Create a Spectacular Grass Text Effect in Photoshop

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What You’ll Be Creating

Envato Tuts+ has been around for many years. During that time, we’ve posted a lot of content. We know that the amount of content on our site may be a bit overwhelming to those of you who have recently discovered our site. That is why we have decided to periodically resurrect some of our older posts for you all to enjoy.

Today, we have decided to bring back a post by Envato founder, Collis Ta’eed, from May 2008, that demonstrates how to create a spectacular grass text effect in Photoshop. Let’s get started!

Love text effects? Create faster effects with Text Generators from Envato Market.

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1. How to Create the Background

Step 1

This tutorial is made up of three parts—the background, the text itself, and some final extra effects. So first of all we’re going to make a background. To do this, we create a new document in Photoshop. I made mine 1920 x 1200 because I want this image to sit on my laptop background.

We start by drawing a Radial Gradient with the Gradient Tool (G) going from a light yellow-green (#adbf41) to a mid-range green (#328a26). I wonder if I’ve ever written a tutorial that doesn’t start with a radial gradient.

Create the Background

Step 2

Now for this image we want to create a really textured background, faintly resembling paper. So the first thing we need is… a paper texture!

Happily, you can grab some really awesome grungy paper textures from Envato Elements and they are nice and large too, which is good because this is a huge canvas.

So I can’t remember which texture I used first, but grab one, desaturate it (Shift-U and set Saturation to -100) and stretch it over the top to fit the canvas. 

Paper texture

Step 3

Now we set the layer to Color Burn and 20% Opacity to blend the texture with our nice green background.

Paper texture over the green gradient background

Step 4

Now, to get a really distressed look, I then copied this layer, spun it around 180° and set it to 20%. Then I brought in a few more layers of paper texture (using different textures) and set them all to Linear Burn or Color Burn layer style and play with Opacity.

Now it looks rougher.

Create the Background Textures

Step 5

Now I duplicated the original background gradient, placed the duplicate layer above all the textures, and set it to 40% Opacity—this tones back the texture so it’s not quite so grungy!

Soften background

Step 6

Now we create a New Layer over the top and, using a large, soft, black brush (B), add some black to the edges. It’s worth toning back the Opacity to about 30% and Overlay. You can then duplicate the layer and run a heavy Gaussian Blur over it (set to about 32 px). That way, the edges really soften out.

OK, we now have a nice background!

Create the Background with soft black edges

2. How to Create the Grass Text

Step 1

OK, we are now ready to make some grass text. To do that, we’re going to need some nice pretty grass to cut. After a lot of searching, I finally found this lovely texture.

So download the image at full-size and copy it on to your canvas. After that, click the eye icon to make the layer invisible.

Grass texture

Step 2

Next, we need some type. So select a font you want to cut out with. I chose Devant Horgen, which is fat and condensed type. I thought it looked nice and grand. And I’ve written the text “EARTH”. That’s because I’m making five of these wallpapers—earth, water, fire, air, spirit… it’s like that cartoon I used to watch as a kid, Captain Planet!

Anyway, just set your text out in white and set it to Overlay and like 50% Opacity. This layer won’t actually show in the end—it’s just a guide layer.

Guide text layer

Step 3

OK, so here’s the text on top of the grass we got earlier. Select the grass layer and Duplicate (Control-J) five times.

Now a bit of planning! To make text out of grass, it’s not going to be enough just to stencil out the grass. Rather we need it to look all rough, with bits of grass sticking out the edges. To do that, we’re going to use the letter shapes as a rough guide and then trace roughly around them and periodically jut out to trace around blades of grass.

I’ll warn you now, it’s very tiresome! 

Guide text layer over the grass texture

Step 4

OK, so here we are tracing. If you want to make it less detailed, Transform (Control-T) the grass layer and make it bigger. 

You should use the Pen Tool (P), and frankly, if you’re not handy with it before you start, you will be by the end!

Notice how in the parts where my path juts out, it sort of follows individual blades of grass. That way, when you have the final cut-out, they will look like pieces of grass sticking out.

Path by Pen Tool

Step 5

Right-click on the path and select Make Selection. Set the Feather Radius to 0

Select the path

Step 6

Select one of the grass layers, and then invert your selection (Control-Shift-I) and Delete.

In the screenshot, I’ve faded back the duplicate grass layers so you can see the cut-out “E” part.

Example of letter e

Step 7

OK, so here we have our “E” on the final background. As you can see, it looks only slightly better than if we’d just used the letter to stencil out the grass without bothering to trace. But that’s OK—what it needs is a bit more depth. After all, if that letter was really sitting there, we should see some shadow and sides to it.

Letter E on background

Step 8

First of all, though, we’ll add some layer styling to give it a bit more of a three-dimensional look. The styles are shown below.

Here’s the set of layer styles

Bevel and Emboss style
Satin style
Drop shadow style

Step 9

So this was all just experimental, and it kinda looks OK, but obviously has a long way to go. Now we’ll add some shadow. For that, we’ll use a technique that I demonstrated in a previous tutorial, Using Light and Shade to Bring Text to Life.

The idea is to make a three-dimensional look. So Control-click the grass layer and then, on a new layer below, fill it with black with the Bucket Tool (G). Move it right and down with the Move Tool (V).

Step 10

Now we run a Filter > Blur > Motion Blur.

Motion Blur settings

Step 11

Set the shadow’s Opacity to 30%.

