Sign In  |  Join Now Become a member to add links and start earning points!

Basic Candy Cane Text Effect in Photoshop

In this tutorial we will learn how to create a candy cane like text effect with the help of some simple Photoshop techniques.

Materials Needed:

Step 1: Some words about the font

Download the typeface Candice from here.
You’ll also find instructions on how to install the font in case you never did that before.
Feel free to use another font if you like to, but Candice is really a nice fit for our text effect as well as it is completely free.

Adding resources to Photoshop

When adding resources like fonts, patterns, brushes or gradients in the Photoshop presets folder, Photoshop needs to be restarted in order for the newly added content to appear.

Step 2: Creating a new document

Create a new document in Photoshop. You are free to choose whatever dimensions you see fit, I personally chose 2000 x 1000 pixels for this tutorial. Let the rest of the settings on their default values.

New Document

Step 3: Adding a gradient

Select the Gradient Tool (shift + g) and set the color settings to #4ba614 and #008c00. Select circular as the gradient style and create the gradient from the center of your image to its top.

Gradient Settings
Applied Gradient

Step 4: Adding some text

Now it’s time to use the font you downloaded earlier. Select the Type Tool (t) and choose Candice as a font. Set the font-size to 500 pixels (or a value appropriate to your image dimensions) and type a text of your choice.
Because we’re making a candy-like effect I typed “Candy”.


Step 5: Centering the text

Afterwards select your background and text layer together by clicking on them in the layer palette while holding the ctrl-key (command if you are using an apple). Make sure you have the Move Tool (v) selected. Now you can center your text layer vertically and horizontally by using the align buttons in your options palette, which is by default placed on top of your workspace.

Align Buttons

Step 6: Creating a custom pattern

Now we are going to create a custom pattern that we will apply to our text later. You can also skip to Step 11 and directly download the pattern here, but I recommend you to create the pattern on your own because this technique comes in handy in many situations.
Create a New Document (ctrl/cmd + n) and set the dimensions to 200 x 200 pixels.

New Document

Step 7: Adding and rotating a rectangle

Select the Rectangle Tool (u) and create a rectangle with 400 pixel width and 35 pixel height. Transform the rectangle by pressing Ctrl/Cmd + t while it is selected and rotate it 45° while holding the Shift-key down (like this, the rectangle rotates only in 15°-steps). Center the rotated rectangle on the background as we did in Step 5 with our text.

Rotated Rectangle

The shift-key in Photoshop

The shift-key is a one-key wonder in Photoshop. Hold it while resizing a layer and the layer grows and shrinks symmetrical, rotate a layer in 15°-steps and draw perfectly straight lines with the Pencil, Brush and Pen Tools. And that’s just the top of the iceberg!

Step 8: Apply a gradient

Right-click on the rectangle-layer and select Blending Options. Go to Gradient Overlay and set a gradient with the colors #cc0000 and #b50000. Set the gradient angle to 135°, use linear as style and apply the gradient.

Gradient Settings

Step 9: Multiply the rectangle

Copy your rectangle layer by pressing Ctrl/Cmd + j. Select the Move Tool (still v) and make sure you have the freshly copied layer selected, hold down the Shift-key and press 5 times left and 5 times up (by holding down the shift-key while moving layers with the arrow-keys you make steps of 10 pixels. That means we moved our layer 50 pixels to the left and 50 pixels up).
Copy the copied rectangle (Shape 1 copy) and repeat the process.
Select the original rectangle again, copy it and press 5 times right and down while holding the shift-key. Copy the newest rectangle and repeat the process.
Now you have 5 rectangles, each with a width of 50 pixels and a margin of 50 pixels to the next rectangle(s).


Step 10: Define the pattern

Go to Edit -> Define Pattern… and name the new pattern “Candy pattern”. The pattern will automatically appear in the last pattern-set you used.

Define Pattern

Photoshop patterns

Patterns are an amazing and powerful aspect of Photoshop. You can easily create huge backgrounds with only a few kb-big files, an aspect that is especially interesting for web designers.
There are thousands of different patterns free available, but you get the most out of patterns if you learn how to create them yourself. There is a great tutorial on veerle’s blog.

Step 11: Applying blending options to the text

Go back to our original image and right-click on the text-layer. Go to Blending Options and apply the styles displayed in the image below. Use the newly created Candy Pattern as pattern overlay.

Blending Options

Step 12: Almost there

Select the Ellipse Tool (shift + u) and create an ellipse that covers about the upper third of your type. Make sure its color is white.
Rasterize your layer by right-clicking on it and selecting Rasterize.


Step 13: Playing with selections

Ctrl/Cmd-click on your text-layer to create a selection around your text and press Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + i to invert your selection. Make sure your ellipse-layer is selected and press Delete. Only the parts of the ellipse that overlapped with the text are left.

Deleted Ellipse

Quick selection abc

The most important keyboard shortcuts when working with selections are:

  • Ctrl/Cmd + a = Select everything
  • Ctrl/Cmd + i = Invert current selection
  • Ctrl/Cmd + d = Deselect everything
  • Ctrl/Cmd + left-click on layer = Create selection of layer-content

Step 14: Adding a layer-mask

Now create a Layer Mask on the ellipse layer and select the Gradient Tool (shift + g). Set the gradient colors to black (#000000) and white (#ffffff) and the style to linear. Hold down the Shift-key to create a perfectly straight gradient from the highest point of your text to its lowest. Once the gradient is applied to the layer mask you’re done.

Gradient Settings
Applied Gradient

The final Result

Congratulations! You just added a candy like effect to a text!

Final Result

Download the PSD


  1. Add point Subtract point
    masyhury (2 Points) March 20, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Great! I like this tutorial..
    Thanx for sharing.. :D

    Flag as inappropriate
  2. Add point Subtract point
    JH Web Design (1 Point) March 1, 2011 at 11:59 am

    StumbledUpon this! Great tutorial. I love reading tutorials that will help me help others. Thanks for the effort!

