In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to create a custom brush in Photoshop Elements, save it to the Brushes palette, and then use that brush to create a frame. In this tutorial, we’ll use one of the custom shapes in Photoshop Elements and convert it to a brush, but the steps are the same for anything you want to convert to a brush. You can use images, dingbat fonts, textures—anything you can choose from—to create your own custom brush.
To get started, open Photoshop Elements and set up a new 400x400px blank file with a white background.
This tutorial requires Photoshop Elements version 3 or later.
- Draw a shape and convert to pixels
- brush definition
- Save brush to set
- Save brush variations
- Save brush variations
- Using a brush to create a border
- An example of a custom snowflake brush
- More Custom Brush Samples
Draw a shape and convert to pixels
Select a custom shape tool. Install for him custom form and then find the paw print shape in the default shape set. Set the color to black and the style to none. Then click and drag the document to create the shape. Since we can’t create a brush from a shape layer, we need to simplify this layer. Go to Layer > Simplify Layer to convert the shape to pixels.
When you define a brush, it’s determined based on what’s selected in your document. In this case, we select the entire document to define it as a brush. To do Select > All † Ctrl-A † Then do Edit > Define Brush from the selected clip. You’ll see the dialog box shown here asking you to name your brush. Let’s give it a more descriptive name than the suggested one. Type “Paw Brush” for the title.
Note the number below the brush thumbnail in this dialog box (your number may be different from ours). This will show you the size of your brush in pixels. Later, when you start painting with the brush, you can resize it, but it’s better to create large brush sizes because the brush loses definition as it scales up from the small original brush size.
Now select the brush and scroll to the bottom of the brush palette. You will notice that your new brush has been added to the end of the list for the currently active brush set. Our brush palette is set to display large thumbnails so you can look a little different. You can change the view to larger thumbnails by clicking the small arrow to the right of the brush palette.
Click Okay after entering a name for the new brush.
Save brush to set
By default, Photoshop Elements adds your brush to any active brush set when you define a brush. However, if you ever need to reinstall the software, these custom brushes will not be saved. To fix this we need to create a new brush set for our custom brushes. We do this using the preset manager. If it’s a brush that you only want to use once and you’re not worried about losing it, you can skip this step.
Go to Edit > Preset Manager (or you can open the Preset Manager from the brush palette menu by clicking the little arrow in the top right corner). Scroll to the bottom of the active brush set and click the new custom brush to select it. Click Save set †
Remark : Only the selected brushes are saved in your new set. If you want to include more brushes in this set, press Ctrl on it to select them and then click Save set †
Name your new brush set such as My Custom Brushes.abr. Photoshop Elements should save it to the correct PresetsBrushes folder by default.
Now if you want to add more brushes to this custom brush set, load the custom brush set before defining your new brushes, and don’t forget to save the brush set again after adding it.
Now when you go to the brush palette menu and choose to download brushes, you can download your own brushes at any time.
Save brush variations
Now let’s set up the brush and save the different variations. Select the brush and load the paw brush. Set the size to something smaller, such as 30px. On the right side of the options palette, click Extra options. † Here you can adjust the intervals, decay, tint jitter, scatter angle, etc. Hovering over these options reveals tooltips that tell you what they are. As you change the settings, the stroke preview in the options bar shows you what it will look like when drawn with those settings.
Set the following settings:
Jitter tone: 80%
Then go to the brush palette menu and select save brush … Name this brush “30px paw brush goes well”
Save brush variations
To see the brush options in the brush palette, change the view to stroke sketch in the palette menu. We are going to make three more variants:
Change the angle to 180° and save the brush as “Paw brush 30px down down”
Change the angle to 90° and save the brush as “Paw Brush 30px left left”
Change the angle to 0° and save the brush as “Paw brush 30px Zooming”
After adding all the options to the Brush Palette, go to the Brush Palette menu and select save brushes … You can use the same name as in step 5 and overwrite the file. This new brush set includes all the options shown in the brush palette.
You can rename and delete brushes by right-clicking the thumbnail in the brushes palette.
Using a brush to create a border
Finally, let’s use our brush to create the border. Open a new empty file. You can use the same settings we used before. Before painting, set your foreground and background colors to light brown and dark brown. Select the brush named “Paw brush 30px right right” and quickly draw a line across the top of the document.
If you’re having trouble clicking and dragging to draw, remember the undo command. We needed a few reps to get good results.
Change the brushes to your other options and draw additional lines to create each edge of your document.
An example of a custom snowflake brush
Advice. Another thing you can do is click multiple times to create a line instead of dragging it. If you take this approach, you’ll want to set the spread to zero so that your clicks always go where you want them.
More Custom Brush Samples
See what other cool things you can do with your own custom brushes.