Plugs 'N Pixels, image creation, manipulation and education

Plugs ’n Pixels looks at Flypaper textures, edges and overlays

Flypaper Textures results

  Paul and Jill at Flypaper Textures have come up with a series of gorgeous high-resolution (300ppi) texture, edge and overlay sets that will add incredible atmosphere to your images! Use blending modes to apply one or more of these to your images in an endless variety of ways, or even use them by themselves as backgrounds for your designs.

  Textures such as these take your images to another level with very little effort. Use them as-is or crop, resize, change the colors, use in multiples, etc.

Flypaper Textures thumbnails

  I’ve been enjoying  using Flypaper Textures for a few years now, using them as standalone background art in the Plug ’N Pixels ezine and also as creative overlays on my images. If you haven’t yet discovered the joy of using textures and blending modes with your images, this is a great collection to explore! The hundreds of hi-res images will keep you busy for some time.


  The texturing procedure is as simple as dragging a texture into your source image in Photoshop using the Move tool and choosing a blending mode and opacity level. For a tutorial on this topic, see our Flypaper Textures PDF.


  The image at top began as a straightforward garden scenic shot, upon which I overlaid several Flypaper Textures in Photoshop using layers and blending modes. I always start with the Overlay mode (which works in most cases), and sometimes Soft Light. The effectiveness and success of this effort all depends on the interaction of the source image and the particular texture(s) you are using.


  Don’t feel you have to constrain yourself to using the textures in their existing forms. They can be manipulated as needed to best interact with your source image. For example, the unedited texture shown below left was tweaked and adjusted (Levels, Hue/Saturation, resolution, etc.) to create the finished tree image at right. Without the texture, the tree photo was not very interesting. Now it looks like some sort of tapestry painting or maybe even a medieval weaving.

Flypaper Textures texture example
Flypaper Textures results

  One of my 1985 European trip black and white images (below) took on a new and colorful life by layering several Flypaper Textures as well as a couple of their French Receipts .png files (cropped and sized as needed to fit my original image). The French text and graphic were especially appropriate as the original photo was taken in France.


  The only “problem” you are going to run into with these various sets is there are so many possible variations that you have to eventually choose a stopping point!

Original image
Flypaper Textures results

19 sets of Flypaper Textures are currently available (see the Flypaper website for more texture gallery thumbnails):


Fly Edges is a one-off, cool toned, metallized glass texture pack derived from over 100-year-old antique French glass silvered plates, lovingly scanned in TIF, then cleaned and processed in a secret way they have developed themselves to show only grunge without the original image (30 textures).


Tex Box 1 (contains 25 textures as follows):

  White shagreen, Dangerous Liaisons, Caramel Soft, Aqua Sparkles, Apple blush, Uranium paper, Tarte Tatin, Shagreen Bone, Raw Linen, Pompeii stucco, Phosphorescence, Orient Express, Nostradamus, Nora Batty, Necropolis, Leaky Garret, lamp white, Herculaneum Pumice, Grosgrain, Grande Tour, Elysium, Dove Grey, Bruised Saffron, Apple Crumble, Antique Liaisons.


Tex Box 2 builds on Tex Box 1 with 30 textures that are smoother, lighter and have more vignettes. There are also clouds and interesting antique wall textures:

  Algae, Antiquity Scroll, Archival Canvas, Backdrop, Basalt, Beowulf, Burnished Clay, Chlorophyll, Colosseum Sienna, Concorde, Cyprus haze, Gooseberry, Holmes, Icarus Haze, Labyrinth, Lavender Skies, Leaden Hall, Lime Plaster, Lost Void, Luminescent, Marie Antoinette, Ming, Muscatel, Ordinance Map, Paua Nacra, Peach Blush, Rainbow Trout, Sail Cloth, Sunflower Sky and Voyageur Map.


The Spring Painterly Pack was inspired by the French Impressionists, with soft painterly brush strokes, pastel spring skies, French country linens and impesto painted linen effects. The 40 textures are:

  Apple Moss, Beau LingePaysage, Catacomb Frieze, Cirrus Skies, Citron Vert, Creme Anglaise, Eau de Nil, Galatea, Gelato Ice, Giverny, Heather, Lemoncello, Lyme Fossil, Medusa, Mistral, Moth Wing, Mystic Hues, Naissant Border, Newt, Omega, Opal, Orange Blossom, Ovid Banished, Pantheon Stone, Paysage Linge, Peacock, Printemps Vert, Prospero, Sakura Skies, Scotch Mist, Sisley, Sonnet, Spring Equinox, Swanns Way, Syrinx, Tempest Sea, Temps Retrouve, Umbra Eclipse, Villa Adriana and Xavier.


