Scrapbook Ideas

Tips & Tricks. Ideas & Inspiration. Resources for Scrapbookers.

Out of Bounds Tutorial for Digital Scrapbooking

I have recently had a lot of fun experimenting with the “Out of Bounds” look which is a fun trend in digital scrapbooking right now. In my post about selective color, I showed you some examples of pages using this technique. I have another one for you today plus a tutorial so you can try it yourself!

Joshua Trees

Credits  Everything is from the Showing Love paper pack and element pack by Heidi Williams of Weeds and Wildflowers Design (blue paper is blended). Fonts: 2 Peas Wild Child and Seriffic Grunge.

Photoshop Tips & Tricks

  • I set a blue patterned paper to the “color” blending mode (in the layers palette) and placed it over the polka dot paper to get the look on the bottom portion of the page.
  • I doubled up my elements in several areas of the page to increase visibility and add interest.
  • Four methods were used to draw attention to my focal point: 1) circles are surrounding it;  2) arrows are pointing to it; 3) it is aligned to the “power points” of the page and 4) it is Out of Bounds.

Technique: Out of Bounds for Digital Scrapbooking

OOB Step 1

There are many great tutorials out there about how to make Out of Bounds photos, but they aren’t always a good fit for digital scrapbooking if you like your pages to have that “real paper” look. Here I’ll show you a simple way to make your image pop out of bounds while keeping your frame on the page.

Step 1 Before adding your photo to the page, do the basic editing and resizing. Also add a white border following these steps: select Image>Canvas Size; type in a new value for height & width (making sure that the color is set to white and that the box for “relative” is checked); click “OK”. Then place the photo onto your page. Note: if you don’t want a white border on your photo, this same technique can be applied to a photo that has been matted with patterned paper, then merged together.

Step 2 Duplicate the photo layer, and turn off the visibility of the new layer by clicking on the little image of an eye to the left of the layer thumbnail. With the original photo layer active, use the rectangular marquee tool to select the top edge of the photo’s border (make sure you only include the white border, you don’t want any of the photo in the selection). 

OOB Step 2

Step 3 Right click inside the selection, and select “layer via copy”, this will create a new layer containing just the top border. Drag the new border down on the image to the place you want the photo to end and the out of bounds to start. Click Ctrl + E to merge the border layer with the original photo layer.

 OOB Step 3

Step 4 Using the rectangular marquee, select the area above the new border and click “delete”.

OOB Step 4

Step 5 Switch to the copied photo layer by clicking on it in the layers palette (it will automatically become visible again). Using the rectangular marquee tool, draw a selection around the portion of your object that you want to hang out of bounds. The selection needs to cover the entire out of bounds portion as well as a section of the object that remains inside the border. Click Ctrl + Shift + I to invert your selection, then click “delete”.

OOB Step 5

Step 6 Extract the focal image from the background (you only need to focus on the out of bounds portion and the parts that intersect the photo border). There are several methods of doing this, I mentioned my favorites in this post. In the example below, I used the magic wand to select the sky, then I used Select>Similar to make the selection include all the parts of the sky that were showing between the branches. Your method will depend largely on the type of photo you are using. Basically, you just want to delete the background around the focal image.

OOB Step 6

Step 7 Click Ctrl +E to merge the two photo layers together and….. you’re finished! I love how this one turned out, because you can even see bits of the photo border between the branches of the tree.  

OOB Step 7

It takes a little planning an experimenting, but once you get the hang of it, this is a pretty simple technique. Have fun and if you do one of these, be sure to leave a comment with a link to your page!

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10 responses to “Out of Bounds Tutorial for Digital Scrapbooking

  1. Catherine (chud23) July 25, 2007 at 5:47 am

    Wow, Jess! your blog is just fabulous! thanks for sharing all these wonderful tips!

  2. AnneMarieZ August 13, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    this totally rocks!!! would you consider doing a “class” at

    this would be an awesome feature at our site!!
    we are traditional, digi and hybrid scrappers!
    let me know if you get a chance!

  3. Pingback: Photoshop…How to Grow Stuff “out of the box” « Magnanimity

  4. Opal Singer October 1, 2007 at 3:41 pm

    That was so easy to follow. I just did the greatest picture. Check it out.

  5. Jess October 1, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    That’s awesome Opal!! Wonderfully done, and thanks so much for sharing your page!!

  6. Christine October 17, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    What a great tut!!!

    Here’s a lo that I used it on (it’s actually going to be a framed gift for the birthday boy)

  7. Wendy R June 15, 2009 at 12:29 am

    Oh, I so love this tut. I think I’ll have to go and experiment and try this on a layout somewhere. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Wendy R June 15, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Okay so I’ve worked on a layout and you can go see it here: — this was so easy and fun to do. I’ve always wanted to learn how to do this. Thank you again.

  9. Pingback: Totally Technique - December 2012 - Scrapbook-Bytes | Digital Scrapbooking Forum

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