Create Christmas decorations in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create Christmas balls in Photoshop using brushes, textures, and standard filters. So let’s get started!

Source materials can be downloaded HERE.

Final result

Step 1

Create a new document of 2000? 1500 px.

Step 2

Choose a tool Gradient (Gradient Tool (G). Set white color as the foreground color and light blue (# 0e56c0) as the background color.

Next, drag the gradient from the top right corner of the image to the bottom left corner. The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Step 3

Press the keys (Ctrl + R) to make the ruler appear. Click on the vertical ruler + drag to the center of the image by setting the guideline at the 1000px mark (the guide will snap to the mark, if this does not happen, make sure that there is a check mark in the corresponding option Preview – Binding (View> Snap).

Step 4

Create a new layer (Ctrl + Alt + N). Using tool Oval area (Elliptical Marquee Tool), create a circle (hold the key (Shift) so that the circle is perfect shape), fill the created shape with bright red color (# 890000), setting the red color as the foreground color to fill the shape, press the keys (Alt + Backspace).

Next, position the circle horizontally in the center of the document, as shown in the screenshot below (you can hold the (Ctrl) key + left-click to drag the circle) using the guide line that you created in step 3.

Step 5

Using tool Pen (Pen Tool), in the settings of this tool, set the mode to Contours (Path), draw a shape like in the screenshot below.

Step 6

Create a new layer, press the keys (Ctrl + Enter) to convert the outline into an active selection. Fill the active selection with the same red color tone you used in Step 4. Name the layer with this shape “Neck”.

Step 7

Duplicate the “Neck” layer (Ctrl + J), and then press the keys (Ctrl + T) to activate the Free Transform. Next, right-click on the image and in the window that appears, select the option Flip horizontally (Flip Horizontally). Now, move the duplicate layer to the right to create a symmetrical shape.

Step 8

Group the two layers with the neck (select the layers in the layers palette, and then press the keys (Ctrl + G). Place the created shape of the neck over the Christmas ball, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 9

Group the two layers with the neck and the layer with the ball into one group. Name the new group “The basis of the ball”. Next, duplicate the created group (Ctrl + J). Turn off the visibility of the original group layer. Right-click on the duplicate layer with the group and in the window that appears, select the option Merge group (Merge Group).

Step 10

Create a new layer, convert this layer to a clipping mask to the layer ‘Base of Ball 2’ (hold the (Alt) key + click between two layers). Creating a clipping mask means that all the pixels of the upper layer will be visible only through the pixels of the lower layer (or whatever we draw on the upper layer will not go beyond the boundaries of the lower layer). Name this layer “Highlight Hue”.

Step 11

Choose a tool Brush (Brush tool), set the standard round soft brush. Set the brush color to white, brush opacity 50-60%, brush size 400px. Click the brush once in the upper right corner of the ball to create a highlight as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 12

Create a new layer, name this layer “Shadows”. Convert this layer to a clipping mask to the ‘Glare’ layer (the effect of this layer will be attached to the ball layer).

Step 13

Using the same soft brush, but this time, the brush color is black and the brush’s lower opacity (10%), add a blurry shading in the area that is shown in the screenshot below.

Step 14

Create a new layer, also convert this layer to a clipping mask to the underlying layers. Using a soft black brush and 30% opacity, paint the upper part of the ball, creating shading, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 15

Create a new layer, again convert this layer into a clipping mask to the underlying layers. Reduce the size of the soft brush to 10px and with a white brush, add a gentle flare, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 16

Create a new layer, fill it with black color (first press the key (D) to set the default colors, and then press the keys (Ctrl + Backspace). Next, go Filter – Noise – Add Noise (Filter> Noise> Add Noise). Apply the settings shown in the screenshot below.

Step 17

Convert this noise layer to a clipping mask to the underlying layers, and then change the blending mode for the noise layer to Soft light (Soft Light).

Reduce the opacity of the noise layer to 54%. So we added texture to our Christmas tree ball. If the effect is too saturated, then you can apply a correction. Levels (Levels) to the layer with noise, for this we go Image – Correction – Levels (Image> Adjustments> Levels) and play with the settings.

Group all layers in one group.

Step 18

Download Brushes Ornament Sets- Kit Management (Presets> Presets Manager). Create a new layer, select any ornament that you like. Using a white brush, paint your favorite ornament inside the contour of the Christmas ball.

