Indelible Elevations LTD – Turning photos into greeting cards using Photoshop: For Beginners

Indelible Elevations LTD - Personalised Greeting Card
Indelible Elevations LTD – Personalised Greeting Card

 

With Christmas season fast approaching, now is round about the time where most of us are making our preparations. I mean people be going crazy out here. I went to the store the other day and one lady had her entire christmas shopping in about 3 trollies, no word of lie people, them items couldn’t be no less than £2000. And she was Happppppy. I can’t tell you exactly what she had but I can say I saw some heavy duty items in those trollie’s. She’s definitely gonna’ be making some people very happy this christmas. And it didn’t stop at gifts y’all……from what I could see, any type of food with an expiration date beyond the 25th December certainly made the list. But, as nice as those items are sometimes a personal touch can be the sentimental finisher to that perfect gifts.

 

Have you always wanted to create your very own greeting card with personalised photos but are not 100% satisfied with the appearance or styles of the options offered on the market.

 

Why not try creating your own greeting card. Imagine. You’ve created one greeting card (let’s call this a Template). From that one Template you have many options on how to distribute. You can change the colours, images, illustrations, typography and much more. And the beauty of creating your own greetings cards is not only the sentimental personalisation of it, but its a lighter option on your pockets too. Not only will anyone from your close friend and family impressed by your new founded talent but you too will be skipping happily using your extra pennies for extra pleasures.

What you will need………….

To do this tutorial you will need to have:

 

  • A Photoshop account
  • Personal images
  • 30 minutes to complete

 

No Adobe Cloud Account?

If you have not yet created an account for Adobe Creative or you are not sure if it is the one for you, Adobe do offer a free 7-day trial for their apps. Follow the link, click on photoshop, pick the plan that best suits your needs, I went with Adobe Cloud because I need a few more apps than what the other two options offer. Remember to check out all the pricing options. See figure 2.

 

Fig 1 – Photoshop Free Trial (See all available plans)

Fig 1 - Photoshop Free Trial (See all available plans)
                                            Fig 1 – Photoshop Free Trial (See all available plans)

Photoshop Open, Ready to begin…..Let’s get Started

 

Once Photoshop is open follow the instructions below:

 

Step 1:

 

File > New…….. (Then put in the following preset details: (see fig 1.))

 

Personalised Photo greeting cards, Width 5” (inches), Height 7” (inches), Orientation Portrait, Resolution 300

 

Fig. 2 - Photoshop...Start a New Document
                                                 Fig. 2 – Photoshop…Start a New Document

Step Two:

 

View > New Guide Layout…….. (Then put in the following preset details: (see fig 4.))

 

Preset ‘Custom’, Columns ‘1’, Margin ‘0.1’  These Guides create a safe zone for printing purposes

Fig. 3 - Photoshop (View Tab)
                                                                   Fig. 3 – Photoshop (View Tab)

 

Fig. 4 - Photoshop New Guide Layout (0.1 edge guides)
          Fig. 4 – Photoshop New Guide Layout (0.1 edge guides)

 

Then do another guide layout putting in the following preset details

 

1.a) Preset ‘Custom’, Columns ‘2’; Gutter 0.067,  Rows ‘2’; Gutter 0.067, Margin ‘0.1’ These guidelines separate the front and back page.(see Fig. 5)

 

1.b) Preset ‘Custom’, Columns ‘2’; Gutter 0.067,  Rows ‘2’; Gutter 0.067, Margin ‘0.1’ These guidelines create center guides for each page.(see Fig. 6)

 

Fig. 5 - Photoshop New Guide Layout (Horizontal & Vertical page separator guidelines)
Fig. 5 – Photoshop New Guide Layout (Horizontal &                 Vertical page separator guidelines)

 

Fig. 6 - Photoshop New Guide Layout (Horizontal & Vertical front and back page guidelines)
Fig. 6 – Photoshop New Guide Layout (Horizontal & Vertical front and back page guidelines)

 

Now we have set-up the guidelines the next best thing to do would be to create our groups to separate the front page from the back page.

