How to Create a Rubber Stamp Effect in Photoshop Elements 8

01
of 16

Create a Rubber Stamp, Grunge or Distressed Effect

Grunge, Distressed or Rubber Stamp Effect in Photoshop Elements
Grunge, Distressed or Rubber Stamp Effect in Photoshop Elements. © S. Chastain

Creating a rubber stamp effect using Photoshop Elements 8 isn't difficult, but it does entail a few steps. This method can be used to create a grunge or distressed effect, too.

Photoshop and GIMP versions of this tutorial are also available.

02
of 16

Open a New Document

New Document Properties
© S. Chastain

Open a new blank file with a white background large enough for your stamp image.

03
of 16

Add Text

Add Text
Add Text. © Sue Chastain

Using the Type tool, add some text to your image. This will become the stamp graphic. Choose a bold font (such as Cooper Black, used here) and type your text in all caps for the best result. Make your text black for now; you can change it later with an adjustment layer. Switch to the Move tool, and resize and reposition the text if necessary.

04
of 16

Add a Border Around the Text

Add a Rectangle
Add a Rectangle. © Sue Chastain

Select the Rounded Rectangle shape tool. Set the color to black and the radius to about 30.

Draw the rectangle a bit larger than the text so it surrounds the text with some space on all sides. The radius determines the roundness of the rectangle's corners; you can undo and adjust the radius up or down if you prefer. You now have a solid rectangle covering up the text.

05
of 16

Subtract From the Rectangle to Create an Outline

Subtract from Rectangle to Create an Outline
Subtract from Rectangle to Create an Outline. © Sue Chastain

In the Options bar, click Subtract From Shape Area and adjust the radius down a few pixels from whatever you used for the first rectangle. In other words, if your first rectangle used a radius of 30, change it to about 24.

Draw your second rectangle slightly smaller than the first, taking care to make it even. You can hold the space bar down before releasing the mouse button to move the rectangle as you draw it.

06
of 16

Create a Round Rectangle Outline

Round Rectangle Outline
Round Rectangle Outline. © Sue Chastain

The second rectangle should chop a hole in the first, creating an outline. If not, undo. Then, make sure you've selected the Subtract mode in the Options bar and try again.

07
of 16

Align the Text and Shape

Align the Text and Shape
Align the Text and Shape. © Sue Chastain

Select both layers by clicking one and then shift-clicking the other in the Layers palette. Activate the Move tool. In the Options bar, choose Align > Vertical Centers, and then Align > Horizontal Centers.

08
of 16

Merge Layers

Merge Layers
Merge Layers. © Sue Chastain

Check for typos now, because this next step will freeze the text so it no longer will be editable. Go to Layer > Merge Layers. In the Layers palette, click the black and white icon for a new fill or adjustment layer, and choose Pattern.

09
of 16

Add a Pattern Layer

Add a Pattern Layer
Add a Pattern Layer. © Sue Chastain

In the Pattern Fill dialog, click the thumbnail to get the palette to pop out. Click the tiny arrow at the top and load the Artist Surfaces pattern set. Choose Washed Watercolor for the fill pattern, and click OK in the Pattern Fill dialog.

10
of 16

Add a Posterized Adjustment Layer

Add a Posterize Adjustment Layer
Add a Posterize Adjustment Layer. © Sue Chastain

Once again, click the black and white icon in the layers palette — but this time, create a new Posterize adjustment layer. The Adjustments panel will open; move the levels slider to 5. This reduces the number of unique colors in the image to 5, giving the pattern a much grainier appearance.

11
of 16

Make Selection and Invert It

Make Selection and Invert It
Make Selection and Inverse Selection. © Sue Chastain

Go to the Magic Wand tool, and click on the most predominant gray color in this layer. Then click Select > Inverse.

12
of 16

Rotate the Selection

Rotate the Selection
Rotate the Selection. © Sue Chastain

In the Layers palette, click the eye to hide the Pattern Fill and Posterize adjustment layers. Make the layer with your stamp graphic the active layer.

Go to Select > Transform Selection. In the Options bar, set the rotation to about 6 degrees. This will make the grunge pattern a little less regular, so you don't see repeating patterns in the stamp graphic. Click the green checkmark to apply the rotation.

13
of 16

Delete the Selection

Delete the Selection
Delete the Selection. © Sue Chastain

Press the Delete key and deselect (Ctrl-D). Now you can see the grunge effect on the stamp image.

14
of 16

Add an Inner Glow Style

Add an Inner Glow Style
Add an Inner Glow Style. © Sue Chastain

Go to the Effects palette, show the layer styles, and restrict the view to Inner Glow. Double-click the thumbnail for Simple Noisy.

Switch back to the Layers palette and double-click the FX icon to edit the layer style. In the style settings, change the inner glow color to white. (Note: If you use this effect with a different background, set the inner glow color to match the background.)

Adjust the size and opacity of the inner glow to your liking to soften the edges of the stamp and make the imperfections more defined. Try a size of 2 and opacity of 80. Toggle the Inner Glow checkbox off and on to see the difference with and without it. Click OK when you are satisfied with the inner glow settings.

15
of 16

Change the Color with a Hue/Saturation Adjustment

Change the Color with a Hue/Saturation Adjustment
Change the Color with a Hue/Saturation Adjustment. © Sue Chastain

To change the color of the stamp, add a hue/saturation adjustment layer (that black and white icon again). Check the Colorize box and adjust the saturation and lightness to a red color you like.Try a saturation of 90 and a lightness of +60. If you want a stamp in a color other than red, adjust the Hue slider.

16
of 16

Rotate the Stamp Layer

Rotate the Stamp Layer
Rotate the Stamp Layer. © Sue Chastain

Finally, click back on the shape layer with the stamp graphic, press Ctrl-T to free-transform the layer, and rotate the layer slightly to imitate the slight misalignment typical of rubber stamps.