Monday, March 2, 2009

Tutorial: Giving Paper a quick "Grunge" look

I get asked a lot, "How do you get your papers to have 'that look'?" So I am going to give an easy tutorial on one of the ways I give my papers a "grungy feel." The program that I use is Adobe Photoshop CS2, and that is the only program I know how to use. I also use a PC so I don't know how different this tutorial will need to be changed for any Mac users. Hopefully, for those of you wanting to learn to create your own papers, you'll be able to bend and tweak my tutorial to work with whatever program you use if it is not Photoshop CS2.

1. Okay, so I start with a blank document and create it to be an 8 inch by 8 inch size with a Resolution of 300 and the Color Mode set to RGB. (By the way, whenever I create papers, this is ALWAYS the first step that I do).
2. Choose whatever color you want for your foreground, and then select the paint bucket tool.

3. When you click on your document area, it will fill up with that foreground color.

4. So now we want a quick way to make this background have a grungy look. An easy way to do this is to use a grungy texture to create an overlay. I like to look at a website called www.sxc.hu where they have stock photos that are free to use (you will want to look for ones where "standard restrictions apply", otherwise you will have to contact the original owner to ask permission). You will need to sign up for a free membership to use this site. For this tutorial, I am using an image that I found at this link: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1153191

5. I will take the image that I have saved into my computer and open it up in Photoshop. I like to be able to see both pieces I am working with at this point, so in the upper righthand corner next to that red box with the "x" in it, there should be a button with two small squares. Click on that so you can see both the grunge background as well as your original color background. You will want to click on the "Move Tool" for the next step.

6. Now we want to drag that grunge background over to our original document. If you can see both images (like pictured above), AND you have clicked on the "Move Tool", then all you need to do is click on the grunge background and drag it onto the red background. In your layers palette, your grunge background should be on top of the red background.

7. Next we will want to make sure that the grunge background is covering all of the red. We will need to move the edges of the grunge layer a bit. Currently, the grunge layer should have a dotted line border. When the border is like that, then it means if you move the grunge background around, it will stay in its original size. But if you click on the edge then that dotted line becomes a solid line. This helps you manipulate the heighth and width to whatever you want it to be. (Quick note: if you hold down the "shift" key, and drag at the corners, then the image will stay in it's original shape, but you will be able to make it bigger or smaller). When you get it to the size you like, hit "enter" on your keyboard so it will go back to having the dotted edge border.

8. You're almost done! Now the whole red background should be covered by the grunge background. You want to click on the grunge background the make sure it is selected. Under the layers palette you should see the word "normal" with a little arrow next to it. Click on that arrow.

9. Under the dropdown list, find the word "Overlay" and click on it.

10. Abbracadabra!

Have fun with this. Try all sorts of different textures and colors and backgrounds. If any of you use this tutorial, please feel free to email me what you do.

Let me know what else you want to learn so that way the next time I feel like it, I can do another tutorial.

46 comments:

Shayla said...

Thanks for the tutorial! I've always wondered how you did that!

Brittany said...

Great tutorial! Thank you for sharing.

I would love to learn how to make frames and borders (if you do another tutorial).

I love your designs! :)

Anonymous said...

Loved the tutorial! Thanks so much! I would also like to know how you put your finishing touches to your photos, ie:the dark edges, frames & textures etc.

Thanks again Summer!

Allison said...

Great tutorial :) I just learned how to do this yesterday...except I never thought about getting a photo from stock exchange...I was walking all over my house taking pictures of fabric, curtains, the wall, etc...trying to get that perfect "texture" :)

Krystyn said...

That is awesome! Thanks!

The Usletons said...

Love your stuff. Thanks so much for sharing. I would like to know how you make pattern paper and embellishments. Thanks!

Ferguson Family said...

Thanks so much for this! I'm trying to learn so much about photoshop! Do you know any good sites that have tutorials like yours?

Cristi said...

This tutorial is SO helpful! I always thought the quickest way to do the "grunge" look was with brushes. That is so helpful! Thanks for taking the time to show us all this!

Jilly said...

Great thank you I have never really used my photoshop before always used psp but this was so easy to do. Any other tutorials would be great as I didn't realise how easy it could be to do

Canadianmommy said...

awesome, thank you so much!!

Becky Young said...

Thank you for taking the time to share with us. I would also like to know how to make striped and polka dot papers.

The Johnson's said...

SO EASY! I've always wondered how to do that, too!! THANKS for sharing!!!

The Johnson's said...

I forgot to put what I'd love to learn! I really want to learn how you make your ribbons! Thanks for being so generous with your talent!!

Kim said...

Thanks for the tutorial. I have been wondering how everyone does that. I am definitely going to do some more. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much, love it! How do you get the edges to look worn or torn?

Melissa said...

