Styles 101: The Color Overlay – Part One

In this lesson, we’ll learn more about

  • Photoshop Elements Styles
  • Change Plain Text into Something a Little Extra Special
  • Change Text Color
  • Using Blend Modes
  • Create a Color Overlay
  • Add a Stroke on a Separate Layer
  • Add Drop Shadows

Photoshop Elements Styles

The Color Overlay effect we’re going to create is not difficult and it will add something a little different and special to your scrapbook layout.

We’ll turn this plain red text into a fun text effect that will make a special title.  Bonus, you can move the Title anywhere on the page and get a different look.


Change Plain Text into Something a Little Extra Special

We’ll start with a new document and place your background paper on it.  Then add a new layer and type your text.  I think a thick, heavy font definitely looks best.  I started with this plain text.


Simply changing the Blend Mode to Overlay will NOT give us the effect we’re going for.



Change Text Color

First, we need to change the text color to black.

If the layer is still a Text Layer, simply double-click on the Text Layer using the Text tool and change the color to black.


Note: If the Text Layer has been simplified already, use the Move Tool to select the text then use the Paint Bucket Tool to change the color to black.


Change the Blend Mode to Overlay

Change the Blend Mode to Overlay.  Notice, the text now appears transparent.  You can see the paper behind it.  I also lowered the Opacity to 70%.  This may vary depending on the paper used and your personal preference.


That looks good but a Stroke would make it even better.

Add a Stroke on a Separate Layer

Use the Magic Wand, hold the Shift key down and select each letter. OR hold the Ctrl key & left-click the Text thumbnail.


Create a new layer in the Layers Panel.


On the new layer, select Edit> Stroke (Outline) Selection.


Set the Stroke Width to 6 px and select the Stroke Color to Ivory using the Color Picker.


Select the Text Layer and Stroke Layer while holding down the Shift key.  Right Click> Link Layers.  This will keep the layers together if you decide to move the title to another location within the page.


Add Drop Shadow

That definitely looks better but adding a Drop Shadow will make it POP.

Since the Stroke is on a separate layer we have several choices when adding a Drop Shadow.

Add it to the Text Layer only.


Or to the Stroke layer only.


Or add it to both.



Since you can drag your title anywhere on the page you can get many different looks.

I changed to a gradient paper to show you how the title changes with the paper.  Isn’t that cool!


If you are using Photoshop instead of Photoshop Elements be sure to check out my friend Karen’s sister tutorial Photoshop Styles 101: The Color Overlay.

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