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GIMP Tutorial: Make a Christmas Bauble

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart, but the very next day, you went on GIMP and made a Bauble. Well then, now that’s out of the way with, tonight’s very short post, complete with images, is how to make your very own bauble in GIMP. Join Timlah and get into the festive cheer, by creating your very own Christmas decorations and join us on GeekOut in getting Christmas-y.


GeekOut Bauble

We want to make something similar to this. I’ll show you how to make a basic red bauble in this tutorial and you can pick up the pieces and design it however you want to. This is a super easy, very quick tutorial. You can make your very own bauble within 10 minutes!


Boot up GIMP and make a 1000 x 1000 and use a Transparent Background. Make it nice and large. Whenever you design something, try and make it much bigger than you’d need. This is because you can scale an imagine down easier than you can scale it up. 1000 x 1000 is a large board so, let’s begin by selecting the elliptical selection tool. Select the whole board, by starting at the top left hand corner and dragging down to the bottom right.


If you up the x and y resolution, this means it’s better for print, so consider doing this if you’d like to print your bauble. Next you’re going to want to give your bauble some colour. Choose a colour that you’d like it to be and find a few shades darker than your primary colour, this will be your secondary colour. You’re going to want to use the gradient tool next and slap it into your circle. You should end up with a nicely coloured… circle! But that doesn’t give us any depth yet.


So to create depth, click Filters > Distorts > Lens Distort. You’re going to want to do this a few times, but put the Main up to 100 and the Edge also up to 100. Increase the Zoom whilst you’re at it, to help keep it large. We’ll be expanding it later, but for now we need something to work with! This will give you a nicely rounded ball to work with. From here, feel free to increase the size of your bauble back up, then add on the small bit on top that has a wire for a bauble to be put on a Christmas tree.

You’ll need to create a squared selection with rounded edges. Once again, select two colours (one darker than the other) for this bit and then use the Gradient Tool. Once more, use our favourite Lens Distort and scale accordingly. You’ll need to manage this with Layers. Layers are basically partitions of an image. If you can imagine you have a picture of Batman and a picture of Bob, Agent of HYDRA and you want to put the Batmans head on Bob, Agent of HYDRA’s body, then you’d use a partition, or a layer, to put the Batman image over the Bob… Here’s an example:


Move the “top bit” on top of your bauble and there’s really only one final thing to do… Make it shiny. You can use the dodge and burn tools for this. Use it carefully and use a lot of trial and error, as you can get some seriously bad results with this. If you don’t use the dodge tool, then you might want to use filters, but really the dodge tool is the best tool for the job. Once you’re done making it all shiny, you’re free to go ahead and use your bauble in whatever images you’d like. That’s it for this week, see you all around! Share your creations with us over on Facebook and Twitter.


You can have the above bauble free if you’d like. No attribution required (… Well, it is quite a quick bauble anyway). Any links back to GeekOut South-West would be highly appreciated if you use the bauble, but there’s no need to credit this site. Download the GIMP file here.


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