Selective Pattern

with 6 Comments


Quickly remove part of a pattern to reveal a fun and eye-catching anchor for your projects.

For this tutorial you will need:

  • a solid background paper,
  • a patterned background paper, and
  • a complex mask.

To follow along with this tutorial exactly, download the papers and mask I’m using here.


Step One: Create a New Document

  • Create a new 12×12 document (File > New > Blank File) at 300 ppi with a white background. (PS: Choose File > New.)
  • Press the letter D to reset the Color Chips to the default of black over white.


Step Two: Add a Solid Background Paper

  • Open a solid background paper (File > Open).
  • Get the Move tool.
  • Holding down the Shift key, click and drag the paper onto the document.



Step Three: Add a Patterned Background Paper

  • Open a patterned background paper (File > Open).

Note: The pattern needs to be clearly defined with simple edges. An artistic style pattern with blurry edges won’t work well here.

  • Holding down the Shift key, click and drag the patterned paper onto the document.



Step Four: Select the Pattern

  • Get the Magic Wand tool.
  • In the Tool Options, make sure the New Selection icon is checked, set the Tolerance to 30, Uncheck Sample All Layers and Contiguous, but check Anti-Alias. (Photoshop: Set the Sample Size to Point Sample.)

Note: You may have to set the Tolerance to a lower number if the color of the pattern you wish to select is very close in color to other parts of the paper.

  • On the document, click once on the part of the pattern you wish to keep. In my case, I’m clicking on a small cream colored triangle.
  • In the Layers panel, click on the Add Layer Mask icon.



Step Five: Add a Complex Mask

  • Open a complex mask (File > Open).
  • Get the Move tool.
  • Holding down the Shift key, click and drag the mask onto the document.



Step Six: Clip the Pattern to the Mask

  • In the Layers panel, click and drag the mask layer below the patterned paper layer.
  • Click on the patterned paper layer to activate it.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Create Clipping Mask.


  • In the Layers panel, hold down the Alt key (Mac: Opt key) and click and drag the solid paper in between the mask layer and the patterned paper layer.

This should automatically clip a duplicate of the solid background paper to the complex mask.



Finish the Project

Once the above steps are done, you can continue creating a page, card, or other project from there. Here is how my final page turned out:


Page & Tutorial: Jenifer Juris
Photo: Jenifer Juris
Kit: Per Diem by One Little Bird
Extras: Mask from Junk in the Trunk by Brandy Murry
Fonts: Betterfly Narrow, Butterfly Draft


Download PDF

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Jenifer JurisAuthor: Jenifer Juris | Contact Us
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6 Responses

  1. Lettie
    | Reply

    What a good tutorial, thanks for this, I’m a newbie, so much to learn.

    • Jenifer Juris
      | Reply

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Welcome to the hobby and Digital Scrapper! 🙂

  2. pixie
    | Reply

    I love this look! And your explanation is so clear. I will be trying this soon.

    • Jenifer Juris
      | Reply

      I’m so glad you like it! I can’t wait to see how you use it. 🙂

  3. Carol
    | Reply

    Many thanks for all of your helps, Jen. I am always looking to expand my knowledge whenever I have a few minutes to grab. Having the tuts on PDF allows me to refer back to what you taught and try it over again until it finally “sinks in!” 🙂
    I appreciate this site so much for the instructions, classes and clarity. I learn the most right here at the Digital Scrapper.

    • Jenifer Juris
      | Reply

      You’re so welcome!! 🙂 We’re glad to have you here. 🙂

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