The Summer Painterly Pack contains lovely summer skies, shimmering with cool brush strokes. Riding the desert on cracked old leather saddles you'll find basking turtles on rare metallic touchstones, and the finest silk will envelop your images. The 36 textures in this pack are:

  Absinthe Vert, Aquarius, Azriel Map, Baltamos Blue, Brushed Rose, Cobalt Cloud, Dawn Grunge, Desert Djinn, Dorian Gray, Elyon Grunge, Europium, Evening Veil, Ezekiel Plum, Gorgon Hide, Harbour Wall, Iorek Ice, Iridescent Brush, Matmos Lake, Moleskin, Mouse, Mulberry Silk, Nimbus Cloud, Nuriel Clouds, Oxford Parchment, Pan's Sky, Pistachio, Purple Haze, Sahara Saddle, Sariel Leather, Serafina Sky, Sygian Tin, Touchstone, Turtle Shell, Uriel Green, Verdigris Mist, Zuriel Stone.


The Autumn Painterly Pack seamlessly moves into the Autumn season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. Enjoy a fragrant walk through majestic country estates, where misty mornings mingle with soft sun on antique stone and Byzantine colours merge with swirling atmospheric incense. The 40 rectangular textures are:

  Ambergris, Ambrosia, Ancient Stucco, Angelique Glace, Aotea Mist, Aquaflore, Artemisia Silver, Balsam, Capability Brown, Chatsworth,Contre Jour, Demi Jour, Eau de Giverny, Fleurette Occitane, Gertrude Jekyll, Greystoke, Hampton, Hidcote, l'ocean bleu, l'oxygene, Neroli Roc, Nuage Chantilly, Nuit, Oakmoss, Orris, Ozone Mist, Quelques Flerus, Sauvage Byzantine, Sissinghurst, Solsbury Hill, Stonehenge, Stucco Lite, Styrax, Tapis Vert, Versailles, Vetiver, Vieux Gris, Vita, Weta, Xeyrus.


The August Painterly Pack follows a Mediterranean theme with a high summer Venetian concept! Rococo golds mingle with Adriatic blues and shimmering sun shines through the prismatic waters of the grand canal. Soft ancient stone and cracked peeling ancient paint enhance the romance, where countless novelists have set their stories. Grand tour painters, poets, musiciens and modern day film makers continue to add to the Venetian mystique and we hope you too will be transported and inspired enough to add a little Adriatic painterly mist to your images!

  The August Painterly Photographic Textures Pack contains 37 landscape orientated 4000 by 5000px minimum textures at 300ppi, plus 3 square @4000 x 4000px. Also included is an extra bonus Taster pack, perfect for use on your tablet, smart phone or in Russell Brown’s Adobe Flypaper Texture Panel.

  This pack's textures are: Acqua alta, Adriatic, Albinoni, Alluvione, Alata Marea, Aqua Vita, Arcadia, Bellini, Bucolico, Canaletto, Candide, Casanova, Danielli, Demetrius, Diluvio, Ducale, Filone, Gotico, Gritti, Inferno, Masque, Murano, Olivolo, Opale, Opus, Palazzo, Pallido, Rialto, Rococo, San Marco, Sandalo, Saphira, Smeraldo, Stradivari, Tabula, Tempesta, Tiepolo, Trapeza, Tronchetto, Veneto.


Tintype Edges

  Ever wanted a Wild West photographic look? Did you yearn for a natural wet plate photographic feel? Have you ever wanted natural un-contrived edges that are not the everyday humdrum digital App retro, but something a little bit special? Then the pro-sized Antique Tintype Textures pack is the product for you!

  This is another connoisseurs edges pack that includes all over soft cool grunge goodness derived from original antique American Tintype plates. This Tintype Edge pack contains 37 unique textures, and this time there is a good mix of portrait, landscape and square formats. The normal minimum sized side of 4000px has been exceeded as this new set now has 4500px minimum sized sides, presented in 300ppi for perfect printing and happily usable with your landscape format.


