How to Add a Gold Leaf or Glitter Texture to Text

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If you know me, you know that it’s very rare that I pay for something if I can figure out how to do it myself instead.  It took a while, but I figured out how to design my own header and sidebar labels.  I was determined not to pay a designer to do it if I could figure it out.  This post is in the same vein.  I learned this neat trick from Design Your Own Blog.  Here’s how you can add a gold leaf or glitter texture to text to add a special sparkle to your printables, blog layout, or other designs.

How to Add a Gold Leaf or Glitter Effect to Text Using Pixlr or Photoshop

Find Your Texture

The first thing you’ll need to do is find a texture for your text.  The best place I’ve found is Flickr.  Searches with terms such as gold texture, silver texture, watercolor texture, and glitter texture.  Make sure to pay attention to the terms of use and only use them for approved uses.  Here’s my favorite gold texture and if you scroll on the slideshow of images you’ll find more great ones to use.  Make sure your texture is saved as a .jpg.


Make Your Gold Leaf or Glitter Text

If you haven’t figured out already, I’m fairly frugal, so I don’t have Photoshop.  Luckily, you can achieve the same gold leaf or glitter effect with Pixlr.  If you do happen to have Photoshop, the blog I got my inspiration from says that the process is fairly similar

1.  Go to Pixlr and under Pixlr Editor click “Launch web app”.

2.  Click “Open image from computer” and select your chosen texture.

Using Pixlr to Add a Gold or Glitter Texture to Text

2.  Rotate your image to your desired orientation.  Click on the “image” tab, then chose rotate canvas CW (clockwise) or CCW (counter-clockwise).

3.  I would recommend resizing your image to about 800 pixels wide, unless you have a large amount of text. Click image, then image size, and change the width to about 800 pixels.

Add a Gold Leaf, Glitter, or Watercolor Texture to Your Text

4.  Slide the slider on the right to get the texture within the frame.

Use Pixlr to Add Glitter, Gold, or Watercolor Texture to Text

5.  Select the text tool and type your desired text.  Change the size and font by clicking the drop-down size boxes.  You can see the glitter or gold best if you use a thicker font.  Notice how the font size only goes up to 130.  If you’d like your font larger, see step 8.

Adding Glitter to Your Text Using Pixlr

6.  Move the text to position it where you’d like it.

7.  Next, find the layers palette (on the right) and right click on your text layer.  Select “Rasterize layer”.  If your text happens to disappear, just type ctrl + z to undo.  I’ve found that undoing one time makes your text reappear and makes it rasterized.

Give Text a Glitter or Gold Effect Using Free Editing Programs

8.  Now that your text is rasterized, you can make the text even bigger.  Go to edit, then choose free transform.  You can now change the size of your text by dragging.

Giving an Extra Sparkle to Text Using Pixlr

9.  Make sure your text layer is still selected and choose the magic wand tool.

Use a Photo Editing Tool to Add Glitter or Gold Texture to Text

10.  Select your letters by clicking on them.  Hold the SHIFT button while clicking on the different letters to select all of them.  This should make little “ants” march around your text to show that it’s selected.

Using Pixlr to Add a Texture Effect to Text

11.  Unlock the background layer by double-clicking on the lock on the layers palette for the background layer.

Add Sparkle to Your Text with Gold Leaf or Glitter Texture

12.  Select the background layer and click “Add layer mask” in the bottom of the layers palette.

Make Your Own Blog Header, Printables, or Designs

13.  The background should have disappeared and you should be left with the letters.

Add Sparkle or Gold Texture to Text Using Pixlr or Photoshop

14.  Last, uncheck the box for the text layer.

Make Your Text Glittery or With a Gold Leaf Texture

And that’s it!  Easy and perfect for adding a little sparkle to your words.

How to Add a Glitter Texture to Text

SparkleTexture by Breezyxox

If you want to preserve your background, make sure you save it as a .png.  Here’s a sample of the kind of textures you can make with this process.  Click on the image to get the texture for your own designs.


How to Create Silver Leaf Text

Silver Metallic Texture by Thor

How to Create Gold Leaf Text

Gold Metallic Texture by Thor

How to Create Glitter Text

Glitter Silver Bokeh by Lady Ro

How to Add Watercolor Texture to Text

Watercolor by Tami Traylor

Click below to get a (partially) hand-lettered freebie designed with the same technique:

Love Never Fails Screenshot

Happy designing!

2 Responses to “How to Add a Gold Leaf or Glitter Texture to Text

  • jenny
    2 years ago

    Wow, thanks a lot for sharing this amazing, glitter tutorial, I even did not know about this amazing free editor pixlr. Very easy to use, Again thanks for sharing as now my students are also using this editor.

    • So glad you liked it and I’m really happy you’ll be able to pass this on to your students!