leave everything else as preset. Click OK. Your picture now has a border.

6. Click Ctrl + D to deselect

7. Save your picture.

So there we are – simple! Here’s my photo with the border, it makes a big difference on the white background, don’t you think?

believe pig bordered

I hope you found that useful!

* if you looked at this tutorial earlier, you’ll see I initially had a slightly longer version if achieving the same thing up. Massive thanks to Tricia at bits and bobbins for setting me straight!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Ceri 2 May 2011, 9:38 am

    I have never even used photoshop, I so need to give it a go

  • SACRAMENTO 2 May 2011, 10:30 am

    I think I will have some photoshop lessons with my daughter. I am just useless, ahahha.
    Thank you anyway, my dear Franca.

  • bitsandbobbins 2 May 2011, 10:33 am

    i may do the same thing in simpler way. you ctrl + a on a photo to select all, go to the edit dropdown menu, choose "stroke". pick a width (i usually do about 30 pixels wide on a ~2000 pixel wide photo) and color, and voila. ctrl + d to deselect. hopefully that makes sense.

  • oranges_and_apples 2 May 2011, 10:40 am

    Yes! this is SO much easier! thank you Tricia! a pointless tutorial then but
    I'm glad I posted it or I would never have known!

  • Joanne Faith 4 May 2011, 12:45 am

    I always think that a border – grey in particular – can be a very nice touch!

  • Kristin Marshall 4 May 2011, 1:11 am

    Great shortcut! Photoshop is such great software, even after using it for years I'm still coming across hidden Easter eggs like this.

  • Christina 27 March 2013, 9:55 pm

    THANK YOU!!!! I would have never known it was this simple. Edit…Stroke? I have overlooked that so many times. Why can’t it say….Edit…Border? I used the border on my facebook page!
    Christina recently posted..New Year’s Eve 2013My Profile

  • HannaH 7 January 2014, 11:29 pm

    so nice and simple! Thanks

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