For 2 years, I have been digiscrapping and loving it. I have figured out most of the components of PSE on my own, sometimes finding tutorials that have been a huge help. In all of that, I had heard of a clipping mask, but never really seen how to use one easily. I did some digging one night, and learned that I have been going about things the long way for a while! Here's a way to get your papers and photos into a template in just a couple easy peasy steps!
1. Open your template in Photoshop.
2. Open whatever medium you are inserting into your temp. (Photos, Papers, ETC. I will use a photo as an example here)
3. With your template selected and large on your screen, click on a photo in the Photo Bin and drag it into your template.
4. Locate the photo's layer in your Layers Palate, and relocate it to just ABOVE the layer containing the photo square you would like to use.
5. With your move tool, move the photo above the photo square in the actual template.
6. Hold down your ALT button, and hold your mouse over the line between the photo's layer, and the photo block. You should see a little symbol with two circles instead of your mouse arrow appear. Click your mouse button.
7. The photo layer will jump to the right and have an arrow pointing to the lower layer. If you look at your template, you will see the photo is now in the photo block.
8. With the Photo's layer highlighted, use your move tool to adjust the seen portion of your photo. When you are satisfied merge the layers.
Pretty easy, right! This method can be used anytime you want to insert one object into the space of another.
If you have any questions regarding this post, please leave them in the comments!