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  1. Design & Illustration
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Design

How to Make an Old Paper Texture in Photoshop

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

Wondering how to make an old paper texture in Photoshop? In today's tutorial, I will show you how to create a paper texture overlay from scratch using paper, coffee, and a scanner, and then I will show you how to apply this old paper overlay to your images. And finally, we will take a look at an old paper texture Photoshop pack with ready-to-use overlays.

What You'll Learn in This Old Paper Texture Tutorial

  • How to create an old paper texture from scratch
  • How to apply an old paper texture in Photoshop
  • How to use and combine old paper overlay textures
  • Where you can find hi-res folded paper textures 

If you want to learn these techniques via video, check out our lesson on the Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel:

What You'll Need

You will need the following assets to complete this project:

  • Any photo you want to use for this manipulation. I chose this church photo from Envato Elements.
  • A sheet of paper
  • A paintbrush 
  • Coffee or tea 
  • A scanner

1. How to Create an Old Paper Texture From Scratch

Step 1

We'll make the paper look old by covering it with coffee. First of all, you need to make some strong coffee (you could use tea as well).

making a coffee for texturing
making a coffee for texturing

Step 2

After that, just cover the surface of the paper with your coffee using a brush.

covering the paper with coffee
covering the paper with coffee
covering the paper with coffee
covering the paper with coffee

Step 3

Create a few different papers, and don't hesitate to crumple them once you've got the texture you like. Wait until the paper dries, and then put it in the scanner. Here are a few variations of crumpled paper textures and old paper textures I made using these simple techniques:

Final version of the old paper texture
Final version of the old paper texture
Final version of the old paper texture

2. How to Create an Old Paper Texture Photoshop Overlay

Step 1

Once you've finished scanning the texture, open the image you want to use.

opening the image in Photoshop

Step 2

Go to File > Place and resize your crumpled paper texture to fit the image.

placing and resizing the texture in the document

Step 3

Change the Blending Mode of the layer to Multiply.

changing the blending mode of the handcrafted texture

Step 4

Press Alt-Control-Shift-B to convert the texture to black and white.

converting the handcrafted texture to black and white

Step 5

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Brightness/Contrast and set the Brightness to +30 and Contrast to +25.

creating an adjustment layer

This is how our textured image should look:

Textured image

3. Where to Find Paper Texture Overlay Photoshop Packs

If you're looking for a place where you can find a collection of high-quality paper textures, try Envato Elements! You'll find all kinds of textures, overlays, backgrounds, and much more. All the assets are carefully hand-crafted by professional designers. 

Envato elements promo image

I've found this amazing 30 Vintage Paper Textures Pack with highly detailed old paper scans. Let's try to use it with our image.

30 Vintage Paper Textures

4. How to Use and Combine Old Paper Overlay Textures

Step 1

Let's place Vintage Texture 25 and Vintage Texture 5 over our photo.

placing the textures above the photo

Step 2

Select the first texture and hit Alt-Control-Shift-B to convert the texture to black and white.

converting the image to black and white

Step 3

Change the Blending Mode of the layer to Soft Light.

changing the blending mode of the layer

Step 4

Change the Blending Mode of the second texture to Multiply.

changing the blending mode of the second texture

Step 5

And finally, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Brightness/Contrast and set the following settings:

  • Brightness: 50 
  • Contrast: 25
creating adjustment layer

Awesome Work, You're Now Done!

In this simple way, we can create a paper texture overlay Photoshop effect using the hand-crafted textures or the paper texture packs from Envato Elements. Feel free to ask anything about textures or share your creations in the comment section below!

Final result

Don't forget to grab the hi-res folded paper texture package that we used today! It's a really great tool for your design projects.

30 Vintage Paper Textures

Want to learn more about textures and overlays? Check out these awesome tutorials:


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