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  2. Brushes

How to Make a Sparkle Brush in Photoshop

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:ShortLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

If you’re interested in glitter and sparkle brushes, in this tutorial I’ll show you how to create a sparkle brush in Photoshop from scratch. Add some magic to your photos with your own diamond sparkle Photoshop brush!

And if you need a faster solution, scroll down for a couple of ready-to-use actions that will add sparkles to your photo with a single click!

What You'll Learn in This Sparkle Brush Photoshop Tutorial

  • How to make a custom brush from a photo
  • How to create diamond sparkle Photoshop brush
  • How to add sparkles to a photo

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

What You'll Need

You can add the sparkles to any photo. Here's the one I used:

How to Make a Sparkle Brush in Photoshop

Step 1

Create a New File with the following dimensions:

create new file

Step 2

Fill the background with black using the Paint Bucket Tool (G).

fill it with black

Step 3

Create a New Layer. Fill it with black again and go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise. Use these settings:

add noise

Step 4

Go to Filter > Filter Gallery > Watercolor. This filter will turn the noise into individual spots, and this is exactly what we need!

add watercolor effect
change noise to speckles

Step 5

Duplicate this layer (Control-J) and hide the original. Name the original “tiny speckles” and the copy “speckles”.

change layer names

Step 6

Try to find three spots that seem to form a triangle together. If you can’t find them, use the Lasso Tool (Q) to move the spots around and create such a formation yourself.

pick a pattern

Step 7

Then resize the layer (Control-T) to fill the whole canvas with just these three spots. Use the Crop Tool (C) once to cut the area outside of the canvas.

resize the pattern
resize the speckles

Step 8

Change the Blend Mode of the layer to Screen. This will make the black part of the layer transparent.

change blend mode

Step 9

Duplicate the "speckles" layer and go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Add a subtle blur.

add gaussian blur
gaussian blur applied

Step 10

Duplicate the "speckles" layer again and go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur. Add a strong smudge to these spots, and then lower the Opacity of this layer.

add motion blur
motion blur low opacity
lower opacity

Step 11

Repeat this step, this time making the smudge shorter and more opaque.

add more blur
stronger blur
lower opacity

Step 12

Do this one more time, this time without changing the Opacity at all.

add more smudge
smudge sparkles
full opacity

Step 13

Create a similar smudge one more time, this time using the opposite angle.

add smudge at opposite angle

Step 14

Now select all the "speckles" layers by holding Shift and pressing Control-E. Change the Blend Mode to Screen again.

merge layers

Step 15

Duplicate this layer, make the spots smaller by pressing Control-T, and rotate them to make them less obviously copied.

add smaller speckles

Step 16

Repeat this process once or twice to create more of these small spots.

add more small speckles

Step 17

Show the "tiny speckles" layer again. If there are spots right on the edges of the canvas, cover them with black using a brush.

add tiny speckles

Step 18

Right-click the layer stack and select Flatten Image. Then press Control-I to invert the colors.

invert the colors

Step 19

Go to Edit > Define Brush Preset. Give your brush a name.

name the brush

Step 20

The brush is done, but we need to adjust its settings to make it work. Open the Brush Settings panel (F5) and increase the Spacing.

increase spacing

Step 21

Go to the Shape Dynamics tab and add some Size Jitter and Angle Jitter.

add jitter

Step 22

In the Scattering tab, increase the Scatter and Count.

add scattering

Step 23

Test your brush now. Feel free to adjust the settings again to achieve the desired result. Change the size while painting to make the effect more natural.

paint with diamond sparkle photoshop brush

Good Job!

Now you know how to make a sparkle brush in Photoshop!

diamond sparkle brush photoshop

Sparkle Brush Photoshop Actions and Effects

Here are a couple of actions and effects from Envato Elements:

Sparkle Photoshop Action (ATN)

Sparkle Photoshop Action

If you want to quickly add sparkles to your photo, this action will give you amazing results in seconds! You can use multiple colors for a prettier effect.

Magic Dust Photoshop Action (ATN)

Magic Dust Photoshop Action

Here's a similar action with a slightly different style of sparkles. It includes 33 presets for different color looks, and it offers a lot of customization options.

Animated Sparkles Photoshop Action (ABR, ATN, PAT, PNG, PSD)

Animated Sparkles Photoshop Action

Sparkles look best in motion, and with this action you'll create a sparkling GIF! Customize the effect to create a perfect sparkling animation.

Sparkle Bokeh Photoshop Action (ATN, PAT)

Sparkle Bokeh Photoshop Action

Sparkles and bokeh are a perfect combination, and this action makes the best of this effect! Use it to add magic to your photos with a single click.

Sparkler Photoshop Action (ABR, ATN)

Sparkler Photoshop Action

This action will allow you to turn anything into realistic sparklers—draw a line or a shape, and play the action to make it sparkle!

Sparks Photoshop Brushes (ABR)

Sparks Photoshop Brushes

Would you prefer real sparks instead of generic sparkles? This brush set has you covered! It includes ten types of spark brushes to use for photo effects and overlays.

More Photoshop Brush Tutorials

Do you want to learn more about creating Photoshop brushes? Try these tutorials:


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