Create a vintage notebook in Photoshop

Have you ever created your notebook for personal records, while not using paid stock images? Ok, I’ll show you how easy it is to create your own notebook from scratch!

In this lesson you will learn various drawing methods, including applying filters, painting and lighting techniques, and more.

Final result

Source materials:

First create a new document. The new document should not be too small in size, also do not forget about the high resolution (at least 300dpi). Fill the background with black.

To draw the first page, we need a non-standard brush. Create a new document, and on the new document, draw a spot with blurred edges, then go Editing – Define a brush (Edit> Define Brush Preset).

Go to bookmark Brushes (Brushes) in the layers palette, if the tab is not active, then go Window Brushes (Window- Brushes). In the brush settings, select the option Form Dynamics (Shape Dynamics). Slide option slider Angle swings (Angle Jitter), so your line will consist of unfolded spots — which will make the brush even rougher.
Translator’s Note: You can call this brush a “coarse brush.”

Let’s pick up the gloomy shades for your notebook (the notebook should be old, the colors should be dimmed from time to time).

Create a new layer. Next, with the tool Rectangle (Rectangle Tool (U) create a template for our first notepad page. You can draw a rectangle of any size you need.

Reduce the layer opacity to 10% (or just press the key “1 ?, while the tool Move (Move Tool) must be active). This is just a template, so it should not disturb us too much.

Once again create a new layer. Draw the page border with the new rough brush you created. Hold down the Shift key so that the line is straight.

Using tool Magic wand (Magic Wand Tool (W), select the area outside your drawn page, then press Ctrl + Shift + I to invert the active selection.

Next, go Selection – Modification – Compress (Select> Modify> Contract) to compress the selection. Set the compression value to 2 px. Now you can make an internal fill with the tool Fill (Paint Bucket Tool (G) without fear that you will also fill in the soft edges of the page (now you can remove the template, it will not be needed anymore).
Translator’s Note: You can remove or hide the visibility of the template layer.

Your first page should look like in the screenshot below:

So, it’s time to add texture to our page. Of course, you can download any other textures on free stock resources, but I want to show you how to create your own texture with your own individual pattern in Photoshop. First, duplicate your first page with Ctrl + J. Next, convert the duplicate layer into a clipping mask, for this we go to the menu Layer – Create Clipping Mask (Layer – Create a Clipping Mask) or just press Ctrl + Alt + G.

Being on the layer with clipping mask, we go Filter – Rendering – Clouds (Filter> Render> Clouds). Next, set the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay) and lower the opacity of the layer to get a natural effect.

Let’s strengthen our texture pattern even more! Create a new layer on top of the layer with a clipping mask, fill this layer with any color shade, and also convert this layer into a clipping mask. Next, double click on the layer to activate Overlay options (Blending options), and in the window that appears, select the option Overlapping pattern (Patter overlay). Choose any pattern that you like (you may need to download some texture sets, such as Blurred Textures or Stone Textures — initially, they are not listed in the source list). Next, right-click on the layer and in the menu that appears, select the option Rasterize Layer Style (Rasterize Layer Style).
Translator’s Note: in earlier versions of Photoshop option Rasterize Layer Style (Rasterize Layer Style) is missing. For those who have an earlier version, you can merge the layer with the layer styles with the underlying empty layer; for this you need to create an empty layer.

Once again change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay) and lower the opacity of the layer. The texture began to look much better, but the texture still resembles something like marble. This is not what we need.

Once again, create a new layer, fill and further, convert to a clipping mask. There is a nice white texture in the texture set, which is ideal for paper …
Translator’s Note: do the same as in the previous step.

… but due to the fact that the texture is white, our page will not look so good. Rasterize the layer styles, press Ctrl + I to invert the color shades, and then change the blending mode for this layer to Subtraction (Substract). It should now look great, even when the layer is completely opaque (if you have not understood all the blending modes, then click on the blending mode setting menu to quickly see all the modes. Practice is a good experience!).
Translator’s Note: In some versions of Photoshop, this mode is absent, because This mode refers to the comparison modes, then you can try to apply the following modes, which also apply to the comparison modes: Difference (Difference), An exception (Exclusion), To divide (Divide).

