Paper Strips Design Background – Photoshop Tutorial

Paper Strips Design Background – Photoshop Tutorial

23/10/2018 0 By Carol

Learn how to create this background with 3d paper strips, using a couple of free textures and Photoshop’s built-in tools.

Paper Strips Background

This background is not my original design, it was published as a tutorial on Photoshop Tutor some years ago using plain coloured strips. I have changed it up a bit by using a paper pattern. You can find the original tutorial here.


I used 2 free textures. However, for this tutorial the wallpaper texture needs to be increased in height, and the background texture needs to be a different colour. Therefore, I have provided a .zip file with both included. But here are the links if you wish to use a different coloured background or make any other changes, followed by the download button for those I am suppying.

Dirty Wallpaper Texture by candy-cane-killer on DeviantArt

Black & White Striped Background Texture by Enchantedgal-Stock on DeviantArt

Step 1

Open the Background texture.

Create a new layer.

Set Foreground colour to yellow/orange #D0A13C.

Select the Rectangular Marquee Tool and create a selection from 350px down the document, to the foot of the document as shown below:

Paper Strips Design - Selection

Fill the selection with the foreground colour.

Step 2

Open the Wallpaper texture.

Select the Rectangular Marquee Tool, and from the dropdown box along the top, select ‘Fixed size’.

Set the size to 160px wide by 1200px high. Click once on the canvas.

Paper Strips Design- Fixed Size Selection

Ctrl+J to create a copy of the selection.

Repeat this step 3 times more, selecting different parts of the texture.

Step 3

Turn off the visibility of the background layer.

Arrange the strips you have created right next to each other, with tops aligned also, making sure the top layer is the left-most strip, and that they go in order.

Paper Strips Design - Layers Placement

Step 4

Double click on the top layer to bring up the blending options, and apply the following Color Overlay settings:

Paper Strips Design - Color Overlay Settings

Apply the same Color Overlay settings to the other three layers using the following colours:

  • Layer 2 – Yellow #EBCF32
  • Layer 3 – Red #C1515C
  • Layer 4 – Blue #5183C1

Step 5

Create a new layer between Layer 1 and Layer 2.

Set black as the foreground colour.

Select the Brush Tool, set the size to around 85px, hardness set to 0.

Paint a free-hand line under Layer 1, keeping the brush more or less along the right edge of the strip. Don’t worry if you go over or under the line – this will give a shadow making the strip look not completely flat.

Reduce the opacity to around 60%.

Repeat this step for the yellow and red strips.

Step 6

Merge all strip and shadow layers together.

Using the Rectangular Marquee Tool, create a selection around all the strips, Select > Inverse, and hit the delete button. This will get rid of the parts of the shadows that appear top and bottom.

Now drag the strips into your original document.

Step 7

Ctrl+T to transform the object. Rotate the strips slightly and place them in the corner of the document, as shown below:

Paper Strips Design - Place Strips

Using the Rectangular Marquee Tool, make a selection across the top of the strips, then hit the delete key.

Rename the layer ‘strips’

Paper Strips Design - Top Selection

Paper Strips Design - Top Removed

Step 8

Duplicate the ‘strips’ layer, drag the ‘strips copy’ layer to below the yellow background layer, then duplicate the ‘strips copy’ layer.

Rename ‘strips copy 2’ layer to ‘back strips’, and rename the ‘strips copy’ layer to ‘top strips’

This is how your palette should now look:

Paper Strips Design - Layers Palette

Step 9

Before we move on, select the Crop Tool, make sure it is encompassing all of your document, then hit the Enter key – this will clear anything that is present off-canvas.

Working on the ‘back strips’ layer, using the Rectangular Marquee Tool, create a selection around the top part of the strips, making sure your selection is lower than the top of the yellow background.

Paper Strips Design - Back Strips Selection

Select > Inverse, hit the Delete key. You won’t see any difference right now as the ‘back strips’ layer is hidden behind the ‘strips’ layer.

Ctrl+T to select the object, right click anywhere in the selection box and click on Flip Vertical. Hit the Enter key to exit Transform mode.

Now move the ‘back strips’ layer to match up the top and right side of the paper strips.

Paper Strips Design - Place Back Strips

Step 10

Working on the ‘top strips’ layer, select the Move Tool and align the strips with the ‘back strips’ layer as shown below:

Paper Strips Design - Place Top Strips

Step 11

Now everything is in place, we want to add some highlights and shadows.

Create a new layer above the ‘strips’ layer, and create a Clipping Mask by holding down the Alt key, hovering between the 2 layers until you see an arrow, then clicking.

Select the Brush tool, size approximately 140px, hardness set to 0, foreground colour white.

Hold down the Shift key to create a straight line and run the brush across the top of the front strips. Set the blending mode to Overlay and reduce the opacity to 45%.

Paper Strips Design -Strips Highlight

Step 12

Make the ‘back strips’ layer active and create a new Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer and create a Clipping Mask between the 2 layers, as previously.

Reduce the Brightness to around -125.

Step 13

Create a new layer above the ‘top strips’ layer and create a Clipping Mask between the 2 layers.

Select the Brush Tool, size around 140px, hardness set to 0, foreground colour black.

Hold the Shift key to keep the line straight, and run the brush along just above the top of the front strips, but make sure to fill in the exposed part at the right side.

Reduce the opacity to around 45%.

Create a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer for the ‘top strips’ layer, and create a Clipping Mask.

Reduce the Brightness to -25.

Step 14

Finally, we need a shadow for the ‘strips’ layer.

Hold the Ctrl key and click on the thumbnail of the ‘strips’ layer in the layers palette to select the pixels.

Create a new layer under the ‘strips’ layer and fill the selection with black.

Ctrl+D to deselect.

Ctrl+T to enter Transform mode.

Rotate the object by around 5.5 degrees, so that the shadow fits into the gap, and almost disappears at the bottom.

Hit the Enter key to accept the transformation.

Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur – set the radius to around 15px, click OK.

Reduce the layer opacity to around 25%.

You will probably have to move the shadow layer around a bit now, that is best done with the arrow keys on the keyboard.

Paper Strips Design Background

If you like the text I have added on the featured image, the effect is achieved by using the ‘Cutout Emboss’ style from my styles set

Paper Strips Background Featured

Please follow and like us: