Adding borders to your pages for photobooks with a few cheats

I’ve been meaning to write a post about this for awhile now because this is one thing you need to keep in mind when creating a photobook. If your photos are close to the edge of your layout, they might get cut off in the “bleed” section of photobook printing. This post does a nice job of explaining about bleed.

There are a few ways to get around this. My newer template sets allow extra space around the edges so you don’t have to worry when you upload the page to a photobook site (I use AdoramaPix). This template is from my Telling Stories set and you can see that there is plenty of room on the orange layer meant for the background paper.

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Some of my older sets and most templates created by digital designers don’t have as much room around the edges. Here's a template from my Sections Template set.

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I still love and use this set all the time, but I have a little trick to make the border bigger. If you are creating a page in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, you can shrink down your layout a bit by grabbing the corners of the template layers all selected together and bringing them in a bit to give yourself some more border space.

Make sure you have all the layers selected except for the background paper.

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Then “grab” the corners of all of those selected layers with your mouse and just bring them all in a bit. Be sure that you keep them centered. Here’s what mine looked like after doing that.

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Notice how much thicker the black space around the photo areas is now?

What about if you create your pages in the Project Life app? Miss Freddy has an awesome action you can install to add instant borders. It’s a Photoshop action but it also works in Photoshop Elements. Note that you have to do one page at a time in Photoshop Elements instead of an entire batch. It’s still really fast though! She offers a video tutorial and a free download of the action in this post.

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What if you want to add a border right on your phone or tablet after using the Project Life app? Here’s my favorite little shortcut. Use the app White Border or I’m sure there are others that do the same thing. Just open up your photo onto the white background and size as desired. I put my white border at a size 8 on this one. It didn’t lower the resolution of my photo at all. Here’s what my original page looks like in a photobook spread on AdoramaPix right next to the one I added the border to in White Border. See how the photos won’t get cut off?

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Try playing around with these different methods and see which one works best for you. I use a combination of all of them!