How to Create a Stamp Effect in Photoshop Elements 8

  1. Create a rubber stamp, grunge or distressed effect
  2. Open a new document
  3. Add text
  4. Add a border around text
  5. Subtract from the rectangle to create an outline
  6. Make a round rectangle
  7. Align text and shape
  8. Merge layers
  9. Add sample layer
  10. Add Posterized Adjustment Layer
  11. Make a choice and turn it around
  12. Rotate selection
  13. Delete selection
  14. Add Inner Glow Style
  15. Change color by adjusting hue/saturation
  16. Rotate Stamp Layer

Create a rubber stamp, grunge or distressed effect

Creating a stamp effect with Photoshop Elements 8 is not difficult, but it does take a few steps. This technique can also be used to create a grunge or distressed effect.

Photoshop and GIMP versions of this tutorial are also available.

Open a new document

Open a new blank file with a white background large enough for your stamp image.

Add text

Use the Text tool to add text to the image. This will be a graphic stamp. Choose a bold font (like Cooper Black uses here) and type your text in capital letters for best results. Make your text black for now; You can change this later with an adjustment layer. Switch to the Move tool, resize and move the text as needed.

Add a border around text

Select the Rounded Rectangle tool. Set the color to black and the radius to about 30.

Draw a rectangle slightly larger than the text so that it surrounds the text with some space on all sides. The radius determines the roundness of the corners of the rectangle; You can undo the radius up or down and adjust it as needed. You now have a solid rectangle covering the text.

Subtract from the rectangle to create an outline

In the options bar, click Subtract from Shape Area and adjust the radius a few pixels from what you used for the first rectangle. In other words, if your first rectangle used a radius of 30, change it to something like 24.

Draw your second rectangle a little smaller than the first and try to keep it aligned. You can hold down the space bar before releasing the mouse button to move the rectangle as you draw it.

Make a round rectangle

The second rectangle should make a hole in the first, creating an outline. If not, cancel. Then make sure you’ve selected the subtraction mode in the options bar and try again.

Align text and shape

Select both layers by clicking one and then holding down the Shift key while clicking the other in the layers palette. Activate the Move tool. From the options bar, choose Align > Vertical Centers, then Align > Horizontal Centers

Merge layers

Now check for typos as this next step will freeze the text so that it is no longer editable. Go to Layer > Merge Layers. In the Layers palette, click the black and white icon for the new fill or adjustment layer and choose Pattern.

Add sample layer

In the Fill Image dialog box, click a thumbnail to open a pop-up palette. Click the little arrow at the top and download the Artist Surfaces pattern pack. Select Washed Watercolor for the fill pattern and click OK in the Fill Pattern dialog box.

Add Posterized Adjustment Layer

Click the black and white icon in the layers palette again – but this time create a new Posterize adjustment layer. The settings panel opens; move the levels slider to 5. This reduces the number of unique colors in the image to 5, making the drawing look more grainy.

Make a choice and turn it around

Switch to the Magic Wand tool and click on the most predominant gray color in this layer. Then click “Select” > “Invert”.

Rotate selection

In the Layers palette, click the eye to hide the Pattern Fill and Posterize adjustment layers. Make your graphic stamp layer the active layer.

Go to Select > Transform Selection. In the options bar, set the rotation angle to about 6 degrees. This will make the grunge pattern a bit less regular, so you won’t see any repeating patterns on the stamp image. Click the green check mark to apply the rotation.

Delete selection

Press the Delete key and deselect (Ctrl-D). Now you can see the grunge effect on the stamp image.

Add Inner Glow Style

Go to the “Effects” palette, show the layer styles and limit the view to “Inner Glow”. Double click on the thumbnail for Simple Noisy.

Go back to the layers palette and double click the FX icon to edit the layer style. In the style settings, change the color of the inner glow to white. (Note: If you’re using this effect with a different background, set the color of the inner glow to the background.)

Adjust the size and opacity of the inner glow as desired to soften the edges of the stamp and make imperfections more defined. Try size 2 and opacity 80. Toggle Inner Glow on and off to see the difference with and without. Click OK if you are happy with the Inner Glow settings.

Change color by adjusting hue/saturation

To change the color of the stamp, add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer (that black and white icon again). Check the Colorize box and adjust the saturation and brightness to the desired red color. Try 90 saturation and +60 brightness. If you want the stamp to be a color other than red, adjust the Hue slider.

Rotate Stamp Layer

Finally, click back on the stamp shape layer, press Ctrl-T to freely transform the layer and rotate the layer a bit to mimic the slight displacement typical of rubber stamps.

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