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.

84 comments:

  1. Thank you! I love Picnik but hadn't figured out all the fun stuff!

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  2. ahhh I've used PICNIK several times before but never thought to just cover the uploaded image to just do a graphic, very clever. Thank you for this "ah hah" moment!

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  3. Wow Cheri, I can't wait to give this a try! Thanks for sharing!!!

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  4. I love picnik but never thought to use it this way. Thanks for the tutorial!

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  5. Thanks for this - I love Picnik but never thought of this!

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  6. Thanks. I love picnik.

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  7. Thanks so much for sharing. I love picnik, and I've been iffy about upgrading to premium, but you have now convinced me. I'm sure my fiance says "thakn you!" haha. I'll try it out for a month and see how I like it :D

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  8. Every step of this blog world as been a learning process for me. They say the older you get, you need to keep doing brain activites like Soduku. While I am not "old" (I turn 40 next month), I realize that if I keep working on this blog I do not need Soduku anymore. I have been trying to figure out what program people are doing this in without success so - THANK YOU for lessening the pain to my brain. And the time is so perfect for me to work on a present for my girlfriend's 40th next week. Thanks!!!!!!!!!!

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  9. Thanks for sharing! I use Picnik for my photos already!

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  10. Wow! I am SO gonna try this tonight:D
    THANKS!

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  11. Great tut. I have been trying it already but I have a question. Have you found a way to 'paste' the sticker over the saved photo? I have tried and am having issues, although not major ones, with the sticker moving at times when I'm trying to move a word, etc.
    Thanks for the tut, it's great.

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  12. Thank you for this! I love reading your blog and this just makes it so much better!

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  13. You can actually start from scratch on picnik. I do it all the time. I create a collage and choose whatever background color I would like and then "finish" my collage and have a blank background to work with! Its insanely easy to do!

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  14. Love picnik tutorials and this one is super great - thanks!!

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  15. Hi. This is so clever!
    I do have a question though... i can't seem to figure out how to change just one of the two letters to a different color like you did in the LOVE U?
    So how do I change the color on just certain letters?
    I am blind?

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  16. Yep, what was said before, I always just start a collage and size it then make it blank and go from there....I've never had a problem and I make business cards, posters, etc and then upload them to vistaprint. Very professional looking. :)

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  17. Karen - I don't have a solution for that one. It bugs me a little too. You just have to make sure you've highlighted the right area before you start moving it.

    J&K - Thanks for the tip. I guess it depends how big you want to blow up your project. When I tried your tip I could only enlarge my image so much until it was pixelated. So, if you ever need something really enlarged, I would still start with a photo.

    Jennifer - You have to enter the letters separately for them to be a different color. When I did the alphabet one I had to do each colored letter individually. I just made sure I made all the letters the same size (which it gives you a font size number) so they all remained cohesive. That's why the layout ends up taking some time, too. I have to keep moving them all around to get them exactly how I want them.

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  18. Thanks so much for sharing! I love Picnik, but didn't know it could do all of this! I need to make Baby Bingo cards for a shower this weekend and this should work beautifully!

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  19. Hey Cheri. I think I have the cheat to start from scratch (Instead of bringing in a photo) go to collage, this feature allows you to choose a color for the background without a photo. Then go to edit for sizing. It’s what I’ve been using, not sure about the high resolution though...hmmm. you'll have to let me know. Anyhoo Hope it’s helpful. And btw. our printables are cute! my wheels are a churning, thanks for the inspiration.

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  20. ^[edit above]^...I was trying to say YOUR printables are cute!

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  21. Coming back to tell you that my bingo cards turned out fabulous! I love the texture feature, especially once I figured out I could lighten it. Thanks again!

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  22. This might be a stupid question, but can I save these and print them somewhere like CVS like I would with my regular pictures? (Like I said, might be a stupid question, but I'm not a crafty at all!)

    Thanks so much for all of your picnik tutorials, they are priceless and I'm learning so much!

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  23. Megan -

    You can TOTALLY print them out like photos because you'll save them as a jpeg file. It's an easy way to make fun invitations, too. And no it's not a stupid question :) You can also just print them as a color copy at Kinko's too. Whatever you like.

    Cheri

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  24. cute idea! i love picnik as well!!! :) funny thing i noticed though lol, you forgot W haha ;)

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  25. Thanks for the info!

