Photoshop 101 – Creating a Clipping Mask


Follow this step by step tutorial to learn how to use the clipping mask tool in Photoshop to make stunning graphics and printables! Click through to get the tutorial (and a free printable) or pin to save for later.

What the heck is a clipping mask?

Ohhh I’m so glad you asked. The clipping mask is, in my humble opinion, the most useful tool for non-designers (like me and you) in making some pretty awesome stuff even though we don’t really know what we’re doing.

I first learned how to create a clipping mask from Melyssa Griffin (definitely check her out if you’re a blogger, she shares heaps of super useful info) and it so rocked my world that I just have to pass it on.

But back to what a clipping mask actually IS. It’s basically a Photoshop tool that allows you to superimpose a pattern over your text, making it look all awesome. Like this:

Free Wall Art Printable and Photoshop Tutuorial

BTW, click here to download this as a printable.

Now on to the step-by-step.

This is really super simple, but Photoshop can be kind of confusing if you aren’t used to it yet so I’ve included a lot of screen shots to keep you on track.

1. Start with your text.

On a blank background open up a text layer and write your text.

Use a nice thick font so the pattern has room to show up!

screen shot 1

2. Open up your pattern.

In the upper left hand corner click file > open. Choose your pattern image and Photoshop will automatically open it in a new tab. Using the move tool (the little arrow tool that is selected in the photo below) drag the image up into the other tab that has your text.

screen shot 2

3. Lay the pattern over your text.

If it doesn’t cover up the text completely, you can resize it by clicking edit > free transform. Once it covers all your text you’re ready to make the magic happen.

screen shot 3

4. Create clipping mask!

Make sure that your image layer is highlighted and right click. Click “create clipping mask”.

screen shot 4

5. Admire your snazzy graphic.

That’s it! So easy.

screen shot 5

Is there something you’ve always wanted to learn to do with Photoshop? What awesome stuff have you made with the clipping mask? Let me know down below!