Vintage Stencil Style in Photoshop

Last week we posted a tutorial showing how to create simple artwork in Illustrator and then in Photoshop we added a few effects to make it look old and with that vintage/hipster feel. Some people asked about some of the steps in Photoshop so I decided to make a simple walkthrough about how to use Photoshop to create this kind of effect. It's a simple technique but it can be very handy for this kind of artwork.

So in this tutorial I will show you how to create a simple vintage look stencil in Photoshop. The whole process will take around one hour and you won't need anything special besides time and a few dirty brushes.

Step 1

Create the artwork you want to apply the effect. I used Adobe Illustrator to create this simple stencil.

Vintage Stencil Style in Photoshop

Step 2

In Photoshop now, place the stencil. Add a new layer and fill it with black, that will be the background. With layer style, apply a white Color Overlay in the stencil.

Vintage Stencil Style in Photoshop

Step 3

Group the black layer with the white stencil and convert it to a smart object. Filter>Convert to Smart Filters. Apply a Gaussian Blur, go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Use 4 pixels for the Radius.

Vintage Stencil Style in Photoshop

Step 4

Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Levels. Change the values until you cannot see the blur effect anymore. After that make sure that the Adjustment Layer is clipped to the layer (Layer>Create Clipping Mask).

Vintage Stencil Style in Photoshop

Step 5

Create a new layer on top of the stencil and then with a regular dirty brush add some of the texture.

Vintage Stencil Style in Photoshop

Step 6

Group the stencil layer with the brush layer and then change the Blend Mode of the folder to Lighter Color. Also add an image for the background.

Vintage Stencil Style in Photoshop

Step 7

My image looks really bright and doesn't create enough contrast with the logo. So go to Image>Adustments>Hue and Saturation. Reduce the Saturation a little bit and also the Lightness. The values will depend on the image you will be using.

Vintage Stencil Style in Photoshop

Step 8

Go to Image>Adjustments>Levels. Change the Output Values and also the grey Input value to make the image much darker.

Vintage Stencil Style in Photoshop

Step 9

Now go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Photo Filter. Use the Warming Filter at 65% Density.

Vintage Stencil Style in Photoshop

Step 10

Convert the folder with the stencil and the brush effect to a smart filter. Go to Filter>Filter Gallery>Brush Strokes>Accented Edges. Play with the values until you have an effect that looks natural.

Vintage Stencil Style in Photoshop


Reduce the opacity of the logo to 95% depending on the background. You can also use levels to make it not so bright besides that, the design is pretty much done. I believe this little step by step might help those that were having some difficults during the last tutorial. Now it's up to you, have fun and a great 2014 to you all.

Vintage Stencil Style in Photoshop

Download Photoshop file

Click here to download the Photoshop file used for this tutorial

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Abduzeedo is a blog about design. There are all sorts of articles for those who want to look for inspiration. Also you will find very useful tutorials for the most used applications out there, with a special selection of Photoshop Tutorials and Illustrator Tutorials.

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