I love using vintage design elements in my designs, and one of my favorite sources of free ones are from The Graphics Fairy. When you go visit Karen's site you will feel that you are in vintage design heaven.
Her downloads usually have a white background which I usually want to remove. She has this great tutorial posted, but I decided to write my own version in an action so I could save time and also have the option to instantly change the color of the design element.
The design elements used in this tutorial are from her site. Please go visit if you haven't already, she has such a huge resource of amazing free digital vintage art.
Once you remove the white background you can drag the design elements on your work or save it as a png for later use.
Note: There are two actions, one that only works in Photoshop and one that works in both Photoshop and PSE. They are both labeled (PS-Photoshop, PSE-Photoshop Elements). None of the design elements seen in this post are included in the download, but you can find them here.
CoffeeShop Graphic Art Action Tutorial:
Photoshop action only (PSE users read below)! Open the image and start the action. Click on the white area of the design element when prompted (see above) and click OK. This selects all of the white in the image.
PSE action only! Open your image and make sure it is flat. Then use the magic wand tool to select the white area (see image with bee above). Adjust the tolerance and uncheck Contiguous. Once the white is selected start the action.
PSE and Photoshop Action: The action will run making a new document with your design element isolated without the white background on the bottom layer. Please ignore the fact I called that layer Black Design. I was supposed to update this part of the action and did not realize I hadn't until I uploaded everything. So needless to say it is staying for now.
Turn on the middle layer if you want your image to be white or colored.
If you want a color other than white, simply click on the Color Fill 1 layer to pick a color.
Merge Visible and save as a png to keep the background transparent.
Your original image will also have a new layer with the original design element "cut-out" on the top. You can save this one also as a png if you change the new version's color and want the original version.
Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop Actions or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.
For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.