Greta Koehl at Greta's Genealogy Bog asked me how I made the new banner on this blog.
Here's what I did, step by step. Let me know if you follow these steps to create something similar! But not too similar, cos this is my look now, OK?
Step by step
First I found a font that suited me. It took a bit of searching, but eventually I hit gold at dafont.com. My starting point in Photoshop Elements looked like this:
It was a bit lightweight for what I had in mind, so I made the text bold. I also wanted more dimension to the text, so I used layer styles to add a bevel to the layer and a thin stroke outline in black.
Next I added a pattern adjustment layer and picked a nice woodgrain pattern. I set the layer to 'overlay' and used the text layer as a clipping mask. That made a big difference because it meant that the pattern applied only to the raised bit, not the stroke.
I wasn't happy with the colour so added a brown colour fill adjustment layer to the clipping group - again I liked the look of the 'overlay' setting the best. Then a green colour adjustment layer and I used the layer mask to pick out the leaves. I've just upgraded to Photoshop Elements 9 which has layer masks included - woohoo! - but there are plenty of plugins around that add the feature to earlier versions.
My layers palette looked like this:
And the final product (in case anyone reads this in the future and I have changed the design again) looked like this: