Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Turning Elements into Stickers

This has become one of my very favorite things to do. It just gives your pages a touch of realism without being over-the-top. I've had several requests lately on how to do this, so I figured I would just turn it into a tutorial, as there are several steps. Since it was this layout that prompted most of the requests, I'll just go through the sticker part of it step by step. You will have soooo much fun with this tecnique!!

1. First step is choose your element (or as in this case, word art) that you would like to make into a sticker. I chose this one by Sweet Genevieve (Week 21 of 52 Inspirations).

2.) I place the word art on my layout and in this case, I put a color overlay on it so that it matches my layout. In Photoshop CS2 & 3, you would just click on your word art layer and the click on the little "fx" button at the bottom of your layers palette and choose Color Overlay as shown here.

Here's a close up of the tool you're looking for:

3.) Now, once you click on this fx icon and choose Color Overlay, a Layer Style window will pop up. Find the #1 on the screen shot below. You will leave the Blend Mode as Normal and leave the Opacity at 100%. All you will need to do here is click on the little color block to change the color.

Once click on it, the Select Overlay Color window will pop up. Look for the #2 on the screen shot below. You will click on the TOP color square... this is your foreground color. Now look for the #3... I usually just run my mouse over a certain color in my photo... your cursor should change to a little eyedropper, then just click anywhere on the picture to choose your color. Then hit OK on the Select Overlay Color window and hit OK on the Layer Style window. Viola... your word art now matches your layout.

4.) Now we are ready to turn it into a sticker. The first thing you need to do is activate the layer with your element on it. Then, holding down your CTRL key, click on the thumbnail part of the layer. (There should now be marching ants around your element.)

5.) Now we want to put a new layer underneath our element layer. So, making sure your element layer is activated, hold down your CTRL key and click on the New Layer icon in your layers palette as shown below. (Holding down your crtl key will just ensure that when your layer is added, it be automatically added underneath the active layer.)

6.) Now we want to expand the area within the marching ants. Go to your top menu and choose Select and then Modify and then Expand.

7.) When your Expand Selection window comes up, (in this case) I typed in 15. You can always type in a smaller number of pixels for a thinner border or a larger number for a larger border. Then click OK.

8.) Now you will notice that the marching ants around your element have expanded.

9.) Now refer to your Tools Palette and choose your Paint Bucket Tool. (If your Gradient Tool is the icon that shows on your tools palette, you can simply right click it and choose the Paint Bucket tool like I have.) Then click on your TOP color box and change the color to white.

10.) Now, making sure your white border layer is active, simply click somewhere inside the marching ants to fill the expanded area with white.

11.) This will be the result. Now, you can leave it like this if you like, or you can read on to learn how to add a realistic shadow behind it that makes it look almost like it's coming unstuck in places!!

11.) To add our shadow, we will repeat Steps 4 and 5. (Simply click on the icon of the WHITE BORDER layer and then CTRL + click on the thumbnail part of the layer. Then hold down your CTRL key again and click on your New Layer icon.)

12.) Since we want the shadow to be directly behind our "sticker" we will not expand this layer. So skip that step and move right on to Steps 9 and 10, except now we want our color to be black.

13.) Now, make sure your "shadow" layer is active and reduce your opacity to somewhere around 50-65 (depending on how dark your background color is.)

14.) Now, since real shadows appear a bit blurry, lets put a bit of a blur on it. First, hit CTRL + D on your keyboard to get ride of the marching ants. Now, go to Filter and choose Blur and then choose Gaussian Blur.

15.) When your Gaussian Blur Settings window comes up, slide the lever so that it says somewhere between 3-5... 3 being less blurry and 5 being more blurry. You will already notice the shadow beginning to show behind the word art.

16.) Now, in order to make the shadow look even more realistic, we will use our warp tool to warp it just a bit so that appears as if the sticker is coming unstuck in certain places. Go to to your top menu and choose Edit and then choose Transform and then choose Warp.

(**Notice comment from a Photoshop Elements user --- lynette said...
Awww...shucks. I don't think PSE has a warp tool. But, I can get a similar effect using the perspective, skew, and distort tools.Thanks again!!!)

(**NOTE: GREAT instructions from another Photoshop Elements user:

There are two things you can do. Both will give the most realistic effect, but you can do either.

First, go to Filter--Distort--Wave
These are the settings I use
Generations: 5
Wavelength Min: 455
Wavelength Max: 470 (you have to enter this number before Min)
Amplitude Min: 1
Amplitude Man: 4
Scale Horiz:100
Scale Vert:100
Type: Sine

Then click OK

You can stop there or do this next

Brush size: 600
Brush pressure: 50

Click on the bloat tool on the left of the liquify screen. (It looks like an oval with arrows pointing out)

Then you click on the edge of the shadow to bring out whatever part you want. If you mess up you can click revert on the right side of the liquify screen. Keeping the brush really big makes it easier to get a more realistic effect.

Click OK

Then you can expand the shadow with the move tool if you want it more pronounced.

17.) Once you click on Warp, you will see a grid appear over your element.

