Make A Felt Letter Board in Photoshop
Have you noticed all the fun letter board images appearing on Pinterest and Instagram lately? I finally got myself one last week and it has been fun to change up the quote and add a little character to my room in the morning. Today I want to show you how you can make your own felt letter board in Photoshop. It’s fairly simple and you can use it for quotes, dates, and even short passages of journaling!
First, draw a rectangle or a square with the rectangle tool. You can use any color except pure white or pure black. I picked a dark grey for mine.
Then, use the rectangle tool to draw a long, narrow on top of the first one you created. The color doesn’t matter (I used blue here), but the left and right edges of this strip need to hang outside of the shape below. The height of this rectangle decides how wide the “ridges” on your letter board will be.
Duplicate this shape and make it another color. An easy way to do this is to grab a color with the Eyedropper tool and fill it in by pressing alt+backspace. Drag this second rectangle below the first one so they line up perfectly.
Then, have both of these rectangles highlighted in the layers panel, duplicate both layers, and line them up until the letter board is covered.
After you end up with something like the image above, select all the rectangles of one color (I chose the cream-colored rectangles) and delete them. Only the rectangles in one of the colors will remain. Combine them all into one shape layer by selecting them all in the layers panel and pressing ctrl+E (merge layers).
Now, open up the paths panel. You should see the path of the blue rectangles in the paths panel (if not, make sure the layer is selected/highlighted in the layers panel). Click on the path and copy it by pressing ctrl+C. Next, select the letter board layer. Rasterize the shape so it’s no longer a shape layer and you can make adjustments to it. In the paths panel, create new path by pressing the icon next to the trash can. Use ctrl+V and paste the path you just copied. You are now free to delete or hide the rectangles above the letter board layer.
With the path in place we are ready to make the ridges on the letter board. Choose the burn tool on the left (shortcut key “O”). Pick a soft round brush, and adjust the size and exposure on top. Then, with the path selected in the paths panel, click “stroke path with brush,” the second icon from the left. This will create the ridges on the letter board. If you want a darker ridge, you can repeat this step once or twice.
Deselect the path by clicking anywhere empty on the paths panel. This will give you a better view of the letter board. If at this point you’re not happy with how it looks, you should undo the step above and adjust the setting of your burn tool. Depending on the size and color of the board, as well as the width of the ridges, you may need a smaller brush or less exposure.
Once you’re happy with the board, highlight the path in the path panels again. Bring up the transformation tool (ctrl+T) and move the path up until each line sits in the middle of the ridge. Press enter to confirm. Now, choose the Dodge tool. We’re adding some highlight to the ridges. Pick a round soft brush, and adjust the size and exposure. Then, in the paths panel, stroke path again. I only did this once as I wanted the highlight to be subtle.
Now, the letter board is ready. The next step is to add texture. You may overlay any felt texture you have on hand; I used a felt texture I got from Mommyish. If you don’t have any felt texture on hand, adding noise to the layer produces a similar effect. In the image below, the letter board on the left has a felt texture, and the one on the right has noise added. Whichever route you choose, subtlety is the key and just a little bit of texture added goes a long way.
With the letter board done, you can put anything you want on it! Type out your message and position the letters in between the ridges. You can add a slight bevel to the font so they look like plastic letters.
Finally, add a shadow to your letters and you’re done! You may also frame your board… it will be a fun way to use all those bulky frames that come with kits!
And that’s it! I hope you have fun with your new digi letter board. I’d love to see the letter boards you make, so please post yours in the comments below!