How to Create Rolled Paper Edges in Photoshop

Written by julie battern
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Adding a rolled edge to an image can make a picture appear aged or elegant. It is an excellent effect to add to old family pictures or commemorative awards. It also works well as a background image used to frame another picture. Creating rolled edges is a multi-step process that requires some experimenting to get the effect to look realistic.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Photoshop or Photoshop Elements

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    Creating Rolled Paper in Photoshop

  1. 1

    Open the image you wish to add the rolled corner effect to. Open the Layers palette by choosing "Window" and "Layers." Double-click on the background image and rename it "Paper." Add a new layer by clicking on the "New Layer" button. Name this new layer "Background." Drag the "Background" layer below the "Paper" layer in the Layers palette.

  2. 2

    From the Toolbar select the Polygon Lasso tool or by clicking the letter "L" on your keyboard. If the Polygon Lasso tool is not visible, click the "L" key until it is.

  3. 3

    Using the Polygon Lasso, select a triangular-shaped piece from the corner of your paper. To make this selection, position the tool where you would like the first corner of your triangle to be and click, then move to the next corner and click again and continue until you have selected the full triangle. At this point, you should see a selection line (marching ants) around your triangle corner.

  4. 4

    Remove this triangle shape by selecting "Edit" and "Cut" or holding down "Control" and clicking "X." Next select "Edit" and "Paste" or hold down "Control" and click "V." Your triangle will reappear as a new layer in the middle of your image. Name this layer "Corner."

  5. 5

    With the "Corner" layer selected, select "Image," "Rotate" and "Flip Layer Vertical." Select the "Move" tool, "M" on the keyboard, and move the triangle up into the area it was originally cut from. Position your cursor slightly outside one of the squares in the corner of the selection box, so it changes to a curved, double arrow. Click and hold, then drag the cursor in a semicircle, which will rotate your triangle. Continue rotating until the cut edge of the triangle is at the same angle as the cut edge of your paper. Using the Move tool, move the corner so the two cut edges line up.

  6. 6

    Open the "Layer Styles" pallete by selecting "Window" and "Layer Styles." In Layer Styles, using the "Style Select" drop-down box, choose "Drop Shadow." Ensure that your "Corner" layer is selected, then choose "Low Shadow" and "Apply." Adjust the size of your shadow by double-clicking on "fx" in the "Corner" layer box. Move the "Size" and "Distance" sliders until you achieve the desired effect.

  7. 7

    Choose the "Burn" tool from the Toolbar or by clicking "O" on the keyboard until it appears. Choose a soft, round brush by clicking on the brush drop-down box. Adjust the size of your brush by clicking "[" to make it smaller or "]" to make it bigger. Once the brush is about half the size of your "Corner," paint across the edge where the "Corner" meets the cutout. This will add a rounded effect. You may have to paint over the area several times to get the desired effect.

  8. 8

    Choose "File" and "Save As." Choose "jpeg" and save it in the file of your choice.

Tips and warnings

  • You can try various looks by making changes as explained in each step and then undoing them by holding down "Control" and clicking "Z" until you achieve the look you desire.

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