Cardboard tutorial for Photoshop

I’m going to teach you how I made this cardboard.
cardboard tutorial
I’ll start by saying there are probably easier and other ways to do it, but since nobody else is sharing how to I started playing around to see if I could figure out how to make something that looked like corrugated cardboard. This is what I came up with and hope somebody else finds this useful.

Step 1. Make a new canvas (document) sized at 12 inches by 12 inches and 300 resolution (will also work fine at 200 resolution and I generally design at 200 resolution, but if you are designing professionally standards are 300 resolution). Set your foreground color to #856543 and your background color to #e2b379. Fill your background layer with your foreground color. Go to Filter > Sketch > Halftone Pattern. Choose line and then use the following settings size 12, contrast 19.

halftone pattern

Double click on your background layer to unlock it and then go to Edit > Transform > Rotate 90° CW to flip your stripes to vertical instead of horizontal. Your file should now look like this.

Step 2. Go to filter add noise and add 26% noise set to uniform and monochromatic.

add noise photoshop

Step 3. Go to filter > Unsharpen mask and set your unsharpen mask to Amount: 500 Radius: 250, Threshhold: 100

unsharpen mask

Your cardboard should now look like this.

Step 4. Go to filter > stylize > diffuse > Darken only repeat this 2 more times (for a total of 3 times)

diffuse phothoshop

Your cardboard should now look like this.

Step 5. Go to filter > texture> grain and switch to vertical with these settings intensity: 40, contrast: 0

Your cardboard should now look like this.

I could have stopped here, but I wanted to have a little more depth so added the following.

Step 6. Duplicate your layer and with the top layer go to emboss set it to the following Angle: -130, Height 15, Amount:500. Don’t worry about the blueish coloring, we’ll fix that in the next step.

Step 7. Desaturate your top layer and change the blending mode to soft light.

Step 8. Merge your two layers and your finished cardboard will look like this.

Here’s an example of what you can do with it. I find the cardboard looks best used underneath something.


22 responses to “Cardboard tutorial for Photoshop

  1. I like this tutorial!! I’ve always wondered how, what where :-))
    However, I’m already stuck at your first step. What do you mean by make a new canvas set?
    Do I make a new document and fill the page with the foreground or the background color?

  2. Sharon-shutterbug

    How very nice of you to share – thanks!

  3. Ok, I did just that and it came out alright. Thank you very much!

  4. I edited my blog post to answer your question. I just meant a new document with a width of 2400 pixels and height of 2400 pixels. That’s all.

  5. Thanks so much for this tutorial!! I’ve always wanted to know how to do this, will be giving it a try first chance I get!

  6. Teresa, this SOOOOOO rocks girl!!! Funny, as I wish to start sharing some tuts with y’all as well (will be doing a bit of one tonight), but my time is SO limited that I’ll have to give mini’s with NO screen shots until I’ve passed my April deadlines!!!

    I just LOVE it when designers like to share how they accomplish things and I am SO happy to see you doing just that. AWESOME job too!!!

    Teresa, I’d like to e-mail you with a little info on canvas size but I am not locating an address. Would you mind shooting one to me and I will reply! Sorry – my feeble mind is a bit jumbled and I’m probably rattling on!

    Have a FABULOUS week!

    Linda 🙂

  7. Thank you so much for the great tutorial! I appreciate you sharing your skills.

  8. Teresa,

    What would I do without you! Just when I’m trying to learn new stuff you come out with an easy to follow tutorial. That you so much. I had no idea how complicated it was and how many steps were needed to create these papers. You are amazing with everything you do. I am so thankful that you take the time to help us all learn.

  9. Great tut! I love the results! Hope to see more tuts from you in the future 🙂

  10. AWESOME!! Thank you so much for the tut!! I “played along” as I read it, and it came out perfect! I am going to try this with other colors now. LOL

  11. Thank you! I love a quick and easy tutorial. I am just starting with digital scrappin! My next goal…how did you tear the paper in the example of how the cardboard looks great? TFS!

  12. I just discovered your blog through a link in Scrapping with Ikeagoddess’ blog and now you will definitely be a staple bookmark to visit!! This is probably one of the most understandable tutorials I’ve ever read!! Thank you so much for taking the time to share and in such detail!! I love being able to use “realistic” elements in my scrapping and this will be a huge addition! Thank you again!!

  13. Fantastic tutorial Teresa! You do the best tuts! Thanks so much for taking the time to teach us all this – I am sure to use it!

  14. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. I have often wondered how people made stuff like that, now I just have to experiment creating other things!

  15. wow! great tut, well done! I love your blog, very informative and with lots of great free kits. thanks!

  16. wow .. this is great, I have an action for cardboard but this would have so much more flexibility!

  17. nice tutorial i will try it on my own

  18. Hey! I used your great tutorial to make my first action, I’d love for you to download and let me know what you think.

  19. Pingback: Cardboard tutorial for Photoshop |

  20. Wow, thanks for this tutorial! x

  21. I probably never will do it myself but it’s great to read how something like this is done! Very cool! Thanks a lot!

  22. Excellent! I’ve been looking for this. Thank you, thank you so much for sharing.

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