Please do not use any of the licensed supplies without purchasing them first.
First off, unzip all supplies.
Open a new canvas. I always use 800×800 pixels. Be sure your resolution is 72 Pixels/Inch. This keeps your tag at web viewing standards. You can always resize your tag later.
I usually add a color fill layer to the tag so it is easily changed should I use it on a different color website.
Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color…
White usually works with most websites.
You can drag and drop items straight from your file browser into the canvas. This makes it faster to place items.
Browse to the mask that you just saved in your computer’s file browser. Drag it onto your tag. Don’t forget to set the Transformation by double clicking the layer on the canvas, or clicking the checkbox at the top of the window. Or you can just hit enter.
Next, choose the paper you would like to use on your mask. Drag the paper onto the canvas above the mask, just like before.
Now you have two layers in your layers panel. (because I totally needed to tell you that)
In your layers panel, right click on the paper layer and choose Create Clipping Mask.
That’s it! How easy is that?
Now, time for the elements! This is where the real magic begins.
Instead of telling you exactly where to put what and what size to use, I am just going to show you a animated image of what I did. This way, you can create your own version of the tag without doing exactly what I have done.
When placing your elements, you can transform them again by going to Edit > Free Transform. Just be sure you hold the shift key to constrain the proportions.
As you can see, it is pretty random. I just place the items where I think they might work.
Now, back to the frame element layer. You have a frame, right? If not, you can skip this part. We need to add a fill layer to the picture frame.
Highlight the layer UNDER the frame in your layers panel. Now drop the paper you would like to use onto the canvas.
Grab your selection wand from the tools panel. If you can’t find it, check out the basics page for a better understanding of the tools layout.
The Selection Wand options should look like this at the top of your window:
Click on the center portion of the frame.
In the upper menu of Photoshop, click on Selection > Modify > Expand…
Expand your selection by 2px.
Now highlight your paper layer.
Go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection.
Now you have a fill to your frame. Easy Peasy!
We definitely want to add some shadows to our elements. Without shadowing, the tag will just look flat. The secret to a good tag, is a good shadow effect.
Right click (or ctrl+click) a layer and choose “Blending Options.”
I add a drop shadow and an outer glow. The glow enhances the effect a bit.
Now after you have hit OK, right click the layer again and choose “Copy Layer Style.”
Highlight all of your element layers (click the top one, then shift + click the bottom one) and right click again. This time, choose “Paste Layer Style.”
It makes a HUGE difference to add shadows:
Place your tube on your tag wherever you like. Add the same shadows as your elements. If you want to remove or “mist” part of the tube, you can add a layer mask and erase part of it.
Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All
Then take your eraser tool with a big fluffy eraser and carefully take out the parts you want. This way, the tube is not altered and you can go back in and “paint” back parts of the tube with the paintbrush set to white.
DO NOT ADD COPYRIGHTS YET IF YOU PLAN ON RESIZING!
Let’s get rid of those pesky leftover shadows.
Select all of your element layers, including the paper layer behind the frame and the tube. Don’t include the background, mask layer or its clipped paper.
Layer > Group Layers
You can name it “Elements” if you like.
This adds a group to your layers panel. However, you will need to expand it by clicking on the little arrow beside the group icon.
Now that the group is expanded, let’s continue. Right click the thumbnail of your mask layer and choose “Select Pixels.”
As you can see, the marching ants are all around your layer!
You can also use a keyboard shortcut.
Hold Shift and CTRL (cmd on mac) on your keyboard and simply click on the thumbnail of the next element layer. Repeat this for all element layers. DO NOT include the paper layer! This will select the entire canvas. We don’t want that.
After you have included all of your element layers in the selection, go back to the paper layer. Hold Shift and CTRL (cmd for mac) and click on the black and white mask thumbnail of your frame.
This will include the inner portion of the frame in your selection.
This is what you should have now:
Highlight the group in your layers panel that has your elements in it.
Go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection.
This will chop off all of the unnecessary shadows and leave your tag clean in the background.
It looks a little TOO clean, though, right? Well, let’s fix that, too!
Right click the group and select Blending Options.
Add a shadow that isn’t so prominent. Here is mine:
Now that we have all of that done, time to add the next detail: Text. Fun!
Create a new blank layer and move it up and outside outside of the group.
Layer > Arrange > Move to Front (twice)
Grab the pen tool from your tools panel. You may need to right click a few to find it, since it is possible to be hidden somewhere.
Lets make sure the settings are correct at the top of the screen.
This is a little complicated since it works by a drag and drop method. So I am going to show you by gif.
