There may come a time when you’ll need to know how to make a star shape in Photoshop. It is quite a common shape that many graphic designers need to use at some point, yet Photoshop does not have a dedicated star shape that you can add to your project. However, it is quite easy to make a star using the available tools. You’ll just need to work from the Polygon shape, as this will give you everything you need to make a five-pointed star.

Video Tutorial

Step 1: Select The Polygon Tool (U)

The first thing you’ll need to do is head to the Polygon Tool (U). You can find this tool within the shape tool along the toolbar. Right-click or click and hold the icon and select the Polygon Tool.

This tool allows you to create shapes with more than four sides.

Step 2: Set The Star Ratio & Number Of Points In The Options Bar

Once you’ve selected the Polygon Tool, the toolbar at the top will show different settings for your Polygon. Head to the Settings icon.

Here, you’ll see a few different settings, including the star ratio percentage. Here you can edit the percentage you’d like the star ratio to match.

The ratio setting will change the width of the points in the star. A smaller ratio, like 75%, will give you a chunkier star, while a larger ratio, such as 25%, will give you a star with very thin rays. For example, let’s set the ratio to 25%.

You can also edit the number of points your star will have. The Polygon Tool points will automatically be set to 5 by default or to the number that was used previously with the tool. You can change the number of points by entering the number of points you’d like in the box next to the settings icon.

When you create the star, it will have the same number of points you entered.

This allows you to create a star with as many sides as you want for a wide array of purposes.

Step 3: Drag Out To Create A Star

Now you can drag your cursor on the document to create a star with five sides. Using a ratio of 25%, the star will have thin rays. And if you want to make a perfectly symmetrical star, so your star isn’t too wide or too tall, you can hold the Shift key while dragging your cursor.

If you want to resize the star, you can drag any square toggles surrounding a selected star. Now, let’s head back to the Settings icon and change the Ratio to 50%.

As you can see, this is what we’d typically think of as a star, with rays that are not too wide or thin. Now let’s see a star with the Ratio set to 75%.

This gives us a much thicker star. You can play with the radius percentage until you get the type of star you’re looking for.

Step 4: Click To Create A Star (Optional)

The other way to add a star to your project is to click anywhere on your canvas. This will open up a dialogue box where you can edit the width and height of the star. You can also set the number of sides. Click OK to create the star.

You can edit the shape after you’ve made it by clicking and dragging any of the square toggles to adjust the size of the shape if needed.

Step 5: Give Your Star Some Color (Optional)

You can change the fill of your stars by clicking the Fill box in the Options bar.

This will bring up the Fill panel.

Here, you can select which type of fill you’d like your star to have — the first icon from the left is No Fill and will leave your star transparent against the layer behind it; the next shows Solid Colors to fill your star; the next lets you create a Gradient to fill your star; the last lets you use a Pattern.

Choose the way you’d like to fill your star, and your selected star will change as you work.

Step 6: Multiply Your Stars (Optional)

If you need to create multiple copies of the same star, you can easily do so by pressing Control + C (Win) or Command + C (Mac) with a star selected and then holding Control + V (Win) or Command + V (Mac). Do this as many times as you need to, and then move them using the Move Tool (V).

You can even create and multiply different sizes of stars to make quick and easy star trails.

How To Save Your Star As A Custom Shape

There are tons of uses for stars, and now that you know the basics of making and designing stars, you can use them as much as you like. You can save any star you’ve made as a custom shape so you can easily and quickly add them to any project.

To do this, select the shape you want to save and head to Edit > Define Custom Shape.

This will bring up the Custom Shape window. Here, you can type in a name for your shape that will help you find it later. Click OK to save the shape as a new Custom Shape when you’re finished.

When you’d like to access the shape in the future, you can head to the Shape Tool and hold the cursor to select the Custom Shape Tool.

In the Options bar, find the Custom Shape icon and click the drop-down arrow to open the panel. 

Here you’ll see some shapes that come with Photoshop, like Flowers, and below those are your custom shapes. Find your star shape and click to add it to your document.

You can create and save as many different kinds of stars to use again in various projects, and you can always access your custom shapes in this panel. Creating and saving shapes for later use is a great way to optimize your workflow. To learn more about creating and editing shapes, check out my ultimate guide to the Shape Tools in Photoshop.