I’ve just been working on a website where I wanted to have a few elements that looked a little old and worn. For one part of the design I created a rubber stamp in Photoshop and these are the steps I took to make it.

1. Start with a new file 500 x 500 pixels with a white background.

2. Select the Ellipse tool from the toolbox. It may be hidden underneath the rectangle tool.


On the tool options bar at the top of the screen, make sure that “paths” is selected.


3. Drag out a circle and hold down Shift as you drag to get a perfect circle.


4. Select the Type tool. When you run your mouse over any part of the circle path you have just drawn, you’ll notice that the cursor changes to the I bar with a wavy line through it. This tells us that we can now add some text on this path.


5. Click on the path and add some text. I used a font called Artistamp which can be downloaded free from Harolds Fonts (http://www.haroldsfonts.com/frontpage.html) . This font is great because it already looks quite old.

6. As you type, your text will now appear around the circle. If you find that your text is too large, highlight it and change the font size value in the tool options bar.


7. When you’re finished typing, click on any other tool or the correct mark on the tool options bar to commit.

8. Create a new layer on top of the text layer. We’re going to add a couple of circles in here in a few moments.

9. Open up the paths palette. You’ll see that there is a path named after whatever you have just typed.


10. Make a duplicate of this path by clicking on the path name and dragging it down to the “Create New Path” button at the bottom of the palette. You will now have two circular paths.

11. Click on the new circle you have just created (probably called Path 1). Then choose Ctrl + T (windows) or Cmd + T (mac) to free transform the circular path.

12. Hold down Shift AND Alt (windows) or Shift AND Option (mac) and drag one of the corner points out so that the circular path becomes larger than the outside of your text. Holding down Alt or Option ensures that the circle is enlarged from the centre. Hit Enter or Return to apply the transformation.


13. In the toolbox select the Paintbrush tool. Set the foreground colour to black and set the brush tip to be Round and about 5 or 6 pixels.

14. In the paths palette, click on the Stroke Path With Brush button. You should now have a black line around the outside of the text.

15. Repeat steps 10 – 13 but this time make the second circular path smaller and use a thinner brush stroke (around 3 pixels), so that it looks something like this:


16. Ok, to add a bit of interest to the centre of the stamp I’m going to bring in my little house logo on a new layer. You can bring in any image you want, to make it part of your stamp.


Needless to say, the house looks a bit too new and a bit too colourful, so we’ll break it down a bit.

17. With the house layer selected, choose Image > Adjustments > Threshold. The layer changes to black and white and by dragging the slider you can get different effects. For this example, I dragged the threshold level to 78 so that I could see a little bit of detail in the house. Click Ok to apply the settings.


18. It’s starting to look the part now, but is still a little bit too new looking. Create a new layer at the top of the stack and choose Filter > Render > Clouds. Then choose Filter > Noise > Add Noise. I added about 20%


19. In the layers palette, select the cloud layer you have just created and set the blending mode to Screen. Your stamp should look a little more authentic now.


Optional Steps:

1. Flatten the whole image by choosing Layers > Flatten Image. The double click on the background layer. This will open the New Layer dialog box. Click OK to accept Layer 0 as the new name. The background layer is now unlocked and you can rotate the stamp image. Hit Ctrl + T or Cmd + T to Free Transform the layer. Drag NEAR one of the corner handles to rotate the image. Hit Enter or Return to apply the transformation.


2. If you want to add some colour to your stamp, choose Image > Adjustments > Variations. This opens the variations dialog box and from here you can choose to add More Yellow, More Red, More Green and so on. Just click on the thumbnail to add more of that colour.


For my final stamp, I added more red and made it a little darker. And the result is here:


Phew. That was a lot of typing for a little stamp!


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