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What’s Your Style? A Photoshop Tutorial

Whether you are new to Photoshop, or have been using it for a while, you will know, or soon discover the power that the program holds! One of the reasons I moved from Photoshop  Elements to Photoshop CS is for the capabilities of the program..that was three years ago, and I have not even begun to scratch  the surface of what the program can really do! That being said, I thought we would take one week each month to learn about Photoshop and how it can help you as a scrapper. All of the tutorials will be based off of how we use the program as scrappers, so if you have a request about your Photoshop program, please feel free to leave me a comment in the section below and I will add the request to my ever growing list!

I was recently asked by a reader “what is a style and how do we use them as scrappers?” Layer styles, in Photoshop,  are special effects that, with a click of the mouse,  can be quickly and easily applied to an individual layers in Photoshop.  Styles can include  the following effects:

  • Drop Shadow – Creates a shadow behind the layers contents.
  • Inner Shadow – Creates a shadow on top of the layers contents.
  • Outer Glow – Creates a glow behind the layers contents. Cannot be distanced like the drop shadow.
  • Inner Glow – Creates a glow on top of the layers contents. Again, cannot be distanced like the inner shadow.
  • Bevel and Emboss – Used to create unique highlight and shadow effects on a layers contents.
  • Satin – Gives the layer contents a satin-like, glossy appearance.
  • Color Overlay – Fills the layer contents with a solid color.
  • Gradient Overlay – Fills the layer contents with a gradient.
  • Pattern Overlay – Fills the layer contents with a pattern…such as glitter!
  • Stroke – Creates an outline on layer contents using a solid color, gradient, or pattern.

For the most part, that means that we, as scrappers, can add glitter, drop shadows, give your paper a  beveled edge, or change paper to plastic!  Whatever you fancy, it can drastically change the appearance of your paper or element in very little time. Styles can come in  presets, can be customized, or can even be saved and used for later. In fact, I have taken all of my favorite drop shadow settings that I use on my layouts, and converted them to layer styles so that I can shadow my layers with a quick push of a button!

One of the things I LOVE about Layer Styles is their relationship to the layer contents. Let’s just say it’s like an old married couple, they are individual beings  linked together by marriage, but when one person in the marriage changes, the other one adapts to it as well. So, styles will continually update themselves as a layers contents are edited or moved. The effects, once applied, can easily be adjusted, making them non-destructive in nature–and THAT, as a scrapper, is what we love the most!

Lets take a look Photoshops pre-installed Layer Style Presets..that is, the ones the program comes with!  You can locate your Layer Styles by looking for the tab on the right of your screen labeled “Styles.”  IF you can not find it, go to Windows>Styles and make sure there is a check mark next to it.

Photoshop comes with a few Layer Style Presets, all of  which, to be honest, I have never used, but, for today’s tutorial, I want to show you what a style can do, so I am going to highlight just a few of them.

Once you open your element or paper that you want to add a style to, you will need to locate your style tab on the right hand side of your station. You can then thumb through the styles and try a few out.  To apply a Layer Style, select the layer you’d like to work with in your document from the Layers Palette, and then select the Layer Style which you would like to apply.  The thing about style is, only one can be applied at a time, so you can choose them all and only the latest one you select can be seen.

Here, I chose the Chiseled Sky–which is really for text, but I am using it here so that you can what it looks like up close!

Click on the layer style of your choice and you can see that your element is immediately effected. Over in the layers palette, you can still see your original element (this is what I was talking about when I said it was non destructive) and underneath the element, you can see all the effects that were applied to the element or text.  To expand or collapse the all the effects applied to a layer, click on the eye icon next to the word “Effects”. Just like a layer, these effects can become visible again by clicking the blank area (where the eye used to reside) when an effect is disabled. You can also hide the individual effects listed by clicking on and off of those eyes as well.

You can make quick changes to a layers style by double clicking the ‘fx‘ icon to pull up the Layer Style Options. From here, you can completely customize your layers style. If you were wanting to make changes to the inner bevel, for instance, you can click on the Bevel and Emboss layer, and it will bring up this dialogue box. You can then go in and make your Inner Bevel larger or smaller..whatever it is that you want! The same goes for all your Style Presets. They are all easily adjustable to your liking!

Styles can also be used on your text as well! You can create fun titles by applying a style to your text!

So now that you now WHAT a style is, you may want to know HOW to get them on your computer! Installing Layer Styles is actually very easy! The first thing you’ll need to do is download a Layer Style to use.  If you are interested in drop shadows, Mye has some fantastic Drop Shadow Styles available in her store or, you can find glitters, cardboard styles..whatever your heart desires, in the store.

There are also MANY free resources on the internet to download anything from Platinum Text Styles to button and paper styles!

Once you download your favorite style, Open Photoshop and locate the icon that looks like three lines and an arrow on the top corner of your styles palette.  Click on this arrow to bring up a menu.  From this menu, select Load Styles.

 Make sure to select the one that coincides with your styles palette and not your layers palette. Once you have selected Load Styles, browse to wherever you saved your styles, and load them.  You will  see them appear in the Styles Palette. You may the apply them as you would any other Style preset.

I suggest you try out your layers styles in Photoshop..once you begin to use them, you will LOVE them! I don’t think there is a single layout that I don’t use some style on and I LOVE the ones that will help me add some flair to my alpha!

Thank you for stopping by today, and I hope you have a great week! Happy scrapping!


comments +

  1. Deborah Green says:

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, I am working in a 10 year old version of PhotoShop to give you an idea it is PhotoShop 7 I called support and was told that it should not run on vista LOLI am learning all over again how to use my program. to many migraines and to much pain. Today I found out how to reinstall my actions slightly different but close enough to trigger the memory. I will definitely be reading all of your tutorials.thanks again


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  3. edna says:

    You really rock! Great tutorial

  4. […] What’s Your Style? A Photoshop Tutorial – 1 freebie(s)? […]

  5. Julie says:

    I would love to use the CS5 I have, but have been daunted by the many differences between it and PSE 9. Is there any way you can do a tutorial on how to switch and some of the differences. Like where to find some of the things from PSE in CS5. I also love having the project bin in PSE, but can’t seem to find the same feature in CS5. I really like to pull all of my papers from a kit into the program and then put them in a template and see which combo I like the best. Then I do a similar thing with the elements. Is there a way to to this in CS5 that is similar to PSE? Thanks!

    • Tamara says:

      Julie..I will be sure to add some tutorials over the next weeks for those of you who are going from PSE to CS. Although there are some major differences..the project bin being one of them, there are some things you can do that will allow you to select your papers in the same way you are used too.

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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.