Step Three:

 

In the Layers tab on the right side of the workboard (Press F7 if Layers tab is not showing or Window > Layers (Fig. 7))

Fig. 7 - Photoshop Workboard highlighting Windows Tab and Layers Tab
                  Fig. 7 – Photoshop Workboard highlighting Windows Tab and Layers Tab

Creating Groups

Create two groups and title 1. Front and 2. Back (See Fig. 8 and Fig. 9)

 

 Fig. 8 - Photoshop Group Tab   
Fig. 8 – Photoshop Group Tab

      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s it guys! All the boring stuff out the way. In this tutorial you will learn how to create a Christmas Greeting Card Template which has a frame for almost any image. In future tutorials I will be introducing how to use photoshop tools a bit further, but to familiarise ourselves with photoshop a general template deemed most appropriate. If you are feeling adventurous, hit me up in my inbox with any questions, I will be glad to assist.  

 

Step Four a): Creating the front page

Input Text

 

Using the Type tool let’s create our typography. Make the font size of the type tool 29 pt

and the colour black for now  Type ‘Merry Christmas’, Left-Click and hold the typography layer and drag it down to the new layer tab (to duplicate).

Now replace the duplicate layer with the words ‘and Happy New Year’.  Position the ‘and Happy New Year’. Using the move tool  hold Ctrl + T, move the ‘and Happy New Year’ slightly under the ‘Merry Christmas’ making the font size 15 pt. It should look something like Fig. 10

The font used for this display is Lucida Handwriting available from Fonts.com. Please check licencing for all fonts before using them.

 

Fig. 10 - Photoshop image displaying outcome of type tool used for christmas card
             Fig. 10 – Photoshop image displaying outcome of type tool used for christmas card

 

Back to the Type tool, make sure the font size of the type tool is 15 pt and the colour is black, and type your message. I have chose to say ‘Love – Twarnie, Hadie, Malik and Malia’. Move these words to the bottom of the page.

 

Before moving on to step b), ensure your workstation is kept tidy. Label all layers just of Fig. 11.

 

Fig. 11 - Photoshop Image of Labelled Layers. (Tip: To put layers in a group Left-Click and hold whilst dragging directly onto group layer, groups can be in grouped layer just like the ‘Text’ group layer shown above)
Fig. 11 – Photoshop Image of Labelled Layers. (Tip: To put layers in a group Left-Click and hold whilst dragging directly onto group layer, groups can be in grouped layer just like the ‘Text’ group layer shown above)

Step Four b):

Setting the background

Here we are going to design the background.

Using the rectangular marquee tool and the fill option (Shift+F5 or Edit > fill) , let’s create a brown background on the front page.

 

Within the ‘Front group’ create a new layer, label it Wood, vertically select front page from half-way using the rectangular marquee tool.  Now change the foreground and background colors to light(#dfc486) and dark(#663300) wood tones as shown here:       .

 

Choose Filter > Render > Fibers, set your Vibrance to 15 and your Strength 3(See Fig. 14).

Fig. 12 - Photoshop Fibers example (Vibrance 15 & Strength 3)
Fig. 12 – Photoshop Fibers example (Vibrance 15 & Strength 3)

 

Adding Realistic Features

We now have the texture we want but we need to change it to be horizontal, choose Edit > Transform >  90 Clockwise. Choose Move Tool > Ctrl +T and resize the wood to fit the front page one again. Looks pretty real doesn’t it, not quite, now to add that special touch or realism, let’s add some knots.

 

Choose the elliptical marquee tool and make 7 oval shaped selections. Tip: Hold down the shift key to add multiple selections.

 

Choose Select > Modify Selection > Feather and choose 30 pixels, then Choose Filter > Distort > Twirl and set angle to 436 to create the effect (See Fig. 13). (Feel free to play about a bit your preferred realism.

 

Fig. 13 - Photoshop Twirls example (angle 436)
Fig. 13 – Photoshop Twirls example (angle 436)

 

For the final polisher let’s sharpen up our wood effect.

 

Choose Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask to define the wood a little bit more and set Amount to 151, Radius to 35.2 and Threshold to 57( See Fig. 14). Tip: Ctrl + D to deselect your knotts

 

Fig. 14 - Unsharp Mask Example on wood texture effect (Amount: 151,  Radius: 35.2, Threshold: 57)
Fig. 14 – Unsharp Mask Example on wood texture effect (Amount: 151,  Radius: 35.2, Threshold: 57)

 

And there we have it, our wood effect for our background.

Step Five:

Border Design

Next we are going to be create a border on the left of the card. This border will will comprise of a brown rectangle and a gold leaf rim.

 

Choose Rectangle Tool and create a rectangle from the top of the wood background going down horizontally to the bottom and input the following properties: Fill: #663300, Stroke: #663300  (See Fig. 15).

 

"Fig.

