Zipper Mouth

In this tutorial, we will go through the steps for adding a zipper to a person’s mouth in a photograph. This effect reminds me of the movie Beetleguise, where the Geena Davis has the zipper over her mouth. Below are the instructions on how to add a zipper to any person’s mouth. Enjoy!

Step-By-Step Instructions:
1. Open the picture of the mouth you want to use. (Ctrl+O) A pair of closed lips would be best.


2. Open the picture of the zipper you want to use. (Ctrl+O) A zipper with its handle on it works best.


3. Minimize the mouth picture. We’re going to work with the zipper first.
4. Select the Pen Tool. Now we’re going to cut out the zipper handle. Trace around the edges and then trace on the outside of the holes. Right click. Make selection. 0 Radius. Click Ok.
You should have a selection similiar to this now:


Copy (Ctrl+C) and Paste (Ctrl+V) It should be in a new layer now. Hide the layer by clicking the eye next to the layer.
5. Now we’re going to do the exact same thing for the zipper teeth as we did to the handle. Use the pen tool and trace around the teeth, do not include the cloth, just the teeth. You may need to use the Zoom Tool to zoom up in the area you want. Right click and Make Selection. Click Ok. You should have something that looks like this:


6. Copy & Paste. It should be in a new layer now. Go ahead and just minimize the picture now.
7. Bring your mouth picture back up. Then Paste (Ctrl+V). The zipper teeth should have pasted into the mouth picture on a new layer.


8. Paste two or three more times. You should have 3 or 4 more layers. Hide all the new layers except one.


9. Select the other layer, in my case Layer 1. Move (Move Tool) it into the position where you want it on the lips. Right in the center is best. Do the same for the other layers, only do place them on either side of lips, making sure Auto Select Layer is unchecked.

You should have something that looks like this:


10. Select one of the layers on either end of the mouth. Select the Show Bounding Box. And maneuver the Bounding Box until you align the zipper teeth the best you can with the center zipper and the mouth. Do the same for the other end.
11. Select another end piece. Go to Edit/Transform/Distort. Use this tool to carefully distort the ends to move with the lining of the mouth. Do the same for the other end. Here’s my result:


12. Once you have everything aligned the way you want it, merge the layers by linking them together and pressing (Ctrl+)
13. Because the zipper teeth are gold, and I want them to look silver, I’m going to change the color. You do not have to. But to do this go to Image/Adjustments/Variations.

Give a few clicks of Less Saturation. A few clicks of Lighter in Midtones. A few clicks of Lighter in Shadows. Make sure you don’t go too light. If that happens click darken. Use your own artistic eye to tell what you want and what looks best. Here is my result.


14. Now it’s time to make the zipper look like its intergrated into the mouth. To do this duplicate the background. Right Click and Select Duplicate Layer. Select the Background copy.

Select the Burn Tool.
Brush Size: 19px
Hardness: 26%
Rage: Midtone
Exposure: 100%

With the burn tool trace the zipper on the background copy.


15. Select the Erase Tool. Use a small and soft brush with Medium Opacity. Select the zipper layer. Erase the tips carefully so it looks blended with the lip. On the edges, erase as much as you can, so the zipper looks blended with the colors well.


16. Use the Burn tool to burn the tips of the zipper teeth very carefully, not making it too dark.


17. Save File (Ctrl+S). Minimize it. Open the previous Zipper photo. Click on the layer that has the pasted zipper handle. Now Ctrl+A to select and Ctrl+C to copy. Open the lip picture back up. Paste the zipper handle.

Do the same steps above to change the color, align, and use the burn tool. The bounding box. The Transform tool.
18. Save File (Ctrl+S). You can change the skin color of the lips by using the Variations tool. I’m going to darken mine a little, and add a bit of saturation. Here is the final result: