Video Tutorial: create at least one, or two , or two opposing rounded corners using Photoshop Elements

Cathy ZielskeScrapbooking, Tutorials64 Comments

A blog reader recently asked, “Cathy, how do you get some of the corners rounded in your designs, but not all of them?” and I thought it’d be a good idea for a quick video tutorial.

For many moons, I did this effect of opposing or single rounded corners using an Apple script for use only in Adobe InDesign, the page layout program. But since I’ve been working in Photoshop and creating templates for scrapbooking, I figured I’d better learn how to do this in Photoshop. Here, I present the results of my figuring as figured using Photoshop Elements 8.

A Rounded Corners Tutorial for Photoshop Elements from Cathy Zielske on Vimeo.

Of course in Photoshop, there is always more than one way to achieve the same end result. I just wanted to share with you how I would achieve this result using PSE 8. (A side note: you can’t actually do Command+Z until the cows come home. Usually there’s a set limit and honestly, I’m not sure what it is, but just keeping Command+Z’ing until you hear something resembling mooing. You get my point.)

To create an outline to a shape in Photoshop CS, you simply apply layer styles by double clicking on your shape layer and selecting the Stroke option, and then under Blending Options, change the opacity of the Fill to “0”

Note: I have my PSE and my PS grid set up to 1 inch increments so that when I am designing with my grid on, I can easily see in inches as I go. You can access your grid specs through Preferences, or in some versions of PSE, under the Edit menu.

P.S. Isn’t that the most AWESOME shot above of my 10-year-old boy? So many of them look like this:


Rounded corners or not, let’s hear it for good shots of pre-teen boys.


As always, feel free to share your best tip for achieving the same end result! As I said, there are more than one way to accomplish goals in PSE and PS. Don’t be shy if you know of another way.

Cathy ZielskeVideo Tutorial: create at least one, or two , or two opposing rounded corners using Photoshop Elements

64 Comments on “Video Tutorial: create at least one, or two , or two opposing rounded corners using Photoshop Elements”

  1. #6
    Karen Walker

    Your directions are so easy to follow! Thanks, learning how to do this has been on my “list” for weeks!

  2. #7


    Thanks so much for the morning tutorial. It is great! Can you explain the simplify step. Why do we do it? What does “simplify” really do?

    thanks so much, Leora

  3. #9

    Leora, it basically turns the Shape into an object you can edit or change. If you did not simplify the object, you wouldn’t be able to delete the small sections of it! πŸ™‚

  4. #17
    Rachel Briggs

    Thanks Cathy I’ve been looking for a different way to stroke (make the overlay rounded corners). I’ve always been doing it this way:

    1. Click on the marquee tool and drag to desired size.
    2. Go to select menu and go down to modify and choose smooth
    3. Choose the radius size. I normally do about 35 and hit ok
    4. Then go to Edit, stroke selection and choose the color and size of the stroke you want and hit ok.

    My only thing with this way is that it seems to look pixelized. I’ve never printed out a picture with the stroke on it for this reason. You get the same result but not sure if the quality is the same. So I’m gonna give your way a try.


  5. #18

    My best tip for achieving the same end result – use a corner rounder. You’re gonna have to cut the picture out anyway, right? At some point, the corner rounder is coming out.

  6. #20

    Great tip Rachel! : )

    The weird thing is that in InDesign, the corners are perfectly smooth, but in PS… those darn pixels always add a touch of jagginess.

  7. #23
    Anthea Goodman

    Hi Cathy! I’ve only just discovered your blog… or rather, been pointed to it by Shimelle. I just wanted to post and say “its fabulous!” and thanks for the Photoshop tips. If you’re posting those regularly I will be coming back time and again… cause I have Photoshop and haven’t yet managed to do even one thing with it! It just confuses me!! I shall try this tip and then come back to see if I can hunt down any more. Thanks again! Anthea

  8. #25

    Hi Cathy!
    Thank you SO SO much for this tut …… when I tried to do the white stroke it never came out right! Now I know how! You’ve just saved my day (and night, I’m not getting much sleep to night, I’ll be making whit strokes!!).
    And yes knowledge is good – thanks again!

  9. #26
    Patty Schmidt

    I have photoshop elements 6. I tried soooo hard to follow along and couldn’t seem to make it work. Is it really that different than 8??? Ugh!! But I doooo absolutely love the video tutorials. Thanks Cathy. You ROCK!!!

  10. #29

    Patty, it should work. I still have PSE 6 on my machine, and just did it in 6.

    What part are you getting stuck on? Just curious…

  11. #30
    Patty Schmidt

    Unfortunately I got stuck on the very first step and could not figure how to setup the guides by dragging from the ruler. I am a pretty computer literate person, but when it comes to Photoshop, I am a complete dweeb!!

  12. #31

    Patty, you know what? i just tried to drag guides in PSE 6 and it didn’t work. So apparently you can’t do that.

    But, everything else will work! just turn on the grid, and use your grid as your guide.

  13. #32
    Patty Schmidt

    That’s what I did. Glad to know that I am NOT crazy. (or at least not completely crazy) Thanks. Can’t wait for Design your life!!!