 

This bit may seem a bit daunting buts its simple once you get the hang of it. So, we need gold leaf rim either side of the rectangle so we will need to create this using extra guidelines for accuracy.

 

Choose View > New Guideline Layout and put in the following customisations Rows: 60, Gutter: 0 (See Fig. 16).

 

Fig. 16 - New Guide Layout Example
Fig. 16 – New Guide Layout Example

 

Choosing the Rectangle Tool create a rectangle with the following properties: W: 2.03 px, H: 1060 px, X: 43.22 px, Y: 1040 px, Fill and Stroke: Gold (See Fig. 16).

Fig. 17 - Photoshop properties Example for tiny rectangle positioned at bottom left of canvas
Fig. 17 – Photoshop properties Example for tiny rectangle positioned at bottom left of canvas

 

Choose Ellipse Tool , on the left side of the gold rectangle create a leaf shape like the one shown in Fig. 17. Duplicate the leaf shape then choose Edit > Transform > Flip Vertical and group the two leaf layers labeling it ‘Gold Leaf’. Now Duplicate the layer 32 times, group label Rim, select the the second golf leaf layer and place it above the first gold leaf layer, follow through the same method until you have something that looks like that of Fig. 18. Tip: To get a rim on the right duplicate the group layer titled rim and drag to right position.

 

To finish the left border lets place the ‘Merry Christmas’ wording in the banner we have created. Select the Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Layer, choose Move Tool > Ctrl + T and rotate the words into the banner. Style appropriately. E.g. Change the colour of the words to the same gold as the rim, apply a white stroke and gold drop shadow to brighten words (Select appropriate layer > right-click > blending options > stroke/drop shadow) See Fig. 19.

 

Fig. 18 - Small oval leaf shape made using Ellipse Tool (Tip: Zoom to 200%)Fig. 18 - Small oval leaf shape made using Ellipse Tool (Tip: Zoom to 200%)
Fig. 18 – Small oval leaf shape made using Ellipse Tool (Tip: Zoom to 200%)
Fig. 19 - Golden leaf rim example
Fig. 19 – Golden leaf rim example
Fig. 20 - Merry Christmas Border Design
Fig. 20 – Merry Christmas Border Design

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are now going to move onto the photo frame which simply involves choosing Rectangular Tool and creating a rectangle in the middle with the fill: white and stroke: brown, size: 34.70 px. Label the layer Photo frame, go down to the background grouped layer and duplicate the wood layer. Drag the duplicated layer above the the Photo frame layer and turn of the layers visibility.

 

Choose the Magic wand tool and select the stroke area of your rectangle. Turn back on your wood layer above the Photo frame layer, hold Ctrl + Shift + I (this inverts the inverted area). Select photo frame layer > right-click > blending options > stroke: colour ‘black’, size ‘7’, opacity ‘0’, position ‘inside’, blend mode ‘normal’ > inner shadow: colour ‘black’, blend mode ‘normal’, opacity ‘51’, distance ‘20’, angle ‘90’, spread ‘22’, size ‘103’ > drop shadow: colour ‘black’, blend mode ‘normal’, opacity ‘100’, distance ‘19’, angle ‘135’, spread ‘0’, size ‘51’ (See Fig. 20).

 

Fig. 21 - Wooden Photo frame designed using Rectangle tool
Fig. 21 – Wooden Photo frame designed using Rectangle tool

TIP: Rearrange your Love from text to fit under the frame

 

Frame done, now let’s add a bit more christmas spirit to the scene.

 

Copy image 1 and place it on the bottom line of your frame like in Fig. 22 and then copy image 2 and place it behind the frame you created like in Fig. 23

 

Image 1- Candle Christmas reef decoration
Image 1- Candle Christmas reef decoration

 

Image 2 - Christmas Background theme
Image 2 – Christmas Background theme

 

Fig. 22 - Christmas Art added to personalised Christmas card using Photoshop
Fig. 22 – Christmas Art added to personalised Christmas card using Photoshop

 

Fig. 23 - Christmas Art Background added to frame
Fig. 23 – Christmas Art Background added to frame

 

And there we have it. Your very own personalised Christmas Card. Now play around with your tools and see how you can create many different designs using your imagination and the template you have create. See below for ideas.

 

Don’t forget to add your image at the end.

 

Thank you for using Indelible Elevations Photoshop Tutorial. Check out my website for some great ideas, services and free links and resources: indelibleelevations.com

Indelible Elevations LTD - Personalised Greeting Card
Indelible Elevations LTD – Personalised Greeting Card

 

 

 

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