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Simple Border Effects

A question was raised this week for the easiest way to add a single pixel border inside an image, so that’s what I’m playing with for today’s post.

First thing I’m going to do is grab the rectangle shape tool


and choose to make a path


Next I drag out a path where I want the border effect to be. I went straight for it in this example but you may want to drag out some guides first. So here’s my path.


Now all I have to do is get a 1 pixel white brush;



Now all I have to do is click the Stroke Path With Brush icon


And there we are….


 …. But what else can we do?

I’m going to Ctrl+z to undo that and re-select the path. This time, instead of stroking the path I’m going to change it to a selection by clicking the Load Path As Selection Icon.


Now, with the image layer selected I can press Ctrl or Cmd + Alt + J to duplicate (or ‘Jump’) the layer and name it. I’ll call it ‘Main Pic’ and press ok

Now I have a layer slightly cropped, on top of the original background. Double clicking on the layer will bring up the Layer effects dialogue box. In here I can add a stroke to the new layer, to give a very similar effect to that above.


The difference here is that we can add other things too, your choice. I added a slight drop shadow.

But now I can also work on the background, which has now become a border. You may have to unlock this layer. Double clicking it and pressing OK will do it. Or Alt+Double click will do it without the dialogue box.

I’ve only added one effect to my image, a green to white gradient overlay set to Color Dodge.


I also changed the stroke on the upper layer’s blend mode to Soft Light

To be honest though, I don’t like the border, so I’ll take the effect off and I’ll add a Gausian blur to it.


Because my background is blured anyway it isn’t very noticeable, so, I add a new layer at the bottom, fill it with black and the lower the opacity of the Background layer.


And that will do.


About Eric Renno (434 Articles)
Eric’s background in video editing with Adobe Premier led to his interest, and then obsession, with Photoshop. Starting TipSquirrel.com as a hobby he is proud to have gathered together and be a part of The Photoshop Nuts. Known as only “TipSquirrel” for two years, Eric ‘went public’ when he was a finalist in The Next Adobe Photoshop Evangelist competition. He’s also been a finalist in Deke’s Techniques Photoshop Challenge. While still taking on some freelance work, Eric has recently become a Lecturer at Peterborough’s Media and Journalism Centre where he enjoys sharing his knowledge as well as learning new skills. This realisation that he loves to teach has made Eric look at altering his career path.

1 Comment on Simple Border Effects

  1. Neat. I enjoy these clever ideas. Thanks for sharing!

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