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Wooden Letters with Photoshop’s Layer Styles and Blend Modes

Here is a nice easy way to create wooden looking letters, great for cards, web pages or wall papers.

We are going to start this project by first creating our background. Start a new document, I chose a one that was 1024×768 pixel 72ppi but you can make it any size really. Next reset your foreground/background swatch by pressing the D key on your keyboard. If the background isn’t white fill it with white

Next make a new Layer above the background called “wood texture”. Fill this Layer first with Clouds, Filter > Render > Clouds. Then fill the same Layer with Fibers, Filter > Render > Fibers, Variance 16 and strength 4.

Next we make a solid colour adjustment Layer above the Wood texture Layer, Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Colour and set the colour to #8c6239. Set the blending Mode to Multiply, this will turn the wood to a dark brown colour.

Were now going to make some knots in the wood, go to Filter > Liquify and using the Bloat tool, just press and hold on a few different spots to make a large circles. Next Click OK to accept the changes.

The background now looks like it is made from wood, but the effect is too hard, so we reduce the opacity of the Wood Texture Layer to 30%, this will let some of the white background through and lightening up the whole effect…!

Next choose the Horizontal Type Mask Tool from the Text Tool Fly out, I chose the font – Cooper SD. Type a Single capital Letter, you will see the screen turns red a bit like quick mask. When you have typed a letter click the Tick in the top right hand corner.

When you have clicked the tick a selection outline will replace you typed the letter. Make a copy of the background by going to Edit > Copy Merged > followed by Edit > Paste > this will copy the letter to a new Layer. Name this Layer after the letter you chose – I used H.

Add a Layer Style and use the following settings…

With that completed we are now going to make a nail. Make a New Layer called Nail Sample and once again reset the swatch and fill it with Clouds. Next add some noise – Filter > Noise > Add Noise > set it to around 7.5%. Finally go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur and set Angle to 0 and distance to 400.

Choose the Elliptical marquee tool and while holding shift – draw out a circle. With the selection in place press Control & J. this will make a copy of the selection to a new Layer. Name this Layer Nail.

Next add a Drop Shadow Layer Style..

Finally reduce the size of the nail and place it on top of our letter. Repeat the steps to make different letters changing the colour in the Colour Overlay Layer styles for different coloured wood.

About Simon Rudd (51 Articles)
Simon Rudd is a freelance writer and artist specialising in Photoshop tutorials as well as Horror, the Macabre and Fantasy themed pictures. He frequently writes for magazines and websites.

4 Comments on Wooden Letters with Photoshop’s Layer Styles and Blend Modes

  1. that’s so clever.. can’t wait to use this in my future projects 🙂

  2. thanks frozenjester 😀 glad you liked it! 😀

  3. Britta G. // October 11, 2010 at 9:53 am //

    …or buy the “real wood” font at You Work For Them: http://www.youworkforthem.com/product.php?sku=T0595

    Limber Limb is a high detailed, hand drawn alphabet design with the visual nature of real wood.

  4. Britta G. – yep you could do that – but where’s the fun 😀 also you could download free ones from DAFont http://www.dafont.com/search.php?psize=m&q=wood 😀

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