Monday, January 24

How to age your photo...

As promised, I put together a little tutorial on how to get an easy, yet pretty, aged look to your photo. All you will need is your photo (don't worry about the colors, just get a photo where you like the composition), The dark brown watercolor washed paper from my new Country Cottage Collection (get it here), and an Photoshop Elements (I am using Photoshop Elements 9)

Sorry if the instructions are too simple for you! I don't know how advance everyone is, so just skip the steps that you already know!

quick note - all the pictures below are bigger than they appear on the blog. Just right click on the picture, and select "Open In a New Window" to see the full sized picture.

Open your files (picture & dark brown paper) into PSE.

Click "Image" on the top toolbar
scroll down to "Mode"
finally, click "Grayscale"

Click "Okay". We don't need the color information.

Click on the little half light/half dark circle at the bottom right of the screen.
From that menu, select "Brightness/Contrast"

My photo wasn't very good coming straight from my camera, so it needed a little adjusting; especially when it came to the contrast. There is no right or wrong to this step, just adjust until you like your picture.

Once you are done adjusting, click on the "Layers" tab (underlined in the picture)

Now we've got to change back to RGB mode so we can add some color.
Click on "Image" on the top bar
Click "Mode"
Click "RGB Color"

Choose "Flatten", unless you are going to want to adjust your contrast some more in the future. If you are, select "Don't Flatten" ...pretty self explanatory stuff, eh?

Next, drag the dark brown paper onto your picture. Just click the brown paper with your mouse, hold down, and drag your mouse arrow up onto your picture.

Click on the drop down menu (should say "Normal"), which is right under the "Layers" tab.

From the drop down menu, select "Overlay"

And you should have your finish product! The "Overlay" feature basically takes all the blacks and grays in your picture and replaces them with the browns and lighter browns in the paper.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Let me know if you have any follow up questions.


Alyssa Moon said...

what program are you using?

Shelley Haganman said...

I am so going to do this! Thanks for the tutorial!

Laura Rollins said...

Boy, that looks pretty simple :) I'm going to have to try that soon!

sara_schmutz said...

Alyssa, I am using Adobe Photoshop Elements 9. You should be able to find a 30-day trial download on

Amber said...

So cool. I am glad you shared =). I love this look.

BTW, I have really missed spending time with you. Let's get something on the calander soon =).

Trish Hughes said...

what a great tutorial, thanks so much!!! I also let my readers at Scrap Trends know about it too, and can come and get more info from your blog.