Use the Threshold filter to add Handwriting to Your Digital Scrapbook Page

Threshold Filter

What, you may be asking, is a “threshold filter”? In Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, the Threshold filter converts grayscale or color images into high-contrast, black-and-white images. All pixels lighter than the threshold are converted to white; and all pixels darker are converted to black.

While the Threshold Filter has many uses — for example I used it in my Creating a Stamped Silhouette tutorial — it comes in particularly handy when you want to add handwritten text to a digital scrapbook or art journaling page.

Adding handwritten text instantly personalizes your pages. Now, I know you may be thinking, “Oh I HATE my handwriting!” I truly get that because my handwriting sucks too. But the truth is, no one judges anyone by their handwriting — and if they do … well poop on them.

Our handwriting is something that is completely unique to us. I bet almost everyone would recognize their Mother’s handwriting and just seeing it would bring back a flood of memories. And isn’t that why you scrapbook?

This page includes my Mother’s handwritten notes of how she met my Father. It’s significant not only because it’s a record of our family history, but because Mom was losing her memory at the time she wrote it — it was an exercise Dad had her do to try to help with that.  Mom passed away a short time later, so this page brings up all sorts of emotions.

I’m an art journaler and many times, I like to include my own words on my page. Sometimes I will use a brush to “write” on my Photoshop document and then hide my journaling. But there are other times when it is something I want to be integral part of the page — as you see here.

Using Treshold Filter to add Handwriting

Wouldn’t it be fun to scan a child’s handwriting and use it on scrapbook page about them learning to write? Or why not include some text from a letter you received? Or a passage from a your favorite book; or a poem that’s meaningful to you?

In this video I will show you how to use the Threshold filter — in both Photoshop and Photoshop elements — on a scan or photo of your handwriting and then turn that text into brushwork that can be added to your digital art journal or scrapbook page.

If you try this tutorial, please leave a comment below — and be sure to upload your page to my Oscraps Designer Gallery so we can all admire your creation!

All comments must be approved by Site Admin before they will display below.


  1. Cynthia Dennis

    Great tutorial. I am a 100% photoshop elements scrapper so I was so happy that you stated at the beginning you would also show how to achieve this in PSE. Thank you for this lesson. Looking forward to more tutorials.

    • Vicki Robinson

      I’m so happy you liked the tutorial, Cynthia! I think you’ll love using text on your page this way!

  2. sherry pennington

    Wow again !!
    I have learned so much from watching your tutorials 🙂
    Thank you

    • Vicki Robinson

      I’m so glad you found the tutorial useful!

  3. Judy Clark

    Thank you so much, Vicki. You have me totally hooked on brushes, and thanks to you, I was able to capture my grandparents’ signatures for a book I’m creating about my grandmother. The tricks you demonstrated in this video will make that process so much easier. ❤❤

    • Vicki Robinson

      Happy to share my addiction with you! Lol!

  4. lawyerlyn

    thanks for sharing this tutorial, Vicki. I too incorporate my scanned handwriting on my pages by using the multiply mode. you show another method so I’ll definitely give this a try.

    • Vicki Robinson

      The multiply blend mode works really well too! There’s always so many ways do create the effects we are trying to achieve!

  5. Cynthia Cormier

    Hi, Vicki
    Just finished watching your video on the Threshold filter to add Handwriting.
    Awesome, As a Nana, I have lots of writing from my children and grandkids this is a perfect way of incorporating their writings into some of the scrapbook pages.

    Thank you for sharing

    • Vicki Robinson

      Hey Cynthia! SO glad you liked the tutorial! Yes! Anything the grands do is great for your pages! Can’t wait to see what you come up with!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *