Angie Makes · Oct 11, 2014

How to Use a Clipping Mask in Photoshop

Image Sources: Design Love Fest, Mairi Hughes, Angie Makes, and Angie Makes.

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!

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:

For some more creative ways to use clipping masks, see my short video tutorial below. Hope you enjoy working with clipping masks. Share your creations in the comments below!

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