GIMP Text Effects Tutorial {Denim}

Play Video

Watch and learn how to add an image to your text, in GIMP, via the video above.



In today’s GIMP text effects tutorial, you’ll discover how to add a denim texture to your text!

Plus, you’ll discover my preferred method for adding strokes that will result in a higher quality stroke. Oh, and you’ll style that stroke with a drop shadow to add depth to your stitching.

Note: the video tutorial was created with beginners in mind. The following step-by-step instructions are for more experienced users.

Table of Contents

Step 1: Create a New Document

The dimensions I’m using for this design project are as follows; 1920 x 1080 @ 300 ppi.

create a new doc

Pro Tip:

Here’s why I use 300ppi for all design projects in GIMP. Unlike Photoshop, GIMP is 100% raster-based software (i.e., pixel-based).

Therefore the text, in GIMP, will have sharper details at a higher resolution.

Even if I’m working on a design project that will be mostly for online use, I will still use a resolution of 300.

Then, when I’m ready to post online, I will resize the design to a resolution of 72 ppi.

Step 2: Add the Included Images

Here are the included images for this design project: Image 1 + Image 2.

Once you have those 2 files downloaded, locate them on your operating system and drag them to your GIMP interface.

Once you release your mouse button, both images will be added as new (separate) layers.

The original background layer is not needed. Go ahead and delete it. Also, make sure the “Denim” image is at the top. To move it, click and drag the layer to the top.

Or click on the up arrow icon at the bottom of the Layers panel.

add the included images

Step 3: Add Your Text + Align

add your text

Now that your images are in place, it’s time to add some text. Locate your Text tool on the toolbar or press the letter “T.”

For this design project, I’m going to use a font called Thirsty Script Bold. The font size will be 400. As far as the font color, it doesn’t matter. That’s because we’re going to cut out the text in an upcoming step.

For now, type out anything you want. I’m using the word “denim” in all lower case. If your new text is not visible, make sure the layer is at the top.

I like to have symmetrical designs so let’s align our text to the center of the canvas. It’s easy to do with our Align tool. Find it on the toolbar or press the letter “Q.” To activate the Align tool, you first need to click on the inside of the layer boundary.

Once you see a small (light-colored) square in each corner, you can begin aligning the text. Navigate to your tool options and set “Relative to” with “First item.” To align to the center, click on the following two icons…

Step 4: Clip Denim Image To Your Text ​​

clip denim image to text

Unlike Photoshop, you’ll need to take a few steps to clip an image to another layer. First, right-click on the text layer and select “Alpha to Selection.” This will automatically make a selection of each letter in your text.

The text layer is no longer needed. To hide it, grab the text layer and drag it below the other two layers.

Next, right-click on the “denim” text layer and choose Add Alpha Channel. This will create a transparent layer vs a solid color (after cutting out the text). You’ll also need to invert the selection to clip the image to it.

Select > Invert

Hit your Delete key or Backspace key, and you’re left with the denim inside the text. How cool is that! I love it.

Before moving, let’s deselect the text.

Select > None

Step 5: Add a Stroke

create a stroke for your text

Now it’s time to style our text. But, first, let’s rename our layers. It’s nice to organize your layers, so you know which is which. Especially when you create a lot of them like you will in this text effect.

Double click on a layer name to rename it. I’ve named mine as follows: “Denim Texture” + “Paper Texture.”

Within GIMP, we have a feature/tool that is designed for creating strokes. However, that method creates a stroke that is pixelated or soft.

Here’s my preferred method for creating strokes.

Step 6: Create Stitching For Your Text​​​​

add stitches to the denim

Adding some stitching to your text will help complete the illusion of this text effect. It’s relatively easy to do! Let’s do it…

Click on your Denim Texture layer again, right-click, and choose Alpha to Selection. This time, instead of growing the selection, we’re going to shrink it.

Select > Shrink @ 10px

Create another new layer called Stitching and fill with Transparency. Next, we need to add a stroke. This time we’re going to use GIMP’s built-in stroke tool.

Edit > Stroke Selection

Here are the settings that I used…

Stitch Settings

Stroke line | Line Width: 3px | Cap Style: Round | Join Style: Miter | Dash Preset: Sparse Dots

Before clicking the “Stroke” button, click on your Foreground color swatch to choose an off-white color.

Once you click the Stroke button, the stitching will be added along with the selection. Go ahead and deselect Shift + Ctrl or Command + A.

At this point, the stitching is a little dull and lacks any depth. Let’s fix that by adding a drop shadow to it.

Basically, you’re going to repeat the steps used to create the stitching except for the following changes…

Action Is Power

Now it’s your turn to complete this graphic design project.  Plus I want to see your final design!  Here’s how to share your design…

Head on over to our community and post your text effects project. I’ll answer any of your questions. Also, if you want feedback, add #CC.

Before you go, check out my GIMP text effects playlist with over 20 more GIMP tutorials.

Using GIMP can be challenging when you’re new to the software. If you’d like to master GIMP with less frustration, check out my GIMP Made Easy tutorials.

You can also click here to find all my free articles on GIMP.

Would you like to see how to process this design in Photoshop? If so, check out the Photoshop videos tutorial and article.

Like this article? If so, please share!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.