Add a Fun Sticker Effect to any Image

Add a Fun Sticker Effect to Any Image



Difficulty: Beginner


Quickly turn images of cars, family, friends, celebrities, sports stars and even your dog into a sticker you can use in a fun collage project or add to a website. We will focus on removing backgrounds, image corrections, and trimming to create a nice finish. Let's start making stickers!

StickerEffect final

Step 1 - Image Corrections

First choose an image you want to use, the more the background is clean and solid the easier it will be to remove. The image I'm using is free for any use from Morgue File.


To start with make any photo enhancements you need to. In this case I increased the exposure to bring out the color more. You can also Crop your image down to just what you need, keep in mind leave some space around the object for the sticker effect.


Step 2 - Remove Background

To remove the background we will use several tools. On the solid parts I have used the Magic Eraser Tool ("E" toggles regular and magic erase) As you drag becareful not to erase the object itself.


Use the Magic Erase tool again, targeting a different area.


Now it's time to get more detailed by switching over to the Polygonal Lasso tool (L) make a selection close to your object and create a box, then delete. CMD (command) "D" to deselect.


Now that we've cleaned up the bottom let's move on to the top part.


Using the Lasso tool (L) again follow the curve of the object right on it's edge, even slightly inside the object so we don't have any trace of the background left when we delete.


If you zoom out you can even make the selection go around the outside of the canvas. This is helpful to get every last pixel. Once you box this selection in, hit delete. CMD "D" to deselect.


Now that every thing is removed we need to be sure there aren't any spots we missed.


A great way to do this is add a black background layer as this will show any lightly colored pixels to erase.


Step 3 - Sticker Border

Next CMD click the thumbnail on the image layer to get it's shape.


Go to Edit > Refine Selection and increase the selection to 8px.


Add a new layer underneath the image layer and fill the selection with white.


Step 4 - Drop Shadow

Using the same selection, add another new layer under the white layer and fill with black. We will use this for the drop shadow. Go ahead and turn off or even remove the black background layer, we won't need it anymore.


Create the drop shadow by choosing the black shape layer we filled in and go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the radius to about 17.


Step 5 - Touch Up & Export

To make the color stand out a little more I increased the contrast on the image layer to 8. (Image > Brightness and Contrast)


Lastly go to Image > Trim and the top option "Transparent Pixels" is what we want to remove any of the canvas we don't need. Hit ok.


See how it's nicely trimmed.


Finally go to File > Export and choose PNG in the options drop down box. This will allow you to preserve the transparency and overlay your sticker image onto other objects if you want.



So that's how you can add a sticker effect to just about any image. Now try it yourself and use your own picture. Post up any questions, feedback or a link to your version in the comments below. Thanks again guys, see you in the next tutorial.

StickerEffect final