Photoshop: Curled Sticker

If you’re a frequent ‘surfer’, you’ve probably seen graphics like the one we’re going to be creating. Many people are using them to link to their social networks on their websites. Let’s take a look at how you can create your own!

Curled Sticker in Photoshop

Difficulty: Moderate. This tutorial assumes you have basic Photoshop knowledge.

I have decided to start with a document of 512×512. The dimensions of your document are completely up to you, however, if you start bigger or smaller, you will probably need to adjust some of the settings we go through. Once the document is created, grab your Ellipse Tool from the Tool Panel on the left, and draw out a perfect circle. (Hold down your Shift key to ensure that it’s perfectly circular.)

Now that we have a basic circle, let’s add a few Layer Styles to spiff it out a bit. You can access your Layer Styles by either double-clicking on the layer, or heading to Layer > Layer Styles and choose Gradient Overlay. Just like the size of the sticker, the colors are completely up to you. I decided to start with a red color scheme. Below, I have attached the settings and colors that I choose.

Note: The angle that you choose may change depending on the location of the curl.

Once you’re satisfied with the gradient, I chose to add two more Layer Styles. A Stroke and a Drop Shadow. The settings for both are below.

Styling your layers can be done at anytime during the process. I found that adding Layer Styles early, helps mold your final result. Now that the styles are applied, let’s start working on the curl. There are a few ways that we can create this element, so you may want to experiment with different methods if you’re not happy with this result. Start off by duplicating your current layer in the Layer Panel. You can simply press Command+J (Mac)/CTRL+J (PC) to duplicate.

Now, what we need to do, is seclude the bit that we’re going to use for the curl. In this case, the top left corner. Grab your Pen Tool from the Tool Panel, and make sure you have the “Subtract from shape area” button punched in, seen below.

Now, create a path that includes everything EXCEPT the top left corner of this layer. In the image below, you can see that I created a path that slices through the top corner, then goes around the bottom of the shape.

If you’ve done it correctly, this should leave you with a shape that contains only a section at the top left corner of the layer. Everything else is masked away. Once this is set, we need to rotate and move this piece into place. To rotate, head up to Edit > Transform Path > Flip Horizontal, then repeat the process, but flip it vertical as well.

Once you move the shape into place, your result should look like the image below:

Note: I removed the “Stroke” Layer Style on this layer.

Now there’s a problem. We have the curl in place, but the original layer is still sticking out the top. We need to remove that bit at the top left. Go ahead and select your large circle layer in your Layers Panel, then grab the Pen Tool once again. Make sure the “Subtract from shape area” button is still punched in. Now, instead of selecting everything BUT the top left, you’re going to select ONLY the top left corner. Basically, the area that’s still visible.

If all goes well, that corner will no longer be visible. To hide the path lines, you can use the following shortcut:

Mac: Command+Shift+H
PC: CTRL+Shift+H

Time to jazz the curl up! Just like we added Layer Styles to the large circle, we’re going to add them to the curl as well. Let’s add a Gradient Overlay, an Inner Shadow, and a Drop Shadow. All the settings can be seen below.

Note the angle of the gradient, and the colors. The back of a sticker is usually white, and semi transparent. There also needs to be a slight shadow to give the illusion of depth.

This Inner Shadow will help with the semi-transparent look. We are adding a border around the bottom, similar to the one on the larger circle.

The “Spread” option allows the shadow to pull out and touch the edges of the larger circle.

This is what your result should look like once the Styles are added. You may need to tweak the values to get the result you’re looking for.

From here, the sky’s the limit. Even though the sticker is red, you can add a Hue/Saturation adjustment Layer to change it to blue!

One of the many outcomes that can be achieved using this method.

Start experimenting. There are a million routes you can take when it comes to graphics like this. Move the curl around, add some perspective, add your logo, etc. Hope you enjoyed!