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Photoshop Layer Styles: What are they?

by SnickerdoodleDesigns on 12 October 2013
in Designer Tools & Tips,Elements (PSE),Photoshop CS+,Tutorials Pin this scrappy stuff!

This week I was asked, “What are Photoshop Layer Styles – exactly?”

I love Layer Styles. I love using them, and I love creating new ones.  But I had to really think about how to define them and describe how to use them.   At the very basic level, a layer style is an “effect” that you apply to a shape, text, image, or background.

Today, let’s see exactly what that means; and next week, let’s delve into Styles a bit more to see some of the creative things you can do with them.

For the purposes of this demonstration, I am using Photoshop CS6.  I will assume that you have some Photoshop Styles already loaded or installed in your software program.  Here is a refresher on How to Load Photoshop Styles, if you need it. Photoshop Styles are available in Photoshop Elements also.  (Access them through the Effects panel.)

In the image below, we see 3 layers:

  • Border Buddy Set 3-4 Design (the white floral design)
  • Border Buddy Set 3-4 Color Layer (the pink layer sculpted to match the border design)
  • Background


Let’s apply a Layer Style to the floral border. In the image below you will see that my Styles Panel is open, which shows Styles that I have loaded and ready for my use.  I would like to apply one of my Rusted Metal Styles to this border.


Making sure that my Border Buddy Design layer is selected, all I need to do is click on the Style (in the Styles Panel) that I would like my border to look like.  Like magic, the characteristics of that Style are applied to the element that I selected.


That’s how simple the basic use of Styles is!  There are a lot of ways to modify the look of the style, if needed, and we will talk about some of those ways next week!

Now all we have to do is clip a paper to the Border Buddy Color Layer and also to the Background, and we have a beautiful paper, in just a few seconds!


I love the texture and dimension that the Style has given to the border, making it really pop off the page!

I hope to see you next week, when we delve more into Styles and what we can do with them.

If you would like to download this paper for your own personal use, simply click HERE or on the image below.


*CREDIT*: Border Buddies Sets 3 and 4 have just been released and are on sale in the SnickerdoodleDesigns Commercial Use store. Scenic Route will be found in the SnickerdoodleDesigns Personal Use store. And I’ll run over right now and put that on sale for 25% off for you (through October 30th).

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Karen 12 October 2013 at 8:16 am

I use styles often but this is a great tutorial and I didn’t think about clipping a paper to a style border. Very pretty


2 Holly 12 October 2013 at 9:23 am

Gorgeous! Thank you so much!


3 ScrapPamela 12 October 2013 at 3:49 pm

What a great tutorial. I now have to get all of your borders. Using the styles in this way is just wonderful. Thanks for the tutorial. Great outcome.


4 SiskiyouSue 13 October 2013 at 2:17 pm

Interesting to know how it is done. I don’t have PSP, but before I retire that’s on my list!


5 Mar 13 October 2013 at 4:28 pm

Great tutorial! Thank you so much.


6 Carol 16 October 2013 at 11:33 pm

Thank you for this great tutorial and the beautiful paper. Love how those eyes of yours can see something so beautiful can be made and then you do it. Especially love how you share this with us too.


7 Shaunna 19 October 2013 at 8:16 pm

I am glad to see a tutorial on layer styles. I never buy kits that come with styles because I had no idea how to load them or use them. I will give this a try and maybe open a whole new scrapbooking door. Thanks!


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