How to make a textured printable in Photoshop

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I have always loved the look of weathered signs, aged furniture, and roughed up edges. Whenever I craft with paper, I always have sandpaper on hand so I can add texture around the edges and corners of my final piece. The design world of late has been all about flat design with solid colors and no texture, and that’s great for web display but I miss the tactile look that textures provide!

So I’d like to share my method for adding texture to a printable (or really any design) in Photoshop.

First, you open up Photoshop

  • Go to File > New and change your settings to 8 inches wide by 10 inches tall with a resolution of 300 dpi.
  • Your blank file will open up and you can go ahead and save this to your desktop so you don’t lose it.
    File > Save As > name.psd

There’s nothing worse than going through the effort of setting up a file, working away on it, and then realizing you never saved. So save often!

After your file opens up, make a new layer above your ‘background’ layer and fill it with blue (or your color of choice). I used #48c4d7

Paste in a deer silhouette shape (vector smart object is best). You can buy a shape or find one free online, or you can draw your own in Photoshop or in Illustrator and bring it in here. I didn’t include those instructions as that is detailed enough to take up an entire post by itself.

Next add another deer facing the first. It’s always good design to have your deer (or any object) facing into the middle of the design, rather than out toward the edges. Move them around until they look like they’re in a nice spot relative to one another. You’re leaving a space below them to add in a snowy hill for them to stand on.

After you put your deer in and they are solid white shapes, you could just leave them solid without any detail. But I added the eyes, nose and spots on their flanks. Pretty much just because baby deer with spots are adorable!

Now you can draw a bumpy hill underneath them to represent the snow they’re standing it. Then add in some simple tree shapes in the background.

Next add the rest of your trees at varying sizes and heights and play with the opacity settings so you can see through the layers to each tree behind.

Now you’re ready for texture! You can find texture images on the internet pretty easily. There are some amazing textures available at Creative Market that you can snag for just a few dollars.

Paste your texture into a new layer on top of all the others. It will obscure your deer image entirely, but don’t panic, we’ll fix that next!

Now that you have added your texture layer, make sure it’s selected, then click in the section at the top of the Layers palette that says ‘Normal’. A flyout window appears and you want to scroll down and choose ‘Overlay’ from that list.

After ‘Overlay’ is selected, you can go into the ‘Opacity’ area (just to the right of overlay) and reduce your opacity to whatever level you think looks good. I chose 50%

Congratulations, your printable is done! Now you can just save the PSD one more time, and then save it as a JPEG or PNG on your desktop. Then you can print it out and frame it, and you’re done!

These are for Personal Use only, Not to be shared/sold or distributed.
© Sarah Guilliot / SarahDesign 2014-2015