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How to Use Overlays in Adobe Photoshop
Creative photos with the stroke of a brush! 
by: Lindsay Allyn

Have you had a chance to play around with overlays in Photoshop yet? Overlays are one of my favorite kinds of digital tools! You can do so much with them, and create so many fun pictures, and there are thousands of them available, so you'll never get bored!

Below you'll find a quick tutorial that will show you how to use overlay designs in Photoshop. I've also put a round up of all my favorite overlay sets I've found throughout the years on DesignBundles.

The Overlay Bundle that I used for this project is this Overlay Sampler, created by Garal Photography. It's a really great set that comes with lots of different overlays to play with.
If you enjoyed my tutorial or found value in it, I'd appreciate it if you gave it a little love on social media!
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Here's the original photo (from Adobe Stock Images) that I'm going to be using

I've been dying to play around with a glitter blowing picture, so I loved creating the below design! You could also do this type of "blowing" pic with snow, little hearts, or anything that sounds fun!

Here's the final results of the edited photo. 
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​Ready to see it in action? It was really easy to do and only took a few minutes! Watch the video below to see each step of the process. 
​There are all kinds of different Overlays out there for photography that all work the same way. Like I mentioned above, DesignBundles is my go-to source for overlays, and I've amassed quite a collection of goodies. Click below to purchase or find out more info about each, or browse DesignBundle's collection of overlays here.

Overlay Sampler: by Garal Photography

This is the sampler set that I used to make the finished photo above. It was the very first overlay set I bought, and I bought it because it had such a great variety. If you're just starting out, this is the #1 overlay bundle I recommend. You'll be able to make all different kinds of fun works of art using it. My favorite is the glitter, but I also really love the bubbles, the snow, the sun, the FIREWORKS...oh my! 
Blowing Glitter Overlay Pack: by Garal Photography

This set is perfect if you're looking to add some blown glitter, or explosions of glitter to your photograph. It's made by the same designer as the sampler bundle above, but it is JUST glitter, and more of it!
The Big Gold Glitter Overlay Set: by Nifty Graphic Studio

Love glitter, but not the mess? This is one of my absolute favorite, go-to glitter overlay sets. There is just sooo much in it, and you can use it for all different kinds of projects. I especially love to use it to make journaling cards for scrapbooking and to decorate printable greeting cards! ;)
2,500+ Christmas and Winter Overlays: by Eldamar Studio

If you love Christmas and winter, this is the bundle for you. There is A LOT in this jam-packed set! There are: Christmas Lightroom Presets, Fog and Rain Photo Overlays, abstract snowflakes, Bokeh Photo Overlays, Light leaks, Christmas sparks, Lens Flare overlays, Fairy Light Overlays, Firefly Photo Overlays, Snowflake Photo Overlays...you get the picture. A LOT

String Lights: by The Rose Mind

Want to add a little extra lighting to your photos? This string lighting overlay bundle even comes with some really nice background designs, and is a great overall bundle! I've used it to decorate photographs, as well as make printable stationary that turned out beautiful! 

Check out some wedding stationary templates that I made using some of the overlays in this set, here.

Window Frames Overlays: by 2Suns

When you're designing this year's Christmas card, remember this bundle! It comes with TWENTY different window frame overlays that you can add to your favorite holiday picture! You can even use it for other special occasions like weddings, Valentine's Day, or anniversary photos or with any other photo that goes well with twinkle lights! 
Autumn Leaves: by Garal Photography

This is my FAVORITE Fall Overlays bundle. It's so realistic and really looks like you got caught up in a sudden gust of falling leaves!

There's loads to choose from in this set with 118 different png overlays
1260+ Halloween Photo Overlays: by Eldamar Studio

This Halloween overlay bundle is truly spooky! There are so many different haunting effects you can add to your photos to make them extra creepy. If you're into ghosts and ghouls, and all things scary, don't miss this huge bundle of treats!
Dragonfly Photo Overlays: by MixPixBox

How fun is this whimsical dragonfly pic? As soon as I saw it, I knew I needed to have it.

It's perfect for making photos that just feel like magic!

Control the size of the the dragonflies, how many their are in your photo and more, with the 20 different overlays in this set!
Firefly Overlays: by Melvin Made Design

Here's a bright idea, how about adding some FIREFLIES to your favorite evening or night photo? 

I love this 25 design set because it has a great variety of different overlays! Want to add a small sprinkling of lightening bugs? How about a lot? Do want them to look up close? Or far away? This set's got it all!
Fireworks Photo Overlays: by MixPixBox

Have you ever tried to take a photo with fireworks in it? It's possible to do, but hard to time, and even harder to get the bursts of color to look as vibrant as they really do in real life!

Enter: Fireworks photo overlays! 

This set is one of my VERY FAVORITES to play with. I've used it for countless different projects from enhancing digital photos, to making printable stationary, marketing graphics for work, and more!
Rainbow Photo Overlays: by MixPixBox

This set is so so fun! It is nothing but rainbows, and it's great for all kinds of different projects! Create a dramatic effect in a black and white photo, add some magic to a pic of your kids, use it to commemorate a beloved pet who's gone over the rainbow, to decorate DIY stationary -- the sky's the limit! <3

Christmas Confetti Pack: by PhotoSpirit

The *only* think I don't like about this bundle is it's name. This bundle is sooo versatile, it would be a pity to limit it to "Christmas" use only! It has some really amazing confetti overlays! 

I use this bundle for special occasions and events year round!

There are different colors, different textures and even different sizes of digital confetti to play with so it's a great set to have on hand.
100 Bokeh Photo Overlays: by MixPixBox

This is another set that you're going to love using year-round! 

It's perfect for background use, to use in the foreground -- it can really transform a photograph into something magical! As it says, this set comes with 100 different bokeh layers. There are different colors, different shapes, and different sizes. Try stacking multiple layers together for an even more festive look!

40 Hearts Overlays: by Tabitazn

Looking to create a dramatic effect with your Valentine, wedding, anniversary, or other love filled photos? Check out this versatile hearts bundle!

It comes with 10 different overlay designs, in 4 different colors. 

50 Smoke Overlays: by FreezeronDigital

This photo overlay bundle is perfect for adding in a little drama to your photos. You can create a misty scene in seconds with all the different options in this overlay bundle!

525 Overlays Vol 2: Rain, Snow, Lightning: by ArtistMef

This is the Ultimate weather bundle when it comes to weather related overlays! There are 525 different overlays in this set including a HUGE variety of rain, snow, and lightening designs.  

White Lace Overlay Bundle: by Things by Lary

Need that perfect delicate little touch to add to a special photo or maybe some diy stationary?

This lovely bundle comes with 27 different digital lace overlays, including borders, backgrounds, and split frames to dress up your next digital project!

50 Fairy Wing Overlays: by Digital Media Design

How about adding some magic to your photo with a set of fairy wings? This particular bundle comes with 50 different options to choose from so you'll have no trouble finding the perfect set for your project!

White Wings Photo Overlays: by 2Suns

Looking for a feathered wing look? Check out this bundle that comes with 20 different realistic white wings! It's perfect for making angels, fairies, Pegasus and other flying creations.