Okay Scrap N' Chatters!
You asked for this little tutorial, so I hope you can make some sense of it. I wasn't able to get screen shots, but I do have some images to go along with the steps. (I couldn't figure out how to get these smaller right now)
I will say first off that I use Photoshop. I am not very familiar with other programs, but I think Element is similar.
Open up a blank 12 x 12 document, with a transparent background.
Drag the shape or photo/clipping mask you are going to use to the new document
(I created this soft curve because I want to add text to the side border)
Clip a textured paper to the shape or mask you are using.
In Photoshop, you place the paper or photo or item you want to clip to the shape on the layer above the shape.
Next press Alt + Ctrl + G, or go to Layer > Create Clipping Mask.
You should see the top layer moved to the right a bit, with an arrow next to the icon
> at this step you can resize either one of these layers. You can move the paper or photo to center it or place it where you want, you can also adjust the color, transform, or even delete parts.
>Once you have the paper/photo placed where you would like it, merge the two layers. Make sure you have the top layer selected/active. You can press Ctrl + E (Merge) or go to Layer > Merge Down
> Now you should only have one layer, the paper/photo in the shape you have chosen
Type in the lyrics to a favorite song, quote, or words you want scattered along the border. I grabbed the lyrics to a favorite song, Broken Road by Rascal Flatts and copied these onto my new document. (I chose a favorite font called Pea Kate)
>Position this layer above your clipped paper/photo/shape
Now we are going to delete some of the pixels from our clipped paper to give a grunged effect to the text and remove portions to add visual interest to the border.
> I used the magic wand tool, set my tolerance between 11 and 15, and then I started to select portions of the paper I want removed. I am going for a jagged effect, but I do want some large areas where text will be visible
If your tolerance is set too high, large areas will be removed. I picked a paper with some texture that would give me some freedom to select regions of the paper easily. A solid paper would not work with this.
from the image you can see I removed quite a bit of the paper, but I have pixels scattered all around still.
Move your text layer above your clipped paper layer
>Repeat the steps for creating a clipping mask (from Step Three)
>Make sure that your text layer is on top
>You may need to rasterize the text first. before you can clip it
> To do this, right click the text layer and the drop down box will give you "rasterize" as an option. Once you do this, you will not be able to edit the text using the text/font tool At this stage, check your spelling before you rasterize the layer.
>Dont forget you can resize or move the text so that you get coverage where you need it.
At this stage, I lightened my paper (I should have done it earlier, oops)
(I chose to use this method: Image > Adjustment > Hue Saturation)
>You might have some space where you will want to fill in a large open area
You can add more text and clip the new text to the existing shape
I had a blank spot, and added the words "you are my" to another layer, so that I could clip these words near "dream"
>after I placed the "you are my" I clipped these words to my paper
You can stop here if you like and use this along the border of a page
I chose to spice it up a bit
This is where the fun starts
I love the above sample, but I wanted to add some whimsy to my page, so I grabbed a favorite flower shape, and placed it above my clipped paper layer
(I duplicated this a few times, and hid those layers for future use)
>Clip the flower shape or something fun and colorful, could even be a photo. the possibilities are endless. Play around and have fun.
I thought a rainbow effect would be fun
I placed the duplicates of the flower above my text.
I recolored each one, mimicing a rainbow
I then clipped each flower to the text, one at a time
> Remember, move things around, play with the colors or the opacity
> If you dont like how something turned out, you can undo, or clip something else in its place.
and, try these out on different papers, you will get different looks simply by changing the bg paper
The main thing to remember is, have fun, experiment, play around for a while and get used to the possibilities of clipping masks, they aren't just for photos.
There are so many fun ways to add some interest to your pages
This is just one
Hope you give it a try