This week I was asked, “What are Photoshop Layer Styles – exactly?”

I love Layer Styles. I love using them, and I love creating new ones.  But I had to really think about how to define them and describe how to use them.   At the very basic level, a layer style is an “effect” that you apply to a shape, text, image, or background.

Today, let’s see exactly what that means; and next week, let’s delve into Styles a bit more to see some of the creative things you can do with them.

For the purposes of this demonstration, I am using Photoshop CS6.  I will assume that you have some Photoshop Styles already loaded or installed in your software program.  Here is a refresher on How to Load Photoshop Styles, if you need it. Photoshop Styles are available in Photoshop Elements also.  (Access them through the Effects panel.)

In the image below, we see 3 layers:

  • Border Buddy Set 3-4 Design (the white floral design)
  • Border Buddy Set 3-4 Color Layer (the pink layer sculpted to match the border design)
  • Background


Let’s apply a Layer Style to the floral border. In the image below you will see that my Styles Panel is open, which shows Styles that I have loaded and ready for my use.  I would like to apply one of my Rusted Metal Styles to this border.


Making sure that my Border Buddy Design layer is selected, all I need to do is click on the Style (in the Styles Panel) that I would like my border to look like.  Like magic, the characteristics of that Style are applied to the element that I selected.


That’s how simple the basic use of Styles is!  There are a lot of ways to modify the look of the style, if needed, and we will talk about some of those ways next week!

Now all we have to do is clip a paper to the Border Buddy Color Layer and also to the Background, and we have a beautiful paper, in just a few seconds!


I love the texture and dimension that the Style has given to the border, making it really pop off the page!

I hope to see you next week, when we delve more into Styles and what we can do with them.

If you would like to download this paper for your own personal use, simply click HERE or on the image below.


*CREDIT*: Border Buddies Sets 3 and 4 have just been released and are on sale in the SnickerdoodleDesigns Commercial Use store. Scenic Route will be found in the SnickerdoodleDesigns Personal Use store. And I’ll run over right now and put that on sale for 25% off for you (through October 30th).