Let’s Get Digital: How to Create a Faux Brad or a Flair Button in Photoshop

Hi everyone! I would like to share my most recent digital layout with you, yes, digital! Sometimes I like to create digital layouts as well. It’s fast, flat and fabulous! I don’t do it as often as I should because it just resembles work a bit too much for my liking! LOL! As you may, or may not, be aware; I’m a Web Project Manager, Designer, Developer by trade. I have been doing that for over 10 years now.

Here’s the layout. I used the Crate Paper Acorn line from AC Digitals.

Autumn Favorite

You may notice that I created what looks like a brad on the border treatment at the top of my layout.


This is really easy to do in Photoshop. Here’s how I did it (I’m using CS5).

Create a Faux Brad or Flair Button in Photoshop

  1. Add an image to your master Photoshop document. There are a few ways to do this. You can “place” a file within Photoshop by clicking on File — Place and selecting the file that you would like to add to your document. There is an advantage of doing it this way because you’re simply linking to another file on your computer, you’re not adding to your current document’s file size.  The larger your file size in Photoshop, the more your system is going to lag as Photoshop is a huge resource hog. It uses a lot of RAM.Alternatively, you can open the other file in Photoshop, minimize the window so that the two files are both showing on your screen and the desired layer from one file to the other file. This will increase your file size.


  2. Now you have a new layer containing the image.To make the new image look like a brad or a flair button, double click on the layer in the Layers panel (circled area above). This will open the Layer Style window. Click on Drop Shadow on the left. Set the blend mode to Multiply, set the Angle, Distance, Spread and Size to your desired look. I set the angle to 120, the distance to 19 px and the size to 29 px. I left the spread at 0% as I wanted the drop shadow to be flush with the image. You can change the colour of the drop shadow by clicking on the box next to the Blend Mode drop down. You can then select a new colour.


  3. Click on Bevel and Emboss on the left. Select Inner Bevel under Style and Smooth under Technique. Set the Size to your desired look. Under Shading, select your desired angle. I went with 113 degrees. Under Shadow Mode select Multiply.


  4. Click on Ok, and you’re done!

Thanks for visiting! I hope that you got a little something out of my tutorial.