Free Photoshop Elements Actions!

So, if you've been reading for a while, you probably remember that Photoshop Elements and I started out with a love-hate relationship.  Let's face it, it's a confusing program, and it takes a long time to figure it out!  It took me a year of having it to really start using it, and even then it was pretty limited use. 

I was this close to just giving up on it when I discovered Photoshop actions!  Basically you download an "action" and install it into Photoshop Elements, and then you can just click the action and it does all the work for you!  It also ended up being a win-win, because not only did it save a ton of time, it helped me figure out the whole "layers" concept a little more when I started adjusting the different layers of the actions I was using.  I decided I loved the whole action concept, and I went on a hunt for more free actions.

These are a bunch of actions for Photoshop Elements that you can get for free! I know some of you have Elements as well, so I thought I'd be nice and share some of my free action finds. Hopefully you'll find some that you like from the list of websites below.  I definitely have my favorites, but it's fun to experiment and see what each one does with an image.  I would suggest messing around with the opacity of each layer after using an action, because a lot of them end up being pretty strong, and you can customize it to what you want better if you adjust the opacities.

Without further ado - here are some places around the internet where I've found free actions (there are over 100 free actions here)!

(more freebies become available when you subscribe to their newsletter)
(for subscribing to newsletter)
(for liking on Facebook)
(for liking on Facebook) 

The above actions are the main ones I've downloaded and used, but the following page has more resources for free actions that I don't have listed here.   I haven't looked at some of these sites yet, so I might have to check them out myself!

After you download the actions, you have to install them into Photoshop Elements.  I feel like the Texas Chicks explanation is a little simpler and clearer, but I included the CoffeeShop explanation as well because it's more detailed if you are having problems with one of the steps.  And just a little tip: The action files have the file extension .ATN, and sometimes include an .XML file too.  The action downloads usually include an image file (.PNG or .JPEG or .PND).  Make sure to transfer the .ATN file, the .XML file, and one image file.

And after you install them into Photoshop Elements, experiment and have fun with your photos!  
And just as an example from one of our Christmas photos last year . . .

Original Photo:


And with different actions applied to it:


1. Ice Pop from CoffeeShop blog
2. Butterscotch Vintage from CoffeeShop blog
3. Little Miss Muffet from Oh So Posh Photography
4. MCP's Mini Fusion  
5. Vanilla Pop from Paint the Moon
6. Pioneer Woman's Cooler
7. Urban Grit from CoffeeShop blog
8. Vintage Blush from Coffee Shop blog
9. Whisper Linen from Oh So Posh Photography

And there are lots more that I don't have time to show you!  You can get a ton of different looks by combining actions too, and you don't have to spend a lot of money buying action packs (which can be rather pricey).  

Though just between me and you, I love the look of Florabella's action packs, but I haven't brought myself to spend the money to buy one yet.  And they unfortunately don't have any action sampler packs.

 I hope you have fun with some of these free actions from around the web!

P.S. Actions are fun, but they are even better on photos that are already good in-camera.  If you have a DSLR but struggle with getting off the automatic settings - I've got a GREAT resource for you! Erin from Digital Photography for Moms has a great program for teaching you how to get the most out of your camera.  

Check out *Guided365 here!

*affiliate link
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Emily Powell said...

I have the PW actions but thanks for listing all of these. I'll have to get busy installing!

LeAnna said...

Coffee Shop is one of my favorites! Don't forget, you can combine a lot of actions to achieve different looks. I like to use PW's actions for layering, as they are pretty simple, anymore I hardly ever leave an action alone, I fiddle with them a lot. So customizable! I like what Florabella has as well, but I'm too cheap to buy any. Once you delve into levels and layers you can really do so much on your own! Thanks for the list, I haven't heard of some of the freebies!

Kate Craig said...

whoah, crazy! I was just reading about actions this week and SO confused and thought I had to pay for them. Thank you!!!

Meghan said...

Wow Callie! This is beyond helpful. Bookmarking for later use. :)

Jenni Lynn said...

Callie, you are so great for posting this!!! So much less work for me, thank you!

B said...

Thank you thank you thank you!! This is amazing! I LOVE coffee shop! I also purchased my first set of actions (gasp!) from Great Than Gatsby...they have a sample set for about $7 and I love it!

Emily Thompson said...

awesome!! I am off to look at all these free ones... I was just looking at florabellas! Might try the free stuff first :o)

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