Grayscales Are Going to Clear Up

The title is my corny take on a song from “Bye-Bye Birdie”, sorry, I just couldn’t resist!!

I (Steph) have received many emails since the site began from people wanting to learn how to color grayscale images. For each email there were at least two people IRL that have asked me about it. So, I decided that my post for today would be a little tutorial covering this.

First, let’s make a grayscale image so we can recolor it! 🙂

1) Open a ribbon or something else that you would like to recolor. I am going to use one of Melissa Bennett’s ribbons from August’s Snapping & Scrapping kit (hurry and get it before it’s gone, if you haven’t). Here’s what it looks like in Photoshop:


2) Next, we are going to take the color out of the ribbon by going to image>adjustments>desaturate as seen below.


Now your image should look like this:


3) We need to add a new layer now. There a few ways to do this, I usually just click on the new layer button in the layers pallet, then make sure the new layer is selected.


4) Now, select your foreground color as the color you want the ribbon to be. I am going to use the green from the Snapping & Scrapping kit.


5) Now, you will need to select the flood-fill bucket from the tools pallet.


This will be the result:


6) Once again make sure the new colored layer is selected (as seen above). Now, just ctrl+alt+g (for PSCS2, PSCS3, PSCS4 and probably later;)) OR ctrl+g (for PSE and PSCS1). Now you this is how things should look (there will not be texture on the ribbon yet):


7) Now, we will add some texture to the ribbon by changing the blend mode. There are many different ways to do this, I usually like to use overlay and then change the opacity if I need to in order to get more detail.


You should now have some great looking ribbon in a different color:


Now, to get this ribbon on a layout in one piece, ctrl+a will select everything and then shift+ctrl+c (or edit>copy merged) will copy it as if it were one png file. Then, go to your layout and ctrl+v or edit>paste to add it there. If I want to be able to use this on another layout later, then I do file>save as and select the file name for the red ribbon, but change the color in the name to green. Then it is saved with all of the designer information as well as being saved right next to the original ribbon it came from.

This is a really great way to be able to use what you have and what you love (that favorite solid paper, favorite ribbon, stitching, etc.). It’s really fun to play with different settings and see what you can come up with, so go ahead, give it a try!!