18.) Each dot you see on the grid is a warping point. Just click on one of the points and (very slowly) pull it diagnally as shown below. (You only need pull each point slightly... too much of a shadow will appear fake and unrealistic.)

**This will also work for photo frames. Just follow all of these steps on your photo and you will be able to create sort of a "curled" photo frame effect. Again, here is our finished layout:

On my layout, I used:

TAYLORMADE DESIGNS: Lemon Ice paper from the Quench paper pack


SWEET GENEVIEVE: Week 21 word art and flourish (altered) from 52 Inspirations

**All products available at http://www.osraps.com/

I would LOVE to know what you think of this tutorial. Feel free to leave comments. If you have any questions regarding this tutorial, you can certainly email me at taylormade8330@yahoo.com.

You can also find this tutorial and all of my others in the Tutorial Section at Oscraps!


missy said...

Oh awesome! this is a great tutorial!! now I just hope I have the warp feature in pse! Your tutorial is easy to follow and I love the results! Thank you!

Shanarama said...

Two words...
You're awesome!

lynette said...

Wohoo! Thank you! This is great!

Celeste said...

This is an AMAZING tutorial!!! I can't wait to try it! I love that you are doing these! I've seriously learned sooo much from you! Thanks woman!

lynette said...

Awww...shucks. I don't think PSE has a warp tool. But, I can get a similar effect using the perspective, skew, and distort tools.
Thanks again!!!

Nic :) said...

GREAT tutorial A!!! ths is one of your best!

Christine said...

THANKS, Amanda! Can't wait to try this! Your tutorials are the best!

Nancy said...

excellent tutorial, i always wondered how designers get that curled frame effect.

Leah said...

WOW Amanda. This was probably so much work for you to share!!! Thank you so much for sharing. Your the best!

MariaT said...

you are so great at adding little details to make the lo's extra special! thanks for sharing your know how..i especially enjoyed the part about the shadow blur.

kay said...

i love this! i love you! i have seriously been wondering how people do this for months now. lol. TY!

stevie kay said...

Awesome girl! You can see my first try at this technique here



Gypsy said...

Fantastic thanks so much for taking the time!

BoBo said...

Thank You very much, this is a very useful tutorial!

Dúnia said...

I love this tutorial, thank you so much!

PhoebeJo said...

This is fabulous!! Such a wonderful tutorial! Thank you so much for taking the time to create this and for going through each little step...sometimes tutorials just assume you know certain things. You are so good at putting all the little details in there for us!! Thanks, again!!

LouAnn said...

Oh - awesome! I can't wait to see if this works in PSE 5!!!

ellen_s said...

Terrific, Amanda! I never thought to use the "expand" feature this way - I'm off to use it. Your Tut's are the best!

Julie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julie said...

I use paint shop pro x but I think I can do this. This is awsome.

Country Liv . . . said...

Thank you so much for explaining this with such attention to detail. I thought I knew CS3 pretty good. Until I read this tut, I would have simple done a 'stroke' then applied a shadow style. As I was reading I wondered, 'why go to all this trouble to add a stroke or shadow?' Now I know! This tut will definitely make a difference in my layouts from now on! I have wondered for the last time how to make shadows and strokes more realistic looking. Thank you again!

Sam said...

Awesome tut! Will try this in PSE5!

Lori Kelso said...

Thanks so much Amanda, I had just spent quite a bit of time in the last few weeks trying to figure out how to do this on my own. Couldn't wait to use it! http://www.scrapbook.com/galleries/46981/view/1487661/-1/0/1.html

Yvette said...

Wow...love this! I use PSE 6.0 and was able to get the look up until the warp step. Do you know if PSE has that effect...I'm not seeing it??

Thanks so much!!

Rose S said...

Thanks for the tutorial. I love them and as I am still new to digital, this explains alot and I can't wait to try.

sunnie2004 said...

Thanks for such great information you provide!!

Vianna said...

Thank you for sharing your knowledge in the form of tutorials with your readers. As I work in PSE5 I dont have all the bells and whistles that CS3 has. Some of the steps are different--I can figure them out--but for others there is no work-around.
Maybe we could share information on creating the same effect using different software?
Thanks again - I have learned a thing or two from your tut's.

ß°þþìë said...

So love this TUT.. Easy to follow and wonderful results. Thank you!

Hummie said...

I wish I had the full program! I added this to the May Resource Jamboree thread. Feel free to add it there yourself next time!

ahalversen (DBA) said...

I am fairly new to PSE, but this tutorial was very easy. Thank you for your great description and pictures! I was able to change my element into a sticker and it looks SO amazing. Thank you!

Jenny McDonald said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial! Thanks so much! You're the best.

Kimberly White said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial! I tried it this afternoon and it is SO awesome! Kim

PS. Could you do a tutorial about how to use actions (especially in PSE???)

http://gigiscrap.over-blog.com/ said...

Thank you so much for your fantastic tutorial. Yes, it works and I love the effect !

Carmen, the Crazy Sombrero said...

thanks for all the awesome tutorials, i love learning new things, can't wait to try them out.

I am LuAnn said...

This is the greatest tutorial ever made!

leslie said...

this is just great. very easy to follow.

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