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Photoshop Elements >

Textures & Blending Modes

This tutorial was adapted from Photoshop Fundamentals: Adding Texture and Aging to a Photo  by Scott Kelby.

You can combine a texture with your photograph using the blending modes.

Here's an example using a paper texture and the Luminosity blending mode.




Paper Texture with the Luminosity Blending Mode

Find a Paper Texture


Here's the Google search for free+paper+texture.

The paper textures found using the above search terms may not be free, nor may they be in the public domain.

You can also search deviantART and Flickr.

Download a Paper Texture

When you find a paper texture, do the following.

1) Click or double click on the paper-texture thumbnail.

2) After the texture loads, right click on it and select Save Image As or Save Picture As.

If you're using a Mac mouse without a right-click button, press and hold Ctrl and click on the paper texture.

3) Navigate to where you want to save the paper texture.

4) Click Save.

Use a Paper Texture

1) In Photoshop Elements, open your photograph.

2) Open the paper texture.

Horizontal or Vertical?

3) If your photograph is horizontal, and the paper texture is vertical, go to Image > Rotate > 90° right.

Move the Paper Texture

4) Make sure the Background copy layer is selected.

5) Select the Move tool, click and hold on the paper texture, and drag it down to the thumbnail of your photograph in the project bin/photo bin.

The layer stack should look like this.

Paper texture

Background copy



Paper Texture Is Smaller than the Photograph

The paper texture is probably not the same size as your photograph.

If so, do the following.

6) Go to Image > Transform > Free Transform.

If you haven't already, go to Transform.

7) Click and hold on the handles on the edges, or in the corners, and drag until the paper texture is the same size as your photograph.

8) Click the green check mark.

Paper Texture Is Larger than the Photograph

If the paper texture is larger than your photograph, there may be no need to reduce its size.

If you do reduce its size, use the Zoom tool to lower the magnification of your photograph.

Otherwise, the handles on the paper texture layer will be hidden.

You won't be able to click and hold on them.

After you lower the magnification, follow the same steps above, except you'll be dragging inward.

Blending Modes

9) Make sure the paper texture layer is active (highlighted).

10) Select the Move tool.

11) Press and hold Shift, and press the + key to change from one blending mode to another.

Don't forget to select the Move tool before you use the shortcut.

You're seeing the effect of each blending mode at full strength.

You can reduce the effect.

12) When you've decided on a blending mode, reduce the opacity of the paper texture layer, if needed.

Restore Part of the Original?

The texture/blending mode effect covers the entire photograph.

You may want to lessen the effect in some areas of the photograph.

If so, do the following.

13) Make sure the paper texture layer is active (highlighted).

14) Select the Eraser tool.

15) In options bar/Tool Options, reduce the opacity of the brush.

16) Use a feathered brush.

If you haven't already done so, go to Feathered Brush.

17) Click and drag where you want to lessen the effect.