tutorial: using vintage images to create a digital chalkboard effect

I've been creating some chalkboard type digital elements for my project life album and thought I would share how I do it in case you'd like to do some yourself. Here are a few examples I've done just kind of playing around. The images I've used are from this site (lots of copyright free vintage images) and this fun free printable from Fifth and Hazel.

OK, for the tutorial:
open your chalkboard background and the image you'd like to use
with your image file open, choose your rectangular marquee tool (M)
draw a selection box around the portion of your image you'd like to use
choose edit > define brush from selection
name your image if you'd like, then click OK
switch to your chalkboard image and create a new layer
activate your brush tool (B)
and choose the brush image you just created
stamp your image (make sure you have the new layer selected...not your chalkboard background layer)
add another new layer and while holding the control key, click on the thumbnail of the image layer
the previous action will create a selection area based on the image...hide your image layer and you'll be able to see. choose your brush tool (B) again and select the default chalk brush (I use the 36 px size)
now simply draw over your selection with the chalk brush. the drawing will be limited to the selection you've created with the image to create a chalky finished product. remember the more times you go over an area, the darker and more filled in it will become so try to go sparingly and cover the are in as few passes as necessary. playing with the opacity a bit might help blend the image as well (I think I used 85% here)

If you'd like to use the chalkboard image I used, grab it by enlarging this image and right clicking to save. Enjoy!


  1. totally digging that menu one - awesome!

  2. I often try to replicate your PS tutorials in Pages just to see if I can do it ; ) Love this one!!

  3. Thanks Erica, great tutorial and thanks for the chalkboard :-)

  4. um, you are brilliant.

  5. Anonymous5:18 PM




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