I got a really fantastic question a few weeks ago. How do you “glue” paper to a chipboard alpha like you would in real life? This user wanted the paper to be just a bit smaller than the alpha.
In this example, I’m going to use Shawna Clingerman’s Cardboard Stitched alpha for this. Here is an “s”.
I use the Magic Wand tool to select the area outside of the letter. If there are extra areas, use Control+Click with the Magic Wand to add them. (See video for more detailed step-by-step.)
Then go to Select > Modify > Expand so that only an inset of your letter is selected. I chose to expand the selection by 40 pixels. You’ll want to adjust this based on the type of alpha you’re working with. Then, go to Select > Inverse. In reality, only everything outside the selection was selected. So you needed to inverse to select the inside!
Create a new layer and use the paint bucket to fill in your new shape.
Place a paper in the layer above your new shape. I am using a paper from ChereKaye and Libby Weifenbach’s Skidamarink kit. Use Ctrl/Cmd+G to clip the paper.
I added just the tiniest of shadows to the paper, for more realism. The entire letter itself is also shown here with a small shadow.
This is a great technique for customizing alphas (especially with fun papers) and it was much more easy than I expected. Have fun with it!