preppy header base

Preppy headers are those ones who don't feature an artwork from a movie, a tv show, a celebrity, etc., but simply spell out the site name in fancy and colorful fonts; they are not that hard to make, and here I'm gonna show you the few basic steps to make your own preppy header.
Open a new file in Photoshop - I made it 700x230px, but you can make it any size you want as long as it's not your screen's resolution - and type your site name using the font you want (the one I used here is called October Twilight).

Now right-click on the image and select Blending Option (first option showing up).

Select Gradient Overlay from the left-side menu, and pick any gradient you want/have, setting the style to Linear and the angle to 0° or 180° - you can actually choose the amount you want, but imo those two give the coolest results.

Once you chose the gradient, select Stroke from the left-side menu and set it to 7px, Outside position and use the color white - these are the settings giving the most visible results.

Click OK to apply your options, and you should get something like this.

Now merge the layers using Merge Visible, then go to Edit --> Fill --> Pattern; select the pattern you want and set the opacity to 15-55% (depending on the pattern) and the mode to Behind; repeat the filling but with color white instead of pattern and 100% opacity, leaving the mode set on Behind. The result should be something like this.

Now you can add more patterns, brushes, textures, decos, etc. to spice up your header; it's up to your creativity.
Hope this helps; I'm available in case you have questions or concerns about the tutorial. Cheers. :3