How to Easily Recolor Items in Photoshop Elements

ScrapVine Club members already get a fantastic value and steady supply on digital scrapbooking elements and papers (we’re already at over 30 digital kits and growing!) – but you can stretch your digi stash even farther by learning how to recolor items.

The most common way to change the colors of an item is to go to the Enhance menu and choosing “Adjust Color” and choosing the settings for “Hue/Saturation”. (These menu options can be found as shown below)

While this method usually works well for editing photos, it can be tough to recolor all of your items to match perfectly with one another this way – as changing the settings can be tough!

So, instead I am going to share with you one of the techniques I use to make different elements stick to the same color palette.

Step 1: Convert the Object to GrayScale:

By going to the “Enhance” Menu, right near where the adjust color settings, there is an option to “Convert to GrayScale”. When you click on that, a box like the one below will appear:

There are a number of settings in this box you can adjust for different results. You can choose the preset selections or you can manually adjust the sliders for various effects. It will depend on what type of element you are trying to recolor as to which one will work the best, but in most cases “Portrait” or “Scenic” will usually work just fine.

Step 2: Create a New Fill Layer With the Color You Want to Use

Once your item is in grayscale format, we’re going to create a new fill layer that will be the color we want the new item to be. This is done by going to Layer -> New Fill Layer -> Solid Color as shown below.

Make sure you check the box to use the previous layer as a clipping mask:

Next, select a color from the box that picks up. If you go to Window->View->Color Palette you can choose a specific color from your saved palette, which helps immensely when recoloring multiple items you want to match the same.

Step 3: Now Time for the Magic!

We’re going to experiment with the various blending options in Photoshop to get the color and results we want to see. To access the blending options for your color fill layer, go to the dropdown box in the layers panel that says “Normal”:

From the drop down box, simply choose and experiment with the different options until you find one that you like!

The ones I use the most often are Multiply, Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light, and Color. Here are some examples of what our flower looks like with the various blending options:

Multiply Blending Option

Overlay Blending Option

Soft Light Blending Option

Hard Light Blending Option

Color Blending Option

Out of the 5 different options here, you can see that some definitely work better than others. In this case, “Hard Light” matches our color exactly, but I like the “soft light” one the best out of them all.

Each of the different blending options will basically do the same thing no matter what item you use – multiply makes them darker, overlay will make them slightly brighter, etc. etc. Depending on the brightness and shade of gray your item is, you may need to use different settings from time to time.

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this digital scrapbooking tutorial on recoloring your elements and papers with Photoshop Elements – you now know a way to make your digital scrapbooking supplies from ScrapVine go even farther!

Have any tips for this you’d like to share or questions about any of the steps? Feel free to ask them in the comments section below!