- If the layer you want to mask is the background, first convert it to a regular layer, by double-clicking the background layer in the layers palette. Type a name for the layer and click OK.
- Add a solid color adjustment layer using any color as the fill.
- Drag the color fill layer below the layer you want to mask. in the layer's palette, select the layer above that you want to mask, and press Ctrl-G to group it with the color fill layer. Your layers palette should look like the image shown on this page.
- Now the mask of the color fill layer will act as a mask on the layer above.
- Paint or fill with black on the mask to erase, white to reveal.
For a one-click layer mask function in Photoshop Elements, download and install my free Layer Mask Tool for Photoshop Elements.