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All Wrapped Up: A Photoshop Tutorial

Merry Christmas everyone! For those in the United States who celebrated,  I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving!  I missed everyone last week as I took the holidays to spend time with my family, but I am back this month with some fun new tutorials and photoshop tips to share and I can’t wait to get started!

When we are making our layouts, part of making them look realistic is being able to duplicate on our layout what we would actually do in real life. For instance, if we were making a paper layout, we might tie a string around a paper frame, or element. Of course, we can’t actually tie anything around a paper frame in our digital layout, but we can make it LOOK like we did.  I have a quick and easy way that I use to give my layouts the illusion of dimension by wrapping elements, and I would love to share it with you today, so lets get started!

Most of the time when I am wrapping a ribbon around an element, it is in the middle of doing a layout.  I have a frame cluster already made so that I can show you how my process works. If you want to practice with just the frames and string, you can do that as well.  Begin by opening the elements that you wish to use.  I am using one of my favorite Mye kits called  “Snuggle Season” and also a ribbon from her kit “Romantic Holiday”  that I have recolored to match.

Once you have everything open, position the frames on your layout so that they are overlapping each other. We want to wrap the ribbon around the frames, so you will need to visualize where you want your ribbon to wrap around and then place it on TOP of the frames.

Once you have your string positioned where you want,  add your shadow to the ribbon and duplicate it by hitting CTRL+J. Select one of the layers and drag in UNDERNEATH the frames you are working with. DO NOT MOVE THE RIBBON LAYERS unless you move them BOTH together. You will  probably have to do a little rearranging once we start the process, but whatever you have to do, make sure that you move both layers together otherwise you now have two different ribbons and you have messed up the ability to wrap them.

Select your brush from the tools palette and click on the top ribbon’s LAYER MASK in the layers palette. I make sure my brush is small enough to work with the little details, and hard enough (about 50%)  to erase the unwanted ribbon.  Set your foreground color to black. We do this so that we can “erase” the ribbon. Visualize the ribbon wrapping around your frame and start to remove the parts of the ribbon that will go UNDERNEATH the frame. In this case, I am erasing the underside of the ribbon or the part without the dots.

Once you have the part of the ribbon erased you don’t want, it should look like the ribbon is wrapping AROUND the frame.

The reason we add the copy of  the ribbon below is to make it nice and easy..and not so precise, when we are getting rid of the unwanted ribbon. Here is what it looks like if you didn’t have the bottom ribbon.

You can see that without the back ribbon, part of the ribbon behind the frame..the part that gives us dimension, is missing, and we would have had to erase VERY carefully around the edges of the frame because you can see that there is a part of the ribbon that is missing.

Here it is WITH the second ribbon.

Now you can see the ribbon behind the frame at the top, and it also fills in the area that we missed in the bottom part of the frame. Doing it this way takes a LOT of time and frustration out of your clustering and elements and gives it the dimension that we all love in our layouts! Quick and simple!

I was not happy with the way that the ribbon angled halfway over the frame at the top, so I decided to enlarge it to give it a more realistic appearance.  Remember to select BOTH layers and drag the corners of the ribbon to enlarge it so that it looks like it is coming from underneath the frame.

By putting the corner of the ribbon next to the frame, it looks like the ribbon is coming out from under it now.  Once you get it positioned right, you will need to go in and fix the areas of the ribbon that are now exposed.  Just select the brush again and erase it on the layers mask by brushing over the unwanted areas. If you make a mistake, change your foreground color to white and brush over that area on the layer’s mask. It will make the ribbon reappear, and you can then select the black foreground color and start all over again! That is the beauty of layers masks!!!

Here is the completed wrapped frame!


I hope you enjoyed today’s tutorial and I hope to see some of YOUR wrapped frames in the galleries!

Happy Scrapping!


comments +

  1. Berniek says:

    I am right that you do not use the eraser but a brush?I usually erase parts of the ribbon to make it look like it’s wrapped, but then I struggle with the shadow it makes. Is this different when using a brush? I don’t really understand that brush part…
    But thanks for the tutorial, I’ll give this way a try!

    • Tamara says: use the BRUSH and a Layers Mask. By doing it this way, you eliminate the need to erase the shadow. Because your ribbon below is also shadowed, you still have the shadow you want..but without the need to mess with it on your top layer. If you need further explanation, let me know and I can arrange to walk you through it! I think you will like this method SO much better than erasing!

      • Berniek says:

        I gave it another try, since I did find it hard to understand at first. I didn’t know where to find this layer mask, but I figured it out and I am completely amazed by how easy and accurate it actually is! Thank you so much for this tutorial!! I love to learn new tricks this way…

  2. Krissy says:

    Thanks Tamara! I am still learning all of these techniques. I have been using the eraser tool…not anymore. Thanks for the tip!

  3. Suzan says:

    This is a thing I wanted to learn for quite some time… May need extra guiding though…Thanks Tamara for posting this 🙂 x Suzan

  4. Deborah Green says:

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, this will give me some thing to work on today.

  5. kelly says:

    This is a fantastic tut Tamara – thanks so much! xx kel

  6. […] All Wrapped Up: A Photoshop Tutorial – 1 freebie(s)? […]

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I'm Mye De Leon

I'm a mom with a desire to give the best for her family and turned a lettering hobby into a multi6-figure business. These days, I eat strategy for breakfast and turn other businesses into successful empires.

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I'm Mye


My business is to help your business generate more revenue so you can be who you want to be.

I'm Mye


My business is to help your business generate more revenue so you can be who you want to be.