Create a wood background in Photoshop

Wood Background Tutorial

In this Photoshop tutorial, we are going to create a wood background. We are going to create the wood from scratch and turn it into a pattern. Then we will finish it off by adding some lighting and texture effects.

What you’ll need:

Adobe Photoshop

Step 1

Create a new document in Photoshop. You can make your document pretty much any size you want depending on how you are going to use it. I’m going to make mine 1680×1050 at 72 pixels/inch so I can use it as a background wallpaper.

Wood Background Tutorial

Step 2

Now we are going to create our first board. To do this click on the marquee tool, then at the top, in the options bar, change the style to fixed size. Change the size to 90x325px and click on your document. This will create a box the exact size we specified.

Wood Background Tutorial

Step 3

Lets fill our box with a brown color. It doesn’t have to be the same exact brown I am using, just something that would be a good base wood color.

Create a new layer (Control + Shift + N) and fill the box with the brown we picked.

Wood Background Tutorial

Step 4

To get the grain of the wood, we are going to Control + click on the board layer to select it. Create a new layer (Control + Shift + N) and fill it with black.

Wood Background Tutorial

Step 5

Go to Filter>Render>Fibers. Play around with the Variance and Strength until you get something like what I have. Since the fibers are randomized, yours probably isn’t going to look exactly like mine, but get something where there is some contrast.

Wood Background Tutorial

Step 6

Deselect the box Control + D. Go to Filter>Blur>Motion Blur. Change the distance to 345px.

Wood Background Tutorial

Step 7

Make sure you are on the fiber layer we just made, then Control and click on the board layer. Do Control + Shift + I to get the inverse selection and delete the fiber area that is outside of the board.

Change the blend mode to Overlay and change the opacity to 30%.

Wood Background Tutorial

Step 8

Now we are going to add some styles to our board layer.

First go into the inner shadow. This is going to give us a little more depth to the board.

Second, we are going to add a bevel and emboss. This will give it a slight 3D look and help to make it pop. The contour will make the bevel a little sharper.

Wood Background Tutorial

Step 9

Now we don’t want every board to be the same so we are going to create another one by repeating steps 3 through 8. This board will be different because when we create the fibers in step 5, the fibers always come out different, which will give us different grains in the wood.

We’ll only do two different boards to keep our pattern fairly simple.

Wood Background Tutorial

Step 10

Fill the background layer with black so that when we put our boards together, if there is any spaces in between boards, white won’t show through.

Before we go any further we want to make sure that the boards and their grain are in two folders “board 1” and “board 2”.

Now to start creating the patterns we are going to click on the “board 1” folder. Do Control + T to get the transform box around the board.

Click and drag guides so the go through the middle plains as well as on each edge of the board.

Click on the “board 2” folder and do Control + T. This will put the box around it. Like the top of the box with the middle guide of “board 1”. Line up “board 2” so the top aligns with the horizontal middle and left guides.

Wood Background Tutorial

Step 11

We are going to duplicate “board 2” by right clicking on the folder and doing “Duplicate Layer Set”. Bring that new board, “board 3” over to the right side of “board 1”.

Wood Background Tutorial

Step 12

We are going to add guides to boards 3 and 4 like we did in step 10.

Now we are going to duplicate “board 1” and move it down so the top is touching the bottom of the original “board 1”.

We are going to do the same thing with boards 2 and 3 except we are going to move them up.

You should end up with 6 boards, and something like I have below.

Wood Background Tutorial

Step 13

I am going to add some nails to our boards, to give it more of a real look. The reason why I’m doing it now and not when we first made them is because this way we can set them up slightly differently on each one so they aren’t all on the same spot on every board and it isn’t as obvious that it is a pattern.

Start off by clicking on the Circular Marquee tool. Change the style to fixed size and then make the size 7x7px. Fill with a dark gray color.

Go into the layer styles then click on the drop shadow. Change the settings as I have them.

Now go into bevel and emboss and change the settings like I have them. This should give you the look of a nail in the wood.

Now you can duplicate it with Control + J and put two on the ends of each board.

Wood Background Tutorial

Step 14

Now we are going to merge all of the boards so we can turn them into a pattern.

First click on the eye to the left of the background layer. Now click on the arrow on the top right of the layers palette and go to merge visible.

Click on the eye to the left of the background layer to show the background again.

Wood Background Tutorial

Step 15

To get the pattern click on the square marquee tool and make sure the style is normal. Make a box along the guides as I have.

Go to Edit>Define Pattern. Rename the pattern “Wood”.

Wood Background Tutorial

Step 16

We can click and drag our board layer to the trash. Then go to View and clear guides.

Create a new layer called “boards”. Click on the pattern tool, select the patter we made, and paint the entire area.

If you don’t see the pattern tool, it will be under the clone tool in the tool bar.

Wood Background Tutorial

Step 17

Now we have our seamless wood pattern we can add some effects to it to make more interesting.

Using the circular marquee tool change the feather to 100px in the options bar at the top, then create a circle the same size as the document. Holding down shift use the up arrow to move the middle of the circle to the top of the document, so just the bottom half of the circle is showing. Fill with an orange color.

Wood Background Tutorial

Step 18

With the marquee still selected, do Control + Shift + I to get the inverse selection and move it down towards the bottom. Create a new layer and fill with black.

You’ll probably have a line at the top of the black that we don’t want. To get rid of this we are going to go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and change the radius to 35px.

Wood Background Tutorial

Step 19

Using the circular marquee tool again, with the 100px feather make a smaller circle with the top half above the top of the document. Fill with white. Change the blend mode to Overlay.

Wood Background Tutorial

Step 20

Repeat step 19 with a smaller circle at 50% opacity.

Wood Background Tutorial

Step 21

We are going to go in and change our levels to give our image more of a contrast.

