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As a kid, I remember coffee-staining scrap paper to create ancient maps that marked out treasure in the backyard. Nowadays, I’ve discovered that the same process can be great for photography projects too. With help from Photoshop, experimenting with textural layers is a great way to introduce an aged look to your images. But sometimes it can be hard to get a hold of quality textures on the internet. That’s where a bit of DIY comes in. By making your own coffee-stained texture, you can create seemingly aged canvases, which can then be applied to your images.
Here’s my result:
Once your coffee-stained paper is dry, scan or photograph the page/s and save the files somewhere handy on your computer.
Next, open an image in Photoshop. This will be the image we’ll apply the coffee-stained texture to. I went with the image below:
If you can’t see the Adjustments panel, select Window from the top toolbar and then click on Adjustments. The Black & White Adjustment Layer will non-destructively convert your image to black and white.
Toggle the Black & White Adjustment Layer settings until you are satisfied with your image.
Next, with the Black & White Adjustment Layer selected in the Layers panel, click File from the top toolbar. Then select Place… and locate and select the coffee-stained image file.
The coffee-stained texture layer will be imported over your original image.
If needed, adjust the dimensions of the coffee-stained image by dragging its corners to completely cover the entirety of the canvas.
With the coffee-stained texture selected in the Layers panel, click on the Blending Modes drop-down menu located within the layers panel. Set the Blending Mode to either Overlay or Soft Light. Overlay is a bit harsher in contrast than Soft Light, so test out both options before settling on one.
Next, select the coffee-stained texture layer and click on the Curves icon in the Adjustment Layers panel. Adjust the Curves settings until you are happy with the overall contrast of your image.
At this point, you can refine the Black & White Adjustment Layer further or even add additional coffee-stained layers to increase the intensity of the aged effect.
This is my finished result…
Here are two more images I’ve attempted to age a little with the same method…
What do you think? Up for a cuppa? If you’ve given the coffee-stained texture method a try, be sure to share your results in the comments!