  14. #33

    can I tell you I think you are the best? Does that creep you out? I hope not, I live all the way in the West, so I won’t stalk you, no worries. But seriously, you make it so easy to learn things and be more daring for somebody who is basically techno-tarded, and mostly afraid to play with their “stuff”. So thank you, thank you, and thank you. I feel SMRT when I learn from your tutorials!

  15. #35

    Tobi, yes, you can tell me you think i’m the best. ; )

    Trust me, i don’t know everything about PSE or PS. I just enjoy sharing the bits I figure out or learn!

  16. #36
    Kristi B

    Hi Cathy, I have a corner rounder brush that I got online & use the erase tool – very simple. Love your new digi templates!!!

  17. #37
    Diane M.

    Thanks for the great tutorial! I’ve been trying to figure this out for quite some time now without great results. Can’t wait to try out your method. You rock!

  18. #40

    Cathy what type of paper are you using when you print out your digital pages? I’m wondering what to use since the layout contains a photo and “regular” scrapbook paper. Thanks,

  19. #44
    rachel in Cali.

    Can’t seem to get your Vimeo videos to work ;0( Any suggestions?
    Thanks so much!

  20. #45

    Wow, just tried this using Photoshop cs 8.0, and though I had to hunt for several alternative things… (amazed I found them!) I had success! I had to find the rotate layer under Edit>Transform, then when “simplifying” I found Rasterize under Layer>Rasterize>Layer. For some reason I’m not able to select more than one layer at a time but I was able to merge down when you said to merge the two layers. *phew! The other discovery was Fill & Stroke under Edit are just spots to click & then open a menu window. I think that was all that was different with my particular photoshop program. Thank you for this lesson – love learning how to use photoshop better, even my archaic version!

  21. #46

    Rachel, hmmm. No. Are you on a PC? It might be something with your firewalls, but i honestly can’t tell you. Anyone else have any ideas?

  22. #47


    Seriously, you rock. You should make this your full-time job! I would pay for these tutorials!

    Can I ask a question? Do you know how to do a white stroke on the inside of a picture and then “cut out” a portion of the stroke to add text? Ali Edwards did this on her blog about a week and a half ago when she showed a picture of constructing her December Daily Album… the photo had a white stroke and said “Step Two: Construct”. I can’t figure out how to not get the white stroke to show up behind the words!

    Thank You!!

  23. #48

    Leslie, you simply add a text layer, type your text, place it on the stroke where you want it. Then, you click on the stroke layer, and using the Eraser tool, you erase the part of the stroke behind the words you wrote.

  24. #49

    Cathy –

    Thanks for the video! I have learned so much about Photoshop through your videos I almost feel like I am cheating! I would so pay for a class on Photoshop designing from you … you make it so easy! Again, thanks!

  25. #51

    Thanks for a great instructional video. I watched the video and then was able to duplicate what you did while stepping through the video again. You rock!

    The guide lines don’t work in PS7, but that is pretty minor.

  26. #52
    Melanie K.

    I have never seen your way to do this … very cool!
    I do mine this way …
    1. Draw out the rounded rectangle
    2. Draw out a regular rectangle, same size and centered over the rounded one.
    3. Rasterize the regular rectangle.
    4. Erase the corners of the regular rectangle to reveal the rounded corners below.
    5. Merge layers together.

    I so wish PS had a plugin for crop marks … it would make life sooo much easier! Well, a FREE plugin … lol.

  27. #53
    L. Lynn

    Thank you so much for your tutorial! I appreciate the extra info and the time that went into making it!

  28. #54

    Thank you so much for such great tutorials – I’ve alway found PSE so confusing so I haven’t used it much, but after looking throught all of your tutorials I decided to dust off my PSE. I’m so happy that your tutorials are easy to follow and is ready to learn more. I have questions to what you do, I hope that’s ok?

    How do you save what you just did so that you can use it on a new picture? And how do you save it with the picture you already used? (Wether it be rounded corners, frame and text overlays or multi-photo grids)

  29. #55

    This was an awesome tutorial! You used all tools that I knew about, but never would have thought to use them in this way. I, also, couldn’t make the guides in Elements 6, but figured I could use the grid as a guide. Thanks, so much!

  30. #57
    Jane S

    Thanks so much for the tutorial. It looks so simple now. I had the same problem as Patty Schmidt in trying to drag guides out of the ruler. (I have PSE 7.) I think it must be a feature of PSE 8. Besides photos, the rounded corner or outline is good for titles in banner or a journaling spot. Can you tell me how to do a stroke that is a dotted line or dashed line? I know you do yours in InDesign but have you figured a workaround for PSE? Thanks again for sharing.
    P.S. Just made all my Christmas cards from your design. All made with paper in my stash. Love it!

  31. #58

    I’m having trouble doing this in CS3. I’m fine up until I’m trying to delete the yellow inside and there is no magic wand – or maybe I’m just clueless as how to select it. I tried the quick selection tool but it didn’t seem to work.

  32. #59

    I am also stuck on the tutorial – I have cs4 and I can’t seem to find simplify layer in my layers palette or anywhere else. What am I doing wrong?

    I am excited about the Design your life class that i just signed up for 2 days ago!!

  33. #60
    Charlene Reeves

    Love you Cathy. I will commit to a 2 page layout. Rounded Corners is difficult but rewarding tut. Will be glad when you redo your class on Big Picture site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *