Thisis a fast-n-easy technique to create a quick ad page background, or a scrap page background, or just a way to build a collage of your images. I can make the action for you, but how to use it is up to you!
It starts with the image you’d like to use for the start of your background.
Open your image in Elements and then press [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[U] to quickly desaturate it. You should have a black & white image in about two seconds! Run a subtle Gaussian Blur on this layer (Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur) to just make it a bit soft. I’m not giving any parameters here, because every image will require a different setting.
Next, press [D] on your keyboard to reset the default foreground and background colors to black & white. Create a new layer and press [Ctrl]+[Backspace] to quickly fill it with the background color (white). Reduce the opacity of this layer to about 75% or so, or until the background layer is subtle enough for your other images and text to show up over it.
My advertisement for the Add-O-Matic v7 was made using this very simple trick.
You could also try using the Polaroid effect, from the Fun Foto FX action pack to create a pile of Polaroids on a background – there really is no limit to what you can make with just a few simple tricks & tools.