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  26. I am so happy you put this up because I was just thinking TODAY that I should email you and ask how you do the printables, you read my mind! Thanks a million!

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  27. Thank you so much for this wonderful tutorial! I have already created two things for a shower that I am help hosting in a couple of months! You Rock!!!

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  28. This is a great tutorial! Thanks for sharing!

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  29. thanks for the tutorial. i used it today!


    if you're curious take a peek.:)
    www.lillypieaccessories.blogspot.com


    you're great. love your blog.

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  30. Super cute! Can't wait to print one out. Love it!

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  31. Awesome! I just did one and it turned out so cute. Thanks for the great tutorial!

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  32. Thank you for this, Cheri! This is great information!

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  33. Just wanted to say a BIG THANK YOU!!!

    Thanks to you, I was able to finally do my own printables and post about them today:

    http://www.mesewcrazy.com/2011/01/baby-milestone-printables.html

    THANK YOU AGAIN!!!

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  34. I have presented you with The Stylish Blog Award! You are AWESOME!! Thanks!!

    http://therepurposeproject.blogspot.com/2011/01/repurpose-project-has-been-presented.html

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  35. You just rocked my world!! Thank you!

    www.auntielolocrafts.blogspot.com

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  36. Hi!
    I just used your tutorial today AND posted it in my blog for others to see (hopefully)
    Thanks!
    http://happinessis5ive.blogspot.com/2011/01/growth-chart-2.html

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  37. This is fantastic. I'm new to Picnik, so this is going to be a super beginner question, but where is the clip art? I've noticed great images you've used for freezer paper stencils and stuff before, and you've mentioned they are from Picnik, but I haven't been able to find any images there. Is that a premium membership thing, too? Thanks so much for any help...

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  38. Beth - You have to upload a picture to get to the clip art. Just follow the steps in the tutorial and you'll find it. Go to "Create" and then "Stickers" and you'll see all of it.

    Cheri

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  39. Thanks, Cheri! Sorry I was so brainless... It was the term "stickers" that threw me off. &, as you mentioned, the need to upload a photo first.

    Cheers!

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  40. Cute!!!

    Instead of loading a photo you can just use the 'collage' feature on the home page and make it the size you want. Just make it all any color - this works for other things where you want a flat colored background. It's easier!

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  41. I love the blue and red one. I think I might print one up for my Valentine decor. Or try the tute. I bet this would work in picasa or photoshop too. Thank you for sharing your awesome creative brain with us.

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  42. thank you so much for showing us how to do this -- I had used picnik a few times but never like this. SO awesome. And, thanks for letting us download the prints you did make. I printed off the I love you print (in blue) as a Valentine's Day decoration!

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  43. Thanks for the tutorial!!

    Please come to my linky party today! And become a follower!! Hope to see you there!

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  44. OH MY GOODNESS!! I am addicted doing these subway signs, I am on my fifth one. I will have to post them later. I didn't know if you every played with this mode...I uploaded a picture of a lake and mtns. On the little box that comes up where you can change the color and such. There is an advanced blending mode..you can make it so the scenery comes through and makes a really cool picture...you can still see the subway writing. Thanks again for the tut. it was awesome.

    I will post mine later this week at http://alidawnscrafts.blogspot.com/2011/01/i-love-it.html

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  45. I just features you on my BLOG today..thank you soooo much!!!
    http://alidawnscrafts.blogspot.com/2011/01/i-am-addicted.html

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  46. Thanks for the tut! I just used picnik for the 1st time, I of course blogged about it and linked back to you. You can check it out here:
    http://sewinfaith.blogspot.com/2011/01/valentines-roar.html

    Thanks again,
    Kristen

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  47. What a clever idea!

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  48. Great tutorial. I put this on my 'to do' list and got to it this morning. So many things you can do with it. Thanks again.

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  49. Thank you for this! I just made one for my friend's daughter. I know you can print them out 5x7 or 8x10, but what about bigger? If I save it as a jpeg will it mess it up if I try to print it out poster size?

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  50. Thanks - this was really helpful and I MAY have the courage to try something similar with your help!

    Warmly, Michelle

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  51. Hi!

    Wanted you to know I posted a link to this tutorial today on my blog, PaperFriendly.

