Adding a texture, or design overlay, to a photo is a great way to express your creativity and to transform your photos into whole new works of art. The process is also very simple in most photo editing software that uses a layers feature (Layers Lesson). For this tutorial I am using Photoshop Elements but while some menu options may have different names in your program the basic process should be the same.
What Are Textures
Textures are simply another photo of a pattern. This could be a close up shot of a shaggy rug, interesting cloud formations, a wrought-iron fence, your pet's fur, a brick wall, or anything else that has an interesting design or texture to the image. Large design textures tend to work best with large subjects such as landscapes while small design textures tend to work best with smaller subjects like portraits. This is because the large designs only repeat a few times across the image and overwhelm a small subject while a small design would get lost among the many features of a large subject. Of course, there are exceptions to this as with every "rule".
So fire up your photo editing software and let's get started adding textures.