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Making rounded corners in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements

Good Morning scrappers! Happy Halloween! We are busy getting ready for a fun night of trick or treating, and lots of picture taking and you know what that means?? LOTS of fun new scrapping! I have a brand new tutorial for you today that will add some interest to your Halloween photos….. so lets get started!
Several weeks ago, I did a tutorial on how to start your first layout. In that layout, I rounded the edges of my photos. Rounding the corners of  is a nice way to change the look of a layout. It makes you pictures soft and sweet, and really gives it a different look. I have since had a request by one of  our blog readers to show you how to do it, so I am here today to show you a quick and simple way to  round the edges of your photo! There are a NUMBER of ways to do it, but I am a mask type of girl, so that is the way that I am going to show you today! This tutorial can be used in both Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, so make sure you choose the correct version of the directions when it comes to a choice.

To begin, open the picture or paper that you would like to have rounded corners.

I am choosing this one of my VERY, spunky nine year old, Courtney.

Don’t you just love those teeth? Can you say braces???

Once you have your picture or paper opened,  you will want to make a duplicate of the photo so that you don’t accidentally make changes to the original.  This is a good habit to get into when you are working with ANYTHING that you do NOT want to accidentally save over..templates, name it! If you don’t want to take the chance and  ruin it..DUPLICATE it!

Up in the Menu Bar at the top of your workstation, choose File > File Duplicate (Photoshop Elements) or Image>Duplicate (in Photoshop CS). Rename your file and select OK.

At this point, you can close your original photo so that you don’t get it confused and accidentally save your new changes over your original.  Once you have duplicated your photo and closed the original, it is time to begin making the mask.

In Elements, choose the Rounded Rectangle tool from your Tool Palette menu on the left of your page and change the radius to about 125 in the radius window below the Menu Bar.

For CS users, choose the Shape Layers (CTRL+U)  icon in the Menu tool bar.

Then, change the radius to about 125 in the radius window . It is located right below your menu bar at the top of your workstation.

Once you have changed the radius, click at the corner of your photo and drag your mouse until you have drawn a rectangle the size you want your photo or paper to be. Release the mouse. A filled rectangle shape with rounded corners will appear on it’s own layer right above your photo.

** NOTE: Ay this point, I  always reduce the opacity of the mask so that I can see my photo underneath. IF you decide to reduce your opacity, make sure to return the opacity back to 100% before continuing. This part is VERY important or your photo will appear at only 50% opacity as well!

On the right hand side of your workstation, in the layers palette, click on your photo and  drag it ABOVE the rectangle layer.

You may now  create a clipping group. Select the photo layer in the layers palette. To create the mask in Photoshop Elements you will need to Click Ctrl-G while on the mask layer. In Photoshop CS you can click CTRL+ALT+G to clip the mask, OR you can hit the ALT key and click on the line separating the photo and mask in your layers palette.

If you need to work with your photo to make sure that it is centered of cropped correctly, click on the photo and a set of lines will pop up in the form of a rectangle. Left click on one of the corner boxes, and drag the photo to get the crop you want! Hit enter to save the changes.

After you have made all the fixes to your photo, you will now want to merge the layers. Click and Hold  Shift+Ctrl+E to  merge all visible layers into one layer. Once you have merged the layers, you now have a photo with rounded corners, ready to place on your layout..all you have to do is drag it and drop it!

That is it for the tutorial today..I am off to go add some whiskers to my little kitten! She is gonna be soooo cute!  I hope you have a frightfully exciting night tonight and have a very Happy Halloween!


comments +

  1. molly says:

    Thanks so much .. I love your tuts!! I have a little request, but I don’t know the correct wording; so please bear with me .. I hope you can understand my request.I would really love to learn how to make a “drop your photo in here” box .. you know, when you have a quick page, it has a place where you have to put your photo??? That’s the trick I would really love to master .. I have PSE9, but have never had the time to sit down and learn how to use it properly! I am so impatient, I just want to be able to “do” – maybe that just translates into I am very lazy!!! Anyway, if you are stuck for an idea for a tut one day, maybe you will find this request tucked away 🙂

    • Tamara (scrapper@heart) says:

      I am so glad you like the tutorials Molly!
      I did a tutorial on QP’s a few weeks ago (click on Tutorials inthe header above and you will be able to locate it) is that what you would like to know? or are you wanting to learn how to make your layout into a QP??

  2. Amy Anderson says:

    Thanks for this. I just used it on some templates I wanted to have rounded corners. I found you with a google search and then pinned it to pinterest so I can find it again when I need it. THANKS! Just perfect!

  3. Sarah Marie says:

    Sorry to comment on such an old post, but I just wanted to thank you for the excellent tutorial! I’ve been playing around with designing some printables, and I really wanted the rounded corner look but absolutely could not figure it out so your tutorial was a life saver. Just out of curiosity, do you know if it’s possible to round the edges of a photo using the method from your tutorial, then add some kind of simple border, like just a thin band of color? I normally use the stroke feature in Photoshop Elements to add borders, but it wants to follow the shape of the sharp rectangle rather than my nice round edges. I hunted around the web using my best friend Google, but I couldn’t seem to find anything that answered my question. Any advice you have would be much appreciated.
    All of your tutorials are fabulous; I’m definitely going to be spending some time on your blog this weekend reading through them. Thanks for sharing so much of your knowledge!

  4. Shifrah says:

    Thank you!! This was the best tutorial I found that did what I wanted it to (like leaving the background trasnparent).

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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.