How to Use a Clipping Mask in Photoshop

So what is a Clipping Mask?  A Clipping Mask is basically a way to “clip” a photo to make it fit into a particular shape.  It actually does not even need to be a photo or image, it could also be brushes, fonts, or any layer you want to fit into a particular space.

First, we started with a window image with a transparent background and put it on top of a white background.

Then, we made a rectangle the same shape as the opening of the window behind the doors and put the layer under the window layer.

We took a picture of lightning and put it in a layer above the rectangle layer, but below the window layer.

Right-click on the lightning layer to bring up the layer menu.  Click “Create a Clipping Mask”.  This will then clip the lightning to fit into the rectangle layer.

That’s it!  It’s that easy!

Intro to Photoshop Layer Styles

This is a very basic intro to layer styles.

What are Layer Styles?  Simply put, it is a combination of layer effects such as Drop Shadow, Bevel, or stroke.

There are so many different combinations of layer styles, and I only go over a few in this tutorial.  Feel free to play around with each effect as we go to get your own results.

Here is where we start, a plain background with simple text.  Now, let’s get into the fun stuff!

First, we want to give it some depth by putting a drop shadow on the text.  Double click the text layer on the bottom right of your Photoshop screen and the layer style box with pop up.  Click on Drop Shadow, and play with the settings until you get the result you want.  Below are the settings we chose.

Next, we will put a Bevel and Emboss on the text layer.  We chose a Pillow Emboss and softened the edges, but chose the style you like the most!

Next, we want to change the color of the text, but we want to do it from the layer styles dialog box.  We chose the same color as the background, you will see why as the tutorial goes along.


Next, to make the letters pop more, we want to put a stroke on it (or color outline).  We chose a color that really made the text pop off the background, but chose your favorite!

Now that the text layer styles are completed, let’s play with the background a bit.  We chose some brushes to make the background shapes.  If you want to do the same, make sure to put the different brushes and colors into their own layers.  If you do not, you will not be able to put layer styles on them. For the yellow boxes, we wanted them to not be a bold, so in the Blending Options: Custom, we set the Opacity to 76%.    (You can find the drop shadow box brushes here to download and use for the tutorial!  To install the brushes, please refer to our tutorial on Installing and Using Photoshop Brushes!)

We wanted more!  We put an inner shadow on the green boxes.  (We had also put an Outer Glow on the purple boxes prior. Try it on your own!)

To make the orange boxes stand out more, we put a Bevel and Emboss on them and played with the settings until we got the desired effect.

That’s it!  How easy!  Here is our finished product!

Send us a link to your finished product in the comment box below!

How to Create a Mirror Image in Photoshop (Beginner)

Have you wanted to use an image, but it’s facing the wrong way, or it’s pointing left and you need it to point right?  Here is an easy way to flip the picture horizontally in Photoshop.

Start with the picture you want to use.  I have chosen a picture of presents to be festive for the holidays!  I have also taken out the background for ease of use.


Next, you want to create a new board.  I made it 3 in x 3 in, but you can make it any size you want, as long as your picture will fix inside of it.

Drag your image (presents)  into the new board, so that it looks like this:

With the image layer selected, go to the Edit menu —>Transform——>Flip Horizontal

You should end up with an image opposite the one you started with, like this:

Congratulations! Now you can use it for whatever your heart desires!  I used mine like this:

Happy Holidays!


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