Masks are a helpful part of our life with the covid 19 pandemic going on right now. A couple of weeks ago I participated in a service project to sew 5 million masks to help protect local healthcare workers. I made 100 masks and it gave me such a great feeling to know these masks would help others. That got me thinking about another kind of mask that helps us as digital scrappers. I'm talking about clipping masks and today I'm going to go a step further and show you how to make your own blended photo mask to clip your photo to. Blended Photo Mask Technique Scrap: This technique slow scrap was inspired by a video by Scrapping with Liz that can be found here. The instruction and screenshots below were created in PSE 19, but the steps are similar in other versions of PSE and Photoshop. 1. Start with a favorite textured paper. It can be mostly solid or as much texture as you'd like. I'm using a collage paper from Rachel Jefferies' Pocket Art: Signature Kit no 5. 2. Add a photo to blend. I changed mine to black and white because that's the look I wanted, but a color photo will work too. 3. Add a new layer to your layout by clicking the create new layer icon at the top of the layers panel. 4. Click on the newly created layer and select the elliptical marquee tool by pressing M. You may have to press M another time to toggle to the elliptical marquee tool. In the tool options at the bottom select 150 px in the box for feather. (Make sure to change this back to zero later) 5. Drag out a circle. You can hold down shift to keep it a circle or not for an oval. You can also reposition it while dragging by holding down the space bar. This will give you marching ants around your circle. 6. Now you'll make the photo mask. Make sure the newly created empty layer is still selected and then select the paint bucket and click inside the circle to fill it with paint. This will add a feathered circle to your layout. 7. Press control D to deselect. 8. Rename this layer photo mask and drag it under the photo layer in the layers panel. 9. Clip your photo to the layer mask by selecting the photo layer and pressing control, alt, G or control G in other versions of PSE. 10. Resize and reposition your photo to show how you'd like it to in the photo mask. You can also resize the photo mask as needed. 11. Blend the photo into the background paper. This is done by selecting the photo mask layer and selecting a blending mode and/or adjusting the opacity. You can use the arrow keys to scroll through the different blending modes to find one you like. 12. You can also blend the photo by adjusting the fill opacity. As you can see in the above photo there is no fill opacity option in PSE. However, you can access fill opacity by using shortcuts. shift 0 is 100% shift 9 is 90% shift 8 is 80% shift 7 is 70% and so forth. Note: I prefer to use fill opacity over opacity when blending. Fill opacity only changes the layer contents but opacity changes everything in that layer including any blending modes or layer styles. 13. I ended up not changing the blending mode from normal. I just adjusted the fill opacity to 90% using the shift 9 shortcut for my finished layout. I can't wait to see all your beautifully blended creations. Have fun and keep scrappin! A copy of the tutorial is attached.