Insight & Insanity

web development with a dash of life

Create a Realistic Dry Erase Board

In this tutorial, I am going to show you how to easily create a Dry Erase Board in Photoshop. This is a relatively simple tutorial, with which I have provided the stock imagery you’ll need as well as the complete PSD file which you may download.

  1. Open a New Document, with a size of 500px by 300px. Using a white background, of course.
  2. For the frame, I simply searched for “aluminum frame” and found an image I could use as a source. This is what I found:
    Download the original from here:
  3. I used the top piece from the stock image and just stretched a section and duplicated/rotated it three times to form the frame. Then simply use the polygon selection tool to trim the top two frame pieces at a 45° angle.
  4. Now, Ctrl+Click each of the layers (Cmd+Click on Mac), and press Ctrl+E (Cmd+E on Mac) to merge the layers. Go to Layer> Layer Style> Blending Options… And click on Drop Shadow. Use the settings as shown below.
  5. Now click on Gradient Overlay and use the settings below.
  6. This will add a subtle shadow to your “white” board, and the frame to give the illusion of it being 3D.
  7. Create a new blank layer above your background layer, but below your frame layer. Now grab a large blurred brush, 300px or so, and create a halo around the edges of your white board.

    Drop the opacity of this "halo" layer to around 10%.

  8. For this part, go ahead and download these watercolor brushes. Using brush number 12, set it’s size at 20px, and it’s opacity at 20-30%, and it’s color to any red. Create a new layer and go crazy! Create two more layers, one for using a blue, and one for black. This will help us to create the illusion of a “used” dry erase board with ink remaining on the surface.
  9. Give each one of these layers a Gaussian Blur of 7px, and adjust the opacity according to taste.
  10. Head over to and download Hand of Sean. Just so happens to be the font I used for this project, but you can chose any font you would like. When putting text onto your board, be sure to drop it’s opacity a bit. Too rich of a color will make the text look fake on the board. Here is what you get when you are finished! Download the PSD below.