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Create A Vintage Pinup Cover in Photoshop

Pinups are incredible beauties from the past! In today’s tutorial, we’ll show you how to create a vintage style pinup magazine cover using Adobe Photoshop. Let’s get started!

Software: Adobe Photoshop CS6

Difficulty: Beginner

Completion Time: 1 hour

Images Used For This Tutorial

Sexy ice skating pinup woman (pin, vintage): 12350982 © zoomteam


Beautiful winter mountains landscape at sunset in rays of sun light. Illustration, card, poster, space for text: 19109537 © Marianna Kalashnyk


The Setup

Step 1

Create an 8.5 by 11 document in Adobe Photoshop. Place your pinup photo onto the document and Control + T to resize while holding the Shift key. We want to treat this like an actual magazine cover, so make sure the pinup hugs the left side but wouldn’t be cut off in the final printing.

Step 2

Drag your winter background into Photoshop. Hit Control + T to Free Transform and make the image larger so that the trees tower over the pinup. Flip it so that the main trees are on her right side by going to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal.

Step 3

Bring down the Opacity of this layer a little and begin erasing any areas that cover the pinup with the Eraser Tool (E).

Step 4

Decrease the Hardness and Opacity of the Eraser to lightly erase the trees that are overlapping the pinup on her left side. Continue erasing for a seamless blend into the background. Merge the background and pinup layers together.

Step 5

Now for the vintage painting effect! You’ll need two copies of the new pinup cover layer so right-click to create a duplicate. First make sure the Foreground Color is set to white and the Background is set to Black. Select one of the layers and go to Filter > Filter Gallery > Sketch > Conte Crayon and adjust the settings to: Foreground Level 12, Background Level 8, Scaling 50%, and Relief 3. This black and white effect will be the start to our vintage look!

Step 6

Take the duplicated layer that is still in color, and set it to Darken. This will help bring color back into the cover.

Step 7

Old pinups usually have more red tones to them. So add a New Layer and fill it with a burnt red color. Set the layer to Color Burn and bring down the Opacity to 11%.

Step 8

Use the Rectangle Tool (U) to add a small box for the title on a new layer. Fill the box with the color white and set the outside stroke to a thin black line.

Step 9

Last but not least, add text! For the title text I used the beautiful font, Bondoluo Peek, but you can find any font online that fits this style too. Finish the cover with a subtitle for added commentary using the Monotype Corsiva font.


And you’re finished! I hope you’ve enjoyed this fun vintage tutorial! Enjoy creating your own magazine covers and reminiscing upon the beautiful past!

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