Vintage Rainbow Background



Difficulty: Beginner


In this beginner level tutorial I want to show you a very quick and easy way to make a nice vintage background for your works in Pixelmator.


Step 1

Open Pixelmator and create a new image by choosing File > New. To get results closest to those in this tutorial, choose the 1400×900 image size preset in the New dialog. However, feel free to choose any size you like.


Step 2

Choose Filter > Generator > Stripes, use 10 for the Width and 100 for the Sharpness. Now choose you favorite colors for the stripes and click OK when done.


Step 3

Choose Filter > Distortion > Circular wrap and play with the settings until happy.


Step 4

To fill the hollow in the middle of the stripes choose Filter > Distortion > Pinch Distortion, use 300 for the Radios and 50 for the Scale, drag the center point to the middle of the hollow and click OK. Repeat this action as many times as you need to get the result you want.


Step 5

To delete the white stripes select Edit > Select Color and choose white at 50%. Then hit the backspace key. Click to select the Paint Bucket Tool and enrich your image with different colors in order to make it more vivid.


Step 6

Import any old paper texture and place into your document. Here's an example at Lost & Taken


Step 7

Click to select the striped layer, choose Layer > Bring to Front, then change the Blending to Multiply and reduce the Opacity to 80%. In order to get more powerful effect, click to select the texture layer, choose Image > Brightnes and Contrast and raise the contrast to 10%.



Fell free to experiment with colors, stripes and all the other possible settings. Now you can use it for your cards, flyers or whatever you want to. This vintage rainbow background will give a cheerful look to any of your work.



  • Sander Treur says:

    In step 5 you are using the ‘Magic Eraser Tool’, but I think the ‘Select Color > White’ would be much faster here. Then you can select all the white at once. Nice tut.

    • Jacob Bordieri says:

      You can also get rid of the white by going back to Step 2, choosing the Primary Color and in the color picker turn the opacity down to 0, neat little trick. It’s nice that there are multiple ways to do the same thing.

    • Ashley Rich says:

      Thanks for pointing those methods out. I have updated step 5. Like Jacob said its nice that there are multiple ways to achieve the same thing.

  • Anders Wiik says:

    I cant find the “circular wrap” effect?

    • Anders Wiik says:

      on step 3.
      Is there a difference between the free trial and the full version?

      • Jacob Bordieri says:


        The Circular Wrap filter has been removed but will be coming back in a future update. Stay tuned.

  • DM says:

    I find many of the tuts are window based,so,for those that use Mac,finding what is suggested is a task i.e.:circular wrap and strips. I have started checking dates on tuts so that I am not looking at something old and may have different choices that are not available in updated versions. Great tut, anyway,had fun with it. Thanks

    • Ashley Rich says:

      Thanks DM,

      We would love to be able to update each tutorial as Pixelmator changes but we simply do not have enough time. We’d much prefer to spend our time on site updates and new content, which I think most people would prefer. If you do get stuck at any stage, please feel free to comment.


  • DM says:

    Step #4:” To fill the hollow in the middle of the stripes” Then you jump to step 5 and the middle is still transparent. In step 6 I could not find Pale Mottled Paper (Photoluminary). Went to her site but no paper. What am I missing?

    • Jacob Bordieri says:

      I think Step 4 was just meant to reduce the size of the hollow center not fill it up. See the difference from Step 3 to Step 4, your just extending the stripes inward a bit.

      Good catch on the Paper Texture, her site was hacked and all images were taken. I’ve linked to another paper texture, remember you can use any texture you like!