Liven Up Your Title with the Wave Filter

with 5 Comments

130121-Lyd-DSAviThe title work on a scrapbook page can tell you a lot about the story being told, even before you read the journaling.

When I look through scrapbooking galleries, I’m always drawn to layouts with bold, creative titles. They draw me in and make me want to take a closer look at the layout to find out what story is being told.

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a big, bold title with just a dash of fun. We’ll use a Stroke and the Wave filter to create a whimsical outline on your title that’s sure to make your layout stand out!

All it takes is four simple steps. So, take a look!

Step One: Prepare the Workspace

  • Create a new document (File > Open > Blank File) that is 12 in by 12 in 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: Create Your Title

  • Get the Horizontal Type tool.
  • In the Tool Options, choose a font, the point size, and a color for your title. (Tip: To get the best result, choose a large, blocky font. I am using a font called Titan One at a size of 120 pts.)


  • Click on the document and type your title.
  • To reposition while typing, hold down the Ctrl key (Mac: Cmd key) and click and drag inside the Bounding Box.
  • Click on the checkmark to commit the type.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Simplify Layer. (Photoshop: In the Menu Bar, choose Type > Rasterize Type Layer.)


Step Three: Add A Stroke to Your Title

  • In the Layers panel, Ctrl click (Mac: Cmd click) on the thumbnail of the title layer.
  • In the Layers panel, click on the Create a New Layer icon.


  • In the Menu Bar, choose Edit > Stroke (Outline) Selection. (Photoshop: Choose Edit > Stroke.)
  • In the dialog box, set the Width to 12 px, choose a contrasting color, and set the Location to Outside.


  • Click OK.
  • Press Ctrl D (Mac: Cmd D) to Deselect.


Step Four: Apply the Wave Filter to the Stroke Layer

  • In the Menu Bar, choose Filter > Distort > Wave.
  • In the Wave dialog box, set the Number of Generators to 5, the Minimum Wavelength to 95, the Maximum Wavelength to 125, the Minimum Amplitude to 1, and the Maximum Amplitude to 7. These are the settings that worked well for my font. Feel free to alter the settings to fit your font and taste.
  • Click OK.



Now you have a big, bold title with a fun wavy outline! You can use the arrow keys to nudge the outline by a few pixels if you want the outline to be just a bit offset from the underlying title.

Digi Scrap Tutorial: Using the Wave Filter to Create an Outline for a Title by Lydia Tarbox
Layout: Snow Much Fun by Lydia Tarbox
Papers and Embellishments: Winter Wonderland by Elise’s Pieces (originally included in the January 2013 Premier issue).
Paint Wash by Julie Billingsley
Fonts: Titan One, Amatic SC, and 1942 Report

Download this Digi Scrap Tutorial

5 Responses

  1. Carrie (carrie1977)
    | Reply

    Great tutorial, Lydia! Congratulations to you!

  2. Mungo
    | Reply

    What a great effect, thank you for telling us about it.

  3. Cheri Franz
    | Reply

    Welcome! This is a great effect with unlimited applications – ideas are already flashing in my head.
    Linda has a gift for identifying people of excellence. I’m always impressed with each new member of her team – she always manages to locate folks with respectable technical skills combined with high moral character.
    Some might argue that artistic talent and technical skills are all that’s necessary for a web-based business … but Linda & Charlie are convinced otherwise, and I am so grateful that they are.
    I love the abundant wealth of information and easy to follow tutorials that are available for FREE – but the thing that is even more valuable – and sets this site apart – is the underlying integrity of each team member.
    As a writer, I appreciate the succinct way you chose to introduce yourself. I can almost feel the warmth in your home, hear the laughter of your children, see the busy-ness on your calendar – and I’m certain that you are the center of that universe. A confident woman of integrity.
    I look forward to learning more from you in the future as you share your knowledge, skills and love for your family.
    Welcome – and thank you for sharing a peek into your life.

    • Lydia Tarbox
      | Reply

      Oh goodness, Cheri! You are so sweet. Thank you for the kind compliments. I hope I can live up to them. I will certainly try. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed the tutorial. Indeed, there are multitudes of applications for the technique.

  4. lsattgast
    | Reply

    Lydia—your page is absolutely darling! And I love the effect of the wave filter on the stroke outline—makes the title really look playful and fun!

    Thanks, Cheri, for your kind words. Seems like forever since we talked last, so it’s nice to see you here in the comments!

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