Free Graphics Resources – Tutorial

free graphics

Do you want to design your own cards or stationery but don’t know where to start? Here’s a tutorial using Photoshop!

Every week starting on Mondays, 6 shops on  Creative Market offer a free digital downloads of one of their products. Each 6 products are chosen by the Creative Market staff for that week only. So I thought I’d do a series of tutorials suggesting ways to use some of the resources. And best of all, if you download them in the week I write the blog post, they are totally free!

creative market homepage
The Creative Market homepage: I’ve marked the link for the free goods with a pink arrow.

You’ll have to register with Creative Market if you don’t already have an account but this doesn’t obliged you to buy anything.  Here are the free goods on offer in any particular week .

Here are the six products on offer this week: I’ll test out four of them.

free graphics
These are the free graphics offered this week. I’ll cover 4 of them in this tutorial.

{Marie} Business Card Template  by NovakLab

Spring is Coming/! Gentle Watercolours by Lembrik’s Artworks

90s Inspired Retro Shape Icons by JOLT

Risoless Script by Konstantine Studio

When you download them, save them somewhere you can find them again on your computer.  Then click on the zip file to unpack it – see graphic below for the Marie Business Card Template:

instructions for opening files for this tutorial

All downloaded, so here goes with the tutorial!

The Marie Business Card Template consists of 4 files for each horizontal and vertical layout – 2 jpgs showing examples of the completed business card (front and back) and 2 Photoshop files with a layered template.  I’m just going to show you ideas for editing the front.  When I opened mine I had a box pop up to say that I didn’t have the fonts  used installed on my computer.  Photoshop offers to find alternative fonts.  Click ‘resolve’ to find a suitable substitute or just click cancel – don’t worry too much about this as I’ll be showing you how to change the font later.

free business card template
Just click cancel when this pops up, I’ll show you how to change the font later

Click on the T (for text) on the tools menu (left hand side of the screen) and on the layer which says ‘MARIE GREEN’ and highlight the text you want to change by clicking and dragging your mouse over the text.  Change it to your own name.

instructions for changing text
I’ve already changed my name here

Click on the ‘move’ button on the toolbar on the left hand side.  You can see it highlighted in darker grey in the photo below.  Click on the character toolbar on the right and scroll through the different fonts.  You will see them change to each font in turn as you scroll down – pick one that you like.  Do the same to change the size, spacing etc.  Here is mine.  Repeat these steps for the rest of the text.

how to change fonts easily
Again if the ‘character’ toolbar isn’t open, click Window>character and it will appear

You can change the background colour by clicking on the layer called background color, double clicking in the colour box and picking a new colour from the color picker which pops up. Click OK to save.

showing how to change background colour
double click on the colour box in the layers panel to open the colour picker

You can turn the various leaves and effects on or off to change the background or you can bring in a completely new background.  For the purposes of this demo I’m going to show you how to change the background using some of the other free goods.

how to turn layers on and off in Photoshop

In this case I decided to add one of my turquoise watercolour ombre papers. Open the file, click ctrl a to select it all, and ctrl c to copy it to the clipboard.

my turquoise ombre background

Then click on the business card file, click on the layers panel just below the white rectangle and click ctrl v to paste it in.  It will add a new layer automatically.  The business card file is a very small one (3.75″ x 2.25″) so you will probably need to resize the background.

how to resize files in Photoshop
Click on one of the corners (where the little squares are) of that black box and drag them to resize the file, and then press the enter key to confirm it.

Click ctrl t (transform command), hover over the corner of the box that appears, and when the cursor turns into a double sided diagonal arrow, holding down the shift key to keep the same dimensions, resize it to fit.    To keep the ombre effect on this one I didn’t bother holding down the shift key and just clicked and dragged the 4 sides to fit the rectangle.  When you’re happy with the size, click enter and it will save it.

turquoise ombre watercolor background added
Resizing done!

I decided to add some of these jazzy 90s inspired retro shape icons to my ombre background so I opened the zip file as before, clicked on the png files (which have a transparent background) and clicked ctrl a and ctrl c again to copy, ctrl v to paste the shape into the business card on top of the new ombre background and the white rectangle but behind the text.  I resized and rotated them as necessary (for that you hover over the corners until the cursor turns into a double sided arrow that is bent – sorry, I tried to do a screenshot but it wouldn’t work!) and this was the result:

90s retro icons added
It gives a different feel to the image, don’t you think?

Next I installed the Risoless font: to do this, click on the downloaded file and click on either the OpenType or TrueType file, I’m not sure what the difference is between the two but they both seem to work on my computer.  Then click ‘install’ on the box that appears (see below).  You will now be able to use that font in any application that uses fonts.

the box to install a new font


adding Risoless font
Click on the character menu and scroll through as before – you’ll see that the Risoless font has appeared.

To give a very different feel to the business card I decided to use the fourth free product, gorgeous hand painted Spring is Coming! Gentle Watercolours.  I changed the background to this one from my Blue Shibori Paper Pack, again copying it, pasting it just below the white rectangle, and resizing it holding down the shift key to keep the proportions right.

shibori watercolour background

I added some of Lembrik’s Artworks’ flowers by using the rectangular marquee tool to isolate just part of the flowers, copying, pasting, resizing and rotating as shown above.

use the marquee tool to select just the part you want
use the marquee tool to select just the part you want

the finished design

What do you think of the results?  Grab your free files this week and show me what you make with them!

By the way, here is an FAQ about licenses for using Creative Market products.  If there was anything you don’t understand in this tutorial, do ask me in the comments and I’ll try and help.

