I relatively new to GIMP and inkscape and trying to build posters but i couldn't find a any video or forum posts in which people create custom border images and use them as border (either they add solid color as border or just give rounded corner)

So my question is if I have an image how can use it as a border with style like rounded edge or triangle etc ?

example image

  • one important question first, do you know how to create a rounded rectangle using the rectangle tool?
    – fred_dot_u
    Commented Feb 27, 2020 at 15:36
  • I'm not sure what your problem is. I would say you cut out the inner part of your image, such that the border remains, and put it (probably as a separate layer) above your content, but maybe your problem is something else. Commented Feb 27, 2020 at 16:08
  • no as i said i am starting out new is can you suggest some videos or links @fred_dot_u Commented Feb 27, 2020 at 16:25
  • 2
    @VishnuEzhuthachan I see you reversed the edits that I made to your question, and as it is YOUR question I respect your decision to do so. But I'm curious to know why, as I felt like they improved the quality of the question.
    – RoobyDooby
    Commented Mar 3, 2020 at 14:29
  • 1
    @RoobyDooby I acknowledge and thank you for correcting me. Please do not take it personally. I used that heading specifically so that the question won't be ignored as a noob question Commented Mar 4, 2020 at 7:16

3 Answers 3


This is for Inkscape.

  1. Using the Rectangle Tool F4, draw two rectangles, one inside the other, and fill each with a different colour by selecting a different fill colour. The colours don't matter, so long as you can see both rectangles clearly

enter image description here

  1. With the Select Object tool F1. Select both shapes by clicking and dragging the tool around both, and align them horizontally and vertically using the Align tools in the Align and Distribute panel Shfit+Ctrl+A to make sure everything is centred

enter image description here

  1. Using the Rectangle Tool, click and drag the top right corner widget to round the corners of the inner rectangle

enter image description here

  1. Select both shapes and hit Ctrl+- (Difference). This will cut out the top shape from the bottom leaving a hole.

  2. Copy paste or Import an image, and send it to the bottom of the stack by hitting End (send to bottom)

  3. With the Select Object tool F1, click and drag it to move it under the border you made.

enter image description here

  1. If necessary rescale the image by clicking and dragging the corner handles

  2. Once in position, do Ctrl+A (select all), then do Object > Clip > Set . This will make a clipping mask - which basically means the image is clipped inside the border you made previously.

enter image description here

  1. Note that the inside of the clipped image is a transparent hole, which means you can place another image underneath it.

enter image description here

  • other than for differentiation, is it necessary to fill the two rectangles with color?
    – fred_dot_u
    Commented Feb 27, 2020 at 18:36
  • thanks any way for GIMP ? @Billy Kerr Commented Feb 27, 2020 at 18:36
  • @fred_dot_u No. It's just so you can see them. I mentioned this in the tutorial.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Feb 27, 2020 at 18:38
  • @VishnuEzhuthachan Yes, it could be done in GIMP with a layer mask, but this took me long enough to write. Perhaps someone else can tackle that.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Feb 27, 2020 at 18:39
  • please if possible putting up some youtube links would help @billy Kerr Commented Feb 27, 2020 at 18:40

For GIMP as @Billy Kerr said layer masking is used

  1. Select any image to be set as border
  2. Add a new layer above it (FG or BG color or white but not transparent)
  3. On the newly add layer right click add new layer mask (select the option and find which one suits you)
  4. using selection tool select the amount of area you want empty
  5. invert selection and fill with black color

visual reference of the above : https://www.gimp.org/tutorials/Layer_Masks/


For Inkscape, another option would be to:

  1. Draw the frame object in whichever way you want. It could just be a wide stroke on a rectangle, or you draw some complex shape, whichever is useful to you.
  2. Import the image and embed it.
  3. Select the image, then convert it to a pattern (Object > Object to Pattern)
  4. Apply this pattern to either the stroke or the fill of your frame object
  5. Use the node tool to adjust the pattern handles, and with them the size, position and rotation of the image.

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