Step 19

Now, we need to make the ornament look like 3d, not like a flat 2d pattern. Go to the “Basis of the ball” group. Hold down (Ctrl) + click on the layer with the ball (just on the layer with a circle). Thus, we will load the active selection around the ball. Go back to the layer with the painted ornament.

Step 20

Make sure you are on a layer with an ornament. Next, go Filter – Distortion – Spherization (Filter> Distort> Spherize). Cancel active selection (Ctrl + D).

Step 21

Change the blending mode for the ornament layer to Overlap (Overlay).

Step 22

Now, let’s create the top metal part. Create a new layer. Choose a tool Rectangular region (Rectangular Marquee Tool). Create a rectangle as shown in the screenshot below. Fill the selected area with any color shade (Alt + Backspace).

Step 23

Open “Metal Texture”. Bleach the texture, for this we go Image – Correction – Discolor (Image> Adjustments> Desaturate). Copy the texture (Ctrl + C), and then paste the copied texture into our working document (Ctrl + V). Apply scaling as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 24

Now, convert the texture layer to a clipping mask to the rectangle layer that we created in Step 22.

Step 25

Next, on the metal texture layer, add an adjustment layer. Curves (Curves) as a clipping mask, for this we go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Curves (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Curves). Apply the settings shown in the screenshot below. Thus, we give the texture a golden hue.

Step 26

Create a new layer. Convert this layer to a clipping mask to the adjustment layer. Curves (Curves). Using a soft black brush, brush size 2px, draw shadows on the lower edge of the rectangle.

Step 27

Create a new layer. Convert this layer to a clipping mask to the bottom layer with a shadow. Change the blending mode for this layer to Multiplication (Multiply). Using a soft black brush with an opacity of 10%, draw delicate shadows on the left side of the metal part.

Step 28

Open the original image with the chain. Copy / paste the image of the chain onto our working paper. Apply scaling, placing the chain, as shown in the screenshot below (the chain should go down only to the top of the Christmas tree ball).

Step 29

Add a correction layer to the chain layer. Curves (Curves) as a clipping mask. Pull the curve to the top, as shown in the screenshot below, to make the chain brighter.

Step 30

Create a new layer, select the round soft brush by default. The color of the brush is white, the size of the brush is 15px. Put a small white dot on the Christmas ball, as shown in the screenshot below.

Reduce the brush opacity to 20% and also increase the brush size to 50px. Click a couple of times with the brush over a small white dot. This should create a feeling of diffused light.

Step 31

Load the ‘Magic Light’ brushes. Choose a brush ‘Burst5’.

Create a new layer. Click once with a brush to create a white spark, placing it next to the metal part of our Christmas ball. Reduce the layer opacity to 33%.

Step 32

Select all layers and groups in the layers palette (except for the layer with Background), then press the keys (Ctrl + G) to combine them into one group. Name the new group ‘Shar’.

Step 33

If you want to change the color of the Christmas tree, then add a correction layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) within the ‘Shar’ group, converting this adjustment layer to a clipping mask to the merged layer “Ball Base”, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 34

Duplicate the ‘Shar’ layer a couple of times (Ctrl + J). Arrange the duplicate groups as shown in the screenshot below. You can also change the color of each Christmas tree.

Step 35

On the topmost layer, press the keys (Ctrl + Shift + Alt + E) to create a merged layer from all visible layers. Apply filter Gaussian blur (Gaussian blur) to merged layer. Set the radius to 8px. Name this layer “Blur”.

Step 36

To the layer “Blur”, add a layer –mask, for this we go Layer – Layer Mask – Show All (Layer> Layer Mask> Reveal All). Choose a soft brush, increase the opacity of the brush to 100%. Click on the layer mask to make sure it is active. Next, paint the black brush over the Christmas tree ball in the middle to hide the blur effect.

Step 37

Create a new layer, name this layer “Flicker”. Choose a brush with twinkling stars from the Magic Light brush set you downloaded. Using a white brush, add glitter / twinkling stars over the entire scene. You can also vary the opacity of the shimmer / glitter layer.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Thank you for attending the lesson, and I wish you a good time at this lesson.

Final result

Author: Adrian Scheff

Translator: Sadigaliyev Marat

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