How to Create a Trading Card in Photoshop

Written by paul kemp
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How to Create a Trading Card in Photoshop
Create trading cards from your photographs in Photoshop. (baseball kids image by Linda Mattson from

Adobe Photoshop gives users the ability to create a variety of graphic art projects incorporating their photographs and other digital images. Combined with the program's powerful photographic editing capabilities, Photoshop's design tools make it a great program for creating custom projects for your family or friends. In minutes, you can turn a simple photograph into a trading card featuring a border, text and any other visual element of your choosing.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Computer
  • Adobe Photoshop software
  • Digital images

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  1. 1

    Launch Photoshop and create a new 2.5 inch wide and 3.5 inch long document by selecting "File," then "New" from the application menu, entering these dimensions in the "Width" and "Length" fields, and clicking "OK."

  2. 2

    Place the image you want for your trading card by selecting "File," then "Place" from the application menu, and then locate the image in the resulting file directory. Click "Place" when you have selected your image. Click and drag the one of the corner points on the bounding box while holding the "Shift" key to adjust the size of the image so that it is contained within the visible portion of your document. Click and drag inside the image to reposition it where it looks best. Double-click within the image to commit these adjustments.

  3. 3

    Rasterise the placed image by selecting "Layer," "Smart Objects," and then "Rasterize" from the application menu. This will allow you to edit the image as needed within the document.

  4. 4

    Click on the "Layers" palette on the right side of the application window and select the "background" layer. Select "Select," then "All" from the application menu, and then return to the "Layers" palette and select the layer containing your placed image. Select "Image," then "Crop" from the application menu to crop the image to the size of your document.

  5. 5

    Click on the "fx" layer styles icon at the bottom of the "Layers" palette and select "Stroke." Check the "Preview" box. Set the "Position" menu to "Inside" and adjust the size according to how large a trading card border you prefer. Select a border colour by clicking on the swatch next to "Color."

  6. 6

    Select the "Type Tool" from the Tools Panel and click somewhere on the document to create a spot for point text. Adjust your font, size and other settings in the Tool Options Panel above the canvass. Type out the name or anything you would like about the person on the trading card. Reposition the text by clicking and dragging anywhere on the document outside of the text. Click the checkmark icon at the right of the Tool Options Panel to commit your text position.

  7. 7

    Create a new document by selecting "File," then "New" using the same dimensions as outlined in Step 1. Add any additional desired text, symbols or images using the "Type Tool" and the "File" and "Place" command to create the back of your trading card.

  8. 8

    Save each document by selecting "File," and then "Save As" from the application menu. Make sure to distinguish the front card file from the back card file when naming each file.

Tips and warnings

  • You can add more than these basic elements to your trading cards. You can add a graphic background to your text by using the "Rectangle Tool" or other shape tools, and you can edit your images however you like using Photoshop's myriad tools and capabilities.

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