Wondering how to make a distressed T-shirt design in Photoshop? In this tutorial, I will show you a few simple and effective ways to create a design for vintage distressed T-shirts. We'll use different types of textures, brushes, and mask layers, and then combine these methods. Let's dive into it!
What You'll Learn in This Distressed Texture Photoshop Tutorial
- How to make your own distressed textures and brushes
- How to make a distressed T-shirt design using transparent PNG textures
- How to make a distressed effect in Photoshop using JPEG textures
- How to make distressed T-shirt designs with Photoshop brushes
- How to combine textures and brushes to design a distressed T-shirt
What You'll Need
- Free Metal Texture
Typography Hand Lettering Coffee Quotes
- 24 Distressed Texture Brushes
- 15 Grandpa's Textures
- 14 Distressed Ink Overlays
1. How to Make Your Own Distressed Textures and Brushes
Let's start with the free texture I created for you. You could also create your own just by taking a photo of any metal surface (even with your smartphone!). Open the metal texture in Photoshop and then Double-Click on the background layer to rasterize it.
After that, select the layer and press Shift-Control-Alt-B to convert the image to black and white.
Hit Control-I to invert the colors of the image, and then go to Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast and use the following settings: Brightness: 132; Contrast: 100.
Go to Select > Color Range and then select white with the Eyedropper Tool and set the Fuzziness to 50.
Once you've selected the white area of the texture, press the Delete button, and then Control-D to deselect.
And for the last step, Double-Click on the layer and put a tick on Color Overlay, and select black with Normal Blend Mode and 100% Opacity. After that, just save the texture in transparent PNG file format.
Now, let's make a brush from our texture. Open the PNG file and select a part of the document with the Lasso Tool (L). (I added a white background layer here, so you could see the texture better)
Go to Edit > Define Brush Preset and press OK to create a new brush.
Let's set up the brush. Hit the Brush Settings icon and use the following settings:
- Shape Dynamics: On; Size Jitter: 100%, Angle Jitter: 100%
- Scattering: On; Scatter: 129%.
In the next sections, we'll discover how to use these brushes/textures and any others.
2. How to Make Distressed T-Shirt Designs With PNG Textures
Before starting to create a distressed tee shirt design, let's create a new document with the following settings:
- 2000x2000 px
- 300 dpi
- Background Color: Black.
Go to File > Place and then select the lettering for your distressed tee shirt design. Once you've placed the image, press Alt-Shift-Control-I to invert the colors of the lettering.
As you can see, our vintage T-shirt design already looks pretty cool!
And here is a variation with the texture we've created previously, applied the same way:
The important thing here is that you need to apply the distressed Photoshop overlay only to the lettering layer. If you make the background Invisible, you'll see that distressed texture applied to the whole document.
So, to add the distressed texture Photoshop effect only to the desired layer, you need to select the layer with your texture and then Right Click > Create a Clipping Mask.
If you want to make your vintage distressed T-shirts look even older, let's apply another texture. I chose texture №14. Don't forget to Create a Clipping Mask for this new texture.
This is how our distressed T-shirt design looks now:
If this still doesn't look grungy enough, let's add one more texture (I selected texture №4) to our vintage shirt design.
3. How to Make a Vintage T-Shirt Design in Photoshop Using JPEG Textures
Now, let's try to use JPEG textures from another pack and apply them to our vintage distressed T-shirt design. Place texture №13 from the 14 Distressed Ink Overlays pack above the lettering and Create a Clipping Mask.
Change the Blending of the texture to Hard Light, to make our distressed effect Photoshop design less evident.
Now, let's add a distressed texture Photoshop effect one more time. I chose texture №3 and changed the Blending Mode to Multiply and the Opacity to 50%.
Here is our vintage T-shirt design with JPEG textures applied.
4. How to Make a Distressed Effect in Photoshop With Brushes
Now, we'll use distressed Photoshop brushes to create a design for distressed shirts. Let's create a new layer with the Alt-Shift-Control-N shortcut.
If you want to learn how to install distressed Photoshop brushes, check out this amazing tutorial:
Select any subtle distressed brush and paint on this new layer with black. Combine a few brushes to make your design for distressed shirts truly unique, and don't forget to create a clipping mask!
Here is how the distressed graphic T-shirt design looks with our own custom brush applied to it:
Another way to use the brushes to add texture to a distressed graphic T-shirt is with a mask. Select the layer with your lettering and press Add a Mask.
Let's take a heavy grunge brush from the pack and then select the mask of the layer (or use Alt-Right Click to open it) and add a few strokes.
This is how my retro T-shirt design looks now:
And another variation of the final distressed graphic T-shirt design with our own brushes:
5. How to Combine Textures and Brushes to Create a Distressed Graphic T-Shirt
To design a distressed T-shirt, we'll use all the methods we've discovered before. Let's Add a Mask to the layer.
This time, we won't use the brushes on the mask, but we'll paste the texture onto it. So place and resize JPEG texture №1.
Now, we need to select the whole texture using the Rectangular Marquee Tool, and then press Control-C.
After that, Control-Right Click to open the mask of the layer, and then hit Control-V to paste the texture.
Delete the layer with the texture, and then select the mask of the lettering layer and press Control-I to invert the image.
Select the mask of the layer one more time, and go to Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast and use the following settings: Brightness: 105; Contrast: -15.
Now, let's add a layer with PNG texture №2, and Create a Clipping Mask.
And in this step of creating our retro T-shirt design, let's add a distressed texture Photoshop effect using JPEG texture №12 with Hard Light blend mode and 50% Opacity.
And finally, let's save our vintage shirt design, make the background layer Invisible, and then just save the image as a transparent PNG file.
Awesome Work, You're Now Done!
Today, you've learned how to make a vintage T-shirt design in Photoshop using different techniques. I hope you've enjoyed the tutorial and you have a lot of retro T-shirt design ideas now! Let us know about your favorite distressed T-shirt design Photoshop effects in the comments below!
You may be wondering where I find these amazing mockups for the previews of our distressed effect Photoshop design. The answer is Placeit! Placeit is an amazing site with hundreds of mockups and templates, which you can use and customize in a few simple clicks! Try your retro T-shirt design ideas on different mockups here to find the best preview of your product.
Want to learn more about how to make a vintage T-shirt design in Photoshop or find the best distressed effect Photoshop action? Check out our awesome tutorials and articles:
- Adobe PhotoshopHow to Make an Old Paper Texture in PhotoshopIvan Gromov
- Photo EffectsHow to Make a Distressed Effect Photoshop ActionIvan Gromov
- Apparel Design31 Creative T-Shirt Design Ideas (Using a T-Shirt Design Maker)Nona Blackman
- GrungeHow to Create a Retro 90s Grunge Photo Effect in Adobe PhotoshopMelody Nieves
- Effects50 Dirty, Filthy Grunge Photoshop Effects TutorialsDanny Outlaw