As a last texture, we use noise. Create a new layer, fill it with a dark brown shade, transform this layer into a clipping mask, and then go Filter – Noise – Add Noise (Filter> Noise> Add Noise). Also, change the blending mode to Overlap (Overlay) and reduce the opacity of the layer to align with our page.

The first page is ready! Simply merge all layers with clipping masks with the main layer.

It’s time to create other pages. Duplicate the layer (Ctrl + J) and double click on the duplicate layer to activate Overlay options (blending options). Select an option Shadow (Drop Shadow), apply the settings that are shown in the screenshot below.

Now, with the tool Moves (Move Tool), move the duplicate layer slightly to the left and top using the arrow keys.

Repeat the above step as many times as you see fit.

Since This is an old notebook, then the pages can not be even. Go to the topmost layer and add a layer mask to this layer (to add a layer mask, click the button circled in the layers palette). a white rectangle should appear next to the layer thumbnail – go to the layer mask, select the black coarse brush and use this brush to paint the page edges to create torn edges. When you paint with a black brush on the layer mask, the black color of the brush will hide the painted areas of the image, and the white color will again show the shaded area.

Repeat the above step for all layers. Do not repeat the pattern of staining, torn edges of the pages should not be repeated.

Now we will create torn pages for the firmware. Create a rectangular selection to the full height of the page, as shown in the screenshot below, and then copy the selected area …

… next, move the copied strip to the left and apply the layer styles from the layer with the page. To do this, go to the layer with the style of the layer that you need, right-click on the layer and in the window that appears, select the option Copy layer styles (Copy Layer Style). Next, go back to the layer to which you want to apply these layer styles, right-click on the layer and in the window that appears, select the option To paste styles layer(Paste Layer Style).

Step eight

To the layer with the strip, add a layer mask and on the layer mask, paint over with a black rough brush to create torn edges.

Next, duplicate the layer (Ctrl + J) to create several torn pages.

Use the technique from Step 6 to create torn edges.

Now, we will create the holes for the notepad firmware. Create a new layer and using your coarse brush, draw something similar, as in the screenshot below.

AT Blending options (blending options), select an option Shadow (Drop Shadow). Change the settings as shown in the screenshot below.

Arrange copies of the layers with holes where you see fit.

It’s time to create a ribbon that stitches all the pages together. With the help of a rough brush of a dark shade, draw a ribbon on a new layer.

Duplicate the ribbon layer, and then convert the duplicate layer into a clipping mask to the original layer. Next, apply the layer styles, the option Overlapping pattern (Pattern Overlay) to simulate a rough surface.

You need to know what to do now, rasterize, change the mode to Overlap (overlay), it may be slightly lower layer opacity.

Create a new layer as a clipping mask, and then create a shading around the edges of the ribbon. Use a regular brush with a value Push (Flow) 20%. Next, paint over the edges with a basic color tone, and then select the color of the page to show the reflection on the ribbon. When you’re done, merge the ribbon layer with layers with clipping masks, then duplicate the merged layer for the remaining holes. You can use the tool Free transformation (Free Transform (Ctrl + T), to slightly change their shape (so that they differ from each other).


Now create a new layer, draw a node in the middle of the ribbon. Use the same technique that you just mastered, the same technique as when creating a ribbon.

Add some shadow to make it more natural:

Duplicate the layer to make the node look tighter.

Create two new layers. Draw two ribbons, as shown in the screenshot below. Also apply layer styles to them, option Shadow (drop a shadow).

Apply our tricks again to imitate the same material that we used when creating the ribbon in the previous steps. The ribbon below should be more shaded, so use the correction Curves (Curves (Ctrl + M) to darken it.

Create a new layer below all layers with ribbon. Draw shadows with a black brush with a low pressure value. Next, change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (Soft Light). You can also add light highlights to the ribbon, this is up to you.

For text I used the font Aquiline Two. You can download this font from the link at the beginning of this lesson.

Final result

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