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FotoInspired ProjectTutorials

Create a FotoInspired Blended Photo Montage

By Thursday, January 30, 2020 (MST) 5 Comments

Today, Creative Team Member, Nancy Adams, is sharing Create a FotoInspired Blended Photo Montage.

Follow this tutorial in Adobe Photoshop Elements.


Manipulate the mask layers in the FotoInspired Templates to create a digital photo collage.

The FotoInspired Templates offer a unique set of element layers that can be modified to support any subject.

The anatomy of a typical FotoInspired Template

For example, FotoInspired Template No. 2H (9.)


  • Frames with Masks and separate Cast Shadow layers
  • Distressed FotoMasks
  • Staples
  • White Stitched Frames
  • TextBoxes

1. Establish Focal Point

Select a FotoInspired Template, modify the focal point mask and enhance your photo.

  • Choose and open a FotoInspired Template and photo into your workspace.
  • Select the mask in the Template that will become the focal point of the design (in this layout – ‘fotomask 5’ layer).
  • Increase the size of the mask using the Transform Tool.
  • Place your photo directly on top of the mask in the Layers Panel.
  • Go to Layer> Create Clipping Mask to clip your photo to that mask.
  • Select an Artsy Paper from an ArtPlay Palette that supports your photo place just above the ‘Background’ layer in the Layers Panel.
  • Apply a Layer Mask to ‘fotomask 5’ layer and use ArtPlay Palette Brushes to modify the corners/ edges of the mask.
  • Edit your photo via Enhance> Convert to Black and White.
  • Adjust the contrast via Enhance> Light> Adjust Levels.
  • Duplicate photo layer (CTRL/CMD + J).
  • Convert top layer to sepia via the Effects Panel> Monotone Color >Sepia

Tip.  Click on the ‘eye’ icon to the left of each layer to control visibility in your layout design.

2. Populate Template

Clip duplicate copies of the photo plus digital papers to the remaining mask layers to populate the template.

  • Duplicate the photo layer, move the layer directly above the first ‘fotomask’ layer in the Template and modify the size of this copy as preferred.
  • Clip the ‘photo copy’ layer to the ‘fotomask’ layer – Each mask in the Template is layered and will appear in ascending order in the Layers Panel.
  • Open and move an Artsy Paper of choice and add to the Clipping Set (‘photo copy’ layer clipped to the ‘fotomask 1’ layer.)
  • Place the Artsy paper directly above the Clipping set then go to Layer> Create Clipping Mask.
  • Click and drag the Artsy Paper layer just below the ‘photo copy’ to reorganize the layers.
  • Select the ‘photo copy’ layer and apply a Color Burn Blending Mode from the Layers Panel.  
  • Repeat this technique for ‘fotomask 3’ and Frame #2 modifying the Blending Mode to best support your photo.
  • Clip Artsy Papers to ‘fotomask 2,4 and 6’ layers.
  • Change the SHAPE of these mask layers  to appear long and narrow via Image> Transform> Free Transform.
  • Reposition any of the ‘fotomask’ layers as preferred using the Move Tool from the Tools Panel.

Tip. Select all the Frame layers in the Layers Panel and link the layers from the Layers Panel menu.


  • Experiment with the photo placement and composition by changing the SIZE of the photo over the mask layer.
  • Select the Blending Mode that enhances your photo.
  • Use Artsy Papers with TEXTURE to add visual interest to your photos. 

3. Blend FotoMasks with DigitalART

Blend photos clipped to fotomasks with ArtsyTransfers.

  • Select, open and place an ArtsyTransfer layers of choice just below the ‘fotomask 1’ Clipping Set.
  • Apply a Layer Mask to the ‘fotomask 1 ‘ layer in the Clipping Set and use brushes of your choice to conceal areas of the ‘fotomask’ layer and blend with the underlying ArtsyTransfer layers.
  • Repeat this process with other ‘fotomask’ layers as preferred.

Tip. Incorporate FotoInspired Edge Templates to embellish your layout design with painted visual interest.

  • Recolor each layer WHITE via Layer> New Fill Layer> Solid Color> White.
  • Adjust the Opacity of ANY ArtsyTransfer or FotoInspired Edge Template layer from the Layers Panel.
  • Reposition the paint layers independently from one another and move between the different layers in the Layers Panel to vary the white painted effect in your layout design.

4. Dimensional Embellishment

Add Embellishments and UrbanStitchez to create visual interest in your artistry. 

  • Create a cluster of 3-4 different embellishments and position with your title to draw the eye.
  • Soften the hard edges of frames with Stitching.
  • Recolor WordART to coordinate with your photo collage.
  • Add journaling to provided textboxes and modify shape as preferred.

DigitalART Supplies

Find a complete list here.


Get more creative mileage out of your FotoInspired Template through simple modification.

  • Resize and reposition layers to create EMPHASIS and direct the viewer’s eye.
  • Use the Clipping Mask Function with multiple layers and Blending Modes to create visual interest.
  • Blend ‘foto mask’ layers with DigitalART supplies using a Layer Mask and Brushes to ‘artsify’ your layout design.
  • Add embellishments in clusters to lead the eye in an organized fashion and utilize stitching to soften hard edges in the FotoInspired Templates.

Tip. Get inspired Cubism, quilt designs, and mixed-media arts.

We invite you to:

And if you liked this FotoInspired Altered Art, please consider sharing it using the social media buttons below.

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Isabella Ramey

Author Isabella Ramey

More posts by Isabella Ramey

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