Create Your Own Gingham Papers Like Magic

with 33 Comments

Nannette-bio-picDon’t you just love it when you are creating a page and everything just seems to fit together? Your pictures match the colors in the kit you are working with, and the elements fit the idea and mood you are going for. Well, I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have to help that happen a bit.

It is really nice to have a few tricks up your sleeve when you want a page to look like it was made to go with the pictures and the story you are trying to tell.

Maybe you know how to use the Eyedropper tool to create a paper that will perfectly match the colors in your layout but would like to take it up a notch. Well I have a tutorial for you!

In just a few EASY steps you can create your own custom-made gingham papers. A little warning, though—it is so fun and easy that it is a little addicting. I just couldn’t stop making them. (See my layout below.)


Step One: Prepare the Workspace

  • Create a new document (File > New > Blank File) that is 12 in x 12 in at 300 ppi with a transparent background. (Photoshop: Choose File > New.)
  • Open a picture or layout (File > Open) from which you would like to pull the colors.

Step Two: Choose Two Colors

  • Click on the Foreground Color Chip to open the Color Picker.
  • When you move your cursor over the document, it will turn into the Eyedropper tool. Click on a color you want from the layout or photo and click OK.


Because I wanted my colorful pictures to pop, I picked a yellow (#d8c600) from the wig that wasn’t a prominent color in my photo.

  • Click on the Background Color Chip and repeat the above steps.

Note: Most gingham is created using white as one of the colors, but you can also use two different colors if you want. Be creative!

Step Three: Apply a Gradient

  • Click on your new document to activate it.
  • Get the Gradient tool.
  • In the Tool Options, open the Gradient Picker. Choose Foreground to Background. If you do not see Foreground to Background, open the drop down menu and choose Default. (Photoshop: Open the fly-out menu, choose Reset Gradients, and click OK.)
  • In the Tool Options, click on the Linear Gradient icon. Set the Mode to Normal, the Opacity to 100%, and make sure Reverse is unchecked.
  • On your document, position your cursor at the top left and drag a diagonal line across your document to the bottom right.


Step Four: Apply the Wave Filter

  • In the Menu Bar, choose Filter > Distort > Wave.
  • In the dialog box, choose the following settings:
    • Number of Generators: 999
    • Wavelength: Min 100, Max 101
    • Amplitude: Min 990, Max 991
    • Scale: Horiz 1, Vert 1
    • Type: Square
  • Click OK.


Did magic just happen? I told you; it is fun. Now, go create something spectacular with your new paper. Here is my crazy, gingham loving layout.


Digi Scrap Tutorial: Create Your Own Gingham Papers Like Magic by Nannette Dalton
Layout: Dress-up by Nannette Dalton
Kit: Hop Along by Penny Springmann available to Premier Members April 2013

Cardstock from Cardstock-Lunch Bag by Susie Roberts
Word Art from Soulful Silhouettes Class by Michelle Shefveland
Template: Geometric Vol 2 by Nettio Designs (altered)

Font: DJB Angel Baby

Download this Digi Scrap Tutorial

33 Responses

  1. Marilyn King
    | Reply

    Fantastic tutorial – what a quick way to make gingham (smile) – thanks so much for your tutorial.

  2. Mungo
    | Reply

    A great tip thank you, and the gingham strips set off your layout beautifully

  3. Barb
    | Reply

    Fantastic, fun tutorial, Nann!

  4. kat4dogs
    | Reply


  5. Tammy
    | Reply

    That is awesome! Thank you!!

  6. Janine
    | Reply

    I can’t wait to try this – it is magic. I love your page. I hope to use it to make a similar page of our grandaughters dressing up. The saying is perfect. Thank you for all of these amazing ideas.

    • Nannette Dalton
      | Reply

      You are welcome Janine. I hope you will share your page in the gallery when you get it done. I would love to see it!

  7. plm1
    | Reply

    Thanks! I am anxious to try this. I really enjoy and look forward to the weekly tutorials.

  8. Luisa
    | Reply

    Nann this is fantastic! I HAVE to find some photos to use this tutorial with. Thanks for sharing your creativity.

  9. Janice
    | Reply

    Thanks Nann great tutorial…as always.
    at what stage did you apply the dots?

