In this video, I show you how to make a sticky note (or post-it note) in Gimp. Several people have asked for this tutorial so I am glad to bring it to your desktop.
If you don’t care for video, I included text and a download file below.
Watch the Video:
Today I’m going to show you how to create a sticky note using a free graphics program called Gimp. Normally I would use Photoshop to do a graphics project such as this, but since many of you don’t own the program, Gimp is probably the next best thing.
So let’s get started.
Step 1 – Create Your Canvas
The first thing you’ll need to do is create a canvas that you can work from. To do this, go to File and choose New or Control + N. This will open a box and let you designate the size of your canvas.
Set the width to 800 by 600 pixels and click OK.
This should fill the background with white. If it doesn’t, change to your color foreground and background and choose white, then fill the canvas with white.
Step 2 – Add New Layers
Next, create 2 transparent layers; name them shadow and note. First, click the new layer tab on the layers window.
When the box opens, enter the name of shadow for the layer name and click OK. Click the layer button again and name the layer note and click OK. You should now have 3 layers showing in your layers window – shadow, note, and background.
Step 3 – Draw the Sticky Note Shape
Click your mouse on top of the note layer to highlight it. On the toolbox menu, choose the color you want your sticky note to be.
Using the rectangle select tool, draw a shape onto your canvas for the sticky note. It doesn’t matter how it compares to mine, as long as you’re happy with it.
Use the bucket fill tool (Shift+B) to fill your rectangle with the color you selected. I choose pink (#ed83a9) for my sticky note color.
Remove the marching ants around your sticky note by choosing Select and None or (Shift+Control+A).
Step 4 – Create the Glue
Now let’s create the glue residue on the paper with the burn tool (Shift+D).
Place your cursor on the left side of the sticky note and click the canvas once, then press and hold down the shift key. Drag the line to the right side of your sticky note.
Once you’re sure the line is straight, click the right side of the canvas to place the glue line. Your sticky note should resemble this picture.
Now you need to extend that darker area to the top of the note. To do this, right click on the note layer in the layers window and choose “Alpha to Selection” from the drop down menu.
Using the color picker tool (looks like an eyedropper), click on the dark line to make the color active as the foreground. Switch to the paint brush tool and color the dark area in.
Afterwards, remove the marching ants. Click Select and None or (Shift+Control+A). Your sticky note should now resemble the following graphic:
Step 5 – Rotate Your Sticky Note
Let’s rotate our sticky note. Using the rotate tool (Shift+R), click inside the sticky note to set our angle. Type -7.00 into the Angle box and click Rotate to set.
Step 6 – Add Your Text
Change your foreground color to black. Click your text tool, select the font you want and click inside your sticky note to draw a text box.
The text editor window will open. Type your text into the editor and then click the Close button. To move the text box, click inside your text rectangle and slide it into position.
Rotate your text the same way you rotated your sticky note back in Step 5. If your text needs sharpening, click Filters > Enhance > Sharpen.
Otherwise, right click on the text layer and choose Merge Down to merge the text with your note layer.
Step 7 – Create the Shadow
Click on your shadow layer in the layers window. Using the lasso tool (F), click the right side of your sticky note and pull the lasso to the bottom, over to the left and back up again.
Finally, close the lasso by clicking on the first marker. You should have a pair of marching ants around the shadow rectangle. Fill this section with black using the bucket tool (Shift+B).
Remove the marching ants by choosing Select and then None or (Shift+Control+A). Now, let’s add some blur. On the menu choose, Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Set it to 15 px each.
Change the opacity of the shadow layer to about 50.
If you prefer the sticky note the way it is, you can stop here. Though, you can also add some warp to the paper to make it seem as if it’s being blown while sticking to the wall. 🙂
Step 8 – Use the IWarp Tool
If you want to add a blown look to your sticky note, go inside Filters > Distorts > IWarp. Inside the warp tool, set your deform radius to 85.
Reset your text and sticky note by clicking the Reset button at the bottom of the screen. This will remove the deformity inside the sticky note window.
On the left side of the sticky note, push the note towards the text. On the right side of the sticky note you’ll want to pull the note away from the text.
Continue doing this until your sticky note looks blown off the page. If you don’t like how it looks, hit the Reset button at the bottom of the IWarp window and redo it.
When you’re done, your sticky note will resemble this graphic:
Download the Instructions
If you prefer pictures along the way, download the PDF file.
Your turn. How did your sticky note turn out? Leave a comment and let me know!
Thanks for reading,
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