Shadow opacity

Step 12

Now I duplicated this layer. I erased (Control-E) a bit of it so that as the shadow is closer to the text, it gets darker. I set this layer to Multiply and Opacity to 60%.

Shadow layer options

Step 13

So this text is looking pretty cool, but for that extra depth, we should add some bits of grass in the background/shadow area. Rather than cutting out more grass, we can just use this current letter transformed about so that it’s not obvious that we’re hacking it together.

Duplicate the main grass letter layer, move it under the first grass letter layer, turn off effects (click the eye icon near Effects). Because these new grass bits are in shadow, you might want to use the Burn Tool (O) to darken them appropriately.

Finished E letter

Step 14

Select all Letter E’s layers and Group them (Control-G).

Group letter layers

3. How to Create the Remaining Text

Step 1

Using the same technique, finish the rest of the letters.

Create the Remaining Letters

Step 2

Let’s add more individual blades of grass need to make the look more natural. Select the Smooth Tool from the tools sidebar.

Select the first layer of each letter (with our style effects) and add tips of the grass. Now it looks more random and organic.

Add blades of grass

Step 3

Now, as nice as it’s looking, our text is a little lonely and monotonous. So in this last section we’ll add a few more elements to the design. We don’t want to overdo it, though, because I want this to be a desktop background, so space is important (for all my icons!).

So first up, let’s add some extra text. Here I’ve placed a nice quote about the earth and unity taken from the Baha’i faith (that’s my religion!). I love quotes, because it means we get three parts to decorate—the quote, the quotation marks, and the source.

I used the free PT Sans font from Google Fonts. The color is #bbe571. So here I’ve set the quote to Overlay and 50%, then duplicated the text and set it to Screen and 50%.

Then I’ve added quotation marks in the same Swiss font, but made them extra large and a bright shade of green. Finally, the source of the quote is in teeny letters and centered vertically. And, of course, the whole quote has been measured out so it’s exactly the length of the main “EARTH” text.

Step 4

Now we’ll add two eye-catching elements to offset all the green. These will be a brilliant blue butterfly and a little red ladybug. I used the excellent butterfly and ladybug from Elements. 

Butterfly photo from Elements

Step 5

Open the ladybug and butterfly photos in Photoshop. Use the Pen Tool (P) to trace the images and copy them to our main canvas.

Add ladybug and butterfly to the main image

Step 6

Now we need to place them appropriately. It’s best if they aren’t close together, because that way they’ll balance each other.

I added a drop shadow to each (double-click the layer and choose Drop Shadow in Blending Options). With the ladybug, it’s a very close shadow because he’s small and walking on the grass. With the butterfly, I set some more distance because he’s hovering in the air and therefore the shadow lands a little way away.

Add shadows to photos

Final Image

Here’s the final result! Don’t forget to share your recreation of this grass text effect with us. We would love to see it.


Text Generators From Envato Market

Text effects just got a whole lot easier with text generators from Envato Market. Create mind-blowing effects with realistic textures and 3D shapes! Check out some of our favorites below!

Grass Text Effect Generator

Add a few flowers to your text effect with this amazing text generator. Choose from seven beautiful options to change the color and style of your grass text. Download this pack today to get access to ready-to-use Photoshop actions for one low price!

Grass Text Effect Generator

Leaf Generator Photoshop Action

The eco-design trend is a big hit. Make your designs trendy and fresh with this mockup set! This Photoshop action will help you to make text and shapes look as if they are covered by leaves. Add a natural and organic look to your signs. The set contains brushes, styles, actions, a help file, and a PSD with branches and birds.

Leaf Generator Photoshop Action

Snow Lettering – Photoshop Action

With this Photoshop action, you can have your text or logo written in snow! It’s a very realistic effect for winter projects that you can create in just a couple of seconds. The set includes three different effects:

  • snow lettering: text or logo is written on snow
  • red salt: text or logo written with snow on red salt
  • ice effect: text or logo written with snow on an ice surface. 

You will get all that you need: ATN file (action file), PAT file (patterns file), ABR file (brushes file), PSD file (template for an easy start), PDF doc with help information. This action works with anything: text layers, vector shapes, pixel layers, smart objects, folder groups.

Snow Lettering - Photoshop Action

Carved Wood Text Creator

WIth 18 different actions and Layer Styles, it’s easy to make stylish carved text. The carvings have a roughened edge for more realism. Use this bundle to add a natural and crafty look to your designs.


10 3D Text Styles D_72

Want to create some real wooden text? Here are easily editable wooden style effects. This set contains ten different wood styles, a Photoshop PSD file, Photoshop ASL, and Readme.txt. It works with any font and shapes. 

Add organic texture to your designs in just one click!

10 3D Text Styles D_72

More Text Effect Tutorials

If you want to learn more text effects, here are other cool and very detailed tutorials.

  • Adobe Photoshop
    How to Create a Realistic Embroidery Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop
    John Negoita

  • Text Effects
    How to Create a Wrapped Ribbon Text Effect in Adobe Illustrator
    Andrei Marius

  • Illustrator Brushes
    How to Make a Tentacle Art Brush in Adobe Illustrator
    Diana Toma

  • Text Effects
    How to Create a ‘Stranger Things’ Inspired Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop

  • Illustrator Brushes
    How to Make a Pickle Pattern Brush in Illustrator
    Diana Toma

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