Each anchor point must be dragged out into a curve. You get the hang of it after a while.
You can make your path any way you want, but be sure you give it room for the text to fit.
That’s all you need for the path. Now let’s add some text.
Grab your text tool.
Make sure you have the right color and it set to a centered justification. At the top of the screen, your should have settings similar to this.
If you hover, you will see the text tool change shape.
Click in the middle of your path when the cursor looks like above.
Type out your text. If it is too bit, you can delete what you have and adjust the font size, then type it out again.
Now hit the check mark at the top of the screen to set the transformation.
Now you can do all kinds of adjustments to the text to make it just right.
This takes a LOT of practice, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t get it the first time.
Grab your Direct Selection Tool. You may need to right click some tools to find it.
Now, if you hover your text, you can see the cursor change. You can now drag from one side to the other to force your text to go up the other side.
I know my text is a little dark, but I hope you can see how this is working. If you have any questions about that, you can always contact me via the many outlets I am part of, or even just comment below. I will do my best to explain better.
Now that you have your text placed just where you want, let’s add some layer styles. Right click the layer and choose “Blending Options,” and enter these settings to replicate my styles.
Using the same font, type out a name for the tag (or greeting). Use the same styles as above to make everything match.
Now is the time to resize! Go to Image > Image Size and put in the dimensions you want. Don’t forget to constrain the proportions! Your size should be equal on width and height. This is an example from another tutorial.
Don’t forget your copyright text!
That leave us with the non-animated version of the tag! If you wold like to keep the JPG version, you can save here. Simply File > Save As… and choose the jpg option from the drop down box at the bottom of the dialog.
Here’s where it starts getting less complicated. We want to add animation!
Make sure your Animation Panel is open. Window > Timeline (or Animation, if you are on earlier versios)
You will need to click the “Create Frame Animation” button. If you do not see this button, please refer to THIS page for more information about the timeline.
You will see that your first frame is already there.
Open a new image. File > New…
500 x 500 pixels should be alright.
Set your colors to black and white. There should be a little button right above your colors that does that in a jiffy.
Go to Filter > Render > Clouds
This will put the clouds on your canvas. However, we want to make them seamless…
Filter > Other > Offset…
This will leave lines in your canvas… but that is quickly fixed.
Use your rectangular selection tool to select the areas that contain the lines. Hold the shift key to add to your selections.
Edit > Content Aware Fill…
The default settings should be sufficient for this particular image.
Click the Apply button at the bottom right, and then the OK button.
Merge the layer, since this adds a new layer above the original.
Edit > Offset… This time use 100 and 100 in the boxes.
You will see a couple of spots that were missed in the fill process. Grab your Spot Healing brush tool to remove them.
This is my absolute favorite tool of all Photoshop! I can’t even tell you how many times I have used it. I can’t even tell ME how many times I’ve used it
Ok, we have our pattern all fixed up!
Go to Edit > Define Pattern.
You can name it whatever you like, as long as you can find it again.
You can now close the image without saving.
Back to the tag! Highlight the frame layer. Right click and choose Blending Options.
Go to the Pattern Overlay. If you don’t see it, you can reset your style box by doing this:
Now that you have your pattern overlay visible, set it like this:
Don’t change any of the other settings.
Now, down to the animation panel. You do still have that open, right? Good!
Duplicate the frame by clicking the little plus sign at the bottom of the panel. (double paper for older versions)
Go back to your frame layer in the layers panel and open the blending options again.
If you hover over your tag with the popup open, you will see that your cursor turns to the Move tool. You can move the pattern around the canvas. Give it 2 or 3 good swipes. (I did 5 swipes, just to be sure.)
You can click ok to close the box.
Highlight your first frame in the animation panel again.
In the animation panel, you will see 4 horizontal lines at the top right. Click those and choose “Tween…”
This should give you 5 frames in the animation panel. You don’t really need more than that, but you can add as many as you like. But 5 should be enough.
You can now click play at the bottom of the animation panel to check out your creation!
Oh, right! Don’t forget to set your frame delay.
Highlight all of your frames in the animation panel. Highlight the first frame and then hold shift. Click on the last frame. Now all frames are highlighted.
Click on the little arrow beside the time of the last frame. This will bring up a popup for more “delay” options.
Now you will need to save your animation as a gif file.
In your animation dialog, use these settings:
I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial! If you would like to have another tutorial with something specific, them please let me know by using the contact form of this site. I am always open to “guest” CT work, as well.
My Forever List can find their tags in their Fotki albums!