Adding Custom Swatches to Your Custom Content

Hey Simmers!

This tutorial will show you how to add a custom swatch to your custom content that you create for The Sims 4!  If you haven't already done so, please check out the updated tutorial for creating custom content which you can find here:  Create Your Own Custom Content!

So here's what we'll be doing.  We want to add a custom swatch, so that when we view our custom content in the game, it comes up with it's own little swatch to identify it as custom content that we've created.

So let's begin.....

Materials Needed
  • S4PE
  • Color Magic
  • Photoshop
  • The Sims 4
So for this tutorial, I am going to assume that you already are familiar with creating custom content.  If not, please start at the tutorial linked above.

Step 1: Adding the Swatch in Color Magic

Open up Color Magic.  Choose the texture that you want to work with, and then when you get to this screen, this is where you will click ADD and you will see the little CM swatch come up.  Don't worry....we're going to customize it in a few minutes.  Click Finish.

Proceed as you normally would with creating your custom content/recolor by bringing the package file up in S4PE, exporting the DDS, editing it in Photoshop and then importing the DDS file back into S4PE.  Minimize S4PE for now.

Step 2:  Creating the Custom Swatch Image in Photoshop

Open up Photoshop.  Create a new 32 x 32 pixel image with a white background.  Zoom in a few times so that you can see it better.  You can get really creative here and use any combination of tools to get the look you want.  You can do a solid color, a texture, a gradient, add text or tiny images to represent the custom content you've created or to represent yourself as the creator.

We're first going to add an outline (stroke) to help it stand out.  Start by right clicking on the background layer in your layer palette and select "layer from background".  Now the layer should look like this...

Go to Edit -- Stroke and use the following settings and click OK:

Width: 2 px, Color: Black, Location: Inside

Yours should look like this...

Now we're going to change the color from white to hot pink, because the clothing item I'm creating this for is hot pink.  Grab your 'magic wand tool' and select inside the white area.  Now click Layer -- New Layer and then click ok (or ctrl + shift + N).

Grab your 'paint bucket tool' (G) and select a hot pink color and then click inside your selection area to fill it up with the pink color.

You could certainly leave it like this...but let's add some text to it just to let everyone know that we made it.  So let's create a new layer again (ctrl + shift + N) and click on the text tool.  Play around with the different fonts and sizes until you get something that you like.  I went with SNS (StarryNiteSims) in black.  Because the letters were very squished, I actually put a few spaces in between each letter to make it look better.

I used Bebas font, size 14 in black.

It looks pretty rough because we're so up close.  If we zoom out back to 100% we get this:

Much Better!!

Now at this point let's go ahead and save this as a .PSP file so that we can very easily come back and change the pink layer or any of the layers so that we don't have to redo these same steps for every recolor or item we create.  So go to File -- Save As and save it as a psp file and name it whatever you like.  I chose SwatchTemplate.psp.  

Now we're ready to merge the layers and save it as a DDS file so that we can use it in the game.  Go to Layer -- Merge Visible.  Now go to File -- Save As -- and change the file type to DDS and name it customswatch_hotpink.

Change it to DXT1 (no alpha) and make sure Generate MIP Maps is selected and click save.  It will say "alpha information will be lost".  Just click OK.

Step 3:  Replacing the Image File in S4PE with Our Custom Swatch

Bring back up S4PE.  Locate the _IMG file in the list and right click it.  Select REPLACE.  

Locate your image file (I named mine and click open.  You should notice the little CM image has changed to your custom image!

Now you just need to go to File -- Save As and navigate to your Mods folder (Documents -- Electronic Arts -- The Sims 4 -- Mods) and save it there with whatever name you like.  I chose StarryNiteSims_hotpinktee.

All that's left to do is test it out in the game....

Thanks for looking and happy modding!  If you have any problems with this tutorial, have questions or comments, or just want to show me what you made with my tutorials you can find me on my tumblr or you can email me at