This post was originally published in 2008
The tips and techniques explained may be outdated.

Following on from the Torn Paper tutorial, the page curl is also commonly used in creating the distressed and collage looks. This simple walkthrough can be applied to any photo to add an extra bit of detail.

Photoshop Page Curl


Open up the original image into Photoshop


Duplicate the layer by dragging the background layer into the New Layer icon, then fill the original background layer with white.


Drag a square selection across the bottom section of the image.


With the selection active, press CTRL/CMD + T to Transform, right click and select Warp from the menu.
Drag the lower corner point inwards to bend the edge of the image upwards to simulate a page curl.


Zoom into the area and draw around the folded corner with the pen tool.


Right click on the path and choose Make Selection. Fill the selection with white on a new layer.



Double click on the new layer and add a Gradient Overlay angled across the curl to add depth.


Add a slight drop shadow to the curl to give the impression that the curl is lifted from the background slightly. Keeping the effects subtle is the key.


Click back onto the image layer and add another slight drop shadow to the lower edge.

Photoshop Page Curl

An additional tip:
When using this technique with a plain white or flat coloured image, it can be difficult to see the warp transformation. To get around this, take a screen shot of the transform tool settings.

Then, after applying the settings, paste in the screenshot and use it as a guide to draw the outline with the pen tool. Delete the screenshot from the document and continue with the steps above.


Users with Photoshop version <CS2 without the Warp option, copy the above image to use as a template in your document!


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  1. After I complete the Warp portion, the next step says to draw around the folded corner with the pen tool. But when I try to select the pen tool, I have to “apply the transformation” which causes the image of the fold to disappear. How do I select the pen tool without this happening??

  2. Very nice outcome, but I recommend one thing: You should write that the Warp transform feature won’t be available for Photoshop 7 users. I don’t think so anyway.

  3. Good point Eli, that’s right, the Warp filter wasn’t introduced until CS2.

    The workaround would just mean getting jiggy with the pen tool and drawing the outline of the page curl from scratch, instead of tracing the Warp transformation.
    Users could copy the second to last image and paste it into their document to use as a guide.


  4. I see myself coming back as well. This kind of style can add depth to website graphics. I was working on a design this week that would have benefited from that. Thanks.

  5. It is a really a good tutorial for starters in photoshop.
    The step-by-step process really helps us a lot.
    Thannks for everything.

  6. Hey!! i was just designing a menu and thank you for publishing this question though..i have no idea about how you take a screen shot in a windows….for Macintosh it’s easy..but i don’t know for windows….
    Anyways..thanx for that enlightenment.


  7. Hey tashinorden

    For Windows it depends on your keyboard, there should be a ‘Print Screen’ button somewhere, it differs between manufacturers.


  8. I am stuck :(

    I selected a section, done the ctrl+t and right clicked, but i dont get the warp option.

    Does this not work in PSE6?

    Help pleeeeeaaaassseeeee :)


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