How to Make Advanced Borders in Gimp

Written by darrin koltow
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How to Make Advanced Borders in Gimp
Understanding Gimp's selection tools is essential for creating advanced borders. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

A picture's border can make or break it. The free image manipulation program Gimp has tools to help you create borders that bring out the best in your digital images. One of these tools is the "Border" command, which converts the current selection shape into the perimeter surrounding that shape. Other tools for creating ornate borders involve patterns, which Gimp implements as image files. By creating your own patterns with which to fill borders, you can make borders as advanced and ostentatious as you'd like.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Click the "File" menu's "New" command, then click "OK" to create a new document in Gimp.

  2. 2

    Press "Control" and "A" simultaneously to select the entire image. Gimp will display a moving dashed line around the image to indicate the selection.

  3. 3

    Click the "Select" menu's "Border" command, which turns a selection into its border.

  4. 4

    Type a number between 15 and 50 in the top text box of the dialogue box that appears. This number tells Gimp how wide to make the border, in terms of number of pixels.

  5. 5

    Click the checkbox labelled "Feather" to tell Gimp you want to feather the border.

  6. 6

    Click the "Window" menu's "Dockable dialogs" command, then click "Patterns" from the list of dialogue boxes that appears. This displays a palette of patterns.

  7. 7

    Click one of the patterns from palette. This sets the current palette with which the "Fill with Pattern" command will fill your border.

  8. 8

    Click the "Edit" menu's "Fill with pattern" command to fill the border with the pattern you chose.

  9. 9

    Click the tool box button that looks like a paintbrush to run the "Paintbrush" tool, then drag on the canvas to draw any shape you'd like. You'll make your own pattern from this shape.

  10. 10

    Click the toolbox button shaped like a lasso to run the "Freeform select" tool, then drag a selection region around your shape. Double-click the mouse to complete the selection.

  11. 11

    Press "Control" and "C" simultaneously to copy the shape to the clipboard, then click the "Edit" menu's "Paste as new pattern" command.

  12. 12

    Click "OK" on the dialogue box that appears to confirm the new pattern's creation.

  13. 13

    Use the instructions from steps one through eight to create another advanced border. This time, however, select the pattern you just created with which to fill the border.

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