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How to Make a Christmas Ornament in Photoshop

written by: Bruce Tyson•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 11/15/2010

This season, make Christmas ornaments in Photoshop to liven up your artwork with a holiday theme. To help you do get started, follow this easy step-by-step process that shows you how to make a Christmas ornament in Photoshop.

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    Getting Started

    It's a joyful season, so why not spread your joy through all your artwork in Photoshop? In this Photoshop tutorial, you will learn a way to make Christmas ornaments in Photoshop. There's more than one way to skin a holiday cat (or is it a Grinch?), so once you get some ideas here, go ahead and add your own creativity to the mix and you'll be sure to have some awesome graphics for your cards, newsletters, gift tags, wallpaper, and other holiday graphics that you will create.

    To get started, you need to have a version of Adobe Photoshop installed on your computer. If you don't have Photoshop, you can visit the Adobe Web site and download a trial version. If you like the program you can buy it online once your trial period is over.

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    Making the Basic Shape

    In this section of this Photoshop tutorial, you will actually make a Christmas ornament in Photoshop. Open the program and then create a new image. The size of your actual image will vary depending on your preference, but here we'll use a width of 1024 pixels and a height of 768 pixels with a resolution of 300 pixels per inch.

    christmasornament001 In your new workspace, create a new layer to form the basis of your Christmas ornament. Grab the "Elliptical Marquee" tool from the Photoshop toolbox and then draw a circle by holding the shift key down as you drag your mouse.


    We'll make a green ornament here, so set green as your background and white as your foreground in the color palette. Now go get the gradient tool from the Photoshop toolbox.


    Double click on the gradient color on the menu bar to open up the "Gradient Editor" window. In the Gradient Editor, choose "Foreground to Background" for the name and leave the gradient type set on "Solid."


    Click the OK button and draw a diagonal line with the gradient tool across your Christmas ornament from top left to bottom right. You should now have something that looks similar to the following image.


    Now add some noise by clicking on the "Filter" option on the main menu and then selecting "Noise" and then "Add Noise."

    christmasornament006 Set the noise for five or six percent in the "Add Noise" window. Click the "Uniform" disribution radio button and check the "Monochromatic" check box.


    Click the "OK" button and now get ready to add some 3D effects.

  • slide 3 of 3

    Add 3D and Wrap Up

    To add 3D look to your Christmas ornament, create a new layer called "3D" in your "Layers" palette. Hold the <CTRL> button down while you click on your fundamental layer so you have them both selected. christmasornament008 Next, click on the fundamental layer to de-select it (your circle should still be selected). You should now see your circle selected as well as your 3D layer as shown below.

    christmasornament009 Now, click the "Edit" option on the main menu and then click "Fill." Choose "Black" for the "Use" field and set "Opacity" to 100%.


    Click the "OK" button. Now, go to the "Layers" window and click the "Add Layer Mask" option at the bottom. You will now see a layer mask icon appear on the 3D layer section of the "Layers" window.

    christmasornament011 Click the icon to the left on the "3D" line and then grab the "Gradient" tool from the Photoshop toolbox. Draw a gradient from the top left toward the bottom right. You should now get something similar to the image below.

    christmasornament012 Now draw an oval to use as the top ring of your Christmas ornament. After that, click on it with the select tool, hold the ,ALT> key down and then tap the "Up Arrow" key on your keyboard to build the area that holds the hook. You will end up with something like the following image.

    christmasornament013 All you do now is free transform the topmost layer into a smaller oval and then fill it with black and you're done.


    Now you know how to make a Christmas ornament in Photoshop. To adapt this for your own use, you may want to change colors and gradients or add additional effects. You could even try saving your ornament as a Photoshop custom shape. Merry Christmas!

    Image Credits: Screen shots taken by Bruce Tyson