Create Brushes from Custom Shapes Tutorial > Use Photoshop shapes to create endless brushes for use throughout the application tutorial

Convert Photoshop shapes into brushes tutorial

letter cCreate a new document, select the CSH tool and set to pixel fill or layer and then apply the preset with the required size, color etc. Re-apply to build up an interesting stroke design. Use the edit menu define command to create a new brush from the generated artwork. Select one of the paint tools in the toolbar and then Paint.


1) Select CSH tool in the toolbar

2) Set to layer or fill pixel option (top bar)

3) Apply shape (or re-apply shape and create more shape decorative graphics)

4) use visual effects or change blending mode or change shape and re-apply as required

5) edit menu and define brushes

6) Saved to preset panel

7) Select a stroke tool as required and paint


Single use

If you want a direct translation of the shape to a brush, the best option is to use the shape layer and apply a single shape in black (filling the entire document). Flatten the image and then use the define command found in the edit menu. You can, as the presets are vectors, apply them to any size of document (say 2500 x 2500) and then define that. Sadly there is no tool that can migrate a preset from one type to another.


letter create

Using effects

You can also apply a shape with layer effects or use visual effects such as blur and then define that as a stroke via the edit menu "define brush" command. You can also set up an action to repeat this action with any preset. It is a quick and easy way to create endless tools with the presets as a great source. The image below combines multiple blurs along with the wonderful oil paint filter



Additional approaches

You can use the presets as a source for patterns and then use the patterns as the source for the strokes instead of the vector. You can also use the shape in the 3D menu with the new extrusion from layer command. Below you can see the same artwork used as a 3D model and then used as a source for a new stroke and added in orange


3D extrusion letter

Related items

The artworks used on this page were created using letter custom shapes, you can use them in PS and PS Elements

Video tutorials

A quick guide to converting [Youtube]