Wednesday, July 18, 2012

TUTORIAL: Make Your Own Invites with Photoshop Elements

 By popular request, this is a tutorial on how to make your own flat invitations using Photoshop Elements (but it's also pretty much the same in regular Photoshop as well). 

Photoshop Elements Giveaway: One person who leaves a comment on this post, will win their own copy of Photoshop Elements 9 for MAC or PC!  Elements is a great program for anyone who wants to edit photos or do simple graphic design without getting overwhelmed by the feature overload of regular Photoshop. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for contest details.

You can download a free 30 day trial of Photoshop or Photoshop Elements on the Adobe website here.

As a demo, we're going to create the invitation shown above and you'll need to download a few free graphics and fonts before we begin. Don't worry, they are all free, from sites that I use on a regular basis and can be used for personal or commercial use. Make sure to DOWNLOAD & INSTALL the fonts before moving on to the next step.


(click on screenshot to enlarge)

Open Photoshop Elements Editor and in the top menu, go to FILE -> NEW -> BLANK FILE, then name your document and set the Width to 5 inches, the Height to 7 inches, and the resolution to 300 pixels/inch. You will also want to go to FILE -> SAVE and save your card now and a few times during the design process (I use the MAC keyboard shortcut: Command + S, or PC shortcut: Control + S to save my files quickly while working).


 (click on screenshot to enlarge)

Now we're going to add the background pattern. In the top menu, go to FILE -> OPEN and go to the location of the Simple Blue Raindrop Pattern.

(click on screenshot to enlarge) 

You can see that it opens in a different window, but we need to get it on our card. In the top menu, go to SELECT -> ALL. If you want to be faster, you can also use the keyboard shortcut: command +A (on PC) or control + A (on PC). 

Now go to EDIT -> Copy (Or use the snazzy keyboard shortcut: command + C (on MAC) or control + C (on PC)

Go back to your card file and "paste" the pattern, either by going to EDIT -> PASTE in the top menu, or using keyboard shortcut: command + V (on MAC) or control + V (on PC).

Now we want the pattern to fill the entire background which can be done 2 ways: Either continue to PASTE the pattern 5 more times and manually move them together, OR use the duplicate keyboard shortcut (MAC: hold down OPTION & Mouse Click, then hold SHIFT and drag the pattern to the right, PC: ALT + Mouse Click, then hold SHIFT and drag the pattern to the right). When you hold down the shift key and move an object, your object will only move in a straight line (very helpful!)

You want your pattern to be nice and even with no seams - zoom in to make sure 

OPTIONAL: To keep things tidy, I also like to flatten all the pattern layers together by using the keyboard shortcut MAC: COMMAND + SHIFT + E  or PC: ALT + SHIFT + E

Now we are going to add a white box for the text. Go to the left side menu and choose a color (circled), make sure you've selected white.

Now click on the CUSTOM SHAPE TOOL (circled) and choose a rectangle

Click and drag on top of your raindrop pattern to make your box. You can adjust the size by using the scaling boxes on all four corners and move your box to center it. 

OPTIONAL: I faded the white box a little bit so you can see a light pattern showing through. If you like this effect, go over to the layer palette on the bottom right hand side, make sure you're on the shape1 layer and change the opacity (circled) to 75%.

I want to add the cupcake illustration now, so in the top menu, go FILE -> OPEN and locate the cupcake you downloaded. 

It's going to open up in another window again, so you'll have to repeat the sample steps you did with the raindrop pattern to paste it on your card file (In the top menu, go to SELECT -> ALL;  EDIT -> COPY; then click back over to your card file and go to EDIT -> PASTE).

 It's pasted but we need to scale it down to fit in the right corner. 

You'll see the transform tool right below the top menu. Make sure the "Constrain Proportions" box (circled) is checked then scale the cupcakes using the scale boxes in the any of the four corner of the bounding box.

Move the cupcakes to the bottom right.



On the left hand menu, click on the Type Tool

Just below the top menu, you'll see the type options box appear. Choose "Jenna Sue" as your font (circled) and fuchsia as your color (circled)

Click where you want to start typing.  If your type is faded or invisible, then it's under other layers. Make sure the type layer is on top in the layers palette (circled). Drag it to the top of the layers palette if necessary.

Fill in the rest of the type, using the font Maiden Orange and changing the colors as needed. I made each line of type in it's own text box, so I can control the line spacing, rather than having it as one single paragraph. There's much better type spacing tools in Photoshop, so you wouldn't need to have each line of type in it's own box. 

Make sure you save your file. The default file is a .psd, which will open in either Photoshop or Photoshop Elements for editing. You may also want to save a high quality JPEG version (this is printable on any one's computer, whether or not they have Photoshop) and a Web version (for emailing and other online use) Both these options are found in the top menu, under FILE


Photoshop Elements Giveaway: Just leave a comment on this post letting me know what you would use Photoshop Elements for. The giveaway ends on Friday July 27, at 11:59 EST, and I will pick a winner using the number generator at Please make sure your comment includes an email address or some way to contact you! GOOD LUCK!

UPDATE: The winner of Photoshop Elements is comment #4, mamaco! Can you please email me at laurendraws(at)gmail(dot)(com), and let me know where you want me to send your prize?

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