This tutorial will help to explain how to create clipping masks in Photoshop :o) These screenshots were taken in PS CS4 - but should be pretty similar for other versions as well. The CLIPPING MASK feature allows you to 'clip' papers (or photos, etc.) to shapes and text. When comparing to 'real world' applications - think of cutting out a piece of patterned paper to mod podge to a heart made of chipboard :o) Best of all - this is sooooo easy to do DIGITALLY! So, follow along below...and have fun customizing all kinds of shapes and text...and whatever else you can think of!
THAT'S IT :o) Now, you can merge the two layers together if you like (if you do - you might want to consider NOT adding a drop shadow or layer effects until AFTER you have merged the shape layer with the clipping mask. If you add a shadow, etc. prior to merging...you will not be able to edit that style later).
I hope you have fun working with this super useful and fun technique! I cannot tell you how often I work with clipping masks in both my designing and scrapping!