How to Make a Photo Rough Around the Edges in Photoshop

Written by kahlea pendleton
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How to Make a Photo Rough Around the Edges in Photoshop
You can create torn edges with the Eraser Tool. (Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Framing your photo or artwork with rough edges can accent your photo. You may want to create a rough edge effect for stationary paper. You can create a rough edge effect to the border edges of your artwork or photo by using special tools through Photoshop. Use Photoshop to create rough edges and add special effects to your edges for a better defined look and finish without any special plugins or brushes.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Scroll to "File" and select "Open" to choose an image. Scroll to "Image" and choose "Canvas Size". A window will appear. Enlarge the canvas size by ten per cent for width and height to create the extra space behind the image. Scroll to the bottom of the toolbar on the left side and click the "Background Color" box." Select white and click "OK". Use the "Paint Bucket Tool" to paint the new background.

  2. 2

    Scroll to the "Toolbar" on the left side of your screen and select the "Magic Wand Tool" or click "W". Use the "Magic Wand Tool" to select the background that you just created. Scroll to "Select" and then click "Inverse". Choose "Select" and scroll to "Modify" and click "Contract". Choose 7 pixels. Then, scroll back to "Select" and choose "Inverse".

  3. 3

    Scroll to "Filter" and click "Distort" to choose "Ocean Ripple". Adjust the "Ripple Size" and the "Ripple Magnitude" to 2. Click "OK" when you're done. To intensify the rough edges, right-click the image layer under the "Layers" tab on the right side of your screen and click "Duplicate Layer".

  4. 4

    Click the "New Layer" to activate it. Delete the white background. Scroll to "Layer" and then "Layer Layer Style" and click "Drop Shadow". A window will appear. Change the "Opacity" to 100% and click "OK." Scroll to "File" and save your file.

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