How to Draw a Folded Corner on Paper in GIMP

Creating a folded corner effect on images can bring a sense of depth and realism to digital documents and photographs. Whether you’re looking to add a special touch to a digital scrapbook or want to create a convincing mockup of a pamphlet or flyer, the versatile graphics program GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) provides the tools to achieve this effect. Follow these steps to draw a realistic folded paper corner in GIMP with ease.

Preparing Your Image

Before adding a folded corner, you should start with the image you wish to edit. Open GIMP and load the image by navigating to File > Open and selecting the image from your computer.

Creating a Folded Corner with the Path Tool

The Path tool is your best friend when it comes to creating detailed selections like the triangle needed for a folded corner effect.

  1. Select the Path Tool: In your toolkit, click on the Path tool or press B on your keyboard to activate it.
  2. Draw the Fold Path: Click on the canvas to create the points of a triangle in the corner of the paper where you wish to simulate a fold. The first click creates the starting point, and subsequent clicks will create a path connected by straight lines. To complete the path, connect the last point to the first one.
  3. Create a Selection from the Path: After drawing the triangle, you’ll need to convert the path into a selection. Right-click on the path in the Paths dialog and choose Path to Selection. This will outline the triangle.
  4. Refine the Fold Effect:
    • To create the illusion of a lifted paper corner, copy the selected area by going to Edit > Copy and then paste it onto a new layer using Edit > Paste As > New Layer.
    • With the new layer selected, lower its opacity slightly to give the impression of shadow under the paper.

Adjusting Opacity and Layer Modes

To add depth and realism to the folded effect:

  • Play with the opacity and layer modes. Changing the layer mode of the paper texture to Multiply allows the texture to interact with layers below, often resulting in a more believable shadow.

Adding a Vignette Effect for Emphasis

If you want to make the folded corner stand out even more, you might consider adding a vignette around the edges of your image. This effect darkens the corners and edges, subtly drawing the eye toward the center or focal point.

  1. Create a New Layer: Add a new layer by going to Layer > New Layer.
  2. Select the Ellipse Tool: Choose the Ellipse Select tool from the toolbox and drag it across your image to define the vignette region.
  3. Fill the Selection: Invert the selection by going to Select > Invert and then fill it with black using the Bucket Fill tool.
  4. Adjust the Layer: Soften the edges of the vignette by using the Gaussian Blur filter (Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur). Then, adjust the layer’s opacity to blend it smoothly with the rest of the image.



This technique is common these days on blogs,icons, backgrounds etc so in this tutorial I will teach how to create a fairly simple folded paper tip.

Getting Started

The aim of this tutorial is not trying to create a realistic result so don’t mention it 🙂
Open a new image 640×480 , now lets start

step 1

Will first draw the flat paper using the “rectangle select” tool , once you have drawn it hit enter to finish.

step 2

Grab the Path tool and draw a triangle in the corner of the paper, *tip always switch to Edit mode to close off a path

step 3

Now if you don’t already have the Path dialog on screen go ahead an open it from Dialogs>Paths , inside you will see the path we drew, right click on it then click on “Subtract

step 4

Create a new layer and Fill your selection with solid white using the the “bucket fill” tool. go to filters>light & shadow>drop shadow in the dialog set values to

  • offset x: 0
  • offset y: 0
  • Blur radius:9
  • color 8f8f8f
  • opacity 80

Go to Select none to remove the selection.

step 5

Draw another path triangle and in the “tools option” dialog click on “Selection from path”

step 6

Create a new layer grab the blend tool select the FG to BG gradient from the tools option then set your bg color to white and your foreground to eaeaea

step 7

still with the blend tool selected apply it from the top corner of the triangle to the center bottom as shown in the image.

step 8

Deselect go to filters>light & shadow >drop shadow and set the values to

  • offset x: -7
  • offset y: 2
  • Blur radius:9
  • color 8f8f8f
  • opacity 40

Then move the piece 1px down and 1px to the right so that it cover some of the shadow in the corner

step 9

Select the “blend tool” and apply the same gradient in step 6 from top corner to bottom as shown in the image

Thats it your done!

Here is what i originally made the paper for, to place an icon for one of my shortcuts 🙂 this outcome seems to have turned out better because i used a lighter gray in the gradient so try that.

You can download the XCF file from below , also if you need help please use the forum instead

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