Photoshop Tutorial: Easy Grunge Photo Edges


My very first Photoshop tutorial here in this blog is a simple Layer Mask tutorial. Now let’s simplify it further using the same method plus another one. Again, let me reiterate, that this is just a simple tutorial intended for newbie Photoshop users, to demonstrate to them how easy it is to create this effect. The basic materials are just randomly selected and the final image is not intended to be a creative piece of art to be judged by artsy critics. Hope I made that clear. =)

In this tutorial, we will also make use of our vector grunge borders we previously shared in this blog, the first “50 grunge borders and frames” set and the second “50 more grunge borders“. We will pick and use one from the first set to easily create a photo with cool grungy edges.

What we need are just two basic materials, a photo and a grunge border or frame which can either be a vector or a raster image.

First method

1. Open your photo in Photoshop. Shown below is our original photo.


2. Pick one grunge border and open it in Illustrator (I picked one from the first 50 vector grunge border set).*

3. Select and copy the vector border from Illustrator.

4. Paste it in Photoshop. You will then be prompted to select an option. Select “Path” and press ok.


5. Open the “Paths” palette from Window > Paths, and click the flyout button.


6. From the Paths flyout menu, select “Make Selection”. The “Make Selection” option window will prompt, just click ok.

7. While your path selection is active, go back to your “Layer” palette and click the “Layer Mask” button below. You will have a similar looking layer like the one shown below.


Done! Here’s our final image with grunge photo edges.


* Alternatively, if you don’t have Illustrator, you can also open the EPS vector file in Photoshop. But instead of using the Path method we described above in making a selection, you can just load the grunge border selection and use it as your layer mask.

Second Method

The second method is easier. This time, we will use a separate image layer containing our grunge border as clipping mask for our photo.

1. Open your original photo in Photoshop.

2. Open your grunge border in Photoshop. On the other hand, you can also open your grunge border vector file in Illustrator, same as what we did in the first method.

3. Copy the grunge border image (either from Photoshop or Illustrator) and paste it in your photo. You will now have a separate layer for the photo and another layer for your grunge border.

4. Arrange your layer in such a way that your photo layer is on top of your grunge border layer.

5. Hold down Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac), position your pointer on the line between both layers (the pointer will change into two overlapping circles) and click. To remove the mask, do the same.


After you click between layers, your Layer palette will look something like the one shown below.


That’s it! Piece of cake, right? Now if you want to use our grunge border vector files to try it out with your own photo but missed the links I provided above for our two sets of free grunge borders and frames, here are the links once more.

1. 50 Free Vector Grunge Borders and Frames (1st set)
2. 50 More Vector Frames With Grunge Borders (2nd set)


  1. Lara@ 12 January, 2011 at 00:29

    Wow tremendous guide! Awesome tutorial dude. It�s ridiculous just how many exceptional tutorials you guys post. Absolutely love your website. Thank you!

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