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How to Apply Texture to Text in Photoshop

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Want to learn how to apply texture to text in Photoshop? In this tutorial, we’ll walk through how to fill text with texture, Photoshop style. These techniques would apply to almost any font, as well as shapes. So grab your favorite text and let’s start designing.

Love Text Effects? Check Out Envato Elements

Envato Elements Text Textures

If you love text effects, make sure to check out Envato Elements. There are so many text effect templates you can download and try right now. The best part is, you can download them all for one low price. They’re all included.

But this also includes unlimited textures, photos, fonts, and more. It’s a great choice for a library of professional assets at a bargain price.

What You'll Need

This tutorial uses the following assets:

You can use these files to work along as we explore different approaches to how to apply texture in Photoshop. However, you can also use these text texture techniques and templates with other fonts and other textures. Feel free to work with your own, if you prefer.

Follow along with us over on our Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel:

1. How to Put a Texture on Text in Photoshop

Step 1

Begin by creating a New Document. It can be any size you prefer for your project. In this walkthrough, we’ll be working at 9 inches wide by 6 inches high, at 300 pixels per inch. This could work well for a mini-poster print.

Put Texture On Text Start New Document

Step 2

Select the Type Tool and then click once on your canvas to begin typing. We’ll use the Somalia font, from Envato Elements, in this example. The text can say anything you prefer, but ours will say “welcome”.

Put Texture On Text Type

Step 3

Take a look at your Layers panel. If you don’t see this panel, go to Window > Layers to open it up. This is what it looks like at this point in the walkthrough.

Notice how we have our background layer and our text layer. Photoshop automatically created our text layer for us.

Put Texture On Text Layers Panel

Step 4

Next, let’s give this font a texture.

Open up the texture image you’d like to apply to your text, by going to File > Open. We’re going to use a set of Vibrant Watercolor Textures from Envato Elements in this demonstration. It comes with a collection of textures to choose from.

Put Texture On Text Open Texture

Step 5

With your texture image open, select it all by going Select > All.

Put Texture On Text Select All

Step 6

Then, go to Edit > Copy, to copy the entire image.

Now, return to our original document, where we wrote out our text. Go to Edit > Paste to paste our texture image into this document. You’ll notice that Photoshop automatically pastes it onto a new layer, on top of our text.

Otherwise, if you notice this new layer beneath the text, make sure to click and drag to reposition this layer. We want the texture on top of our text.

Put Texture On Text Copy Paste Texture

Step 7

Looking at your Layers panel, select the layer containing your texture. Right-click on PC or Control-click on Mac. In the resulting menu, select Create Clipping Mask.

The resulting visual looks like this. We only see the texture in the space occupied by our text.

Put Texture On Text Clipping Mask

Step 8

The cool thing about this is that we can still move and edit the texture. Let’s demonstrate this by selecting the Move Tool. Then, select the layer containing your texture image. It should still be a Clipping Mask.

Click and drag with the Move Tool selected to easily adjust and move the way the texture is applied to your text.

Put Texture On Text Move Clipping Mask

Step 9

Note that you can also adjust this texture in other ways. For example, you can apply different blending modes to your texture layer.

Let’s try this out by copying our texture layer. You can do this by right-clicking on PC or Control-clicking on Mac and then selecting Duplicate Layer.

Put Texture On Text Duplicate Layer

Step 10

Next, change this duplicate layer’s Blending Mode to Hard Light, at the top of the Layers panel. Notice how this changes how the layers blend and look together.

Use the Move Tool to reposition this layer, until the textures look and align the way you like.

Put Texture On Text Reposition

Step 11

Next, let’s add some Layer Styles to our text layer. You can find this option at the bottom of your Layers panel.

There are many options and possibilities when it comes to Layer Styles. You can add different types of shadows, overlays, and more, to create all kinds of effects. Let’s keep it simple with a basic Color Overlay.

Put Texture On Text Layer Styles

Step 12

With the Layer Styles panel open, choose a purple color like hex code #9019c8, and set the Opacity to 28%. Once you have the values you prefer, click OK to apply them.

Put Texture On Text Color Overlay

Step 13

To finish things up, let’s add some texture to the background. Let’s add one of these Old Paper Textures from Envato Elements to the background.

As we did before, open the image, copy it, and paste it into your document. Then, try lowering the Opacity in the Layers panel to 38%. This will make it look softer and lighter against the existing white background.

