Double Independent Border In CSS

A friend of mine was browsing the web and he stumbled upon a e-commerce site where they where using a double border for product images.

He`s not a web guru (my friend) so he asked me (i`m not a web guru either) how they made a double border.. but he failed to explain me what kind of border it was. Just it was a double one.

Of course, at first i thought it was a plain double border. But hey… that was too obvious so i began twisting around seeking for the right way to make that border(s).

Well, after few attempts i`ve managed to create a page with 2 borders wrapped around it. They`re both editable, and more important they`ve both :hover state.

Here`s the base image i`ll use in this tutorial, it`s a picture of me with my best frieds, i`m the one in the left corner, the one with big- beautiful-bright eyes


(Now you can laugh).

So… the idea is pretty simple, i`ve created a centered <div> and i`ve added a class to it. Let`s say „border” (you can use a <table>, but tables are so web 1.0 which means they`re not web 2.0, which means is not cool, so I suggest stick with <div>s… divs are cool :D). Next insert into the first div another one. Then, add a nice picture that you wanna have 2 independent borders. After that give the second div a width value, based on the image width. In this example i`ve used a 512px width image, and i set the second div to 520px width (you`ll see why soon).

What you`ve got now is a plain centered image… not exactly what i`ve promised ya heh?! Wait and see.. wait and see…

Let`s move on! Go back to the <head> section and let`s give this page some style :D! I`ve created a pseudo-class „border img”, and it looks like this:

.border img{
border: 4px solid #999999;

Our image still has no border yet… but you have to be patient. So, let`s add a new style: create another pseudo-class, this time with :hover

.border img:hover {
border: 4px solid #333333;

Now you have it! There`s your pretty little border wrapping around your pretty little image. Yeah i know this can be done much more easier, but hold on a minute a keep reading. As you can se there`s a border around the image and when you place your mouse above the image the border change its color to a brighter color.

Note that i`ve left the padding there, though it has its value set to 0… I left those there so you can play with them… i`m pretty sure you`ll get some interesting results.

Okay… back to borders! To be more precisely, back to styles… you`ve heard me.. back to <head> zone and add two more styles:

.border div{
border: 0px solid #999999;

.border div:hover {
border: 1px solid #333333;

What`s the purpose of those? Every <div> that`s enclosed in something that has the „border” class will have a border with 0 pixels width but with a padding of 1 pixel (in my example – but as I said before, you can change the values according to your tastes and your imagination). Also, the same <div> now has a hover state, in which it shows a solid border, 1 pixel width, but with no padding.

The result can be seen in my third and final example. Check the source code if you want, you`ll see everything more simple.

I hope you`ll find this trick useful. Write me back if you can further develop this or if you use this trick in some real life web page.

IMPORTANT NOTE: unfortunately IE6 doesn`t supports  attribute selectors so the „border div:hover” trick won`t work, although it degrades nicely. Instead MS redeemed itself with IE7 which now fully supports most of the modern web standards.

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