How to Create a Photo Spill Frame

Photos spilling over frames are such a cool effect. Right?  I love the look and it’s super easy to create.  In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to quickly and easily create this effect using Photoshop Elements 2018.  It’s the same using PSE15.

In the first example, the sailboat almost looks like it could sail right out of the frame.  This look was achieved very simply using two masks, one photo, and one frame.


Here’s a look at the layer panel so you can see how this was done.  First, I duplicated the photo. Then I started with a round mask to show a good portion of the sailboat, water, and sunset.  With the first photo layer selected clip it to Mask1 using Ctrl + Alt + G.

Add a frame then select a mask with the desired shape for the area you want to “spill over”.  Position the Mask2 over the area of the frame where the photo will spill over.  Finally, with the duplicate photo layer selected, clip it to Mask2.  Easy, peasy!


Many designers have masks for sale and Photoshop Elements comes with numerous masks already installed.  You’ll find PSE Masks in Graphics> Shapes.  If you don’t see this Effects Panel go to Window> Graphics or choose F7 to display this panel.


The next example used the same steps except I used the photo three times with three masks.


Here’s the Layers Panel. I used smaller thumbnails so we can see the steps from the original photo to the additional copies.  As you can see the photos and masks can have many layers and elements between.  Mask #2 has a paper and the photo clipped to the mask.


Here are the three masks I used. I like the extra detail Mask #1 added.  Mask #2 was for the main photo and Mask #3 added the spillover effect to the frame.  Another thing you may notice is anything black can be used as a mask including stitching, stamps, and brushes.  The combination of blacks and greys in Mask #2 really adds interest too.

I hope that takes the mystery out of how to accomplish this look.  While it adds a dramatic effect it is ridiculously easy to do.  If you have any comments or questions please leave a reply.


Peace Layout

Kit: Moments of Bliss

Designer: Veronica Spriggs

Font: Adorn Roman Regular


Wait for Me Layout

Kit: Ocean Breeze

Designer: Palvinka Designs

Mask #2 Simple Masks

Designer: Lindsay Jane Designs

Font: Carolina Mountains