How to Make Text Look Like Sand Writing

By Neal Litherland

If you want to create an image of writing in the sand, you'll have to do a lot of work and a good deal of messing around with Adobe's Photoshop software. However, if you know the general path that you're going to follow, making a message look as if it has been written in the sand gets much easier. Of course, you can always add details and deviate from the plan.

Things You'll Need

  • Adobe Photoshop

Step 1

Open a blank canvas in Adobe Photoshop. Fill the background with a light, sandy-looking color such as #f0edbdf. Once the background is filled, click "Filter" on the top menu bar. Click "Noise," then click the monochromatic box and the uniform distribution box. Put in a little noise to make the background go from a smooth sheet to a sandy distribution; 1.75 percent is a good amount of Noise.

Step 2

Add text to the background. Make the text a darker brown color, like #a0894e. Choose a style that makes it look as if someone could have written the text with his finger, like the Handwriting Dakota style. Once you have your message and it's a dark brown color, you're ready to begin creating the sand effect.

Step 3

Select the text layer. Go to the menu bar and click "Layer." Go to "Layer Style" and then "Blending Options" in the drop-down menus. Under "Blending Options" on the left-hand side, check the "Stroke" box. The Position should read Outside, and the pixels can be between 1 and 4. The bigger the text, the more pixels you should use. The Overlay mode should be selected, Opacity should be 100 percent, and change the color to black. You can always edit later if you want to experiment with different looks.

Step 4

On the same menu, click "Bevel and Embossing." Make sure you have an Inner Bevel. Start with a depth of 50 percent and a size that's the same as it was with the blending (between 1 and 4). Change the lighting angle to show that the bevel is pushing down rather than up. Start at -120 degrees and change the Altitude to 30 degrees. The Highlight Color should be white and the Shadow black. Click "OK" and you'll have text that looks to be etched in sand.