The other day I got a $25 iTunes gift card from a relative. I was almost more excited than if I had gotten real money, because now I know that I have to spend $25 on music, and I can’t spend it on anything else. That being said, I was surprised by how cool the actual card looked, so I thought I’d make a tutorial on how to recreate it in Photoshop. Random? Maybe. Cool? Definitely.

Final Image

Here’s what the card will look like when we’re done:


Step 1 – New Document

Ok, let’s get started.

Open up Photoshop and make a new document of the dimensions 800px by 100px. Double click on the Background layer and press enter in the dialog box that pops up to unlock it. Then double click on it again to open up the Layer Styles window. Apply a Gradient Overlay like the below image:

That should give you this:

Step 2

Now we will create the actual iTunes gift card shape. Get the Rounded Rectangle Tool (U), and set the Radius to 10px. Drag out a shape similar to the one below (my rectangle is 304 x 475 pixels, if you’re a pixel perfectionist), and place it slightly above the center of the image.

Step 3

For the card background, you will need to download a stripe pattern from Stripemania. I already created the stripe for you, so all you need to do is click this link and click the “Download this stripe” button on that page.

Save the stripe image they give you to your computer somewhere, and open it up in Photoshop. Go to Edit > Define Pattern, and name the pattern “Stripes”. Click ok and close the file.

Now you will have a nice orange stripe pattern that you can apply to your iTunes card. Switch back over to that document, double click the rectangular shape layer, and apply these layer styles:

Inner Shadow

Inner Glow


Pattern Overlay


And that should give you this result:

Step 4

Now let’s add some of the text and decorations to the card. First, go to this website and download the Apple logo there. Go back into Photoshop, go to File > Place, and choose the apple_logo.eps file that you just downloaded. Resize and move the logo into the position shown below (or close to it – you can change it later), and press enter to finish the place. Rasterize the logo layer by going to Layer > Rasterize > Layer, press D to reset your foreground and background colors, and press Control + Shift + Backspace to fill the logo with the background color (white).

You should now have this:

Step 5

To add some text to the card, get out the type tool (T), and type out “iTunes” next to the Apple logo. Set the font to Myriad Pro, the weight to Semibold, and the size to 40 pt. If you don’t have the Myriad Pro font, you could use a substitute like Arial, Lucida Grande, or Helvetica.

Position the text like below:

Step 6

Add a few more text layers, using the image below as a reference. Here are the font values for each of the different new text layers (they are all in the Myriad Pro font):

25: 51 pt Semibold

Gift Card: 13 pt Bold

$: 24 pt Semibold

Get the latest music…: 11 pt Semibold

Now that we have the text in the right places, let’s style them a bit. Double click the logo layer and enter the settings as follows:

Drop Shadow

Outer Glow

Gradient Overlay

Press ok, and with that logo layer selected, go to Layer > Layer Style > Copy Layer Style. Click on each of the other text layers you just created and on each one go to Layer > Layer Style > Paste Layer Style or just right click on the layer and choose Paste Layer Style. This will replicate the style you just created onto each of the layers.

Step 7

Take the Rounded Rectangle tool (U), set the radius to something large (anything above ten will work), and drag out a shape that is 106 x 17 pixels. You can make sure your shape is exactly this size by clicking on the little arrow next to the Custom Shape tool icon in the toolbar and selecting “Fixed Size” like below:

Drag it into position like below:

Next take the Ellipse tool (U), and drag out a 20 x 20 ellipse (you can make sure it is perfectly round by holding Shift while creating it). Position it like this (I have made it white in the image so you can see it better – the actual color doesn’t matter):

Take the Pen Tool (P), and by holding down Control and clicking in the ellipse you just created, select all of the points in the ellipse. Press Control + C to copy the points, click on the rounded rectangle layer you just created, and press Control + V to paste the points into that layer. Now select all the points in this rounded rectangle layer and in the same fashion copy them. Now click on the vector mask thumbnail of the original gift card layer (the one with the stripes), and paste the points into it. Press the “Subtract from path area” button in the toolbar (see the image below), to “cut out” those points from the layer.

You can now delete the rounded rectangle and ellipse layers.

