Pimp My Text: Bling Bling With Photoshop

Jennifer Farley
Jennifer Farley

S Last week I was watching the opening credits of “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here” and I noticed the titles consist of bling bling text getting dropped into the jungle. I’ve also noticed quite a few ads on TV using bling text as Christmas approaches. So today we’ll have a look at how to produce some sparkling silver and diamonds (or diamante) text in Photoshop using layer effects, blending modes and filters.

1. Start off with a new canvas (size 600 x 300 pixels in this example) with a dark gray background. I’m going down the gangsta route here and pimping out SitePoint using a Blackletter font called Divine set in white. The bling effect works best with fairly thick heavy fonts.


2. We’ll use layer styles now to make our text look like it’s made from silver. Click on the layer effects button on the bottom of the Layer palette and choose Inner Shadow and use the same (or similar) settings to what I have below. Notice that the opacity is fairly low. Don’t click OK yet.



3. Click on the words Bevel and Emboss on the left hand side and use the following settings. Don’t click OK yet.



4. Now click on the word Stroke and use the following settings. Set the stroke position to center and change the Fill Type from Solid to Gradient.


Double click on the Gradient to open the Gradient Editor, then choose Silver from the list of gradients. If you can’t see Silver listed then click on the arrow in the top right corner to load the additional gradients that come with Photoshop and choose Metals from the drop down menu.



So that’s our silver text in place. Now we want to add loads of diamonds to show that we are extra classy!

5. Ctrl + Click (Win) or Cmd + Click (Mac) on the text thumbnail in the Layers palette to select the contents of the layer.


6. Choose Select > Modify > Contract by 2 pixels.


7. Don’t deselect yet, but add a new layer. Name the layer diamonds.

8. Make sure your default colors are black and white (Press D to reset them), then choose Filter > Render > Clouds. This adds a dark cloudy texture to the selected area.

9. The clouds are a bit too dark, so choose Image > Adjustment > Brightness/Contrast and drag the Brightness slider to the right to lighten up the selection. Click OK.


10. And now for the diamonds. Choose Filter > Distort > Glass. The Filter dialog box opens up now and you’ll see a preview of your layer on the left hand side. For texture choose Tiny Lens and use the Distortion, Scaling and Smoothness settings as below. It’s actually quite difficult to see the preview because it’s sitting on the checkerboard pattern so you might have a bit of trial and error when you’re playing with the settings.


Click OK and your new fancy diamonds will be added to the layer. You can now deselect the selection by pressing Ctrl + D or Cmd + D. Your type should now look a little bit like this:


11. The final step is to add a little bit of sparkle. Add a new layer and name is Sparkles. Select the Paintbrush tool and in the options bar choose the large sparkle brush. If you can’t see this brush, click on the arrow in the top right corner and choose Assorted Brushes from the drop down menu. Set the foreground color to white and paint in a few sparkles on the text. Vary the size of the brush as you paint.



12. Finally, take a very soft small round brush and paint a light blur on top of each of the sparkles. Et voila!


(Optional). If you want to change the background to a lighter color, you can then add a visible drop shadow.


This is one way to produce the bling effect. Photoshop being Photoshop, I’m sure there are numerous other ways to get here, but the main thing is to have fun trying.