Aged Photos using Blending Modes – Tutorial

The other day, Annie asked me how I created the “old style vintage look” for the photos on this layout:

This look is really easy to create!! All I did was “blend” the photo with a textured background paper. Here are the step-by-step directions.

1. Choose your background paper – I used the charcoal paper from my Berry+Charcoal kit.

2. Add your photo(s) and element(s).

3. To give your photos the muted, slightly textured and “vintage-y” look I changed the photos from NORMAL to OVERLAY mode. The blending mode option can be found on your LAYERS PALETTE (shown below).

4. Click on the BLENDING MODES drop down menu and scroll down to select OVERLAY. (make sure that you are on photo layer that you want changed when you do this).

5. This is what my photo looks like now (I was working on the Kauai photo on bottom left hand corner)

detailed view
normal vs. overlay

In overlay mode (photo on the right), you can see the texture of the background paper showing through the photo, making it look “aged.”

6. To give it a more vintage and muted look you can lower the OPACITY of the photo (allowing MORE of the background texture to show through).

7. This is what the photo looks like in OVERLAY MODE at 71% Opacity

8. Repeat steps 4 – 6 for the photos on your layout. Experiment with the opacity levels!! because my photos had varying “brightness” levels, I ended up using different opacity levels to create a uniformly aged and vintage look. Here’s another look at the finished layout.

elements used for this layout:
Charcoal paper from Berry+Charcoal Paper Pack by Paislee Press
Thrift Shoppe Frames by Debra Tope
Rolodex card from Folder Tabs Alphas by Vicki Stegall

There are so many things you can do with blending modes!! I encourage you to experiment! For more on blending modes, check out these tutorials by Amanda (of Taylormade Designs):

Blog Comments

Great tutorial. Thanks for sharing!

Fantastic. Thank you:)


You read my mind…I’ve always wanted to know how you acheived that vintage look. Thanks again for another wonderful post!

Wow Liz – Fab tutorial…I am soo going to try this out!! 🙂

And have I told you how much I love Twiggy Berry & Lime???? BUNCHES!!!!
((hugs)) Have a fabulous day!

{{{HUGS!!!}}} Thanks so much Liz! You are the best! I’m gonna go and try it out now!

The page is INCREDIBLE! And thanks for the tutorial! I’ll be back many times for a refresher until I get it all figured out.

fantastic tutorial! Thanks!

Oooh, this is such a fun trick! I’m sending my friends over to see this!

Great tutorial, and other freesh ideas you have here, many thanks for sharing!

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