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How to Make Jagged Borders and Edges using Gimp Software

Jagged or irregular borders help to achieve a more realistic edge to certain images especially in paper stock, old photographs and other designs. Unlike regular borders, which often look too precise to pass of as the real thing. For those who opt for a more organic designs instead of the conventional techno-sleek styles that are common among websites.

You can create jagged or fuzzy borders using one of the effects you can find in GIMP, a freely distributed imaging program with the same capabilities as commercial software. GIMP is an expandable program as well with various plug-ins contributed by fellow GIMP users that you can add to your own program.

Creating Jagged Edges Using Distort Select

Open a blank canvas by clicking FILE->NEW at the menu bar then click EDIT->FILL WITH FG to fill it with the default background color. Using any of the Selection Tools such as RECTANGLE and ELLIPSE Select, draw a selection along your image. Once you’ve made your selection, click SELECT->DISTORT. Click OK at the pop-up dialog to apply the jagged edge selection then press CTRL+X to cut.

The selection tools usually cut out the highlighted area. If you want to cut away the un-selected area, click SELECT->INVERT at the menu bar or adjust the Mode settings at the Select Tool options before cutting. You can also use the FUZZY SELECT and SELECT BY COLOR tools which uses colors instead of shapes to highlight an area. Applying SELECT->DISTORT works the same way for these tools.

Creating Jagged Edges Using Fuzzy Border

At the menu bar, click FILTERS->DECOR->FUZZY BORDER which will open the pop-up dialog for that filter. At the dialog box, you can adjust several settings including the COLOR and BORDER SIZE as well as the GRANULARITY settings which determines the roughness of the border.

You also have an option for BLUR BORDER which is helpful in making your irregular border appear smoother and cleaner. You can also add drop shadow effects by checking the ADD SHADOW box and adjusting the Shadow Weight settings. Finally, make sure to check the WORK ON COPY box that way you won’t be overwriting your original photo.

Creating Jagged Edges Using GIMP Drawing Tools

For some, the Fuzzy Border filter does not really achieve the type of look that they want for their borders. If you want more control of the roughness of the border, you can use the Paint Tool along with a brush that has the kind of jagged that you want.You can make the Brush size at the Scale settings, using large brushes for initial cuts and smaller scale brushes for adding the jagged edge details.

You can also use the Paths Tool which is very versatile and can be used for drawing lines and curves. Simply click along the border and the lines will automatically connect to each other.However, after making your last point, you should click on the very first point you made while holding down the CTRL key to complete the path. Then, click SELECTION FROM PATH at the Paths Tool options.

Once you’re path is selected, click CTRL+X or EDIT->CUT at the menu bar to remove the highlighted area. This works the same for other Selection Tools such as the Rectangle and Ellipse Select. Highlight the area with your mouse and click CTRL+X at the keyboard. You can rotate Selection Tools before cutting so that rectangles become diamond-like shapes which are useful in making zigzag edges.