I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you! Thank you! THank you! You are so great. A few posts back you wrote about using brushes and that was great. I've been afraid of brushes and until your post I NEVER used them. i've been experimenting and LOVE them. I want you to come to Utah and teach classes...it's nice and cold here, you could get a break from the nice warm weather:-)

PJ Ross said...

Fantastic tutorial! Thanks so much for sharing. One question I have is why you create in the 8X8 size at 300 dpi. If you create in that size, won't the pixels per inch decrease if the paper is resized to 12X12? Just wondering?
If you ever feel like doing another tutorial, I've been wondering how page templates are made?
Again Summer, thanks so much.

Pamela

Lorena Digital Designs said...

I absolutely cannot thank you enough for this tutorial. I have been having a blast with it all night!

Janice Ingram said...

Thank you for this great tutorial. I'm off to make some paper.

Suttonfamily said...

Thanks for explaining this in easy to understand steps! The tip for the photo website is HUGE! Thank you! Do you take the photo of the texture to grayscale (if it has color in the photo, i.e. fabrics)before making it an overlay?
Oh, if you have time to do a tutorial on how to create floral, seamless patterned papers....that would be Wonderful! Again, thank you for all your generous tips and time devoted to this site! You are amazing! :-)

Kindra said...

You are simply amazing! My question to is, how did you get the pictures of your little girl to look so rustic?

Tabitha said...

Hi! Just letting you know that I have an award for you. Pop on over to my blog to snag it! http://tabbyscrapdesigns.blogspot.com/
~Tabby~

Kamee said...

Pure Genius again. Thanks for the great tutorial. I won't usually try something new unless it's explained the way you did here. You made it so simple to understand.

Lisa said...

Thank you SOOOOOO much. I am so new at Photoshop and love that you shared one of your secrets. I have PSE 6 and your step by step instructions worked just fine.

Thanks Again!!! Lisa

Cheri said...

Thanks for the tutorial, fun and EASY!:)

.:Bree:. said...

WOW! So easy! I even understand this and I use Paint Shop Pro and currently venturing into PSE7! Thanks so much! :) Easy peasy pumpkin cheesy!

Hugs, Bree

Marcene said...

Wow! I am sooo excited to have this info and that site you gave us is a great resource. Fun fun fun!!!!

Elizabeth said...

Thank you! This is so fun! I'd love to learn more about doing papers and ribbons. Thank you for being so generous and sharing this with us!

Jamie said...

I have been trying to figure that out for weeks!
Thanks for the tutorial, it is so easy!

Bry & Rach said...

thanks. That is easier than the way I have been doing it :)

Bessie said...

Thanks Summer for taking the time to do this tutorial. Hugs!

Jamie said...

I came right home tonight and tried it...it worked!!!!
Thanks so much for the simple instructions!
I hope you will keep doing an occasional tutorial, you give great simple instructions!

raising4boys said...

You are totally awesome. Making scrapbook paper has always been a secret to me. Thanks for teaching me something new.

Christina said...

I also thought I needed to use the brushes. That's easy peasy! THanks.

Melissa said...

Fabulous tutorial!! Thank you so much. That is much easier than I thought it would be. If you ever get the chance, I would love to learn how to do the frames and borders around pictures also! I think it makes pictures look so cool. You are a great teacher and so talented with scrapbooking. Thanks for sharing!

byLGD said...

ohhh i loved the tutorial! :) thank you for taking the time to do that. :) i love your stuff. :)

Brian and Staci Staples said...

Wonderful Tutorial! Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us. I have had Photoshop Elements 5.0 for over a year and have never taken the time to learn everything you can do with it. With simple steps like this how could I go wrong...Thank you again.

Juli and Brett said...

I will add my thanks to all those before...Thank you so much!! This was great! I really appreciate it. If you want ideas for more tutorials, I want to know how to make edges look torn or curled. Thanks again!

Carolyn said...

Thanks for the lesson, i loved it. I have just started to play around with our photoshop and this was very helpful!

lorelailette♚ said...

✿Thank you for the tutorial! I'll be sure to try it out!!

chloereeseblog said...

I tried it and it worked! Yeah. Thanks so much for sharing. I've always wanted to know how to do that.

Valeri said...

Wow, that is awesome! Thanks so so much for taking the time to share your knowledge with the rest of us! I am slowly getting into photography (just bought my first Nikon dSLR) and learning the ins and outs of photoshop. This was very helpful. Love your headers too. I will definitely be checking this blog frequently now that my friend shared it with me. Thanks again!

Ashley Welling said...

I use Paint.Net, but your instructions were so easy to follow!! How do you create papers for your kits? I have always wanted to know how you do that.

MaggieM said...

I apologize for not saying thank you everytime I download from your site, but I do very much appreciate the time and talents that go into your kits. I believe I have downloaded everyone. When I use them, you will be given credits. Thank you so very much.

Brenda said...

Thanks for the tutorial. I have just found your blog. It's great! You do fabulous work!

pearita said...

Thank you very much! This very useful! I enjoy it!