Retro Style Banner

with 15 Comments

Nannette Dalton pic

I don’t know what it is about retro, but I am loving it right now. I love the bold colors and the distinctive graphic design.

Lately I have been seeing these cute little retro style banners all over the place. I just love how they look. I thought they would be a fun element to learn how to make and use on my pages. Then, I thought, maybe you would like to learn how to make them, too.

Let’s get it done!


Step One:  Prepare the Workspace

  • Create a new document (File > New > Blank File) that is 5in wide by 1in high at 300ppi with a transparent background. (Photoshop: Choose File > New.)
  • Click on the Foreground Color Chip to open the Color Picker, choose a color and click OK. I sampled a color from my layout. It is Hex# ed94b2.

Step Two: Create a Rectangle and Add a Stroke

  • Get the Rectangle tool.
  • In the Tool Options, open the Geometry Options and choose Unconstrained.
  • Click on the Create New Shape Layer icon. (Photoshop: Also click on the Shape Layer icon.)

  • On your document, click and drag out a rectangle shape, leaving room for the ends of your banner.
  • In the Tool Options, click on the Simplify button. (Photoshop: In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Rasterize > Shape.)

  • In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Layer Style > Style Settings. (Photoshop: Choose Layer > Layer Style > Stoke.)
  • In the dialog box, place a checkmark next to Stoke and twirl open the settings. Set the Size to 8 px, the Opacity to 100%, and choose a complementing Color for your stoke. I used #f6f5c1. (Photoshop: Also choose Center for the Position.)

Note: You could also add a stroke from the Edit Menu but then it wouldn't stay as a style to the element when you create the ends. Creating your stroke from the Style Settings will make the outline go around the whole thing even if you cut out a part. Stick with me you will see what I mean.

Step Three: Create and Add the Ends

  • Get the Rectangular Marquee tool.
  • In the Tool Options, click on the New Selection icon, set the Feather to 0, and Aspect should be Normal. (Photoshop: Style should be Normal.)
  • On your document, click and drag a selection outline around 1/3 of your rectangle.

  • Press Ctrl J (Mac: Cmd J) to make a copy of your selection.
  • In the Layers panel, click and drag the duplicate layer below the original rectangle layer.
  • Get the Move tool.
  • In the Tool Options, uncheck Auto-select layer.
  • On your document, click near the duplicate rectangle and move it to the left and down a bit.

  • Get the Polygonal Lasso tool. In the Tool Options, click on the Create New Shape Layer icon and set the Feather to 0.
  • In the Layers panel, make sure the duplicate rectangle layer is still active.
  • On the document, click to create a triangle shape at the left edge of the rectangle. See the image below.

  • Press the Backspace key (Mac: Delete key) to cut out the end of your banner.

Note: See how the outline stays with the cut? Magic!

  • Press Ctrl D (Mac: Cmd D) to deselect.

Note: Don’t worry if your cut isn't perfect, it gives it a little personality!

  • With the end of your banner still the active layer, press Ctrl J (Mac: Cmd J) to duplicate it.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose Image < Rotate < Flip Layer Horizontal. (Photoshop: Choose Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal.)
  • Get the Move tool.
  • On the document, hold down the Shift key and drag the new end to the right. See the image below.

Step Four: Add a Shadow

  • In the Layers panel, with the right end still active, click on the Create a New layer icon.
  • Open the Color Picker, choose a color that is darker than your original color, and click OK.

Note: I usually go straight down from my original color. If your original color is a dark color, pick a lighter version of it. I chose #905166.

  • Get the Polygonal Lasso tool.
  • On the document, click to create a triangle shape as shown in the image below.

  • Press Alt Backspace (Mac: Alt Delete) to fill the selection with the Foreground Color Chip.
  • Press Ctrl D (Mac: Cmd D) to deselect.
  • Repeat Step Four for the other end.

Step Five: Add Your Banner to a Scrapbook Page

Note: At this point you may want to save your banner as a PSD template so you can use it again.

  • In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Merge Visible.
  • In the Layers panel, click on the layer and drag it onto your scrapbook page.

Here are some variations of this same banner.

Note: if you clip paper to your banner, you'll need to do it before you merge the layers.



Digi Scrap Tutorial: Retro Style Banner by Nannette Dalton
Layout: January 2013 by Nannette Dalton

Kit: Two Hearts by Anita Designs
Stitching: All Stitched Up by Susie Roberts
Tutorial: Chalkboard by Christina Rambo (originally included in the August 2012 Premier issue)
Quote: Crystal Wilkerson's 30 Days of Gratitude Quotes

Fonts: Birmingham Tiltling, KG Heart Doodles, DK Crayong Crumble, fff Tusj

Download this Digi Scrap Tutorial

15 Responses

  1. Mary A Derichsweiler

    In elements 7 the layer style settings is grayed out.

    • Nannette Dalton

      Not sure exactly what the problem may be. Check and make sure you have activated the shape layer in the layers panel. You may be on the background layer which will not allow layer styles.

    • lsattgast

      Mary—in PSE 7 and earlier you must first double click on a style in the Effects panel to activate the Layer menu option to open the Styles panel. As long as you have to do that anyway, you might as well double click on the fx icon that appears on the layer to access the same dialog box. Uncheck whatever style you added and check the stroke outline.

      It’s kind of a crazy workaround, but that’s what you have to do with the older versions of Photoshop Elements. This was fixed in PSE8.

      • Nann

        Thanks for your help Linda.

        • Mary A Derichsweiler

          Thanks Linda, I finally got it. I do have elements 10,but wanted to use seven instead.Very nice instructions.

  2. Beverly

    When I clipped a paper to my merged banner, the shadow disappeared. How do you clip and keep the shadow?

    • Nannette Dalton

      Beverly, I am not sure what step you are at when you clip your papers. I do not merge my banner template but keep it in layers. It should work that way.

    • Pam

      When my shadows disappeared, it was because the layers were not in the right order. The order I have the layers in is:
      Left shadow
      Left banner piece
      Right shadow
      Right banner piece
      See if that makes a difference for you.

      • Pam

        Well, sorry — I didn’t read your question well enough to see that you clipped a paper to it. I haven’t gotten that far yet!

  3. Barb

    Wonderful tip!!

  4. Terry [UK]


    Anyone else having trouble with the downloaded pdf file? My copy won’t open but displays and error message as “Bad encrtypt dictionary” never seen anything like this beofre>

    Terry [UK]

    • Nann

      The PDF download is working for me, so try it again. Be sure to right click on the link and choose the Save option for your browser. If you continue to have trouble, let me know.

  5. Bonnie Cuddihy

    Thanks again for a new tip. I never thought about making my own banner but it is not very hard when you take it apart. Thanks.

  6. Aissa Mayorga-Lum

    I just downloaded the PDF tutorial file. After taking Linda Sattgast’s “Get Organized Now!” I tried to add keywords in Bridge to this file. Unfortunately the file downloads as a locked file and no metadata changes are allowed. I would appreciate if I were able to add keywords for easier search within Bridge. The work around is including all the keywords into the file name but I prefer keywords. Thanks for your consideration.

    • Nannette Dalton

      PDF documents are searchable in Bridge so there is no need to add a keyword to it.