*NB this post contains affiliate links to Creative Market

The 10 best posts of the last 10 years

12 watercolour crayons arranged in a circle

I started this blog on 21st January 2005, exactly 10 years ago today, so I thought I’d have a dig in the archives to find 10 articles that I wrote, one for each year.  Okay, maybe they are not the absolute best of the posts for that year but they encapsulate what I thought summed up that year for me.  So here goes!

1.  The best post of 2005 (and arguably of the whole blog) has to be one I wrote right at the end of the year.  It is a photo tutorial I made on the spur of the moment during a brief respite from Christmas preparations.  I called it How to Make a Concertina Book .  It is also my most popular, mostly because it was noticed by an origami blogger, Eric Gjerde who submitted it to Make Magazine. It still gets pinned on Pinterest today.

concertina book opened up
This little concertina (or accordian) book is a nifty way of displaying your painted papers


2.  In 2006 I did a lot of dyeing fabric and thread.  Here is one of the blog posts showing some of the results.

dyeing fabric scrunched up and colourful
Fabric scrunched up in a cat litter tray being coloured – low immersion dyeing or tray dyeing


3.  In 2007 I compiled the Google map of textile museums and a list of those online too.  Some of the links are probably dead after all this time but it would still be worth delving into if you like fabric related museums.

4. In 2008 I did a lot of Gocco printing (remember that?).

Lots of postcards printed with the Print Gocco
I’d obviously had a good session with the Print Gocco machine here


5.  In 2009 I was selling on Etsy and wrote a post for the Ecoetsy team about How to reuse Scrap Paper for journalling, packaging and tags.

Lots of printing going on
I’d had fun printing grids and embossed pizza bases amongst other things


6.  In 2010  I did a lot of screenprinting in 2010, mostly on layered on fairly large pieces of fabric.

Screen with wisteria leaves painted on with screen filler.
Screen with wisteria leaves painted on with screen filler.


Also it was the Year of the Reeds, – I took a walk each month in a local park where they grow along the river, and posted photos taken throughout the year showing how they changed over the seasons.  Here is July’s and – if you’re particularly interested in reeds – here is a link which lists each time I mention them….

reeds in the sunlight
Reeds in the sunlight


7.  In 2011 I documented a walk around Crindau, an area of Newport.  I started walking a lot around that time and explored the city to discover quiet back streets and alleyways.

Lots of terraced houses in Newport from the top of some steps
You can see lots of rooftops and chimneys from the top of this flight of steps looking towards Crindau.


8.  In 2012  I took 12 photos of 12 things to celebrate the year.

12 watercolour crayons arranged in a circle
12 Stabilo chunky watercolour crayons sitting on some rust dyed fabric


9.  In 2013 the blog languished, but I did a lot of upcycling clothes inspired by the Great British Sewing Bee, and I took the Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design course which kickstarted my pattern designing.

Close up of Harris tweed jacket
Detail of some hand printed fabric stitched on to a Harris Tweed jacket pocket.


10.  In 2014 – at the beginning of the year I took part in the Paper Love Bloghop with lots of pictures of all sorts of paper!

Lots of colourful printed and dyed paper
A selection of the paper I’ve collected or printed over the years.


Well, there we are, I hope you enjoyed that quick run through the last 10 years – I wonder what the next decade will bring?  Well, some train ticket art no doubt!

Chiaroscuro Exhibition

It’s been an age since I wrote anything in this blog – life has been rather stressful family-wise and I’ve been doing my best to keep up (and catch up!) with Module 2 of the pattern course I’m doing.

DS1 is currently on a backpacking holiday round the world so September was spent  helping him prepare for that – he spent the first month ‘doing’ Eastern Europe and flew to Kathmandu earlier this week.  He is planning to travel around Nepal, India, Thailand and a few other places before ending up in Perth, Australia in the New Year when he hopes to get work to fund more travel!  He has a blog which is quite entertaining.

Chiaroscuro, the exhibition I mentioned in my last post opened today and the opening night starts at 7pm tonight – if you live locally (South Wales) you’d be very welcome to come along to chat to the artists there!  All the details are on our Facebook Page, including several photos of us putting the show up!  

Birth of a City wallhanging


It’s on for 4 days until this Saturday, 2 November, 2pm – 8pm each day, Pontrhydrun Baptist Church, Cwmbran, NP44 2ND

12 things x 12… a bit late!

I got so inspired seeing all the Facebook pictures of 12 things to celebrate the 12th of the 12th 2012 yesterday that I decided to do my own … pity I was a day late but never mind!  I had so much fun finding groups of 12s in my studio and rediscovering a lot of nice arty things I’d almost forgotten I had, that I went mad and did more than 12 so you’ll be seeing some of them here in the future… 

12 black pens

1.  12 black pens for making gocco/thermofax masters for screens with.

12 inks

2.  12 inks.

12 beads

3.  12 round beads.

12 handmade beads

4.  12 hand made beads.

12 buttons

5.  12 brown buttons.

12 reels of vintage thread

6.  12 reels of vintage Sylko thread.

12 thread labels

7.  12 thread labels.

12 glass pins

8.  12 glass headed pins.

12 stamps made from fun foam

9.  12 stamps made from fun foam stuck on card.

12 carved stamps from erasers 

10.  12 stamps carved from erasers or that pink rubbery stuff.

12 print gocco ink tubes

11.  12 Print Gocco ink tubes.

12 wooden printing blocks.

12.  12 wooden printing blocks.