How to Make a Mood Board in Photoshop

Updated February 21, 2017

Part collage, part découpage, and all creativity, mood boards are a way of corralling things you like into one place to boost your mood or, in some cases, illustrate an upset mood to others without having to vocalise it. While traditional mood boards involve cutting and pasting with paper and glue, electronic mood boards also require cutting and pasting, but with Photoshop. Use Adobe Photoshop to create a mood board and use the image as your computer desktop or website background, or print it out and hang it up without ever having to destroy a magazine or photograph.

Open Adobe Photoshop. Click the "File" menu. Click "New." Type "MoodBoard" into the "Name" box. Type the dimensions into the "Width" and "Height" boxes. Select "inches" from the drop-down menus and click the "OK" button to open the blank mood board canvas.

Click the "File" menu again. Click "Open." Browse to images to use on the mood board, such as digital photographs, scans from magazines or digital drawings. If the images are located in the same place, press and hold down the "Ctrl" key, click once on each image and click the "Open" button. Otherwise, browse to each individual image and double-click it. All images appear as individual tabs on the top of the Photoshop work area.

Click an image. Click the "Select" menu at the top of the screen. Click "All." Press the "Ctrl" and "C" keys to copy the image. Click the "MoodBoard" tab. Press the "Ctrl" and "V" keys to paste in the image. Drag it into place. To resize the image, click the "Edit" menu, click "Transform" and select "Scale." Shrink the image -- enlarging it is not recommended.

Repeat the cut and paste process to transfer the images to the mood board. To copy just a part of a picture, such as cutting out an image on paper, click the "Lasso" tool on the "Tools" palette. Draw an outline around the image. When blinking lines appear, perform the "Ctrl" and "C" process and follow the rest of the instructions.

Double-click the top left box at the bottom of the "Tools" palette. Choose a colour for paint on the mood board. Click "OK." Click the "Brush" tool, which looks like a paintbrush. Pull down the brush head menu on the tool bar and choose the fuzzy round brush. Slide the "Size" bar to "50."

Position the brush on the mood board and draw the letters to describe the mood, such as "Happy Thoughts" or "I am Sad Today." Experiment with the brush head and colours to add mood-related designs to the mood board.

Click the "File" menu and select the "Save" option to save the mood board.


If you've made a mood board larger than 8.5 inches by 11 inches and want to print it out, most basic printers won't be able to handle the sizing. Save the file and either bring or e-mail it to a print shop, which can handle mood board printing of just about any dimensions.

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About the Author

Fionia LeChat is a technical writer whose major skill sets include the MS Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher), Photoshop, Paint, desktop publishing, design and graphics. LeChat has a Master of Science in technical writing, a Master of Arts in public relations and communications and a Bachelor of Arts in writing/English.