Note technology rapidly evolves and this tutorial is over 3 years old, as a result some of the practices used in this tutorial may be out of date.

Coffee Stain Social Networking Icons Tutorial

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create the Coffee Stain Social Bookmarking Icons found on WebTreats ETC.



Download and install the following great, free Photoshop shapes and brushes:

webtreats-custom-shapes Free Hand Drawn Social Bookmarking Photoshop Shapes from our own WebTreats ETC.
paper_textures Free Paper Textures Photoshop Brushes from Susan Libertiny at Brush Portfolio
coffee_brush_preview Free Coffee Stains and Splashes Brushes from QBrushes.
bittbox-watercolor-brushes Free High-Res Grungy Watercolor Photoshop Brushes from

Click here for help installing photoshop presets.

The easiest way to install any photoshop preset is to simply drag the files into Photoshop, but it doesn’t always work. If the drag and drop method doesn’t work for you, you will need to find the appropriate presets folder and drop your files in there.

BRUSHES (.abr)
WINDOWS: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop (version)\Presets\Brushes\
MAC: /Users/(username)/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop (version)/Presets/Brushes

SHAPES (.csh)
WINDOWS: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop (version)\Presets\Custom Shapes\
MAC: /Users/(username)/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop (version)/Presets/Custom Shapes

WINDOWS: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop (version)\Presets\Patterns\
MAC: /Users/(username)/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop (version)/Presets/Patterns

Layer Styles (.asl)
WINDOWS: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop (version)\Presets\Styles\
MAC: /Users/(username)/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop (version)/Presets/Styles


Start by creating a nice coffee stained paper background. Create a new document 1440px by 900px with a white background. Select the brush tool by typing “B,” then go up to the toolbar, and open up your brush presets. If you’ve installed the brushes from step #1 in the order listed in that step, your brush presets should look something like this:



Choose the third brush from the paper textures brushes, set your foreground color to #9c8d48, and then click once in the center of your canvas. Your image should now look something like the image below:



To add some coffee stains, create a new layer by going to “LAYER >> NEW >> LAYER.” Then select one of the coffee stain brushes, set the opacity to 40%, and click somewhere on your canvas. Repeat this with a couple other coffee stains until you have something like the image below:



To add some social bookmarking shapes, activate the shape tool by clicking “U.” Then go up to the toolbar, and open up your shape presets by clicking on the little down arrow. If you have installed the Hand Drawn Social Network Shapes, you will see something like the image below. Select one of the shapes, and make sure you have “Custom Shape Tool” and “Shape Layers” selected as shown below:



Now select another shape, this time with the setting “Add to Shape Area” selected as shown below. This will keep all your shapes in one layer, which will make future steps easier.



Repeat this for several more shapes until you have something that looks like the image below:



You will now need to add some layer styles to your shape layer. Double click on the shape layer to bring up the layer styles pallet, and then add the layer styles shown below:

coffee-stain-shape-layer-blend-modes coffee-stain-shape-layer-outer-glow coffee-stain-shape-layer-inner-glow coffee-stain-shape-layer-satin-layer-style


To make these icons look a little more like a coffee stain, you will need to add some texture. To do this, first select all the shapes in the shape layer by holding down CTRL (or COMMAND) and then clicking on the thumbnail of the shape layer as shown below.


STEP #10

To make your shapes appear to bleed into the paper, you will need to enlarge and feather your selection. To do that, go to “SELECT >> REFINE EDGE” and apply the settings below:


STEP #11

Go to “LAYER >> NEW >> LAYER” to create a new layer. Activate your brushes by typing “B,” and select one of the Bittbox watercolor brushes. Click once anywhere on your canvas to drop the watercolor texture within the selected areas. Then set the layer blend mode to linear burn, the opacity to 58%, and you should have something that looks like this:

That’s it!

You should have something that looks like this.


What’s Included in the Download

  • Fully layered source PSD
  • 74 .PNG social media icons in this style as seen in the preview.
You might also like
Persuasion Wordpress Theme Elegance Wordpress Theme Red and White Pearl Download Icon Modular Wordpress Theme Myriad Wordpress Theme 3D Transparent Glass Text Effect Grunge Yellow Warning Striped Icon & Text Effect Starfield Tileable Twitter Background Tutorial Blue Retro Grunge Text Effect and Icons Adding Column Layout Shortcodes to Your WordPress Theme Watercolor Social Networking Icons Crystal Clear Bubble Icons Fusion Wordpress Theme How to use Google Analytics Content Experiments Matte White Square Check Mark Icon Dejavu Wordpress Theme Yellow Road Sign Icons Image Masking and Sliding Transition Effect Echelon Wordpress Theme Method Wordpress Theme Brushed Silver Reflective Text Effect Grungy Rusted Carbon Fiber Text Effect Glossy Silver Web 2.0 Icon Tutorial Construct Wordpress Theme

22 comments on “Coffee Stain Social Networking Icons Tutorial

  1. Pamela says:

    @Susan Libertiny,
    Thank you. We love your brushes!

    You’re welcome!

    May 15, 2009 1:38 pm
  2. Roger says:


    Thanks for telling us that the tutorial is awesome. We love compliments !!! :)

    May 22, 2009 8:25 pm
  3. Kai says:

    This is awesome! Thank you. I’m wondering how to create the effect from using the refine edge selection when you’re working in Photoshop CS2?

    June 14, 2009 11:47 am
  4. Pamela says:

    Thank you!
    I don’t have CS2, but I believe feathering the selection by about 3px should work somewhat similarly (go to “SELECT >> FEATHER” and enter 3 for the feather radius).

    June 15, 2009 12:06 pm
  5. Denis says:

    Hello, there are these shapes, as shown in Step 5 or Step 6 to download? I am looking for quite a few now, but I will unfortunately not find it!

    Many thanks in advance

    September 12, 2009 9:23 am
    1. Pamela says:

      Hi Denis ~ If you click on the first link in step #1 you will be taken to a page where you can download them.

      September 13, 2009 10:07 pm
      1. Denis says:

        Thanks Pamela,
        there is also the normal shapes for it to download? Seen from row 6 to row 10 on the picture? That`s wonderful and I would be very happy

        September 14, 2009 11:11 am
  6. Rick says:

    Nice little tutorial, and of course this “coffee stain” technique would work for other types of graphics as well.

    April 22, 2011 6:22 am
  7. Brent M says:

    This has been such a helpful tutorial – thank you. It’s so nice to be able to create something different for a change.

    April 22, 2011 9:53 pm
  8. Amanda says:

    What fun, love the fact that it is so different, it is so hard to look individual on the web. it has given me some really good ideas too. Easy to follow tutorial, Thanks.

    September 27, 2011 1:07 am
  9. Jon D. says:

    Excellent tutorial. One of the better ones. I like the finished product – perfect for grunge sites and blogs. Nice way to keep a site fresh.

    March 17, 2012 10:45 am

    Coffee Stain Social Networking Icons Tutorial | Photoshop Tutorials Etc. – 12th Edition | Graphic Design

    Twitter Trackbacks for Coffee Stain Social Networking Icons Tutorial | Tutorials ETC [] on

    31 מדריכים לעיצוב אייקונים « כשעיצוב וטכנולוגיה נפגשים

Leave a Reply to Brent M Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>