January 18, 2011

How to Create Your Own Printables Using Picnik

After I made you those free printables a lot of you have asked about them and how they were made.  So, today I'm going to give you the low down.  It's not super hard, but sometimes it does take a little time to get it just the way you want it.  Let's get started.

I use Picnik for all of this.  The upside?  It's free.  The tiny downside?  There are a couple of features I occasionally use that require the membership.  However, you can even sign up for just a month for a couple of dollars.  I finally paid it almost a year ago and have never regretted it.  It rocks.

Alright.  Picnik doesn't have a "start from scratch" feature.  That means you have to upload a photo to get started.  This is important:  Upload a photo with the highest resolution you can.  Don't use a photo that you've cropped or edited a lot.  You could also upload a blank rectangle (using the Paint program on your computer), but you need to start with a big one.  Why?  If you want to print your image out large, you don't want it to be blurry or pixelated when you do that.

So now that I've uploaded my photo I go to the "Edit" tab above.  I choose "crop" and then I crop the photo to be the size I want.  (5x7, 8x10)  It depends on if you're going to frame your art or what you want to do with it.  If you want it to go lengthwise be sure you've uploaded a lengthwise photo.  If you want it to be upright, upload an upright photo.  (If you crop the photo too much you lose resolution.  Not good.)  I'm cropping this one to be 8x10.


Next I go to the "Create" tab.  Then click on "Sticker" on the bar just below the tab.  Then click on "Geometric" and select the rectangle.


Use the rectangle to cover the picture entirely.  Select the color you want the background to be.  (I know this seems like a crazy step to have to upload a picture you aren't going to use, but it works.)  Once you've covered the area with your background color, click on "Text" and add all the words you want.  You can chose the color and size and move it around easily.  Once you have it just right click on the tab that says "Save and Share" to save it to your computer.  (I like to up it to a 10 for full resolution saving.)  After you save it there will be an option to close the photo or keep on editing.


This is where I like to continue on and change the colors.  I like to make a few different color options because it's easy to do after you've already done the work of the layout.  Just click on the text or background and change the color and resave it.  Nice, huh?


Now you're pretty much all set....UNLESS you want to mess with texture.  I love to add texture, but that is a premium membership option.  To continue to texture you need to save your picture first and upload it again.  Otherwise it won't add texture to your picture (because it doesn't add texture to shapes and text).  It has to recognize it as a new jpeg file.  So, upload your new jpeg, click "Create" and then "Effects."  Scroll down to "Textures" and play around until you find somthing you like.  You can lighten or darken the textures or combine them.  Here's a simple texture on top of the print I just made.  You can also rotate the texture if you don't like where the wrinkles landed on the photo.  Be aware that the color of the texture will mix with the color you already have on your print.  You don't want to mix it too much with a dark color of it's a light print.


And that's it!  Let me know if you have questions after you try it and I'll answer in the comment section.  If you like these prints, you can download the pink one HERE.


The gray one is HERE.


The blue on is HERE.


And if you recently (as in the last five months) started following my blog, you may have missed the post I did on editing with Picnik.  You can find them HERE and HERE.

Thanks for reading!  See you tomorrow!

UPDATE: Now that picnik is closed, here's some more info on creating printables on picmonkey in THIS POST.

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