Hand-Stitched Social Media Icons – Photoshop CS6
In this tutorial we’re going to take a look at how to create some very cool little hand-stitched icons for Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. Even if you’re brand new to Photoshop you will be able to follow along with this tutorial and create some great little graphics for your next web or design project.
I am starting with a document sized 1280 pixels by 720 pixels. I’ve dropped in a background and am ready to start creating these icons.
Grab your Ellipse Tool (U) and set it to draw a Shape. Check out the screenshot to see what the Tool Control bar looks like. NOTE: If you are using an older version of Photoshop you will want to use the icon on the far left of this bar to create a Shape Layer.
Hold down your Shift key and drag out a small circle into the center of your document like I have.
Look to your Layers panel and double click the thumbnail of our new Shape Layer and fill it with the color: #81bee9
It’s now time to add a few Layer Styles. Let’s start with a nice Drop Shadow by going Layer>Layer Style>Drop Shadow. Use the settings I have in the screenshot below.
The next thing we’ll do is add an Inner Shadow and change the expected black to a white so this “shadow” will act more like a nice highlight across the top of our icon. Go ahead and use the settings that I have in the screenshot below.
To add a little more shape to our icon we’re going to use a Bevel and Emboss Layer Style. Check out the screenshot below and carefully follow the settings that I have.
We also need to add some texture to this icon to really start to give it a fabric feel; something that would definitely be stitched. To do this, we first need to create a pattern. Go File>New and create a 4×4 document.
Hit Cmd/Ctrl + 0 (zero) to zoom that document all the way in to the maximum size for easy viewing. Create a new Layer, Layer>New>Layer, and drag the “Background” Layer and drop it on the trash can at the bottom of the Layers panel to get rid of it. You will be left with the transparent background.
Grab the Pencil Tool (B) and set the size to 1px. Set the foreground and background colors to their default black and white by hitting the letter “D”. Place tow black squares as I have by clicking with the Pencil Tool in those two spots. NOTE: Remember the document is only 4×4 and we’re drawing with a 1×1 pixel Pencil Tool. It will be easy to drop a mark on the pixel spots shown in the screenshot.
Hit the letter “X” to move white into the foreground color and place two white squares right below the black squares as I have in the screenshot.
Go Edit>Define Pattern. Give your pattern a name and hit “OK”. We can now close out this pattern file, no need to save it, we’re completely finished with it.
Now go Layer>Layer Style>Pattern Overlay. You are going to want to click on the pattern thumbnail to bring up all the patterns we have.
Simply select the pattern we just created to apply it to our icon.
Set the Blend Mode to Soft Light and reduce the opacity to 45%. Hit “OK”.
The next step is to add the stitching. This is actually pretty simple due to a feature I don’t use much in Photoshop –Type on a path. Select the Shape Layer we’ve just applied all of our Layer Styles to and notice that the path appears in the Photoshop document.
Grab your Text Tool and choose a simple sans-serif typeface, I chose Arial, and set the size to 8 pt. It is also important to choose the “Strong” Anti-Aliasing. Hover your cursor over the path and you will see the “Type-on-a-Path” cursor appear…
Click and create a circle of black colored dashes (-) around the path just like I have. TIP: Don’t worry if the dashes don’t seem to be perfectly centered around the path, we’ve still got some adjustments to make.
Go Edit>Transform>Scale and set the width and height (W and H) to 75% each.
Go Layer>Layer Style>Drop Shadow to drop a shadow underneath this stitching. Use the settings that I have below.
Reduce the Fill Opacity to 35% for the finished stitching.
All we have left to do is add our social media icon. Let’s drop in the Twitter bird and add a simple Drop Shadow to polish off this icon!
Shift select both Layers that make up this icon and go Layer>Duplicate Layers and hit OK. Use the Move Tool (V) to move the new icon either right or left and double click the thumbnail for our Shape Layer to change the color. I’m going with a Facebook blue: #685f9d, add the logo and you’ve created another icon in seconds! TIP: The Google Plus color I used is: #c04737