Easy Photoshop Parchment Tutorials

Try these Photoshop parchment tutorials the next time you want to create a document with a weathered or aged look. It's simple to add both a textured look to the page itself or faded, cracked borders that give a Web site design an ancient feel.

As with any Photoshop project, the key to getting the look you want is manipulating the sliders to make the image more realistic or more abstract. There's no right or wrong look for your finished design, just what's pleasing to your creative eye.

Adding Parchment Texture
It's very simple to create a crinkled, parchment background for your project by using the Clouds filter.

  1. Create a new document with white as the background color and black as the foreground color.
  2. Under the Filter menu, choose Render>Clouds.
  3. Choose Filter>Stylize>Emboss. Use the sliders to create the look you want. For a natural look, keep the Height between 10 and 40 pixels. Changing the Amount adjusts the contrast between the lightest and darkest areas; at lower settings, this has a very subtle effect. Click OK when you like the look.
  4. Go to Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation and click the Colorize checkbox. Now you can adjust the color to make it look like weathered paper. The hues between 45 and 55 tend to have the best paper colors, and you can adjust the intensity of the effect by manipulating the Lightness and Saturation. Low Saturation and high Lightness create a more natural look. Click OK when you're happy, and you've got your parchment texture.

Adding Parchment Borders
While this effect won't bleed to the edge of a printed 8.5 x 11 page, it can be used to create smaller pages or as a background in Web designs. To create this effect, start with the parchment texture, and increase the canvas size so that you've got one inch of space on all sides.

  1. Make sure your texture is on an unlocked layer. This won't work if it's the background layer. Click Add Layer Mask at the bottom of the Layers menu.
  2. Choose Layer>Style>Inner Glow. Old paper is always more weathered on the edges than in the center, so we're going to add a darker border. Use the color picker on the popup menu to choose one of the darker shades in your parchment texture. Adjust the sliders to get the look you want. A large size, a low opacity and a moderate amount of noise create a very realistic effect. Click OK when you're happy with the settings.
  3. Choose Layer>Stlye>Satin. With a low opacity and large Distance and Size settings, this filter can create the effect of well-worn crinkles in your parchment background, as if the paper had been crumpled or folded for some time. Try using the different contour profiles to create different patterns.
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