Saturday, May 4, 2013


I wanted to do a video tutorial, unfortunately I don't have the slightest clue how to do it. (If you know how I can do a screen capture video and easily encode it for free, comment below!) In this tutorial, I will show you how to make one of those cute wavy ribbons you always see in the scrapbook kits, and we are going to make it look realistic! It's something I discovered on my own, and hopefully it will help others add that little bit of pizazz to their layouts.

  1. Open a new Image.
    I make mine almost as wide as the papers I use.
  2. Select the Shape tool and pick a background color for your base color to your ribbon.
    These settings are important!
    Use whatever color you want. I'm sure you can even use gradients.
  3. Hold down SHIFT while you make a circle. Holding down the SHIFT key will create a perfect circle for you. 
  4. CTRL+C to copy the shape
  5. Press CTRL+G to paste a vector selection next to the original circle. Do this several times across your image and don't worry about lining them up!
    If you don't have enough circles to get across, just paste some more to avoid spacing.
  6. Press CTRL+A in your layer palette to select all the layer objects. 
  7. Press CTRL+D to remove the selection mask in your working space. 
  8. Select your Pick tool.
  9. Now line up objects vertically and distribute them evenly horizontally. It doesn't matter which one you do first, as long as you do them both.
  10. Right click your Layer Palette and select MERGE VISABLE.
  11.  Using the Selection tool, grab the bottom half of all the circles and offset them to the left or right the distance equal to 1/2 of a single circle. You can overlap the top and bottom portions too for a tighter ribbon.
  12. CTRL+D (This is the same as select none)
  13. Trim up the edges as you see fit.
  14.  CTRL+A (Select All) and select image.(It will create a floating selection so that just the object you are working on is selected)
  15.  Contract your selection to however thick you want your ribbon to be.
  16.  CTRL+SHIFT+I (Invert Selection), then press Delete (not backspace)
  17.  CTRL+SHIFT+I to invert selection again.
  18.  Add noise to give the ribbon a base texture. Make sure you are using Monochrome to maintain the color scheme.I usually use anywhere from 10-16%, depending on the sized ribbon I am making.
  19.  Now to add a secondary texture to your ribbon, to give it a fiber-like look, you will have to use the Texture effect > Texture.I use fine or coarse canvas. Depending on the colors you are using, you will have to tweak the height a bit to achieve the look you want. You don't want this to have a dramatic texture at all. Subtle is best.

  20.  Now we are going to use the Blinds texture effect to get those ribbon-like vertical lines.When using this, pick a color that is slightly darker than your base color. This will add dimension. Adjust your opacity until you get the look you want. Remember you want vertical lines, so leave horizontal unchecked.
  21.  Now you want to contract the selection a little. I usually do between 7-10 pixels to get that nice ridge at the top and bottom of the ribbon.
  22. Invert Selection (CTRL+SHIFT+I) Do not click the image to create a floating selection. It will rip the ridge layer up and leave a space with empty pixels. It isn't a huge problem but If you want a nice solid image, follow my lead.
  23.  You will now apply an inner bevel. Depending on the colors you are using, slight adjustments will need to be made, but the settings I'm using are pretty much right along the lines of what you want.
  24.  The top ridge of the ribbon now needs a little more dimension. To achieve this, use the drop shadow tool. You only need a slight shadow for a realistic look.
  25.  CTRL+D To select none. 
  26. Your ribbon is finished. You can add another drop shadow to the entire ribbon here, or save the ribbon(use a .png or other preferred transparency friendly format) for future use in a layout and add the drop shadow then.
This is what you should have if you followed the tutorial correctly. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments!

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