Totally Ripped!


Okay … by now, you are GOOD at ripping paper in the digital world … BUT … you aren’t quite sure how to go about tearing the paper on ALL FOUR SIDES … what’s a girl to do???

For this tutorial you’ll need:

  1. a PNG file containing the “torn edge” (see my tutorial called, “A digital paper tearing???” for a link to a freebie torn edge)
  2. a piece of digital paper
  3. both items open and imported into a layout file (paper layer at the bottom of the layer stack, torn edge on the layer above it)

Let’s begin!

Duplicate the TORN EDGE layer. Activate the top-most TORN EDGE layer.

Using your Rectangular Marquee tool set to FIXED SIZE and settings as 12″ width and 6″ height, click once on your canvas and move the selection to the bottom half of the canvas.


Activate the other TORN EDGE layer.

With the Rectangular Marquee tool still active, click inside the selection area and move it to the top half of the canvas.

Press DELETE. Now, just so you can actually SEE that I’ve deleted the top half of the torn edge on this layer, I’ll turn the visability of the other torn edge layer off.

Change to the Move Tool and rotate the top TORN EDGE layer until it is perpendicular to the other TORN EDGE layer. Move them until you have them arranged so they make a right-angle corner.

ZOOM in and see if you need to make any adjustments (using your eraser tool, or the smudge tool, or the clone tool) to make the corner believable.  I won’t be covering the process of adjusting the corners…that is a topic for another day (or better yet … come to one of our weekend retreats! We always have time to cover “special requests”).

Now that I’ve zoomed in, I can see that I have a stray row of black pixels … I’ll be erasing those before I continue. The rest of my corner looks fine to me.

Once you are satisfied with the corner, MERGE the two layers (select both layers and press CTRL+E).

Duplicate the new “corner” layer.

My duplicated torn edge layer is on top and with my Move tool I’m going to rotate it until it creates a square.

IF YOU WANTED a rectangle…adjust the size of the cuts made at the beginning of this tutorial. The rest of the process is the same.

Check those corners (just like we did in an earlier step) and make any necessary changes.

Merge the two layers with torn edges together (remember how? Select them both, CTRL+E). Keep this layer as your active layer.

Activate your Magic Wand and turn ON the Contiguous option then click once outside the recently created “frame”.

Inverse your selection (tip: the quick keys for Inversing Selection is CTRL+SHIFT+I)

Add a new blank layer and move it to the bottom of the Layers Palette (under the paper).

Activate the new layer and FILL the selection (any color will do). This will be your CLIPPING MASK for the paper

Group this layer to the paper layer. (You didn’t seriously think I would do a tutorial that didn’t make use of a Layer Mask, did you?!!!) LOOK! You’ve create a TOTALLY RIPPED piece of paper!

HAVE FUN and thanks for stopping by!


About Linda Jacobson

Wife, Mom, Grama, and Dreamer! I love all things crafty - sewing, pattern making/designing, quilting, knitting, crocheting, embroidery, digital photography, digital scrapbooking, ... see? I really DO love all things crafty! If I listed ALL the crafty things I've done this list would require an entire page!

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