Free Materials For Teachers
Image©2020 ABS Pink rose bordered by PhotoShop action border.
Instead Of This Default Border...

Suppose you want to put a wood grain frame around an image or title page in PhotoShop®. A quick solution is to choose Wood Frame – 50 pixels, one of the Default Actions from theActions panel.

However, that action is limited to one color and width, and it’s just a filled area, which means that the wood grain goes lengthwise on two sides and across on the other two. It looks like somebody cut out a rectangular opening in a flat wood panel.

I wanted something more like a real wood frame, with mitered corners, so that it appeared as if assembled from four pieces cut from a long piece of molding.

I found an easy way to make the mitered corners, and used the Bevel and Emboss layer effect to create the illusion of a contoured surface. The result looks like a three dimensional, solid wooden frame!

Image©2021 ABS Pink rose with blonde wood frame.
Make This Realistic Wood Frame!

I’ve written a tutorial taking you through the construction of a contoured wood-textured frame for a photo which is included in the download. By following the steps in this tutorial, you’ll learn how to construct a wood grain border of any desired size and shape using any wood texture photo.

Image©2021 ABS Photo Of The Bowers Museum Inner Court with complex wood frame
The Tutorial Builds This Frame...

Suggested sources for wood texture are and, two sites with links under Free Stuff in the sidebar.

A search for “wood texture” on Pixabay turned up 49 pages of wood images. Although not all of these are suitable for a border (ends of logs, planks, etc.), there still is a wide selection to choose from. has an entire section of fine wood textures, many of them seamless.

Image©2021 ABS Photo of a light blue VW Beetle in a complex wood frame
Then Reshapes It To This Frame

For the molding style, you’re only limited by your own imagination. And, unlike a real world frame, it’s not difficult to resize and reshape a digital frame to fit any image. That means you can use each frame for multiple projects! The steps in reshaping a frame are included in the tutorial, both how to make the frame larger and smaller.

Bonus: How To Make An Oval Opening

Image©2021 ABS Black and white photo of a standing woman in a reddish wood frame with oval opening.
Example With Oval Opening

I’ve included comments on six example frames that also are part of the download. You’ll learn lots of tricks by taking a close look at the six very different styles of these frames.

Included are ways to change the color of a wood texture, how to give the border a distressed look, and how to construct a frame with an oval opening and raised corner decorations.

If you like the tricks you picked up by looking at these wood grain border example, you might also enjoy exploring the three frame examples I analyzed in the Fancy Frames post. Those examples make use of many different color and texture effects. You know, it’s perfectly legal to add a colorful textured layer to a wood frame as a special accent. Have fun!

Applications needed: Acrobat Reader, PhotoShop.
Subject area: Tips, Resources.
Level: Author.

Downloads-Printable Tutorial (209.5 MB) WoodFramesTutorial.pdf to print along with two files for use with the tutorial, and six finished examples with comments, all in a single zip file. Acrobat Reader, PhotoShop.

June 24th, 2021 at 8:05 pm


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