Metallic Pack

  Following on from and complimenting their popular tintype textures, Flypaper now proudly launches a brand new metallic set. This set can be used to create modern, up to date and retro imagery or, when mixed with any of the eight previous texture packs, endless effects! As ever, the textures' names loosely describe the style, mostly metals (such as Anodised Steel and Pewter), while others are named after atmospheric scenes such as the handsome Smoky Dusk and Silver Glade.

  So take a stroll through these cool new metallic shades. Notice how the metallic tones have a natural affinity with the photographic medium? With the darker textures, they add depth and beef up the shadows. Also try applying some lighter toned textures to add an ethereal soft mistiness and bring out the highlights. Don’t be afraid to experiment with layering several textures together! They work wonderfully on still lifes, adding a soft rich atmosphere.

  The Metallic pack contains 40 rectangle-shaped, landscape-orientated textures, all professionally sized to 4000 x 5000 pixels and at the industry printing standard 300ppi.


Paper And Painterly Pack

  This time the theme is Paper with Painterly; brush strokes that look like seascapes. Thus the names of oceans from around the globe were used to describe them. The Paper-derived textures half of this set have also been given sympathetic sounding names, such as Papier Mache, Fly Spotted and classic Vellum etc. These Papers aren’t minimal either, they have full-on grunge, whether all over or mostly framing the edges, their muted yet easy to use colours.

  Most papers were gleaned in France or England, many were 200 years or more old. Some are from an original beautifully foxed Regency scrap book purchased in London at an early morning street flea market, others are documents from before the French revolution! A few have faint text derived from 200 year old French text books, extensively personalized and annotated by scholars. All these layers of historic grunge are brought together to form the core feel of this texture set!

  A few retro wallpaper overlay backgrounds were added to spice up our paper theme, which are useful for backgrounds in various types of shoots such as classic and retro indoor portraits. The Blue Rose texture element is borrowed from an early 1930’s French wallpaper, though modernised and simplified for Flypaper’s cleaner look. The classic Harlequin pattern was created from scratch and is used to great effect in the pack's label. The Napoleon Wall detail was gleaned from a 100 year old historic New Zealand colonial wallpaper.

  42 textures grace this pack. The minimum size is 5000x4000, mostly landscape-formatted with 3 Wallpaper overlays in portrait form.


Luggage Labels Overlays Pack One

  The source materials for this set were rescued from the attic of a late London publisher who collected them throughout his lifetime of travels, before his death in the 1970s. The original TIFF scans were cleaned up just enough to brighten them up without losing their antique uniqueness and are presented here in .PNG format due to their non-square shape and for making easy overlays.

  The 25 scans offered here are much larger than the original tags. Possible uses include mobile phone cover decorating, interior designs such as a la mode cushion covers, furniture fabric and bedding, decorated kid's bedroom walls, covering your suitcases, trunks and screens, decoupage, T-shirt printing, tapestry base designs, sofa cushions, mousepads and sown-on jeans patches!


Pastel Painterly Photographic Textures

  This Pastel textures theme features herbs, spices and food, including edible flowers! Step into the Laurel woods and gather Aromatic herbs, paddle with Water Mint, pick mouth watering Blueberries, Damsons and Greengages, feast upon Eton Mess, Iced Pistachio’s and Rhubarb Crumble, all washed down with Elderflower and Pink Champagne.

  Don’t be fooled by the “Pastels” name because these textures have plenty of depth, with loads of iridescent, metallic, verdigris and mirror smooth darker textures for the slightly harder look, down to the softer, mistier pastels that the name suggests.

  There are 10 extra Textures in this set – that’s a whopping 50 full-size textures! The Pastel Painterly Pack contains 50 rectangular shaped textures with a minimum size of 4000 x 5000 pixels and are at the industry printing standard of 300ppi.


Antique Edges 2

  This antique glass plate negative-derived set is slightly different from the first set as the brightness is toned down to make blending easier. This set is oriented in portrait format, giving them an easier starting point for your portraits and book cover images.

