Here's what our old paper texture will look like when we're done:
The final result.And here's just one example of how it can be used as a background for a photo layout:
Let's get started!
Step 1: Create A New Photoshop DocumentLet's begin by creating a new document for our paper texture. Go up to the File menu in the Menu Bar along the top of the screen and choose New:
Go to File > New.This opens the New Document dialog box. Enter the width, height and resolution you need. For this tutorial, I'll enter 1000 pixels for both the Width and Height, and I'll leave my Resolution set to 72 pixels/inch. If you're planning to print the final result, you'll probably want to enter width and height values in inches, and you'll want to set your resolution to 240 pixels/inch or higher. Click OK when you're done to close out of the dialog box. Your new Photoshop document will appear on the screen:
Enter the dimensions and resolution for your new document.
Step 2: Fill The Document With A Light BrownAt the moment, our new document is filled with solid white. Let's change the color. Go up to the Edit menu at the top of the screen and choose Fill:
Go to Edit > Fill.This opens the Fill dialog box. Set the Use option at the top of the dialog box to Color:
Change the Use option to Color.As soon as you select Color, Photoshop will pop open the Color Picker which is where we choose the color we want to fill the layer with. Select a light brown. If you want to use the same color I'm using, look for the R, G and B options (which stand for Red, Green and Blue) near the bottom center of the dialog box, then set the R value to 211, G to 178 and B to 140:
Choose a light brown from the Color Picker.Click OK to close out of the Color Picker, then click OK to close out of the Fill dialog box. Photoshop fills the document with light brown:
Photoshop fills the document with the chosen color.
Step 3: Add A New LayerClick on the New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel:
Click on the New Layer icon.Nothing will happen in the document window, but a new blank layer named Layer 1 appears above the Background layer in the Layers panel:
A new blank layer appears.
Step 4: Apply The Clouds FilterWe're going to use this layer to add some texture to the paper. First, make sure your Foreground and Background colors are set to their defaults by pressing the letter D on your keyboard. This resets your Foreground color to black and your Background color to white, just in case they were set to something different. The reason we're doing this is because the filter we're about to run uses the Foreground and Background colors. You can see what the colors are currently set to by looking at the Foreground and Background color swatches near the bottom of the Tools panel:
The Foreground (top left) and Background (bottom right) color swatches.With the Foreground and Background colors reset, go up to the Filter menu at the top of the screen, choose Render, and then choose Clouds:
Go to Filter > Render > Clouds.There are no additional options for the Clouds filter, so Photoshop will simply go ahead and run it, adding random "clouds" to the layer. Your document will look something like this:
The image after running the Clouds filter.
Step 5: Apply The Spatter FilterGo back up to the Filter menu and this time choose Brush Strokes, then choose Spatter:
Go to Filter > Brush Strokes > Spatter.This opens Photoshop's Filter Gallery showing a large preview of the effect on the left, with the Spatter options appearing in the top right corner of the dialog box. Drag the sliders for both the Spray Radius and Smoothness options all the way to the right so they're both maxed out:
The Spatter options.Click OK to close out of the Filter Gallery, at which point Photoshop applies the Spatter filter to the clouds, giving them more of a rough, textured look:
The clouds after applying the Spatter filter.
Step 6: Change The Blend Mode To Overlay And Lower The OpacityIn the top left corner of the Layers panel, you'll find the Blend Mode option which by default is set to Normal. Change the blend mode to Overlay. This blends the clouds texture in with the light brown color on the layer below it. Directly across from the Blend Mode option is the Opacity option, set to 100%. This controls the transparency of the layer. Lower the opacity value down to around 15% to give the texture a much more subtle appearance in the document:
Change the blend mode to Overlay and lower the opacity to around 15%.Your image should now look something like this:
The texture now appears much more subtle.
Step 7: Add Another New LayerClick once again on the New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to add another new blank layer to the document. It will appear in the Layers panel as Layer 2:
Add a second new layer.
Step 8: Apply The Clouds Filter AgainJust as we did back in Step 5, apply the Clouds filter to the new layer by going up to the Filter menu at the top of the screen, choosing Render, and then choosing Clouds. A different cloud pattern will appear in the document:
A new clouds pattern is added to Layer 2.
Step 9: Apply The Cutout FilterWe'll use this second clouds pattern to add some stains to the paper. Go up to the Filter menu, choose Artistic, and then choose Cutout:
Go to Filter > Artistic > Cutout.This again opens Photoshop's Filter Gallery, but this time with the options for the Cutout filter in the top right corner. Set the Number of Levels to 4, Edge Simplicity to 3 and Edge Fidelity also to 3:
The Cutout filter options.Click OK to close out of the Filter Gallery. Photoshop applies the Cutout filter to the clouds pattern, which should now look something like this in your document:
The clouds after running the Cutout filter.
Step 10: Change The Blend Mode To Overlay And Lower The OpacityAs we did in Step 8, change the blend mode for the layer from Normal to Overlay, then lower the opacity of the layer, this time to somewhere between 10-15% to reduce the intensity of the stains. I'm going to lower my opacity value to 13%:
Change the blend mode to Overlay and lower the opacity value.Here's the document after adding the stains:
The paper texture after adding subtle stains.
Step 11: Merge The Existing Layers Onto A New LayerHold down your Alt (Win) / Option (
Hold down Alt (Win) / Option (Mac) and go to Layer > Merge Visible.Normally, the Merge Visible command would have flattened all of our layers onto the Background layer, but by holding down the Alt (Win) / Option (Mac) key while selecting the command, we told Photoshop to merge the layers onto a brand new layer above them in the Layers panel (Layer 3):
The three existing layers have been merged onto a new layer above them.