Wood Background Tutorial

Step 22

Let’s go in and put a texture in. I’m going to go to Zen Textures to get this film texture.

Using Control + T, shrink it down to size.

Change the blend mode to Overlay at 40%.

Wood Background Tutorial

Step 23

Finally we are going to reduce the saturation. Go into Hue/Saturation and change the saturation to -15.

Wood Background Tutorial


There we have it a wood design that can be used as a desktop wallpaper, background for your website or whatever else.

Wood Background Tutorial

Here is an alternate version I created with a combination of this tutorial and the “Create 3D text with some extreme lighting” tutorial.

Wood Background Tutorial

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Only comments in English will be approved!


  1. Jônatan Fróes

    Nice tuto! thanks!

  2. Mirko

    This is for sure a good tutorial, but why not just use a simple wooden texture?

  3. 04/08/2021

    Mirko: you could, but this shows how you can make the wood and everything from scratch.

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  5. links for 2021-08-04 « Giri’s Blogmarks

    [...] Create a wood background in Photoshop | Denis Designs (tags: textures tutorials photoshop) [...]

  6. Nardyello

    Wow! Amazing effect! I’ve been looking for a great tutorial like this for a LONG time. Finally one that creates an amazing result.

    Thank you for making this! :]

  7. Kahlan

    I am stuck in the 17th step, my circle comes back filled with orange, not at all like in your picture, even with the “100 px” of feather.
    Can you help me ?
    Thank you, this is a great tutorial.

  8. 09/08/2021

    Kahlan: Try changing the blend mode to overlay, that should do it.

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  10. Kahlan

    Yes ! Thanks, it works !

  11. joyoge designers' bookmark

    nice tutorial, thank you

  12. Phil D.

    Great! thanks for the very useful tutorial

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  14. Reece Cropley

    Hey I am stuck on step 7. I have the layer with the motion blur selected, then Ctrl+click the first layer, that all goes to plan, but when I Ctrl+Shift+I to invert nothing happens. Im probably misreading or misunderstanding something, im very new to all this photoshop lark.

  15. 19/08/2021

    If you change the overlay to normal and then do the invert you should see what you are deleting. But because the blend mode is set to overlay, the parts on the white disappear.

  16. Reece Cropley

    Cheers Tyler, I kept playing around with it and finally got it. Ending up putting some text on the end result with an overlay on it. Looks good. Thanks for the tutorial!

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  19. Jogendra

    Nice & Cool also

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  22. indir

    i cant do it… so hard… please add video all lesson :(

  23. MJ

    I’m on step 22 and want to use a custom texture to apply. How do I do that?

  24. 21/09/2021

    You can use any texture you want, just bring the texture into the document and size it. Then change the blend mode to overlay and adjust the opacity until you get something you like.

  25. semmy@ web 2.0 images

    Nice post and tutorial!! Really Love it! thank you very much!

  26. Kalpesh Ajugia

    This is an awesome tutorial. The wood looks completely realistic. I’ll give this a try and also try to improvise. Thanks for the Tutorial.

    - Pixellicious Photos

  27. Devin

    Im Stuck On Number 10 i Have A PC Windows Vista, And When I Do CTRL + T it does free transform but it just let’s me move it and stretch it no lines or anytghing wanna help me anyone?

  28. 01/10/2021

    The little squares that you use to stretch the box is where the guides are going to line up, we just open up the free transform to show you were to put the guides. To get the guides you can click and drag the ruler (control +r) out into your document and they should come up.

  29. jorge

    im stuck with step 3 to 5 when i color the first box i have no idea what to do next im new photoshop can you help?

  30. 19/10/2021

    Jorge: you can use control + delete and alt + delete to fill selected areas with either the foreground or background color (shown on the tool bar)

    Let me know if that helps!

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  33. fred

    So after step 4 you want us to have on two different layers:

    layer 1: a brown box
    layer 2: a black box

    both identical in size?

    problem is in step 5 when i select filter>renders>fibers the color in in brown and not black even if i have the black box layer selected when doing filter>renders>fibers

  34. 22/03/2021

    The black and brown boxes are two different layers same exact size. While you still have the area selected with the marquee fill with black and use the fiber filter

  35. Myk

    Hey, this is fantastic! I might actually do this for my YouTube channel.

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  39. Madiha Saad


  40. ArchiveTR

    great post thanks.

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  44. D sinh

    I have used my share of tutorials for helps on designs but I found this confusing. I use CS4 extended and feel that there needs to be more illustration provided here. More detailed and more pictures. Its not meeting the mid level clarity in my opinion.

  45. clickddl

    very goood site. thank you.

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  47. menarick

    COOL_thanks to share

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  49. Raga

    Hi im stock in 11 step im duplicate group and i dont know how bringing that group to the group 1 , if i drag and drop apears “Could not complete your request because source and destination documents are the same”, please help me, thanks.

  50. porneu

    very goood site.. thx..

  51. Rlseu

    I always follow your site thank you.

  52. Rlseu

    thanks nice site.

  53. Esteban Daire

    Maybe you must update any perl remote computer against your hosting company, Wp is definitely kinda sluggish.

  54. oddant

    I’ve learned a lot of things reading this tutorial and the final rendering is like a piece of cake that you want to eat, it’s great ! Thanks for this great time :)

  55. Irfan

    I like it dear. its a beautiful way for Learning. Thank You Dear

  56. Promotion code

    Yeah bookmaking this wasn’t a speculative conclusion outstanding post!

  57. Suelmtemy

    I think, that you commit an error. Write to me in PM, we will talk.

  58. Dave

    Tyler, this was a great tutorial, but you totally blew me away with the last image with the extreme lighting! You are one talented designer. Sooo… now I’m off to learn how to do that one :-)

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