One of my absolute favorite tools to use in Photoshop is the clipping mask. It is such a versatile tool and can be used to create some stunning results. I’ll walk you through a use for clipping makes in the images below, and be sure to watch the video at the bottom that also covers some creative ways for bloggers and designers to use the clipping mask tool! Ahem. Like creating this super cool post layout (Available with the Mary Kate blog kit here!)
But first, let’s get on with how to apply a clipping mask to some hand brushed text.
I’ve started by creating a new document and placing some sweet hand brushed text. (See this tutorial for a set by step on scanning in and cleaning up your brush lettering.) So let’s go! Here’s exactly how to use a clipping mask in Photoshop.
Then, I picked out a really cool watercolor background that I wanted to be clipped inside of my text. I chose File / Place to place it on a layer above my brushed text.
There it is below, covering my “Be thankful” text.
Now is where the magic happens. Take a look below to see what I do to clip the text. I am just holding down the alt key then hovering over the space between the two layers. You should see a Venn diagram looking set of overlapping circles. Then simply click to create the clipping mask. To release the clipping mask, continue holding down alt and click again.
Viola! Your text looks great and your clipping mask was a success. You can select the clipped layer, in this case my purple / black flower pattern and move it around until you like the way it looks.
The Finished Product:
Now, let’s talk about how to use the clipping mask to create some sweet images for your blog posts… like this one!
If you’re making an image for web, size it appropriately. I’ve sized mine to fit my blog content posting area. I’ve made it tall so it will look good on Pinterest. The dimensions I chose are 900px by 1200px.
Next, make a shape on your document. I used a pentagon by using the polygon shape tool. You can use whatever shape (or object!) that you like.
Now, go to file / place to place the image that you would like to crop inside your shape.
Now place your image directly over your shape that it will be clipped (aka cropped) into.
Now is where the clipping mask action happens. Here it is. Again, we’re hovering in between our shape and image layer then hold down the alt key until we see the venn diagaram (double overlapping circle) shape. Click to mask and Click again to unmask.
Drag your image layer until it looks right.
Feel free to add more layers, shapes, and images until you have a lovely collage. Don’t worry, there are many collage templates for photoshop available. Here is just one that comes with our Mary Kate Blog Kit.
I cover both of these clipping mask techniques in this short video tutorial below. Hope you enjoy working with clipping masks. Share your creations in the comments below!