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Paint Shop Tutorial

A Basic Award Plaque Creation

I created this tutorial for those might want to run an award program from their websites and to provide some basic ideas for creating an award plaque to distribute to winners of your program. This tutorial was created on February 3, 2006.  If it bears any resemblance to another tutorial on the net, it is pure coincidence.  The skills that you will learn here are your own, and I hope that you will find them useful.  In this tutorial, I will assume that you have a basic working knowledge of PSP and it is made for high beginners or intermediate skill levels.  Remember to save your work often.  You should have a better understanding of working with tubes, gradients, shadows, color adjustments, and shadow effects after following this tutorial.


  • You will need Paint Shop Pro, of course.  I use Version 10.10, but it should also work in older versions.  You can download a trial version of Paint Shop Pro from Corel

  • Tube(s) of your choice.

  • Any gradient of your own choosing or the one we will create here.

  • Font of your choice.  A good selection can be found here

In this tutorial I wish only to convey an idea and allow you to create you own design using the basic idea I will present.  You may follow this tutorial exactly as written or simply embellish and alter as you desire.


Open a new image 400 x 400 transparent or the size you desire for your award plaque.  You can always resize this later to your liking but I prefer to work with a large space and shrink it later just to keep it easier to work on.


You an use a solid background or if you wish a gradient is also a nice effect.  Examples of both are below.

I used #b6a75a for the solid color plaque, and #c0a055 and #fdfc86 for the gradient pattern.


plaque1.jpg (296x399 -- 32722 bytes)   plaque2.jpg (292x400 -- 30334 bytes)


Your plaque should look like this                                or this...


plaque3.jpg (200x200 -- 1706 bytes)                           plaque4.jpg (200x200 -- 3794 bytes)


Now let's add a border. 


Image/Add Borders and use the settings as below - color white.


plaque5.jpg (388x322 -- 24904 bytes)


Using your magic wand with these settings select the white area of your border.


plaque6.jpg (576x42 -- 11352 bytes)


and your plaque should now look something like this.


plaque7.jpg (217x236 -- 11496 bytes)


Flood fill your border with a gold gradient or a color of your choosing.


Effects/3D Effects/Inner Bevel with these settings.


plaque8.jpg (331x456 -- 38819 bytes)


With border still selected - Effects/3D Effects/Drop Shadow with these settings.


plaque9.jpg (349x445 -- 28032 bytes)


Keep image selected and repeat, but change the vertical and horizontal to -2.  You should now have this.


plaque10.jpg (210x210 -- 4364 bytes)   plaque11.jpg (210x210 -- 6174 bytes)


Save this as your blank.  You can do many different things with it from this point forward an you can use this blank as your starting point.


Next we are going to add some embellishments and an area to put the winners site name on the plaque.  I use graphics from a set of CD's I purchased commercially but you can find many in the public domain.  Always remember to check copyright requirements for any graphics you use.


At this point I want to add some corner decorations so I found the graphic I wanted and opened it in PSP.  Use shift D to duplicate the graphic and close the original.


As you add you embellishments, add each different graphic you use to a separate layer by right click on your layer palette and choosing "new raster layer.  This makes removal and arrangement of graphics easier if you don't like something you've done as you are working.


Here's an example of what I did but use your imagination!


plaque13.jpg (210x210 -- 11240 bytes)       plaque12.jpg (210x210 -- 12570 bytes)


Now we need to add an area to put your text.  Use your selection tool and choose the "rounded rectangle" and create an area to create a text input area.  Again, do this on a separate layer.  Fill the selection with similar color from your plaque.


plaque13A.jpg (215x236 -- 16924 bytes)


Below is an example with a drop shadow added to make it stand out from the background.


plaque14.jpg (210x210 -- 12366 bytes)       plaque15.jpg (210x210 -- 13389 bytes)


Now you will want to create your various colored plaques if you are going to make a multi level program offering.

Adjust/Color/Red/Green/Blue - you will need to experiment here but you can come up with many different colors here by playing with the sliders.  Just experiment and remember to save your new blank plaque under a new name each time you get a color you want. 


These settings gave me a "bronze" color.


plaque16.jpg (348x337 -- 28719 bytes)


I created 4 different colors for my plaque by playing with the sliders.  Resize the plaques to your liking and your all set!


plaque17.jpg (178x178 -- 42634 bytes)     plaque18.jpg (178x178 -- 37133 bytes)

plaque19.jpg (178x178 -- 43156 bytes)     plaque20.jpg (178x178 -- 40822 bytes)


Tip:  Remember to work on individual layers so that you can easily change graphics & text as needed.

Export your finished graphics as a .gif or .jpg and your all set.  Hope you enjoyed this tutorial.

About Contributor
Todd Strait
Todd Strait
I enjoy many hobbies, one of which is graphics using Paint Shop Pro.  It comes in handy with my website< WM8C's Ham Links, and award program work.  I have been working with PSP for more than 5 years now.

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