How to add frames to photos in Photoshop

I have been experimenting with frames in Photoshop lately and decided to post a quick tutorial or howto on adding frames to your photos very quickly. Although there are many ways to frame images, this method works for me and is very simple and straightforward. Here is how I create a photo frame:

1) Open your image in Photoshop. Make sure that the image contains no layers. If you have any layers, simply go to Layer->Flatten Image to get rid of all layers. Next, go to Image->Canvas Size. We will first create the outer frame of the picture, which will be 1 pixel wide all around the picture and in solid white color. Take the initial size of your picture and add 2 to both width and height – in this case, the original image dimensions were 1200×492. On the bottom of the screen where it says “Canvas extension color:”, select “White” from the drop-down, then click “OK”:

How to add picture frame to a photo

2) You should now see a solid 1 pixel wide frame around your picture. Now, let’s go ahead and create the outer frame. Again, go to Image->Canvas Size in Photoshop, but this time, add 30-50 pixels (depending on how large you want the outer frame to be) to both width and height of the image and select “Black” from the “Canvas extension color:” drop-down, then click “OK”:

Picture Frame Tutorial #2

The second step will create a larger outer frame in black color. Here is the result (click on the image to open up the larger version):

With a black outer frame

Obviously, you can experiment with different widths and colors for your photographs. Here is another version with the colors reversed:

With a white outer frame

Just bear in mind that you will always have to add an even number to both width and height, since the number of pixels have to be divided equally from top to bottom and from left to right.

  • Emil

    Hello Nasim,

    Since I discovered your website couple of weeks ago it became one of my primary sources of information regarding DSLR photography and post-process. In last couple of days I was wondering for a fast and simple way to add frames to my photos and this article was very handy (again :)

    Thank you very much for the time you spend to write all these great articles.


    • Nasim Mansurov

      You are most welcome Emil! Glad to help.

  • Emil

    Just want to add what I discovered recently. With “Relative” selected (the check-box on the “Canvas size” window) one can directly enter the thickness of the frame in pixels. Thus, no need to calculate (to add to the picture size).


    • Nasim Mansurov

      Emil, thanks for the tip, I will check it out.

  • Kristine

    What a great post. I’ve always wanted to know how to add frames manually. I’ve gotten so used to actions, that I didn’t realize how simple it was to do it myself :)


    • Nasim Mansurov

      You are most welcome Kristine!

  • deepti

    Thanks a lot for your valuable tips !!

  • Michael Thornton

    I am a photographer and not a Photoshop expert but would greatly appreciate your view on the following scenario, best described with an example, here goes!

    The processed 8 bit Tiff from a D3x as you know is about 72meg.

    a) Using the crop tool in CS5, I crop out an area of this image corresponding to 50meg, no interpolation is performed, just a simple crop.

    b) Using CS5 Image size menu, I downsample the initial 72meg image to 50meg with Bi-Cubic Sharper or Normal option.

    Which image, a) or b) will have the highest resolution?

    I ask because my NEF images processed in Nikon Capture NX2 as 8 bit Tiffs are about 72 meg and I am being asked by a photographic library to send them 50 meg images. As you can appreciate I would like to send them the highest quality possible.

    Regards and Thanks for a great resource.


    • Nasim Mansurov

      Michael, down-sampling is always going to improve sharpness. Do not crop, always down-sample. Plus, by cropping an image, you are cutting off the corners, while down-sampling lets you show the whole thing, except with increased sharpness.

  • evyatar

    hi Nasim Mansurov,
    im trying for a long long time to put text or frames in a multi photos.
    there is any chance that you give me some idea how to make it work..?
    tnx evi…


    Loved the lesson, just what i was looking for, but had problems when printing….. the borders were not coming out even all round. any suggestion, i do use scale to fit…. best regards Carol

  • Kirit

    I know how to put flat borders around the photographs. How do I put frames around a photograph so that it looks like a framed picture ?

  • astha


    i can’t find the “canvas extension colour” option in my version. how can i change the colour of frame then?

  • Nirmal

    Fantastic!!! Thank you so much!!

    Also, I am using Sony DSC HX1 and I am a novice photographer. Could you assist me with tutorials and photography basics.


  • olivia

    When creating a 2″ frame for your photo, How much is added to the height and width?

  • Tobias

    Thank you so much – as always, the best solutions are the simple ones.