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How to Add Festive Christmas Photo Effects in Photoshop


The decorations are up in the shops and Christmas adverts are on the TV, and at Envato, we're feeling the first stirrings of festive cheer. To get you in the Christmas spirit, try one (or all) of our three cool Christmas effects for Adobe Photoshop, from Envato Elements.

1. Real Snow Photoshop Action

Create a realistic snow effect in minutes with the Real Snow Photoshop Action. It's really easy to use and there are ten colour options if you feel like mixing it up a bit!

Real Snow Photoshop Action
Real Snow Photoshop Action

Running the Action

Here's the image I'll be using to demonstrate:

Photo by Bryan Goff on Unsplash
Photo by Bryan Goff on Unsplash

Once you've installed the action, all you need to do is open it up and hit play. You have two options: 'snow'


And: more snow.

more snow
'More snow'

Finish Up

There's not much in the way of adjustments with this one, but you do have the option to sharpen up the background. I chose the medium option out of the three.

finished effect
The finished effect

2. I ♥ Sweaters Smart Knitted Effect

Create a realistic-looking Christmas jumper effect with the I Love Sweaters Photoshop template. This works with images or text.

I  Sweaters - Smart Knitted Effect
I ♥ Sweaters - Smart Knitted Effect  

Getting Started

Here's the image I'll use to demonstrate.

Photo by Ian Parker on Unsplash
Photo by Ian Parker on Unsplash

This isn't an action, so there's nothing to install, hurrah! Open up the PSD file included in the download.

open the PSD
This is how the template looks

The Result

Drag your photograph into the layer called EDIT THIS SMART CONTENT.

how it looks
How the effect looks

This looks fun, but there isn’t much in the way of adjustment that you can do.

Try using text instead of an image. Create a text layer above the EDIT THIS SMART OBJECT layer and make sure the clipping mask is applied – there should be a downward arrow to the left of the layer picture.

add text
Add some text

Try Something Different

This time I’m going to add a different image and some text. I’ve picked a nice fat font so you can see the effect properly.

The font is a nice festive red. Try adding a Colour Balance layer in the Background Tone folder and dragging the colours to get a different background for the ‘jumper’ effect.

Finished Result

finished result
Finished result

Here's another version, this time a toned-down, classier one that would be great to use as an e-card or social media graphic.

3. Sparklers Animation Photoshop Action

Create a festive and fun sparkler effect on your images. You can use this as a still to brighten up your photographs, or create entertaining GIFs to share online.

Sparklers Animation Photoshop Action
Sparklers Animation Photoshop Action

Getting Started

Here's the image I'll be using.

Photo by freestocksorg on Unsplash
Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

You'll need to install the action and also a brush set for this.

Create a new layer called brush, in lower case, and on that layer, use a brush between 2px and 4px at full opacity to draw on what you'd like to sparkle.

draw on layer
Draw on the 'brush layer'

I've drawn three hearts that you can just about make out in red. When you're done, run the action; it takes a while!

after action has run
After the action has run

As you can see, my beautifully drawn hearts (cough, cough) have been transformed into sparklers – cute! We can make this a little better with adjustments though.

Make Adjustments

The dark really makes the sparklers pop, but it hides a lot of the original image. You can either lower the opacity of the Background Controllers folder, or make individual adjustments within that folder, on the separate layers and their masks.

finished still
Finished still image

Here, I’ve lowered the overall opacity of the folder and hidden the Environment Colour and Reduce Highlights layers.

Create a GIF

You can save your image as a still, like above, or you can go a little further and create a GIF, the layers are already to go!

Just go to File > Export > Save for Web and choose GIF. Be sure to choose the loop forever option.

Another great use for this is to actually write on your image and turn that into sparklers. Choose a font and write your message. You’ll then need to rasterize the font and rename the layer brush – you can do this by right-clicking on the layer.

Once you've adjusted using the steps above and you're happy, you can save as a GIF!

More Festive Fun Photo and Video Projects

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