  The Antique 2 images were scanned from large format, antique glass plate negatives to capture only the historic tarnish but not the original image. This effect was enhanced with sympathetic re-coloring and just a touch of cleaned up. These plates work best when merged with modern day imagery for that authentic antique grunge look that many people crave. And finally, as always, Flypaper tries to cram as many plates as possible into a pack, so this new pack now contains a hefty 40 plates with a minimum size of 4500 pixels at 300 ppi!


Distressed Painterly

  This pack contains a mellow toned mixture of painterly grunge textures with added innovative organic cracked textures to finish your painterly imagery!

  The 45 textures in the pack are April Frost, Azurite, Beaux Arts, Belle Epoque, Blaue Reiter, Blue Lacewing, Byzantine, Cracked Facade, Cracked Pointillism, Cracked Taupe, Craquelure, Danse Macabre, Die Brucke, Diptych, Erebus Ice, Fauvist, Forest Patina, Frosted Scrumble, Frottage, Grisaille, Intaglio, Jet Trails, Lacewing, Marguerite, Millennium, Mimesis, Montmartre Crack, Moody Blue, Muddy Boots, Obsidian Cracks, Organza, Peach Lustre, Peinture, Pink Tempera, Quattrocento Cracks, Renaissance Brush, Riven Snow, Rottenstone Cracks, Sfumato, Surat Meadow, Tapa Cloth, Trunk Call, Verdaddio, Verglas and Vernis Craqueler.


Fine Cracks

  This fine crackle glaze-derived texture set will add that old master touch to your photography, art and craft projects! Several transparent PNG versions are also included with this JPEG set so that you can quickly pop cracks onto your photoshop projects or any program that accepts layers. This set also complements Flypaper’s innovative Edges range of Antique Glass edges and Tintype Edges.

  Fine Cracks are composed of 2 different kinds of textures: the flat plate and the Canvas. The canvas textures retain their original woven fabric bases for merging with your painterly images, while the Plate versions were flat panels with no weave texture, these work well merging with the edges and tintype packs to get that old cracked emulsion effect you sometimes see on tintypes. The PNG transparent overlays lose the color and most background texture for a slightly cleaner finish with no ‘muddying’ effect.

  The pack contains 34 cracked effect textures, 8 JPEG canvas backed textures, 12 PNG transparent overlays and 13 JPEG smooth backed crack texture plates at a minimum of 5000 px on their shortest side @ 300 ppi.


Ethereal Painterly

  Become inspired by this set of smoky, textural grunginess incorporating popular pastel toned brush strokes. Dive into the seas of Calypso, lose yourself in the sands of Ceres, slide the ice of Sinop and then roast in the heat of Deimos and create your own celestial alignments with this out-of-this-world themed pack of planetary themed textures!

  The Ethereal Painterly Pack contains 50 rectangular shaped textures which are 6000 by 4000 pixels and are at industry printing standard 300ppi.


Tempest Painterly

  The tempestuous Tempest Painterly Set was nurtured through an el Nino stormy season, the wettest spring or autumn in over 100 years. It has a swirly, misty, almost tonal feel with evermore brushstrokes, canvases and lovely tonal grunge textures to enhance your workflow.

  Designed to be as easy to use as ever, this huge pack of 50 landscape-formatted textures (6000 by 4000 pixels @ 300ppi) with names taken from Shakespeare's final master-work "The Tempest" brings yet another new glistening, silvery look to the Flypaper family portfolio.


Fly Muse 20

  This New Mini Pro sized pack includes 20 pale and dreamy painterly and stronger grungy textures that would be ideal to add interest in images such as still lifes, landscapes and portraits.



  This whole new kind of texture pack was inspired by encaustic art which dates back to antiquity. The textures were created using physical originals which were up to a quarter of an inch thick, with their rough edges on wooden boards included. Semi-transparent thin sheets of beeswax were actually gilded before photographing through the wax, creating a luminous honeyed effect which was then blended with natural pigmented powdered waxworked plates.

  The Flypaper Waxworks Pack contains 50 textures; 49 rectangles and one square, their sizes varying with most being 4000-5000 px on their shortest side and at industry printing standard 300ppi.


All Flypaper textures can be used in any editing program that supports layers. You can only use them in Lightroom if you use an add-on that allows Lightroom to use layers. You can also use the textures on your iPad, Android and smartphones if you have the Photoshop Touch app installed.