Create Your Own Social Networking Stitched Fabric Icons

In this tutorial I will show you how to make social networking icons that look like a sewn patch. This tutorial shows you techniques with the pen tool, paths, creating textures, and blending modes.

I will show you how to make a twitter icon first.

First go to http://twitterfont.com/ and
download the twitter font and install it.

Just do a search on google for installing fonts if you need a step by step.

In windows just browse to the font folder and extract the files into it.

Creating the texture

To create the texture needed to give the fabric look of the icons create a new document at 400X400px.

Create a new layer and choose the color #a4a4a4 as your foreground color and #b5b5b5 as the backgruond color.

Now use the paint bucket tool to fill in your new layer.

Now go to filter>>sketch>>halftone pattern and use these settings:

Then go to filter>>texture>>grain and use these settings:

Now finally go to filter>>artistic>>film grain

Now you should have the texture needed for the rest of this tutorial. Hide it until the next step.

Creating the icon

Grab your rounded rectangle tool and while holding shift, create an icon of whatever size you like and use the color #4dd1f1. I took a screencap of the twitter site to get an idea on colors.

Now unhide the fabric layer and I am going to copy part of it to put over top of the rounded rectangle.

To do this make sure you have the icon layer selected, hold down ctrl(win) or cmd(mac) and click on the icon beside the icon layer. That will create a selection in the shape of your rounded rectangle.

Once you have made the selection around the icon click on the fabric layer and copy and paste the selection back in the canvas. Move that layer above the icon layer in your palette and hide the fabric layer once again.

Set the new layer’s blending mode to overlay

Once you have done that make a backup of the layers by duplicating and hiding them.

On the 2 duplicated layers merge them together

Creating the stitched effect

Use the ctrl(win) or cmd(mac)+click technique as before on the icon beside the newly merged layer so it creates a selection around the rounded rectangle.

In a new layer above that fill it with black so you have a black rounded rectangle.

Once you have done that use ctrl+t to transform that layer. Hold down shift and size the black rounded rectangle down and position it in the center of the other.

Use the ctrl or cmd+click technique again on that layer to create a selection around it.

Before you go any further with that you need to choose some brush settings.

Hit F5 to open your brush settings palette. Use the settings in the current screencap.

Then go to shape dynamics and use these settings:

Now back to the selection you made earlier.

Click on “paths” in your layer palette. If you don’t see that go to “Window” at the top of photoshop and find paths in the choices and click it to bring it up.

Once in there click on the arrow to the right and choose “Make work path”

A window will pop up and make the tolerance 1.0.

Now go back to your layers and create a new layer above the black rounded rectangle.

Delete the black rounded rectangle layer. In your new layer you should see a path in the rounded rectangle shape.

Now choose your pen tool and make sure it is set like this at the top of your photoshop window:

Now we will create the thread based off of what we have done in the previous steps.

Choose a dark blue foreground color, I chose #0582ab.

Right click on the path on the canvas and choose “stroke path”

Make sure when you choose “stroke path” the window that pops up next has brush selected as the tool and simulate pressure is checked.

Next right click on the path again and choose, “delete path”.

You should be left with some thread around the rectangle

Adding text and finishing up

Add your “T” for the twitter logo by using the downloaded font. I used PicoWhiteAI as the font and used the twitter color which is #33ccff. I just took a screencaop of the actual twitter logo to get the color. I am using 130px as the size of the font.

Use the same technique for the thread as before on the “t” as well

I used a little bit of a brighter blue (#0b67ce) for the thread on it so it would stand out better.

I created a layer below the font and painted white so the “t” is white.

Next I will use the same technique as in the creating the icon steps to copy part of the fabric layer to put over the letter and make it look like fabric.

To give it more of a fabric effect I want to make it look like little strings are coming off of it in random places. So I will use a 1px brush with the same color as the thread and paint little squiggly lines coming off of the thread.

For a final touch I will take an eraser brush and erase parts of the icon to make the fabric look frayed.

And here is the final product:

You can use this technique with any of the other social networking icons. Here are some I made using the same techniques.

Thanks for reading!

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