I just finished creating my spring header and I got to thinking about the process I had to go through to get to the point of making my own headers. So I thought it would be a good idea to put it all down in a very detailed tutorial. I also hope that anyone who is in the throws of starting a blog, or even those of you who are like me and need everything broken down into tiny steps, that this post will help you create a professional looking header or banner for your web log. I have played around with just about every way possible over the past 2 years to make a blog header, but with the introduction to the partially free editing site PicMonkey, it is now easier than ever!
So without any further ado, here is how you need to begin.
First off you need to determine the pixel size of your template. Since I blog using Blogger, I will be showing you how to find the pixel width in this format. Go to your template screen in Blogger...see below.
Click on the orange customize button. This is the next screen you will see.
Go to the left and you see where it says "Adjust Widths", you will want to click on that button. Finally you will be brought to this screen.
The rest of this tutorial is going to be presented in two parts.
Now that you have an idea of the size you want your header to be go to PicMonkey, a free editing site...this is what I used after they took my beloved Pinick away. :( No really I do like this editing site and recently they have been adding more and more options.
Note: All of the editing tools here are free...no upgrades are needed to create your collage.
Click at the top where it says "Create a Collage" and this screen you see below will open.
Now this is where the creative fun begins.
On the left you will see where you are able to upload your images. You can easily get pictures from your computer by using the browser. (I am just using PicMonkey's sample images to create this header.) Select what you like and when you are done uploading your pics you can now select what layout you would like to use to create your header. Do this by clicking on the second icon down on the left.
I decided to select L-egant and modify it to my needs. I wanted to show pictures and have the title of my blog all in one image.
I began by removing the cells I was not going to use. To do this, hover your cursor over the top right of the cell and an "x" will appear with the words "Remove cell".
Click on it and the cell will disappear.
Continue until you have the look desired for your header. Here I removed the four small cells to the right of the large cell, then grabbing the lower boarder of the entire layout with my cursor, I was able to compress the layout into a rectangular shape. (You can expand or compress any cell by grabbing a side and manipulating the cell to the size you want.)
Pictures can be added to a cell by grabbing an image with your cursor and dragging it over to drop into the desired cell.
If you want to create a new cell just take an image and hover it between two existing cells until you see a gray line appear, then drop the image and it will automatically fall into a new cell.
Once you have your pictures in place, you can go to the swatch icon on the left of your screen and select one of PicMonkey's swatches.
Click on the pattern you want, and like you did with the pictures, grab it with your cursor and drop in place. (You can create your own swatch as well, but that will have to be saved for another tutorial.)
You can also adjust the spacing between all of your photos by clicking on the background icon...the one with looks like an artist pallet.
Adjust the spacing by sliding the the button left or right.
The last thing you want to do before you are finished working on your collage layout is to take note of the numbers directly below your picture.
This is the pixel size of your picture. Remember I want my image to be 1058 pixels wide so I need to adjust the size here. You can adjust the size in the next step too, but adjusting it in this step will assure clarity of your picture. Again just like adjusting the cell size, the width can be changed by grabbing a side of the image with your cursor pulling it to the right or left until you reach the desired size. The height of your image can also be adjusted by grabbing the top or bottom and pulling the image up or down. Just be aware that changing the width and height of your picture will also alter the size of your picture cells, so you most likely will have to go back and readjust them.
Save your image by clicking on the "Save" button at the top of the PicMonkey screen.
Now open up PicMonkey again using a new tab. This time you will click on where it says "Edit a Photo".
Note: Here you only need to upgrade PicMonkey if you want access to specific fonts, labels, and other embellishments. Basic editing can be done at no cost.
Your browser will open and select the image you've just created.
To add your title click on the "P" icon to open up the box you will type in.
Type your title in the box and then you can play around with font, color and sizing.
Once you have added all the embellishments you want, again hit the save button at the top of the screen and save your image to your computer.
And here is your completed image ready for installation on your blog.
To install your new header in blogger all you need to do is go to your layout page and click on "Select a Gadget".
Click on "image" and to upload your header.
When your browser opens, make sure to un-click the "Shrink it to fit" box.
Upload your image and hit the save button in the lower left corner.
Next move your image to the box which says header.
And don't forget to save your arrangement. Now it's time to take a look at your new header.
This is just your basics for using the PicMonkey editing site, but from here you can experiment and get really creative with your headers. I truly hope this tutorial proved to be of some help for you. With all the technology out there which seems to change almost daily, sometimes it is nice to be led by the hand through a process like this one.
Come back to see my new spring header on February 18th!!!
Wishing you all the love of beautiful St. Valentine's day!!!
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