A friend of mine was working on some logos for a little league team and asked me for a way to make text look as if it had been embroidered onto a uniform.
After a fair amount of experimentation, it turns out it’s not that hard to do — but it does take a little tweaking. The final results are surprisingly versatile.
In this tutorial, we’re going to make the this header for a fictitious sewing blog:
GET THE FILES
To follow along, you’re going to need this brush and this layer style. (Right click and choose “Save Link As…”/”Save Target As…” to download.) You can also grab them both together as a 4kb zip file here.
1. Create a new file, 900×500. Fill the background with black.
2. Add the text (T) you want to make look embroidered. Use a really thin font for this — the stitch effect traces the outsides of the letters, and if you use something too bold you’re only going to get embroidered outlines. I’m working with Nobel Light. Make sure there’s enough space between your letters to avoid overlapping piles of thread.
3. Click the text warp button on the Options bar.
Choose “Arc” from the drop-down menu and set the Bend slider to about 19.
(You can skip this and the following step if you just want straight letters.)
4. Hit Ctrl+T, rotate the text a bit and hit enter.
5. With the type layer selected, choose Layer > Type > Create Work Path.
You have now created a path based on the outlines of the text.
6. Select the brush tool and load the brush file you downloaded. Change the size to 8pt or so. Make sure your foreground color is the same as your text color.
7. Create a new layer. (Shift+Ctrl+N)
8. Choose the pen tool (P), then right-click on the image and choose “Stroke Path…”.
Make sure “Brush” is selected and the “Simulate Pressure” box is checked.
Click OK. Yay, fuzzy text!
9. Load the layer style you downloaded, and apply it to the stroke layer (not the type layer).
Select the text layer underneath and make the font color a little lighter.
And there you have it. Shiny embroidered text:
10. Find a home for your fine sewing work, like this blog template:
Keep in mind that the brush preset also works as, well, a brush, and you can also use it to draw embroidered-looking things on its own — for instance, the RSS feed icon in the example. Just be sure to drop the layer style on top for shine.