Tutorial: Making a Banner

Last week, I got to work with the cutest papers I have ever seen. The kit is called Skip to my Lou – made by Celeste Knight. The papers and elements are sold separately, but they’re both on sale right now because she’s retiring from Design House Digital. Celeste’s ENTIRE shop is 50% off through Wednesday.

“Wonderful Day”


And just for fun, I have another layout using a kit by Celeste – called Peppermint Twist (additional paper pack here).

“Christmas Tree”


So looking through my gallery, I noticed that I tend to use a lot of banners – it’s the cool, trendy thing to do right now, right?  I thought it would be fun to offer a little tutorial on how to make your own banner.


I’ll be working in PSE 10.

Select the Rectangle Tool icon.


Click down on your page and draw a shape that you like. For my layout “Wonderful Day”, I wanted a fat, almost square shape that would fit into my grid design.


Alright. Let’s simplify the shape layer. Most of the time, simplifying a layer will render it uneditable. For example, if you simplify a text layer, you can no longer edit the text because it’s been changed to an image. BUT! In the case of our shape up there, we actually CAN’T edit it until we simplify.

To simplify: With the shape layer selected, hover over the layer, right click and then choose “Simplify Layer”.


The next step is to make it look like a banner by making a fancy cut. Right click on the Lasso Tool and choose “Polygonal Lasso Tool” (or simply press “L” three times).


This is a really cool tool. It allows you to cut a custom shape. In our case, we’ll need to cut a triangle shape out of the bottom of our rectangle.

With the Polygonal Tool selected, click down on your page just lower than your shape – and kind of at a diagonal to the corner. You’re making a triangle shape. So next, you’re going to move your curser up at a diagonal and click down. Then move it down and diagonal – right across from where your first click was – and click down again. Complete the triangle by moving the curser across to where you started.


Now you should have a triangle made up of little marching ants. This sometimes takes me a few tries to get it just the way I want. If you need a do-over, press command (or control) D. This deselects, or gets rid of the marching ants, so you can start over. But if you like it, let’s move on!

The next step is to delete everything within the triangle. With the rectangle shape layer selected, click on “Edit” and choose “Delete”.


You should be left with an empty triangle of marching ants. Now press command (or control) D to get rid of the triangle.

That’s it! You’ve just created a banner with straight sides – the type of banner that I made for my layout “Christmas Tree”. You can now clip paper to it, add a drop shadow, and position it on your layout or project.

For a more hand-cut type banner (like the one in “Wonderful Day”), we’ll just cut two more triangles – one on each side of the banner.

Select the Polygonal Lasso Tool again and repeat the four clicks to make a triangle on one side of the banner shape and then the other, taking more off the top and almost nothing off the bottom. I zoomed in close so you can see what I mean:


Now just delete the selection (Edit > Delete) and deselect (command or control D) to get rid of the marching ants. Do all of that on the other side. So what I’m left with is a mask that I can now clip paper to. I’ve used the pink zig-zag paper from Skip to my Lou and applied a drop shadow from Gennifer Bursett’s styles.


That’s it! I hope you’ll link me up with your projects using banners! And please feel free to contact me with any questions.


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