Step 8

On to the headphones! Set your foreground color to white, grab the Line Tool (U), and drag out a 3 pixel line across the bottom third of the card shape. Control + Click on the card shape layer’s thumbnail to make a selection of it, click on the line layer you just created, and go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection. This ensures that the line won’t go out of the bounds of the card shape.

Take the Ellipse Tool (U) and drag out a 13 pixel circle, placing the circle in the center of the white line you just created. Then take the Pen Tool (P) and create a shape similar to the one below:

Set the Fill opacity of the newly created shape layer to 0%, double click on the layer, and apply a stroke with the following settings:

That will give you this:

Duplicate this layer and go to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal. Drag the new layer into position like below:

Step 9

Take the Line Tool again and drag out a 3 px line like below:

Press Control + T to enter transform mode for the shape, right click on the shape, and select Warp from the dropdown. Drag the controls until you get a result like below, and press Enter:

With the Pen Tool, draw out a shape like this:

Take the Ellipse Tool and make an thin oval of 4 x 26 pixels with the color #464646. Control + Transform the shape, rotating it to the left and placing it over top the earbud shape you just created:

Group the three layers you created in this step (the earbud cord, the earbud shape, and the gray oval) by selecting them and pressing Control + G, and duplicate the group by going to Layer > Duplicate Group. With the new group selected, go to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal, and then move the group into position like in the image below.

And voilà! You have a sweet bow made out of iPod earbuds. Cool? I think so.

Step 10

All that’s left to do now is to add some cool “special effects” to the card, and we’ll be done.

To begin, create a new layer above all of the other layers in the document. Take the Elliptical Marquee Tool (M), and drag out a selection like the one in this image:

Fill the selection with white by pressing D and then Control + Backspace. Set the Blending Mode of the layer to Overlay, add a layer mask to the layer (Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All), and drag out a Black to White Gradient on the layer mask so that you get a result like below:

Lower the opacity of the layer to around 20%. Duplicate the layer and transform the new layer, rotating it slightly to the right. That should give you this effect:

Group the two layers you just created together, Control + Click on the gift card shape layer’s thumbnail (the one with the stripes) to create a selection of it, and add a mask to the group you just created by going to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection.

Step 11

What we need now is a shadow behind the card to give it a 3D look.

Find the card shape layer and duplicate it. Move the new layer to the bottom of the layers palette (right above the background layer that contains our blue gradient), press Control + G to add it to its own group, and then press Control + E to flatten the group. This is a quick way to rasterize the layer without having to go into menus.

Now that you have a flat layer, press D to reset your colors, and then press Alt + Shift + Backspace to fill the shape with black. Press Control + T and transform the layer down like so:

Right click on the transformation controls and select Perspective from the dropdown. Drag the top right corner to the right so that you get this result:

Press Enter to apply the transformation, and then go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter 8.0 for the blur amount, and press enter. Lower the opacity of this shadow layer to 30%, and add a layer mask to it by going to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All. Take the Gradient Tool (G), and drag out a black-to-white gradient from above the shadow to its center, like below:

This will give you this effect:

Step 12

What we need now is a good reflection under the card. Group all of the layers in your document together except for the background and shadow layers (i.e. the card and everything on it) by selecting them and pressing Control + G. Then duplicate the newly created group and press Control + E to merge the new group into a single flat layer.

With the new layer selected, press Control + T, right click somewhere in the document, and select Flip Vertical from the dropdown. Then drag the layer down so that it is just at the bottom of the original card, like so:

Press Enter to apply the transformation, and decrease the opacity of the layer to 20%. Add a layer mask to the layer and drag out a white-to-black gradient like this:

Check out that snazzy reflection!

Step 13

To finish off this shiny new iTunes gift card, let’s add a bit of a sparkle to the top right corner. Go to this website and download the glint brushes on that page. Load them into Photoshop, get out your Brush Tool, and select the fifth brush in the set (its size is 269 pixels). Set your foreground color to white by pressing D and X. Make a new layer above all of the other layers in the document, decrease the brush size to about 150 pixels, and click once on the top right corner of the card to create the sparkle. Press Control + T and rotate the sparkle about 60 degrees to the right to complete the effect.


And we’re done! Give yourself a pat on the back and take a look at the result below:

Update: You can now download the PSD file for this tutorial!