Distressed Patterns and How to Use Them and a Freebie

April 14, 2018

Hey everyone! Today I’m here to talk about patterns.  Subtle or bold, distressed or not,  patterns add so much to a digital scrapbook page.

With the use of Blend Modes and Opacity Levels you can convert a plain paper to a pretty paper. Here’s how:

  1. In Photoshop or Elements, open a background paper.
  2. Place a Pattern on the layer above the background paper.
  3. Experiment with Blend Modes and Opacity Levels of the Pattern.

Yes. It’s really that simple. Sure there are other things you can do to add even more interest, but basically, that’s it.

Here is a simple cardstock paper with a Distressed Pattern, in Normal mode on the layer above the cardstock.


In the image below I’ve changed the Blend Mode of the pattern to Multiply and lowered the opacity to 26%.


By changing the Blend Mode to Screen, and increasing the opacity (to 73% in this case), we can get a totally different look:


Here’s another example.  I changed the blend mode of the pattern to Hard Mix and lowered its opacity to 47%. I added a Color Balance adjustment layer to it, tweaking some of the colors. Now we have a totally different paper from the one above.


Don’t restrict yourself to plain cardstock though. Here is a paper from my This is Me April kit.


It’s a pretty paper by itself, but if you wanted to add even more interest, here’s something you might try:

  1. Add a pattern on a layer above a paper
  2. Experiment with Blend Modes and Opacity Levels. In this case, I used Color Burn and lowered the Opacity to 84%
  3. I added a Mask to the Pattern, and brushed away most of the pattern, leaving it mostly at the top of the paper.


There are just so many ways to play with patterns!  

I have 2 new sets of patterns in my store, along with a Freebie for you to experiment with.

These patterns are provided in PNG format, which gives you the ultimate flexibility!

Distressed Patterns 01

Available, with an introductory 25% savings, at  SnickerdoodleDesigns     SugarHillco



Distressed Patterns 02

Available, with an introductory 25% savings, at  SnickerdoodleDesigns     SugarHillco


If you would like to have both packs, I’ve combined them for you in a money-saving bundle!

Available at SnickerdoodleDesigns and SugarHillco

sd-cu-distressed-patterns-bundle-1000pvAnd to practice with?  Here ya go! Just click on the image below!

Experiment and have fun!!

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  1. Pam K

    Thank you for the tutorial, Karen. && thank you most of all for giving us a sample to play with. It really helps when trying to do these things on my own. There is sooo much to learn!

  2. Peggy S

    Beautiful! Thank you! These are so fun to play with, and especially great when you can’t find just the right color for your page, or don’t want to take the time to look. You make it!

  3. Steph

    Thanks for the free pattern overlay, Karen. Your new sets look fantastic. Is there an equivalent Adjustment In PSE for the Color Balance you used in the last example?

  4. Barbara S

    Thank you Karen – I love overlays (patterns) and will try this

  5. Dona

    Thank you for the freebie and the examples for using these.


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