Recently, I received an email asking how I would create a torn edge or deckle edge on a photograph. The answer is quite simple and does not require any expensive plugins. If you own Photoshop, its already part of the program. The following technique can be used with numerous built in Photoshop filters. Try it, it’s worth the experiment.

First, start out with an image of your choice. I chose one from my recent trip to Germany. I replaced the sky with a Watercolor Background, but thats not necessary for this tip.

Enlarge your canvas size by ten percent in both directions.You’ll need the extra room around your image to create whatever technique you choose.

Step 2
With the selection tool, marque just inside of your image.

Or – with the magic wand, select the white background, which selects your image. Choose Select>Modify>Contract and choose 5 to 10 pixels – or about an eighth of an inch.

Step 3

Choose Select>Inverse. Now, only the outside edge is selected.

Step 4

Choose Filter>Distort>Ocean Ripple
When the Ocean Ripple dialog appears select a low number. This number is relative to the DPI of your image. In this example, which is 72 DPI, I chose – Ripple Size 2 and Ripple Magnitude 2.

In addition, try adding an additional filter
Splatter – Spray Radius 22, Smoothness 15

The final Illustration.

You could stop after Step 4 but I chose to give my new image a subtle drop shadow. I duplicated layer, deleted the white background and selected Layer>Effects>Drop Shadow.Step 4 can be replaced by several other filters. Some of my favorites are Gaussian Blur, Rough Pastels, and Spatter. Good Luck on your next project.