Put Texture On Text Paper Texture

Step 14

Let’s repeat this process, but instead with the same Vibrant Watercolor Textures we applied to the text. Open, copy, and paste this texture onto your background.

This time, let’s apply Soft Light as our Blending Mode in our Layers panel. Notice how it adds some soft watercolor elements to our paper texture.

Put Texture On Text Soft Light

Step 15

Finally, just to add some contrast, let’s add a watercolor brush stroke behind our text. Again, we’re repeating the same process. Open the image, copy the image, and then paste it into your document.

Use the Move Tool to position the brush stroke behind the text. Change the Blending Mode of this layer to Overlay, so it really pops against our background.

As you can see, there are many possibilities you could create by using Blending Modes and Layer Styles. This is just a taste of the possibilities.

Put Texture On Text Overlay

2. How to Add Texture in Photoshop With a Template

Step 1

Looking to save some time? How about experimenting with some complex combinations of Layer Styles and Blending Modes? Let’s also look at how to add texture in Photoshop with a template file.

It’s a lot of fun to create this look from scratch, but templates can be a fun way to try out different styles, quickly and easily. Let’s try this out with this Watercolor Effect Template from Envato Elements. It’s got a really lovely text texture we can try.

Put Texture On Text Effect

Step 2

A template like this already has our layers set up for us, ready to go, with effects, textures, and blending modes already set up.

Here's a look at the Layers panel. Notice that some layers here are Smart Objects. Let’s double-click on the layer thumbnail to go inside this Smart Object and edit its contents.

Put Texture On Text Water Color

Step 3

Here we are inside the Smart Object. Use the Text Tool to write out whatever text you’d prefer. Again, in this demonstration, we’ll use the Somalia font, and we’ll make it say “Welcome”.

Once you’re happy with your text, make sure to save this document. Saving it will then update the text in the template file.

Put Texture On Text Smart Object

Step 4

Looking back at our template, the font and text have been updated. We can hide any extra layers that we don’t want to see, in the Layers panel. To toggle visibility on and off, click on the eye icon to the left of each layer.

Use the Move Tool to reposition content, and there you have it. You can easily fill text with texture in Photoshop templates like this one.

Put Texture On Text Fill Texture

What Font Texture Would You Use?

There are plenty of possibilities when considering how to put a texture on text in Photoshop. You could go with a watercolor look, or you could try other types of paper textures. You could try metal textures, grass, foliage, abstract textures, and more.

Give all kinds of different textures a try. Now that you know how to apply texture in Photoshop, what would you try?

Final Texture On Text

Want to try out some textured text styles right now? Check out these text effects from Envato Elements. They largely rely on layer styles that have already been created for you. It’s as simple as opening the file, adding your text, and enjoying your rendered text effect.

1. Holochrome Text Effects (PSD)

Envato Elements Text Effect Holo

Check out these stylish and shiny holo text effects! Using these cool font texture effects, you can turn anything you want into a retro space-inspired vibe. This set comes with ten different PSD files, each with its own unique take on the concept! Just download and edit the smart objects to get started.

2. Smoke Logo Text Effect (PSD)

Envato Elements Text Effect Smokey

Looking for a fiery, smoky effect for your text textures? This automatic effect can be applied to any text you place! Just open the smart object and edit your text to get a customized smoke effect. It comes with a variety of different effects and will really draw attention!

3. Pencil Sketch Text Effect (PSD)

Envato Elements Text Effect Sketch

Looking for something a little more personal? Then check out this is really fun pencil sketch Photoshop effect. Add a sketchy style to your font textures! It's also really simple to use and start making custom text right away. Simply open up the smart object and edit the text!

4. Fancy Glitter Text Effect (PSD)

Envato Elements Text Effect Glitter

Check out this cool glitter text texture effect! It's great for crafty projects or for when you need a realistic but shining effect. It comes with a PSD where you can simply edit the smart object to customize your text. This effect comes with three different color variations.

5. Acid Glitch Text Effect (PSD)

Envato Elements Text Effect Acid Glitch

Check out this colorful and glitchy-looking text effect! Simply edit the smart object within the PSD to get your customized glitch text texture! It's perfect for any project with a retro tech or perhaps even a cyberpunk vibe, and it comes with four different color solutions to try!

Want to Learn More About Photoshop Text Effects?

Now that you’ve explored how to apply texture to text, Photoshop has a lot more options you could explore. Adding style and flair to text can be a lot of fun. Check out these free text effect tutorials on Envato Tuts+, and create some impressive text effects for your next project today.

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