Get Creative with a UPC Barcode

with 12 Comments

Get Creative with a UPC Barcode
by Lidia Sari

Lately, I’ve seen UPC barcodes turned into accents by designers for use in scrapbooking. Of course, I am so intrigued by this simple creative element, and I want to use it in every single layout I make.

I have downloaded a special UPC Barcode font that you can easily find on the Internet for free. I used Code 39 Logitogo. For this example, I also used a butterfly shape but feel free to use any shapes you like.

Step 1: Prepare the Workspace

  • Open the scrapbook page (File > Open) with which you wish to work.
  • In the Layers panel, activate the layer to which you would like to add the accent.
  • Press the letter D to reset the Color Chips to the default of black and white.
  • Press the letter X to switch the Color Chips.

Step Two: Create a Butterfly Template

  • Get the Custom Shape tool.
  • In Elements Only: In the Tool Options, click on the Create New Shape Layer icon and set the Style to None. Open the Geometry Options and choose Unconstrained. Open the Custom Shape Picker and choose the Butterfly 2 shape. If you don’t see the Butterfly 2 shape, open the drop-down menu and choose All Elements Shapes.
  • In Photoshop Only: Set the Tool Mode to Shape, the Stroke Style to None, and the Path Operations to New Layer. Open the Geometry Options and choose Unconstrained. Open the Custom Shape Picker and choose the Butterfly shape. If you don’t see the Butterfly shape, open the fly-out menu, choose Reset Shapes, and click OK.
  • On the document, while holding down the Shift key, click and drag to create a butterfly shape. Press and hold the Space Bar to reposition the shape while dragging.
  • In the Tool Options, click Simplify. (Photoshop: In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Rasterize > Shape.)


Step Three: Create the UPC Barcode

  • Get the Horizontal Type tool.
  • In the Tool Options, open the Font Picker and choose the Code 39 Logitogo font or a similar barcode font. Set the Size to 40 pt. Click on the Color Chip and choose black. Click on the Alignment to Left Align Text icon.
  • On the document, click once and type any letters you like. I typed SOAWEME. Click on the checkmark to commit the type.


  • Press Ctrl T (Mac: Cmd T) to get the Transform options.
  • On the document, click on the handles of the bounding box and drag until the butterfly is completely covered by the barcode. Double click inside the bounding box to commit the transformation.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Create Clipping Mask.
  • Press Ctrl E (Mac: Cmd E) to merge the two layers together.


Here’s my finished layout. I just love how a simple element like this can make a big difference in a layout.


Here are some more ideas I made to get your creative juices going and to show you how versatile this element could be.

Layouts and Photo: Lidia Sari
Tutorial: Get Creative with UPC Barcode
Kits: Me, Personally by Amanda Taylor (TaylorMade Designs)
Paper Packs: Cardstock-Blank Canvas by Susie Roberts, Cardstock-Washed Wood by Susie Roberts
Fonts: Code 39 Hoch Logitogo, Lucida Sans Typewriter, Khmer Sangam MN, Courier New
Software: PSE 12, PSE 13, Photoshop CC 2014


Download this Digi Scrap Tutorial


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Learn four creative ways to accent your photographs using photo corners. Create your own design or use a Ding Bat font. Then, add styles, add a grunge texture, or create a clipping mask.


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Eke every ounce of goodness out of every kit—even the elements you aren’t crazy about at first. Feel empowered as you think outside the box with your scrapbooking. (Free Sample Lesson!)

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Lidia SariAuthor: Lidia Sari | Contact Us
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12 Responses

  1. nann
    | Reply

    You are so creative. You always amaze me with your ideas.

  2. Bonnie
    | Reply

    Really a cute and easy idea, thanks so much.

  3. Lidia Sari
    | Reply

    Thank you all for the sweet comments. I am so glad to hear you all enjoy this tutorial. 🙂

  4. Lidia Sari
    | Reply

    Hi Ann and Dawnette,
    Yes, I did use the same barcode font. Make sure you rasterize the type first before coloring it. To do that in the Menu Bar choose Layer > Simplify Layer. (Photoshop: Layer > Rasterize > Type). And then, get the Magic Wand tool. In the Tool Options, click the Add to Selection icon (this way you can color as many bars as you want), set the Tolerance to around 20 and check Contiguous and Anti-Aliasing. Then click on the Foreground Color Chip to open the Color Picker. Pick a color. Press Alt Backspace (Mac: Opt Delete) to color the selected bar with the foreground color. Press Ctrl D (Mac: Cmd D) to deselect. Do this several times until all the bars has been colored.

  5. Dawnette
    | Reply

    I loved this tutorial. I would like to know how you did the “You Color My World” Barcode. Did you use the same barcode font?

    Thanks for your creative page. It is beautiful!

  6. Ann
    | Reply

    Linda, this is so easy and really adds something special. Thanks so much! How do you add all the different colors? I’m new to PS. Thanks.

  7. Jen Juris
    | Reply

    Such a fun idea! So simple and yet so creative!! 🙂

  8. Theresa
    | Reply

    Awesome tuts! Thanks!

  9. Sandy Mars
    | Reply

    Thanks so much, this is a great idea!

    I wanted to make a photo mask with lines and using barcodes is the solution.

  10. Jeffri
    | Reply

    Thank you so much for the neat idea and the downloadable PDF file!!!

  11. Jeffri
    | Reply

    Wonderful idea! Thank you so much for the tutorial and the easily downloaded PDF file!!!

  12. Erika
    | Reply

    Thanks for this great idea.

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