• by Rollinchen

    by Kakleidesigns

    by Anita

    by Blackthorne

Grungy background from photo challenge ...

Sue C

Esteemed Senior Member
Challenge Host - September
another challenge that's a bit different ... create a background following guide lines ... lets see what we can create ... when they are finished at the end of the month I'll zip those that are sent to me at 300 ppi so everybody can share them who want them ... that is those who have participated in the challenge :)

Try to pick a photo that hasn't too many small elements and some blank space ...elements should be interesting as in this grid, grungy wood, leaves and horse shoe.

1. duplicate your image and rotate the top image by 90 degrees
2. play with blending modes until you find one that turns the images into an interesting montage and doesn't look like the original image
3. merge the two layers
4. desaturate the new single layer
5. play with the filters until you have one that looks like a background rather than the photo ... by now the photo should be barely recognized
6. create a border to soften the edges ... I used the lasso tool with a feather of 200 px ... use a top blank layer
7. play with blend modes between the two layers to meld the soft edge with the background
8. merge both layers and save

That's it ... have fun choosing a photo and since it's going to be grunge up it can be a smaller part of the photo for the focal point ... my photo was much larger with the edge of the shed in it etc etc and don't forget to send me the full size image if you want to share your background at the end of the month.

My original image

My grungy background

Last edited:


Senior Moment Specialist and Administrator
Staff member
Challenge Host - September
Excellent challenge! Thanks for hosting Sue.


Supreme Senior Member
Challenge Host - September
Sue, making a grungy background from a photo will be fun.


Esteemed Senior Member
écrit comme ça, cela parait simple mais...je vais vraiment essayer de faire quelque chose ! merci pour ce tutoriel
Written like that, it countered simple but I am really going to try to make something! Thank you for this tutoriel

Sue C

Esteemed Senior Member
Challenge Host - September
that's not bad actually ... I love the borders ... maybe take out the middle grey that has no texture and replace it with something else? I think that is the issue ... no texture in those places that had the sky or maybe create a grungy border from it ... I love the gradations of the greys, that's cool


I have wondered how this was done! Easy but not - seems the choice of starting photo matters lots and lots. I kept picking things with geometric lines that ended up being too strong. Here are my best 2 results so far. Thank you thank you!!



Esteemed Senior Member
Thanks, Sue. I agree, I don't like that blank center which is the building. I have been playing with this ALL DAY!!! It is fascinating! No housework done!!! Oh well, housework is overrated anyway!!!

Sue C

Esteemed Senior Member
Challenge Host - September
lol .. glad I could keep you from your housework .... job done :)

Sue C

Esteemed Senior Member
Challenge Host - September
I've done another one ... this one from the steps of the old shed ... there are well defined lines in this photo with the contrast between the leaves and the old wood....sometimes rotating an image upside down works better than rotating it sideways ... you have to keep playing :)

1. duplicated image
2. rotated image 90 degrees
3. blended layers
4. merged and desaturated
5. filtered
6. duplicated -- twice
7. blended two top layers
8. merged two top layers
9. filtered top layer
10. blended two layers
11. merged and saved

Original image

Grungy background



Esteemed Senior Member
My problem is that I am too literal. All my kids keep telling me that. Give me a set of instructions, and that is exactly what I will do---no more, no less. I really need to quit that and not be afraid to do my thing!! So-----off to play some more----my way!!! :)