Zazzle Tutorial: Add Outlines to Text

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Zazzle Tutorial: Add Outlines to Text
Learn how to add a outline effect to text in the Zazzle Create editor using this simple tutorial by JessicaAmber. Text is fully editable for your customisable print on demand products.


Welcome to Part 2 of my miniseries on fun tutorials and tricks for using the Zazzle Create editor. Today we are going to build on what was learned in the previous lesson, and make our text layers have a faux stroke, aka outline. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Complete Previous Lesson

If you haven’t done so yet, read the blog post where I teach you how to create drop shadows. Complete steps 1, 2, 3 and 4, so you have a document that looks like this – an orange layer of text on top, and a black drop shadow underneath:

Step 2: Duplicate drop shadow layer

See how the drop shadow kinda looks like an outline for the text, but only in the bottom right? We are going to duplicate the drop shadow and move the copies so it will cover all the angles around the text.

So, go to the left side of the screen, to the Layers tab, and click on the lowest layer, aka the drop shadow layer.

Now duplicate the layer by using keyboard shortcuts Ctrl C to copy and and Ctrl V to paste.


Pasted layers will always be inserted at the top of the stack of layers. We will need to move the new layer below the others. So right click the text on screen and choose Send to Back.

Then it will be moved to the bottom, in the same alignment as the original drop shadow.

Step 4: Nudge Shadow LEFT

This new drop shadow, as with the old one, is currently offset from the orange by holding Ctrl and clicking the arrow keys.

We need to move this copy of the shadow to the bottom left of the word Beautiful. So, hold the Ctrl key on your keyboard and press the left arrow key 4 times.

Step 5: Duplicate 2 Shadows

Now the whole bottom of the word is stroked. Next we are going to stroke the top of the word.

Go to the Layers panel on the left and select the two bottom layers – both drop shadow layers.

Copy and paste them with Ctrl C and Ctrl V.

Step 6: Send to Back

Right click the text on screen and choose Send to Back

Step 7: Nudge Shadow Up

Still with those 2 shadow layers selected, hold Ctrl and press the Up key on your keyboard 4 times.

Yes! Your basic outline is complete!

You will notice that the results are not as perfect as, say, making an outline on text in Illustrator. But the advantage of doing it this way is that you can have the text be editable for your customers, which is super important.

You can see the corners of the text are not perfect, particularly on the lower part of the letter ‘e’. You can create more duplicates of the underlying shadows and nudge them around to fill in those spaces. But it will probably make other stroke areas thicker too.


See, I added another layer and nudged it to fill the corner, but now the right side stroke is thicker. It’s up to you if you like the way that looks or not.


Thank you for reading! I hope this tutorial has been helpful to you. The next tutorial will show you how to create a stylish text reflection effect using Zazzle and Photoshop.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below, and I’ll see you in the next one!

Peace, love & sunshine,

Handwritten calligraphy-style signature that says 'Jessica' with a heart dotting the i