Peeling Sticker Effect

As a child, there are few things more fun than sticking stickers on things. Everything(s). Here’s how to easily create a peeled sticker effect. I got this idea from the Sticker System Icon pack from Iconfactory.

First, you want to start with your object on it’s own layer. If you need help getting your object on it’s own layer check out this quick tutorial on masking.


Add a background layer by holding [Ctrl] + [Alt] and clicking on the New Layer button at the bottom of the Layers Palette [F7]. Press [D] to select the default colors and press [Ctrl + Backspace] to fill with white.


Double-click on your object’s layer in the area to the right of the name. This will bring up the Layer Style dialog box. Click on [Stroke] at the bottom of the list.

Set the Stroke size to something thick for your object, in this case I’m using 6-pixels. Click on the Color box and change the Stroke Color to white.


Click on the [Outer Glow] Style in the Layer Styles list. Change the Blend Mode to [Normal]. Change the color to black.

Adjust the Size and Spread until you get a nice, soft outline. In this case, I’m using a Size of [9-px] and Spread of [35%].



Move on to the [Drop Shadow] Style in the Layer Styles list. Adjust the Angle to [90°] and increase the Distance slightly [6-px].



Press [Ctrl + T] to bring up your Transform bounding box. Before you do ANYTHING, right-click in the box and choose [Warp].


Now click-and-drag the box from the lower-right corner up slightly.


Press the [Return] (number-pad Enter) to apply the transformation.


Create a New Layer [Ctrl + Shift + N] above your object’s layer. Then press [Ctrl + Alt + G] to create a create a new Clipping Mask.

Set the Layer Mode to [Screen] and the Layer Opacity to around [50%].


Choose the Gradient Tool [G] and click on the Gradient in the Option Bar (up top) to bring up the Gradient Editor. Edit your Gradient to look something like this:

Click-and-drag your Gradient in a very small area where you thing the “bend” of your sticker should be.


It may take a few tries to get it right.

Right-click on the “f” icon in the right-side of your object Layer in the Layers Palette. When the menu appears, choose [Create Layers].


You will now have a bunch of various Layers underneath your object Layer. Find the one labeled “Drop Shadow.”

Press [Ctrl + T] to bring up th Transform Bouncing box again. Right-click and choose [Warp] again.

Click-and-drag the right corner towards the right to bring the shadow “back out.”


Reduce the “Fill” on the “Drop Shadow” layer to make it a little less harsh.


And… that’s it! Feel free to change the stroke and background colors as you wish. Play around with it. Have some fun.

Master Download
You can download my original Master .PSD for this tutorial here.

Comments Spill 13 Comments »

  1. October 9, 2008 5:58 amAdded by a PAL to FAQ PAL

    Peeling Sticker Effect…

    Here’s how to easily create a peeled sticker effect….

  2. October 20, 2008 10:12 pmPhotoshop tutorials « Introduction to Computer Applications

    [...] Peeling Sticker Effect [...]

  3. December 1, 2008 2:09 amwillsurvive

    Great tutorial! I always think this kind of thing is going to be ridiculously difficult but this has made it simple and easy to understand.

  4. December 17, 2008 7:00 ammichelle

    Cool tutorial. Thanks! It’s a shame I’ve only got CS, there’s no warp tool :( Got by using the liquify tool. I was stumped till I found this. Ta!

  5. January 9, 2009 6:16 pmAlfredo C.

    Great and easy tutorial, i have used this one many times, thanks a lot!

  6. March 13, 2009 1:23 amPhoto Lab-Peeling Stickers |

    [...] While it may not be used on a regular occasion, everyone loves to learn new and interesting Photoshop techniques that they can try out themselves. Check out the one PhotoShop Lab did on how to create the peeling sticker effect. [Via PhotoShop Lab] [...]

  7. April 12, 2009 12:17 pmLesley

    That was fab. Very easy to use (although I did have some problem with the gradients – need to look for another tutorial for that!). Thanks very much!

  8. April 28, 2009 7:27 amPeeling Sticker Web 2.0 Look | Free Photoshop Tutorials | Forging Fire Studio

    [...] (No Ratings Yet)  Loading … Hey Ya’ll, Tommy Maloney with Photoshop Lab has a great free Photoshop tutorial on how to make a peeling sticker in Photoshop. Using the transform tools, drop shadow, gradient [...]

  9. May 4, 2009 6:30 amBongani

    I have found this tutorial so useful. I used it a couple of years ago and from time to time want to create the effect but can never remember how. Fortunately I have it bookmarked on Delicious.

  10. May 21, 2009 1:34 pmsean callahan

    Thanks a lot, the other tutorials I found about this didn’t really give it the right look. The bottom didn’t look like it was a real sticker peal…thanks a lot.

  11. July 18, 2009 7:45 amvictor

    thanks it was fantastic and easy to do now that you have simplified it

  12. July 18, 2009 7:42 pmfED

    AWESOME! Thanks a lot!

  13. September 4, 2009 1:41 amtenzin choeden

    oh thats too much!!! you are awesome and very creative.thank u very very much

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