How to Make a Cool Composition Notebook Background in Photoshop

Are you making your own journals? A scrapbooker? A graphic novel maker? Here is a fun and easy way to make that texture you see on a marbled composition notebook.

richfinal

Decide on final size and resolution you will need ahead of time.

For a notebook cover (8.5 x 11) I am using a 9 x 12, 300 dpi image. This will allow for bleed.

black
If printing on a home printer, simple black (100K) and white is probably fine, but be sure to test it out.
Set the file to have a black background and white foreground.

You may use standard, 100% black, or determine with your printer if you should use a rich black (black that is made of more than just black so that it comes out very rich with nice coverage. My favorite is 60c 40m 40y 100k.) I am a pre-press geek, so please bear with me.

richblack
Check with your printer to see what he/she suggests as far as rich black is concerned
Create new file with background contents: white:
1createnewfileThis part is unusual, but I found it really works.

In order to get that good “composition cover-y” look, I temporarily enlarge the file to 250%. Then, the applied filters take on the proper proportions:

enlargeGo to filter, render clouds:
filter_cloudsIt will look like this:

cloudThen, in order to use the next filter, temporarily convert file to RGB (my press background makes this very hard for me to accept, but I will correct it later):changetoRGB

Then, go to sketch – stamp:filter_stampYou may want to play with the size and look of your texture using the balance and smoothness.
I had to OK and Undo a couple of times until I was happy with the proportions and shapes:stampbalanceConvert back to CMYK and tweak the color balance as necessary to get you back to a good, clean black:

convertbacktocmyk

Resize image back to original size from the 250% enlargement:sizebackdownSave file:

savefileHappy compositions!

Article focus: How to Make a Cool Composition Notebook Background in Photoshop