Thursday, December 13, 2012

CoffeeShop "French Market" Papers: Tutorial and Free Paper Set!

I love using and designing textures and digital papers.  I wanted to write up a small tutorial showing you one way to custom design your own "French Market" vintage digital papers.  These French papers are usually soft pastel colors with pretty feminine design elements and are so fun to design.  At the bottom of this post you will find a download link for the two papers I designed for this tutorial.

1.  I usually start with a pretty texture as my bottom layer.  In this case I used one of my all-time favorite ones from Chasing Dreams.  This is the "Laugh" texture from Colleen's Childhood set.  I love all of the textures in this set and if you want to design some pretty digital vintage papers or add beautiful textures to your art images, you should consider purchasing her textures.  I love all of the Chasing Dreams textures and if you purchase from Colleen you are helping to support a small mama-owned business!

2. I resized this texture to my desired final paper size.  I had to uncheck Constrain Proportions since I am going from a rectangular to a 10x10 inch, 240 pixels/inch square.

3.  I found this lovely vintage wallpaper piece at The Graphics Fairy.  If you haven't visited that site yet you are really missing out!

4.  I don't worry about making this low resolution wallpaper piece bigger because the loss of resolution won't be noticeable in this case.  So I free-transformed the wallpaper to fit in my square and also turned it 90 degrees (you don't want distortion, so hold Alt as you resize in Photoshop and make sure "constrain proportions" is checked in PSE).  As you can see I lost the pretty flower on the corners because you can't fit a rectangle in a square without losing something.  But no problem, that is an easy fix in this case.

5.  I clicked on the wallpaper layer and Ctrl-J to make a duplicate of it and moved it over so I had the flowers on the left side.

6.  I  duplicated that layer and moved it over to the right so my right-side corner flowers are there.
Now I have three layers of the wallpaper.

7. I added black layer masks to the two top layers (alt-click on the layer mask to add a black mask).  This step hides the two top layers.

8.  I then used a soft white brush on each layer mask to brush back in the flowers in the corners.  If you paint too much and end up removing some of the original lace, switch to a black brush (X) and paint it back in.  Now my flower corners are back.  Don't be crazy-detailed on this step, the bottom texture will hide many mistakes.

9.  Select all three wallpaper layers (click on the top one, hold shift, and then click on the bottom one to select them all) and then right-click and Merge  Layers.

10.  Now I am back to two layers.

11. I desaturated the background Chasing Dreams texture (click on it and shift-control-U) so it wouldn't affect the final color of my paper.  Then I put the wallpaper layer in overlay blending mode.  You can adjust the opacity to taste or even copy the wallpaper layer to add more design.

12.  I wanted to make a blue background version of this paper so I changed the wallpaper layer to Normal mode.

13. I used Replace Color (in Photoshop: Image, Adjustments, Replace Color and in PSE: Enhance, Adjust Color, Replace Color) to select the green background.    Simply use the eyedropper to pick out the background color on your wallpaper, adjust the Fuzziness slider until you include it all, and then click on the Result color square on the bottom right and select your favorite color on the color pane.  Then click OK.

14.  I put the wallpaper layer back in Overlay blending mode and now my paper is blue!  I also duplicated the wallpaper layer to bring out the flowers and lace in this version.

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial and are inspired to create your own vintage French papers.  And a special thanks to Colleen of Chasing Dreams for allowing me to use her gorgeous texture in this tutorial and to  The Graphics Fairy for all of her amazing free downloads!

Download the free CoffeeShop French Market Vintage Papers I created in this tutorial.  You can also download them here.

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.


  1. Thanks so much for the beautiful papers. I will have to come back and read the tutorial to see if it will help in Serif PhotoPlus. Thanks so much

  2. Thanks for the papers and the tutorial which I'm saving for later.

    Lisa D.

  3. THank you for the papers Rita. Not sure I'll have a go at creating my own though but thanks for the tutorial.

  4. Such pretty papers, thank you :-)

  5. Stunning and thank you for sharing so much of your talent freely with others! Much appreciated! A Merry Christmas to you.

  6. Thank you so much for the beautiful papers and tutorial - I have to try that as soon as I have time! Merry Christmas!

  7. these are awesome ! thanks a lot for sharing ! i posted the link here :

  8. Thank you so much for the beautiful papers and textures.

    God bless you and your lovely family.


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