November 29, 2011

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How to make a trendy Christmas Wallpaper in Photoshop

The festive season is fast approaching us all, with Christmas decorations quickly popping up over night it seems Christmas comes earlier each year! To get you in the festive spirit I’ve made a short Photoshop tutorial on how to create your own trendy Christmas design, perfect for your desktop wallpaper, cards and letters.

Trendy Christmas Wallpaper

Trendy Christmas Wallpaper

1. New Document

  • Open Photoshop and make a new document, File –> New…
  • Settings as shown, or use your own desktop resolution:
  • Mine: 1440 x 900, 300 ppi:
Create a New Document

Create a New Document

2. Background

  • Firstly, fill your background ‘Grey’ using the Paint Bucket Tool (G): Grey (999999)
  • Create a New Layer ‘Vertical’, and fill: White (ffffff)
  • Now, go Filter –> Noise –> Add Noise: 400%, Monochromatic
Add Noise
  • Then, go Filter –> Blur –> Motion Blur: 998 pixels, 90 degrees
  • Set to Overlay and Opacity: 75%
Motion Blur

Motion Blur

  • Create a New Layer ‘Vignetting’ and grab the Gradient Tool (G): FG: White BG: Black, Radial (Opacity: 75%), Reverse (unchecked)
  • Simply make a stroke beginning in the centre and extended beyond the frame.
  • Set to Overlay and Opacity: 75%
  • Duplicate layer (Ctrl/Cmd + J):
Vignetting

Vignetting

  • Create a New Layer ‘Dotted’: Fill with White (ffffff) or something darker: Grey (808080)
  • Use this Pattern: Dotted 10px by 10px
  • To add this Pattern, go Edit –> Presets Manager, then select Patterns (Ctrl/Cmd 5), and Load:
  • Now, go Edit –> Fill: Select the Pattern
  • Set to Screen and Opacity: ~75%
  • Move layer to just above ‘Grey’
Dot Pattern

Dot Pattern

3. Tree

  • (TIP: May like to use Groups at this stage…lots of layers!)
  • Grab your Polygon Tool (U): Sides: 3, FG: White (ffffff)
  • Draw a Triangular Christmas Tree (this is the guide for your tree!)
  • TIP: Use the Grid (View –> Show –> Grid (Ctrl/Cmd + ‘)) for a reference. Configure settings Preferences –> Girds, Guides & Slices… Mine: Gridline every 720 pixels Subdivision: 25
  • Note: If you prefer a steeper gradient for the sides of your tree, create a New Layer, then use the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) to draw your triangle outline, and fill using the Paint Bucket Tool (G) with White.
Tree Outline

Tree Outline

  • Create a New Layer ‘Stump’
  • Using the Polygonal Tool: Draw a squarish base to your tree.
  • Fill using the Paint Bucket Tool: Black (000000)
Drawing the Stump

Drawing the Stump

  • Create a New Layer ‘Snow’
  • Hold Ctrl/Cmd key and *Click* your ‘Tree’ layer – to get a selection
  • Using the Polygonal Tool: Set to Subtract from Selection
  • Draw a jagged edged snow cap outline at the top of your tree.
Drawing the Snow Cap

Drawing the Snow Cap

  • Fill using the Paint Bucket Tool: Black (000000)
Fill Black

Fill Black

  • Now, for the long laborious task: Find a list of Christmasy words and lay them out over the shape of your ‘Tree’ layer. Use your Type Tool (T)
  • Here is my list: snow, family, tree, myrrh, candle, jolly, Ho Ho Ho, gingerbread, gold, pudding, mistletoe, Merry Christmas, advent, Noel, Giving, frankincense, turkey, shepherd, angel, Xmas, Santa Claus, tinsel, holly, sleigh, reindeer, celebrate, carols, Seasons Greetings, candy
  • Merry Christmas Style: Jellyka Saint-Andrew’s Queen
  • Layer –> Layer Style –> Blending Options… ,or *Right* on layer > Blending Options…
  • You can delete or hide the triangle shape layer.
Merry Christmas Text Style

Merry Christmas Text Style (Click to view larger)

4. Star (of course…the star must go on last!)

  • Grab your Custom Shape Tool (U): Using the shapes Registration Target 2, FG: Grey (999999)
  • From the point of your tree spread the shape/symbol out, hold Shift + Alt/Option to expand from the centre.
  • Note: If you cannot see Registration Target 2 go to the Shape drop-out and on the side there is an arrow *Click* and select Symbols!
Star Rays

Star Rays

  • Now, *Right Click* on your layer > Rasterize Layer
  • Then, go Layer –> Layer Mask –> Reveal All
  • Using your Gradient Tool: FG: White BG: Black, Reverse (unchecked)
  • Fade the edge of the symbol:
Gradient Layer Mask

Gradient Layer Mask

That’s it!

To download the wallpaper already corrected to the right dimensions for most screens check out this!

Free stylish Christmas Wallpaper

Free stylish Christmas Wallpaper

It is a very long method, so please comment if you get stuck and I’ll respond ASAP!

All images here are copyrighted© – All Rights Reserved.

Written by Mike

Michael Scott is the publisher and photographer behind Scott Photographics! He is very passionate about his photography and enjoys sharing the best of his experiences for others to enjoy too! Contact Mike via email!
Read more from Featured, Photoshop, Tutorials
4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Aug 21 2012

    Fantastic! However, I can’t follow everything yet. I get lost somewhere :)

  2. Nov 29 2011

    Thanks Lazarus:)

  3. Lazarus
    Nov 29 2011

    Neat!

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