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Create a Vintage Photo Effect in Photoshop

Tutorials Photo Effects 36473 Views October 1st, 2012

Learn how to create a realistic old photo effect in Photoshop using some simple Photoshop techniques. I've added an old photo frame using the Ripple Photoshop filter and I have also added a torn paper effect to make the photo look vintage. If you want to add a torn corner effect to your photos with just a single click you can try our premium Torn Corner Generator.


Make your photo look old in Photoshop using some simple Filters, Photoshop adjustments and brushes. The vintage effect can be applied to any photo with great results. There are other tutorials on the internet that teaches you how to create an old vintage photo effect so you might want to check them out as well; here are the best tutorials roundup on how to age a photo in Photoshop.

This vintage effect works well for any photo so you can choose your own photo just as well; but to make the tutorial more interesting visualy speaking, I piked up a beautiful pin up girl stock image, from deviantart. So open this Gothic Burlesque Stock and call this first layer Original Image and duplicate it so that you have a copy of the original photo.

The first thing that we have to do in this photo aging process is to add a vintage frame; if you look at an old photo you will see that all of them have a white border, sometimes simple and sometimes with a distressed torn paper look. I will choose the second frame just to make the tutorial more complex and to learn new and interesting things.

Open the layer style window of the Girl Layer and add a Stroke of around 15px, depending on the size of your photo(my image has 550px width). Make the following settings for this border and choose the color white.

For the next step I need to rasterize the layer style and to make the Stroke to be a part of the girl image. There are several methods to do flatten a layer with all its layer styles. If you apply layer style effects to text or shapes and then rasterize the layer, you will notice that only the text or shape is rasterized. The layer effects stay separate and are still editable. That means you can not apply filters and other effects on the entire layer.

To rasterize and flatten the entire layer contents you can create a new empty layer below the current one and merge the two layers (Ctrl+E on Windows/Command+E on Mac). Or you can choose a better method and to turn this layer into a smart object. That way you can apply smart filters but you can still edit the old layers styles.

For this tutorial to rasterize effects in Photoshop we will choose to make an new empty layer and merge it with the Girl Layer. Name the new layer Girl Frame Layer.

Press CTRL and click on the layer thumbnail to make a selection out of the Girl Frame Layer. Go to the Select, Modify menu and choose Border with the following settings.

With that area selected go to Filter, Distort menu and choose Ripple with these settings for the distortion effect. You can see that the frame edge has now a ripple effect.

Part 1Part 2Part 3

14 comment(s) for "Create a Vintage Photo Effect in Photoshop"

1:10 PM Monday, October 01, 2012
wieder so ein tolles Tutorial,
vielen Dank f??rs teilen.
again such a great tutorial,
thanks for sharing.
LG Finja reply
PSD Dude
1:12 PM Monday, October 01, 2012
thank you, I am really glad you like it ! reply
9:58 AM Wednesday, October 03, 2012
I made 2 photo borders / frames (here is the link) and the effect looks good!
thanks! reply
10:01 AM Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Your photo frame looks really nice! Maybe you should add a vintage photo effect too. reply
12:12 AM Friday, October 05, 2012
yes, i know... and thank you! reply
PSD Dude
7:22 AM Friday, October 19, 2012
Hi Phil Clenn,
I am glad you find my Vintage photo effect tutorial useful :) reply
8:06 AM Monday, October 22, 2012
hi dude it is cool and heart wining tutorials and it is first vintage tut. that i find on net so thinks man keep it up cool work. dude
8:07 AM Monday, October 22, 2012
Thank you for your kind words! reply
1:48 AM Monday, January 14, 2013
What a great tutorial! Thanks! I like ageing photos. I might have made this one too dirty, though. But I like it. reply
1:50 AM Monday, January 14, 2013
I like your vintage photo effect very much :) You might try to write a tutorial yourself ! reply
1:17 AM Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Wow! I'm flattered to get compliments from such a pro! Thanks. And I'll think about your suggestion. :) reply
8:23 AM Friday, May 31, 2013
thanks you ... good to learn reply
Phil Clenn
1:30 AM Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Very nice tutorial. i should apply this photo effects in my next web design project here in the Philippines reply
1:30 AM Tuesday, December 23, 2014
I have tried you Torn Paper Corner Photoshop Script and works like a charm. Thank u! reply

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