Tutorial for Adobe® Photoshop®

Postage Stamp Frames

Week of April 20, 2009

Sara HortonBy Sara Horton

Do you have a Philatelist in your home? We do! Our older son was an avid stamp collector when he was younger. We'd save, soak, organize and preserve his international stamps in albums. We always admired the artwork and interesting text within the perforated stamp frame.

With Photoshop, we can bring that same enjoyment to our scrapbook pages. A postage stamp frame can be filled with photos, patterned paper or text to enhance your special memories.

Step 1: Create and Stack Three Documents

Begin by creating three new documents. Select File > New and create a new transparent document 6x8 inches in size at 300 pixels/inch and RGB Color Mode.

Then, create a new white document 2.5 x 3.5 inches at 300 pixels/inch and RGB Color Mode. Get the Paint Bucket Tool and click on a blue color chip in the Swatches Palette. Click on the document to change the color to blue.

And finally, create a new white document 3 inches x 4 inches at 300 pixels/inch and RGB Color Mode.

Select Window > Arrange > Cascade to view all three of the documents at the same time. Get the Move Tool. Holding the Shift key, click and drag the white document onto the transparent document. Holding the Shift key will center the white document on the transparent document. Select the white layer.

Next, use the Move Tool to Shift, click and drag the blue document onto the transparent document in the Project Bin. The document will now have three layers: the transparent background, the white rectangle and the blue rectangle layer.

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Close the white and blue documents by clicking the red X in the top right corner of each document window. This makes the stacked image the active document in the editing window.

Step 2: Perforate the Edge of the Frame

To create the perforated edge of the postage stamp, get the Horizontal Type Tool. Select Times New Roman, Regular, 48 pt, Left Aligned in the Options Bar. Position your cursor along the top edge of the white document in the stack. Type eighteen periods (full stops) then confirm your text by clicking the black checkmark in the Options Bar.

With the text layer selected, choose Layer > Rasterize > Type, then press Ctrl + J (Mac: Cmd +J) to duplicate it. Get the Move Tool and use the down-arrow key to move the copy so that it rests halfway off the bottom edge of the white document. Using the arrow key will keep the dots perfectly aligned.

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Get the Horizontal Type Tool again. Using the same settings as the first line of text, type 24 periods (full stops.) Select Layer > Rasterize > Type, then Image > Transform > Rotate 90 degrees CW to turn the new line of text from a horizontal orientation to a vertical orientation.

Get the Move Tool and position the line of text halfway off the left side of the white document.

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With the new line of vertical text selected, press Ctrl + J (Mac: Cmd + J) to make a copy. Use the right-arrow key to move the copy to the right edge of the white document. Make sure that it is positioned halfway off the edge of the white document.

You may need to use the Zoom Tool to get a closer look at the document as you are positioning the rows of dots.

Holding the Ctrl Key (Mac: Cmd Key) select all four text (dots) layers in the Layers Palette. Then press Ctrl + E (Mac: Cmd +E) to merge the dot layers, creating a frame around the white document.

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Next, Ctrl + Click (Mac: Cmd + Click) on the thumbnail of the dot frame in the Layers Palette. This places a selection (marching ants) around each of the dots.

With the selection active, click the white document layer and press Delete or Backspace on your keyboard to create holes in the border of the layer. Press Ctrl + D (Mac: Cmd + D) to deselect the dots, then delete the text (dot) layer by dragging it up to the Trash Can icon at the top of the Layers Palette. Now that the dots are deleted, you'll be able to see the "perforations" along the border of the white layer.

Step 3: Delete the Center of the Frame

Begin by Ctrl + Clicking (Mac: Cmd + Clicking) on the thumbnail of the blue document in the Layers Palette. This places a selection around the edge of the blue rectangle.

Select the White layer and press Delete or Backspace on your keyboard to cut a hole out of the center of the white rectangle. Press Ctrl + D (Mac: Cmd + D) to deselect the box, then delete the blue layer.

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You will be left with a white, perforated-edged postage frame.

Step 4: Crop and Save the Frame

Get the Crop Tool. Leave the Height, Width, and Resolution boxes blank in the Options Bar. Draw a rectangle around the white frame, surrounding it closely. Click the black checkmark in the Options Bar to confirm the crop.

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Save the frame as a .png image to preserve the transparency.

Fill the postage stamp frame with photos, digital paper, or special words to use it as an embellishment on scrapbook pages and greeting cards. It's as simple as dragging the frame over the "filler" and using the Eraser Tool to erase away any excess image that extends beyond the frame.

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Credits:
Scrapbook page by Sara Horton
Font:Arial
Simple Memories Layered Template Book by Katie Pertiet at Designer Digitals
Krafty Ledger Paper Pack Katie Pertiet at Designer Digitals
DeLite Paper Pack by Katie Pertiet at Designer Digitals

Sample Stamps Credits:
Sample Stamp Paper: Mother Goose Paper Pack by Katie Pertiet at Designer Digitals
Sample Stamp Font: Susie's Hand
Sample Brushwork: PostMarked Holidays Brushes-n-Stamps No. 2 by Katie Pertiet at Designer Digitals

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