How to Easily Make Custom Brushes in Photoshop

John McClain 28-04-2010

How to Easily Make Custom Brushes in Photoshop brush1Need a new Photoshop brush? Before you go out and try to scour the Internet for some decent brush sets to work with, have you considered simply learning how to make Photoshop brushes yourself?


Forget about all the hassle of searching for and downloading brushes from the Web. With Photoshop, it’s a breeze to create your very own so that you can use a unique and a little bit more of a personal brush tip to whatever you are working on.

Let’s get right to it and find out how to easily make your own Photoshop brushes.

Make Your Selection

To get started, we’ll need an image to make the custom brush out of. It’s up to you as to if you’d like to use the entire image or just a specific part of it. Just use a selection tool like the Lasso or Magic Wand to select an area of the image you want for the brush. Otherwise, simply use any of the Marquee tools and drag around to make the selection.

how to make photoshop brushes


Color and Size Limitations

Keep in mind that if there’s color in the image, the brush tip image will be converted to grayscale. This means that white will be transparent (0% opacity) and black opaque (100% opacity), with any other colors resulting in shades of gray with varying opacities between 0% and 100%.

There’s also the issue of size limitations. In Photoshop CS2 and above, the brush shape can be up to 2,500 pixels by 2,500 pixels in size. In older versions, you’re limited to only 999 px. It’s highly recommended that you try to aim close to that maximum size to allow for the quality of the brush to remain decent at all sizes. Otherwise, the brush may tend to start blurring at greater diameters.

Make and Name Your Brush

Now, with your image selected to your liking, go up to the menu bar and click on Edit. Go down and hit Define Brush Preset….

how to make custom photoshop brushes


A window will pop up with the brush image and feel free to give your new brush a name.

How to Easily Make Custom Brushes in Photoshop brushname

Save Your New Brush

Your brush is now ready to enjoy, but in order to permanently save it or export the brush to other users, we’ll first need to save it as part of a set of brushes. With your Brush tool selected, click on the brush preset picker in the options bar to open up the drop down menu. Now, hit the small arrow on the upper, right-hand corner and click on Preset Manager….

how to make custom photoshop brushes


Now, simply click on your new brush and hit the Save Set… button.

photoshop creating brushes

That’s all there is to it. Your slick new brush is now ready for use anytime you need it. Pretty simple, huh?

photoshop creating brushes


If you’re looking for places to download brush sets or maybe upload some of your own for all to enjoy, be sure to check out the 6 Best Sites To Download Free Photoshop Brushes 6 Best Sites To Download Free Photoshop Brushes Read More . Don’t forget to also read our Idiot’s Guide to Photoshop Learn Photo Editing in Photoshop: Get the Basics Down in 1 Hour Photoshop is an intimidating program—but with just one hour, you can learn all of the basics. Grab a photo you want to edit, and let's get started! Read More .

Do you download your Photoshop brushes or make your own? Let us know how you make Photoshop brushes in the comments below.

Image Credit: petitshoo

Related topics: Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Brushes.

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