As easy as most programs make it to turn photos black and white and sepia, I still make my special effects from scratch. Why? I think the images are clearer and you have more control over the final outcome when you are the person controlling every element.
When you create a special effect yourself, you can also control the amount of each color that ends up in your image. You can make your image be just blacks and white, purples and whites or even just adjust it so your sepia tone is on the reddish side of brown. It gives you ultimate control. Here is a simplified way of making your own special effects.
First, open your image in Photoshop. Then go to Image drop down menu, then to Adjustments, then to Hue/Saturation.
Slide your saturation bar all the way to the left, or 0. This is show in the photo below.
What fun colors would you put in your photos?