Creating Cookbook Cover Images

How do you create images that look like a binding of a book?

Below are tips that were shared in 2004 by MasterCook users. Perhaps they will help inspire you.


You create the shadows using photo effects from graphic editing programs. For example, I use the Blinds effect in Paint Shop Pro to create the shadow that looks like a binding of a book.

I made the cover using PSP (Paint Shop Pro) starting out with a white 72x97 background and added the gray lines. I selected all and copied.

Next I selected the picture I wanted to use for the cover and resized it to 72x97. I then selected edit>paste>as transparent selection and lined up the to pictures. While the gray was still selected I added a drop shadow vertical=1, horizontal=-1, opacity=100, and blur=3.3 This worked great! Adding the drop shadow gives it the needed dimensions.


1. Crop an image to the approximate size of 72 x 97 pixels.

2. Using Paint Shop Pro open the image.

3. Select DUPLICATE from the Windows menu to open a duplicate copy of the file. Close your original file to preserve it. (You may wish to use the View menu to ZOOM IN by 5 to make things easier to work with.)

4. Choose SELECT ALL from the Selections menu.

5. From the Effects menu choose 3D EFFECTS > OUTER BEVEL and apply the default settings. Increase the SMOOTHNESS to 20. Click on OK to return to the main screen.

6. Choose SELECT NONE from the Selection menu.

7. Click on the SELECTION cursor (using the rectangle type) and select about 10 pixels wide starting along the left edge and extending from the top to the bottom of the image. (Your selection should be 10 x 97 pixels, along the left edge.)

8. From the Effects menu choose TEXTURE EFFECTS > BLINDS. Adjust the default settings by removing the checkmark from HORIZONTAL; change the WIDTH to 11; change the opacity to 70; click OK.

9. Save your image as a JPG file and insert it as a cover.

Additional Tip:

For those of you who are interested, Paint Shop Pro (version 8 or newer) has a function called a "script" tool. It records the whole list of things you do to a picture and saves the list as a new function.

This means you can go through all the steps of creating a resized, binder-effected cookbook cover, save the process and call it "MasterCook Book Cover". Then anytime you want, just open any picture in Paint Shop Pro and with one click of the "MasterCook Book Cover" tool you created, you get a complete, perfect new book cover.

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