Border and Arched Text Techniques in Procreate

Border and Arched Text Techniques in Procreate main article image
Posted on June 15, 2021 by Becky Liddle

A really nice touch to your handmade greetings cards or gifts is to add a “handmade by” or “handmade with love” type sticker to your work. They make your projects that little bit more personal and you can really have some fun creating the sticker too!

In this tutorial, we’re going to show you a couple of different techniques to use on “handmade by” stickers, using Procreate. You can of course personalise these however you want, with different fonts, colours, designs and your own name or sentiment.

There are also various ways of printing these and affixing them to your handmade items. You could print them off on paper or card, and then cut them out by hand or using a guillotine. You could also use a die cutting machine, or electronic cut and print machines such as the Silhouette, to print out your image and then cut it too. You could then use double-sided tape or glue to affix these to your cards or items.

Another way would be to create your stickers to the size of labels which you can print straight onto. This is the most straightforward way of doing it, and the most accessible, as all you need is a printer and labels.

I’ve written some of the most common label shapes and sizes below, so if you choose to print directly onto them, you can make your Procreate canvas the size of the labels themselves.

  • W64 x H38 mm – 21 per A4 sheet (rectangular)
  • W99 x H38mm – 14 per A4 sheet (rectangular)
  • W64 x H34mm – 24 per A4 sheet (rectangular)
  • W21 x H38mm – 64 per A4 sheet (rectangular)

Labels of the above sizes should be available to buy at your local office supplies store, they’ll also most likely have more shapes and sizes too.

So, first of all, we’ll make a basic rectangular label using the W21 x H38mm size. You can of course choose any size you want, or if you’re planning on printing onto paper and cutting the labels out, you can use any sized rectangle and then scale to size.

First, create a new canvas in Procreate with your desired dimensions, by clicking the + in the top right-hand corner. Click the + in the popup menu to enter personalised measurements. Set your DPI to 400, this ensures a great quality printout.

If you’ve seen any of my previous blog posts, you’ll know that I absolutely love to create a marble effect background, so I’ll show you how to use this as a border.

Click the layers menu, and select a background colour. It should be a light tone, I’m going with a pastel blue.

Next, create a new layer. Then, go into your brush library and under the elements section, select the water brush. The brush size should be quite large, I’ve set mine to around 80%. Your opacity should stay at 100%.

Choose a darker colour, in the theme of the background colour which you’ve chosen. As I have a light blue background, I’ve selected a dark blue-turquoise shade for this part.

Stamp your water brush around the page. Don’t do too much, and then change the size down a little for some variety. Marble has really uneven veins, so changing our brush size will make it look more realistic.

Click on the magic wand tool on the top left-hand side of the screen (second icon along) and then choose liquify.

If you haven’t used the liquify tool before, it’s really fun, it basically moves whatever we have on the canvas around and gives a water-like effect.

Set your size to 50%, pressure at max, momentum at none, and distortion at 50%.

Tip: the higher the distortion, the more water-like the tool is.

Now, use the liquify tool to move around the lines you’ve created, and then to add more realism, switch the distortion up to 100%.

Go to the layers menu and click the + to create a new layer.

Select your water brush again, but this time set your colour to white. Stamp around the page, the same as you did with the darker colour. Adding the white tone gives a little dimension to the marble and makes it look more realistic. Go back to your liquify tool and move the white parts around.

As this is just a border, we now need to add a shape. Click the ribbon tool, the third icon along on the top left corner. You should see a menu pop up along the bottom of the page, select rectangle and colour fill, ensuring your colour is still set to white.

Draw a rectangle on the page, it doesn’t have to be even or centred at this point.

Next, click the settings tool in the top left corner, and switch on drawing guide. This should now show a grid across your page. If it doesn’t, go to edit drawing guide to amend the view.

The drawing guide will make it easier for us to create an evenly shaped rectangle. Click the pointer tool, on the top left side (last icon) and ensure freeform and snapping are selected from the popup menu.

Drag the rectangle so that it snaps to the middle of your page, and then use the drawing guide to help you drag the edges in or out to make your shape even.

We now have our border! Now we’ll add text. You can write anything you want here, or you may even want to leave it blank to handwrite your message.

Create a new layer and then to add text, go to the settings tool and add text. Select your colour and font and write your desired sentiment. I’m going with a simple “handmade by” in dark grey.

The font I’m using is Wild and Folk, downloadable from Creative Fabrica here.

Once you have your desired text, position it however you wish on the canvas.

Create another new layer and add more text, in this case, I’m adding a name. Again, position however you want on the canvas.

Your sticker is now complete! Print out on labels or on plain paper and cut to size.

If you want a more in-depth tutorial on creating a marble effect, please click here.

Bonus technique

The above tutorial can be amended to suit your personal tastes, you can mix up the fonts or add solid colours for your border, or even add clip art.

In this next section, I’m going to show you how to create curved text for circular labels. Procreate doesn’t have its own vectors like Photoshop, but there is still a way to create this effect.

I’ll create a basic design for the purpose of showing you how to create the curved text look.

Set your canvas and draw out a circle shape. To draw a circle you just need to use any inking brush, I tend to use monoline which is in the calligraphy section.

Draw a rough circle in the middle of the page, don’t lift up your stylus, and then apply a little more pressure, the shape should snap to a neat circle.

Open the layers menu, and duplicate the layer which contains a circle. Click on the pointer tool and ensure uniform is selected, and then shrink the circle slightly so that you’re creating a border effect.


Now we have the basis for our label, we’ll work on adding elements. Add your text in your selected font and colour. A basic font is great, ideally, a sans serif, as this technique doesn’t work so well with curly or script type fonts.

Once you’ve written your desired text, resize it so that it will fit in between our circle borders, it’s also important to ensure that it all fits on one line.

Go to the ribbon tool, and select freehand. Grab the text to the left-hand side of your most central letter – for me, it’s everything to the left of the letter “e”. Drag this text out of the way.

Use the freehand select again to pick up the next letter, so for me, it’s now “d”.

Drag the next letter down so that it sits on the innermost circle. Use the green square at the top of your selection to change the angle of the letter. Basically, turn your letter until the bottom is lined up with the inner circle line.

Repeat this step for all of the letters.

Go to your layers menu, and on the layer containing the inner circle, uncheck the tick box to hide our “guide circle”.

Optional: repeat the steps above to create curved text along the bottom of your circle too if you wish.

You’re all finished! Experiment with background images, colours, and text styles. There are so many options for this project!

The backing paper I have used here is a seamless pattern I created earlier, for a tutorial on seamless patterns in Procreate, click here.

Below are a couple more ideas, both are using clip art added as images in Procreate. For the floral one, I’ve created a white rectangular box and placed the text inside it, and then altered the opacity of the rectangle.


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