Sidewalk Chalk

with 8 Comments

I am so ready for spring!! Things are finally starting to warm up here where I live, and I'm looking forward to many more days spent outside enjoying the sunshine. One true sign of spring for me is when the sidewalks in my neighborhood fill up with chalk drawings from all of the kids that live around us. There's something about sidewalk chalk that makes me think of youth, sunshine, and the freshness of spring. I wanted to recreate the look of sidewalk chalk on my scrapbook layouts, and after some trial and error, I found a method that I think works really well. I thought I'd share it with you today!

I chose to use this technique on the title of my layout, but you could just as easily use it on custom shapes or doodles. Feel free to have fun and experiment!

Step One: Prepare the Workspace

  • Create a new 12 x 12 inch document (File > New > Blank Document) at 300 ppi with a white background. (Photoshop: Choose File > New.)
  • Press the letter D to reset the Color Chips to the default of black and white.

Step Two: Add the Type

  • Get the Horizontal Type tool.
  • In the Tool Options, choose a font, size, and color for your type. (I used GoodDog at 80 pts. The color is Hex Code #d36b91.)
  • On the document, click once and type the text of your choice. Click on the checkmark to commit the type.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Simplify. (Photoshop: Choose Type > Rasterize Type Layer.)


Step Three: Create a Grungy Edge

  • In the Layers panel, Ctrl click (Mac: Cmd click) directly on the thumbnail of the type layer to get a selection outline.
  • Click on the Add Layer Mask icon.
  • Ctrl click (Mac: Cmd click) directly on the Layer Mask thumbnail of the type layer to get another selection outline.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose Select > Modify > Contract.
  • In the dialog box, enter 5 pixels and click OK.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose Select > Inverse.
  • Choose Filter > Pixelate > Crystallize.
  • In the dialog box, set the Cell Size to 18 and click OK.
  • Press Ctrl D (Mac: Cmd D) to deselect.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Layer Mask > Apply.


Step Four: Add the Chalk Effect

  • In the Layers panel, click on the Add Layer Mask icon.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose Filter > Render > Fibers.
  • In the dialog box, set the Variance to 64 and the Strength to 2. Click OK.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Layer Mask > Apply.
  • Choose Filter > Noise > Add Noise.
  • In the dialog box, set the Amount to 5%, the Distribution to Uniform, and check Monochromatic. Click OK.

Note: Feel free to experiment with the settings for the Fibers filter to get the look that you want.


Here's the layout I created with my chalk title. I'd love to see what you create with this technique. Show us your layouts in the Digi Scrap Tutorial Gallery.


Digi Scrap Tutorial: Sidewalk Chalk by Lydia Tarbox
Kit: In My Easter Bonnet by Krystal Hartley; April 2014 Premier kit
Fonts: GoodDog and DJB I Love Me Some Lydia Script

Download this Digi Scrap Tutorial

8 Responses

  1. kellielinn
    | Reply

    I love this look, can’t wait to try it out! Thanks Lydia!

  2. Jen (rfeewjlj)
    | Reply

    Love this idea – very fun!! 🙂

  3. HeleneB
    | Reply

    Thanks for making it easy to follow.
    Love it…I just tried it and really like the effect.

  4. Donna
    | Reply

    Thank you for this great tutorial. Can’t wait to try it!

  5. Cynthia
    | Reply

    Thank you – great tutorial.

  6. pughugger
    | Reply

    Thanks, but Spring? It snowed here and was 33 degrees.

  7. Mungo
    | Reply

    What a great look, thank you

  8. Tammy Graf
    | Reply

    My grandchildren and I LOVE sidewalk chalk and this will be so fun to put on their pages. Thanks for the tutorial.

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