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Photoshop tutorials Cool Photoshop Polaroid Collage

Author: Sanja Soltic

Freelance web designer and web programmer (PHP).


How to make yours photos more interesting? It's really easy and everything you need is time and patience. In this tutorial you will learn on practical example how to use clipping masks, transformation and different effects that Photoshop offers.

First choose a good picture. I chose one of the office photos with my colleagues. So let's start.


Step 1 - Preparing

Make a duplicate of background layer and make a new layer. Fill that new layer with black color and put it between two background layers.

Step 2 - Making frame using clipping mask

Next you need to do is to make a frame for your photos. So, procedure for that is: make again new layer between black layer and background copy. On that layer draw rectangular by using Rectangle Tool or like me rounded rectangle tool. Of course, you can use and custom shapes for creating frame (below picture). The most important thing is to set tool to "fill pixels" and I will use black color for background color.

Don't worry if you don't see the drew because that layer is below background picture. Next thing to do is to use Clipping mask. Click on background copy layer and from main menu choose Layer -> Create Clipping mask or press ALT+CTRL+G. You will probably get something like me.

Now is the time for frame. Make a new layer below Layer1, choose color for the frame and again draw a rectangular (or rounded rectangular or custom shape).

If you want you can rotate your image (select both layers - Layer1 and Layer2) using Free Transform of CTRL+T.

And if you want you can put nice shadow on frame picture. Double click on layer 2 select Drop Shadow and adjust it. I choose angle 120, distance 9px, spread 0 and size 5px, but you can choose whatever you like.

After first created frame we will make a new group. Click on icon "Create a New Group" and then select those three layers and drag and drop it in Group 1 like on the photo below.

Step 3 - Creating more frames

The easiest way to create more frames is to duplicate whole group. Then select Layer 1 and 2 in this new Group and move them to the other place on the picture and rotate them. Be careful because if you move the background copy layer it won't be the right effect.

If you want you can change color of frame, just double click on Layer2 copy and check Color Overlay or If you don't want plain color choose Gradient Overlay or Texture and adjust it.

If you want you can make some of the photos in black and white techniques. To do that just click on that layer and from main menu Image choose Adjustments and then Black and White or shortcut ALT+SHIFT+CTRL +B .

Continue with duplicating group layer and moving, rotating, changing color of a layer until you are satisfied with number of photos and whole result.

I'm going to add, move and rotate more polaroids and after creating about 35 polaroids here is my final result:

Play as we did as a children in kindergarden, explore and enjoy. Have fun!


wow, great work, I think I will try it out myself with a little twist.. change the heads to cartoon.. thanks

Awesome effect. I love how most photoshop effects look really complicated but once explained they are actually really simple to achieve. Thanks

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