Stratified Overlays; How to Use them, and a Freebie

Last week, I released  my Stratified Rock Styles.  Thank you so much for your comments and emails about these styles. I love that YOU love the colors and design of the Styles.

If you missed the Styles-release blog post, you can find it here:  New CU Products: Stratified Rock Photoshop Styles.  It will show you one really different way to use the Styles.

And in case you missed the free sampler, you can find it here:  Using Styles to Stretch Your Digi-Stash.

Today I have some Stratified Overlays for you. (CU friendly, but as always, perfect for the PU scrapper!)  These overlays are full of color and have a delicate sandstone texture.  They are ideal to use “as is” for colorful backgrounds on your layouts, greeting cards, or any project, but they have a variety of other uses too.  Here are a few ideas:

  • use as overlays (experiment with blend modes) on solid or patterned background papers to add additional color and texture
  • use as overlays on photographs to give a beautiful color pop (soft light blend mode works really well here)
  • clip papers to text or shapes to create unique elements or paper strips
  • clip to masks or edge borders
  • use to add a slight texture and color pop to photographs! (see sample below)

Some of you may be wondering why you would “need” jpg overlays when you have the Styles.  Here’s a very quick explanation for you:

The Pattern of the Stratified Rock Styles is 1024 x 1024.  When you apply the Style to an object that is larger than 1024 x 1024, the pattern will repeat itself, in order to accommodate the size of the object.  Because the style is seamless, this is not a problem; however, it does become noticeable on certain objects based on their size and shape.

Here is one of the Styles applied to an image that is 1347 px wide and 1813 px high:



Since the pattern is only 1024 high, it has had to repeat itself in order to fill up the 1813 height of this element.  Because the pattern is seamless, you don’t see where the patterns join together.

Let’s look at that same style applied to a 3600 x 3600 paper:


This could be okay for some uses, but not if we wanted to see the full 1024 x 1024 pattern, in a non-repeating fashion.  That’s where my new Stratified Overlays come in.

Here is the 3600 x 3600 jpg for that style, presenting only the pattern, in a non-repeating fashion:


Ahhhhh.. much better!

So are you wondering what would happen if you just applied the style to a 3600 x 3600 paper?  Here is a 100% view.  You can see the style, stretched, becomes blurry and not attractive at all.  The overlay pattern is clear, with a lovely texture.  At this 100% view, the texture is very evident.  At Print View, it offers a very lovely sandstone texture.


If you want to learn more about Pattern Styles, you may also enjoy my Studio Blog Post today on Exploring Patterns in Photoshop Styles.

Stratified Overlays are available @

SnickerdoodleDesigns     |     theStudio     |     CUDigitals

Take advantage of a 30% savings on individual products thru June 29th, or save 50% with your purchase of the entire Collection!





Here are some examples of use!

sd_stratified-overlay1-closeup2 sd_stratified-overlay2-4-6g

On the layout above, Renee used Stratified Overlay Set 2, #4, along with Rise and Shine, to create this darling layout!

And in the layout below, Lella used an overlay from Set 1 to enhance a poor photograph of this swam (her assessment of her photo), and to add some color and texture to the lake.  She also used a corner from Corner Companions Set 2 to enhance her layout.


If you would like to download a free Sampler to experiment with, visit theStudio’s blog today to download the Sampler pictured below:


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Comments (6)

  1. Loving this! Thank you for the freebie!

    June 14, 2014 at 3:55 pm
  2. stacey

    these are terrific! thanks for the sampler!

    June 14, 2014 at 6:22 pm
  3. RoseC

    Once again, thank you Karen for a great Tutorial and a wow sample. I love these.

    June 14, 2014 at 7:26 pm
  4. […] Stratified Overlays; How to Use them, and a Freebie – 1 freebie(s)? […]

    June 15, 2014 at 1:26 am
  5. Pam

    Thanks for sharing the examples of how to use the overlays – they are gorgeous! & thanks for sharing the sampler – playing with it will help me learn how to use them!

    June 16, 2014 at 4:04 pm
  6. GrannieEv

    you explain everything so clearly … thank you … now, to remember what you said LOL

    June 20, 2014 at 2:43 pm
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