    Flag as inappropriate
  3. Add point Subtract point

    Photoshop tutorials, from beginner to advanced. photo manipulation, icon design, text effects, interface, layout, painting, photo effects, psd tuts, maxon cinema 4d, designing.

    Flag as inappropriate
  4. Add point Subtract point
    Danielle (1 Point) December 12, 2010 at 1:41 am

    I like this effect. I am just trying to play around with different effects since I need to sharpen my skills in photoshop.

    Flag as inappropriate
  5. Add point Subtract point
    Shahbaz Ahmed (1 Point) November 23, 2010 at 2:36 am

    Thata Good Tutorial
    i Like it
    Thankx Dudy

    Flag as inappropriate
  6. Add point Subtract point
    Web Design (1 Point) April 26, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    Looks easy>>thanks for sharing

    Flag as inappropriate
  7. Add point Subtract point
    drisingsun (1 Point) April 2, 2010 at 3:01 am

    found a bug

    Step7– “Select the Rectangle Tool (u) and create a rectangle with 400 pixel width and 35 pixel height. ”

    height should be 25px!

    Flag as inappropriate
  8. Add point Subtract point
    Itachio (1 Point) March 7, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Great website tutorial! I am a beginner with Photoshop and this tutorial really helped me, thanks a lot! :)

    Flag as inappropriate
  9. Add point Subtract point
    โหลดเพลงฟรี (1 Point) February 3, 2010 at 1:09 am

    great tutorial . Thanks524

    Flag as inappropriate
  10. Add point Subtract point
    ฟังเพลงใหม่ (1 Point) February 1, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    great tutorial . Thanks517

    Flag as inappropriate
  11. Add point Subtract point
    เพลงใหม่ล่าสุด (1 Point) February 1, 2010 at 1:15 am

    great tutorial . Thanks512

    Flag as inappropriate
  12. Add point Subtract point

    It doesn’t let me to paste Select> Inverse ( Shift + Ctrl+i)
    Why? I tried many ways… :(

    Flag as inappropriate
  13. Add point Subtract point
    เพลงใหม่ล่าสุด (1 Point) January 30, 2010 at 8:22 am

    wow thanks so much.

    Flag as inappropriate
  14. Add point Subtract point

    wow.that’s cute.and also creative.thanks for the tutorial:D

    Flag as inappropriate
  15. Add point Subtract point
    Arminder Dahul (1 Point) January 2, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    OK I think I’m the first to say this but this tut is sweet! Yeah I can hear the groans already. Seriously this is great and easier to do with Photoshop then with Fireworks.

    Flag as inappropriate
  16. Add point Subtract point
    ฟังเพลง (1 Point) December 27, 2009 at 1:10 am

    really !!!
    it’s very interesting

    Flag as inappropriate
  17. Add point Subtract point
    ฟังเพลง (1 Point) December 27, 2009 at 1:09 am

    really !!!
    it’s very interresting

    Flag as inappropriate
  18. Add point Subtract point

    Well, I use Windows 7 and Photoshop CS3. I think it might be a problem related to the OS, nevertheless .. it doesn’t matter much :)

    Flag as inappropriate
  19. Add point Subtract point

    Sweet and the best tutorial for Christmas… Merry Christmas, Ximi and T9.

    Well, you don’t need to restart Photoshop for the fonts to appear on the list. Just paste them in Windows>>Fonts folder and the list is updated. :)

    Flag as inappropriate
  20. Add point Subtract point
    Steve Martin (1 Point) December 23, 2009 at 8:38 am

    Nice Tutorial at the right time… Thanks for the share… Merry X’mas :)

    Flag as inappropriate
  21. Add point Subtract point
    Epilasyon (1 Point) December 22, 2009 at 6:39 am

    was a very good expression. continued success dilerim.photoshop ‘u I learn from you :) – Thanks.

    Flag as inappropriate
  22. Add point Subtract point
    TimHolmesDesign (1 Point) December 22, 2009 at 6:38 am

    Simple but effective tutorial, will come in handy for may around this festive period.

    Cheers and Merry Christmas to all :o)

    Flag as inappropriate
  23. Add point Subtract point

    very good tutorial, especially before the Christmas!!! thanks ;)

    Flag as inappropriate
  24. Add point Subtract point
    Anupama Rao (1 Point) December 22, 2009 at 1:08 am

    really cool Photoshop training for text effects.

    Flag as inappropriate
  25. Add point Subtract point

    Very quick and effective.

    Just a small tip, I would make the ellipse into a clipping layer so you don’t have to rasterize anything.

    Flag as inappropriate
  26. Add point Subtract point
    EqualsThree4EVA (1 Point) December 21, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    The link to the pattern is missing or something.
    Good tutorial, though!

    PS: =3 forever!

    Flag as inappropriate
  27. Add point Subtract point
    Design Informer (1 Point) December 21, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    Simple and easy tutorial, but this will definitely be useful for beginners.

    Flag as inappropriate
  28. Add point Subtract point

    nice tutorial for this text effect.. thanks :)

    Flag as inappropriate
  29. Add point Subtract point
    Anime7Graphic (1 Point) December 21, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    Very Simple… Thanks for sharing, so cute

    Flag as inappropriate
  30. Add point Subtract point

    Sin duda es un tutorial que no cumple con el mismo nivel que los que anteriormente publicaron, no creo que sea un tutorial para Tutorial9, un sitio con mucha calidad en contenido.

    Flag as inappropriate
  31. Add point Subtract point

    Wow. That seemed like an easy tutorial! Might try it later on. Thanks!

    Flag as inappropriate