Software: Ulead PhotoImpact 12
Author: MaryLou White
Home Page: Wishing Well Tutorials

Title: Frame It In Plaid
Skill Level: Beginner

Additional Files:
Horizonaus Stripes Are In Filter
(Distributed with author's permission)
Simple Filters 4-way Average Filter
Simple Filters Diamond Filter
A Photo of your choice

Description: Plaids make wonderful backgrounds for web pages, fill patterns, and a whole lot more. With the help of a few filters, you can make your own gallery of unique plaids. This tutorial will show you how to make a plaid fill pattern and how to use it to make a frame for your image. It is assumed that you know how to install filters. If not, do this Installing Plugins and Filters tutorial before attempting this one.

PhotoImpact 12 has several preset work modes. For this tutorial, we will be using the Full Edit mode so all of the tools in PhotoImpact will be available to you.

As you work, use your mouse to drag this along with you to mark your place.


  1. Download and install the three freeware filters listed above.
  2. Use one of your own photographs or one from the PhotoImpact Users Photo Gallery.
  1. Open your image in PhotoImpact. Right-click\Duplicate. Close the original image.
  2. Make sure the image is RGB 24bit color (Adjust\Convert Datatype\RGB 24bit Color).
  3. From the menu, select Adjust\Resize. Change the Percent to Pixels and uncheck Keep Aspect Ratio. Resize image to 400x400 pixels, Resolution = 96, click OK.
  4. From the menu, select Effect\Horizonaus Mixed Bag\Stripes Are In. You will get a menu like the one below.

  5. Adjust the Mixer arrows up and down until you have a color mix in the left window that you like. These will be the colors in your plaid. When you're satisfied, click Ok.
  6. From the menu, select Effect\Simple\Diamonds. Click Ok.
  7. From the menu, select Effect\Simple\4-Way Average. Click OK. You should have a large plaid square.
  8. From the menu, select Adjust\Resize. Under Pixels, recheck Keep Aspect Ratio. Resize image to 150x150 pixels, Resolution = 96, click OK.


    After applying
    Stripes Are In

    After applying
    Simple Diamond

    After applying
    Simple 4 Way Average
  9. Save your plaid tile as a .jpg. You may want to add it to your fill patterns in the Easy Palette. If you're unsure about how to do this, follow the instructions for saving tiles to the Easy Palette in this Stained Glass Tiles tutorial.
  1. Open the image you used to make the plaid. Right-click\Duplicate, then close the original.
  2. From the menu, select Adjust\Resize. Resize the image it so the height is around 250 pixels. Keep Aspect ratio checked and the width will adjust automatically.
  3. From the menu, select Adjust\Expand Canvas. Expand 10 pixels, Expand all sides equally. This will make a small white border for the matte. Note, if your image has a lot of white in it, you may want to use a contrasting color.
  4. From the menu, select Adjust\Expand Canvas again. Change the color to anything but the color you used in the previous step. Expand 25 pixels, expand all sides equally. You should have two borders around your image.

  5. Using the Magic Wand, select the outer border. If you saved your plaid fill in the Easy Palette, double-click on the plaid to fill the border. Otherwise, From the menu, select Edit\Fill. Using the following screen as a guideline, find the plaid fill pattern that you saved and click OK.

  6. Your border should still be selected. On the menu, click Web\Button Designer\Any Shape. Set both the Bevel Size and Bevel Smoothness to 2, click OK.
  7. You could add a drop shadow to the frame if you like, or you could use the magic wand to select the matte and add a texture. Right-click, merge all and your image is finished.
Notice how nicely the plaid border compliments your image. That's because they contain the exact same colors for the most part. You can easily create a collection of plaids in a wide variety of colors. You will never get two exactly alike. This is a quick and easy way to do it.

You're invited to join the PIRC Fourm! This is an active PhotoImpact Forum where you'll find a wonderful group of warm, friendly, talented, and knowledgeable people who are ready and willing to share their expertise with you. There are creative activities for all levels of PhotoImpact users. This forum is 100% free and everyone is welcome.

Copyright© MaryLou White.
This document may not be translated, duplicated, redistributed or otherwise appropriated without permission.