    • Nannette Dalton
      | Reply

      Hi Janice, not sure what dots you are talking about?

      • janrutti
        | Reply

        Ok perhaps not dots could be stitching. Would this application be a separate tutorial.
        Thank you

        • Nannette Dalton
          | Reply

          OK now I understand. Yes, you can use stiches that you already have or make your own. There is a great tutioral on how to do that here.

  10. Janice
    | Reply

    Hi Nann,
    Having trouble with the Amplitude; will not go above 35. Getting maessage Integer between 1 and 35 is required. Closest value inserted. which is 35
    all setting in the wave window are the same as yours.

    • Nannette Dalton
      | Reply

      Sorry you are having problems Janice. Not sure why you cannot change the Amplitude levels but when I tried it with the value of 35 for the Max and 34 for the Min it still worked. Give that a go and see how that works for you.

    • lsattgast
      | Reply

      With Wavelength and Amplitude the Minimum cannot be more than the Maximum, so simply increase the Maximum first, and then the Minimum will go where it you want it to—up to the Maximum.

  11. chris
    | Reply

    Hi Nan, this is just great, I have just made a whole folder full of different coloured gingham, and it was so easy thanks to your great tutorial, I had the same problem as Janice at first, but found if I moved the sliders instead of typing the amount in the aptitude levels, it worked perfectly.

  12. chris
    | Reply

    Hi Nan, ps for above, now I want to know how you made the zig zag pattern on your gingham layout?

    • Nannette Dalton
      | Reply

      Hi Chris, I used a template… I did modify the zig zags a bit.

  13. Vivian Short
    | Reply

    Love this tutorial. My paper turned out beautifully. I know there is bound to be a tutorial somewhere for making the border out of my paper. I probably have one. Help? Thank you.

    • Nannette Dalton
      | Reply

      Vivian if I understand you question I think you could create a border by making a stoke outline on it’s own layer then clipping your gingham paper to that. Does that help?

  14. Barbara Gandy
    | Reply

    Loved, loved, loved this tutorial, in fact I loved it so much that I bought the template so I could give it a go. Now all you need to do is give us a tutorial on your “alterations” of the template! LOL I played around with using the polygonal lasso tool to separate the strips of gingham. It was OK, but couldn’t quite get the same effect as yours!!

    • Nannette Dalton
      | Reply

      Hi Barbara, first thank you for all of your kind words. If you want the same chevron look I have here is what I would do. Use my layout as a guide then use the Polygonsl Lasso tool to copy the chevron, fill the shape then clip your papers to it. Good luck!

  15. Finja
    | Reply

    WOW is this genius,
    now I work for a long time with PS but I did not know.
    Thank you for the brilliant tutorial and for sharing.

    🙂 Finja 🙂

  16. Betsy
    | Reply

    How fun! Thank you.

  17. PatriciaD
    | Reply

    I love to learn these quick little tutorials that can so fast create an awesome tool or paper or in this case gingham. LOVE it!! Thank you!!

    • Nannette Dalton
      | Reply

      Hi Patricia, you have made my day! So glad you enjoyed the tutorial.

  18. lsattgast
    | Reply

    Great tutorial, Nann! I accidentally hit Enter and applied the Wave filter before I was done filling in the values and got an awesome plaid!

    If you leave the “Type” to Sine and play with the Amplitude and Scale, you get plaid.

    • Nannette Dalton
      | Reply

      Thanks Linda, I love just playing around with different filters and discovering new surprises!

  19. Terri
    | Reply

    I love how easy this is. My question is, how did you figure out how to do this? That could not have been easy with wavelength, amplitude, scale, etc. You don’t just stumble across something like that do you? (I wouldn’t). thanks for the great idea!

  20. Andrea Graves
    | Reply


    Can I just say…you are amazing! You have the coolest DST’s. WOW! Love this, and your example page is gorgeous! You ROCK, girlie!

  21. Suzie Limber
    | Reply

    That was so much fun! I love learning new techniques in PSE. Thanks for the tutorial.

  22. Cathi H Branham
    | Reply

    Oh My Goodness! Thank you so much! This was so much fun and you made it so very easy!!

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