    Nancy Ward
    PaperFriendly
    http://www.nancywardcrafts.com

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  52. Thank you so much! I love the prints you made!

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  53. Thanks for the tutorial! I'm having a blast! I have run across a problem though. I saved my picture earlier to come back and work on it... so I just reopened it and it won't let me click on any of the letters to change them some more... do you have a suggestion? Thanks a ton! :D

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  54. Oh gosh, I figured it out... :D I made some of my own, inspired by the lovelies you made :D

    http://jacksonshappenins.blogspot.com/2011/04/picnik.html

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  55. You are my new favorite person! Thank you!!

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  56. Thanks so much for this great tutorial!! I've been making signs and have been having a fun time! I have a question ... when I upload them to have them printed, anything larger than 8x10 gives me a "poor resolution warning". Is there a way I can make them bigger? I would like to do some poster sized prints. Any advise you can offer would be SO MUCH APPRECIATED! Thanks so much!

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  57. izzylot: If you're getting a low resolution sign that means you're starting with a file size that's already pretty small. If you don't have a fancy camera to use a high res starting picture you can try creating a blank background using "Paint." It's a program almost every computer comes with. I hope that helps!

    Cheri

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  58. I created some labels in Picnik, but since it saves as a JPG, my colors aren't coming out true to what I view on my computer. Any suggestions?

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  59. Thank you so much! I just made my son an invitation for his 7th birthday party using this tute. you saved me $12!!!!!! THANKS!

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  60. I can't wait to try this! Thanks for your tutorials!

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  61. Really adorable idea! Is there a reason there is no -W-? Was it to make the highlighted letters fit more evenly?

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  62. Super duper tutorial - it's been pinned on my 'Projects' pinterest board! :)

    Popping over from your feature on TT&J - you've got skilz mama!

    Cheers!
    -H

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  63. I LOVE Picnik and I had NO idea you could do this! It's awesome!!
    Thank you so much for sharing...my life just got a little sweeter :)

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  64. Thank you SO very much for taking the time to share this tutorial. I made the absolute cutest poster for my son's room in like 30 mins!! Thank you!!

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  65. that's awesome! I've recently started playing around with picnik to make blog buttons, etsy banners, some stuff. now i'm going to try making bigger signages for my up coming craft fair! whoo!!!

    thank you!!!

    now i'm a follower!

    xoxo
    chui
    http://elephantislove.blogspot.com

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  66. Great idea, I'm making some for my girls in young womens with the temple on and a caption. But I was wondering how you make it a download on your blog. You have a link that goes to a download page. How do you do that? (Sorry if this is a really obvious question!)

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  67. Thank you so much for sharing and for the tutorial!

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  68. I've been looking everywhere to figure out what program to use! Thanks so much!

    <3 your newest follower

    www.hgifford.blogspot.com

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  69. I just wanted to say I have been following your blog for a while and made a mental note of this awesome subway art. Months later, I was just asked to make some art for a pregnancy crisis center. Enter your help with this and I have beautiful art work to support those women in need of a lot of love. THANK YOU SO MUCH! Congrats on the Martha show and keep doing what you do! My little boy is 8 months old and I can't wait until he likes super heros! Paula

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  70. Since picnik is going to be no longer come April. Which site will you use that is as comparable. I am sad that I didnt join sooner.

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  71. First, I think you are incredibly creative and I love your ideas!

    I love your subway art and made a sign I want to print as an engineer's blueprint. I'm new at this, and I'm having trouble with my design looking too pixelated when I blow it up.

    I tried uploading a pic, and then tried creating a blank rectangle in the Paint program. When I try uploading the blank rectangle I get a message saying my file is too big. Do you know what I am doing wrong?

    Thank you so much!
    Stephanie

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  72. Stephster - Is it saying your file is too big and it won't let you upload it or is it just saying it's a really big file. The latter is fine. If it won't even upload it then I guess you have to make it smaller.

    If your design is too pixelated then your file is too small. Did you print it and it was pixelated or can you already tell on your screen that it's too pixelated?

    If you email me them I can respond to you. Your email address isn't linked to your profile.

    Cheri

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  73. I just went to picnick, to try this for myself, and it says that as of April 19th, it will be merged into google+. Sad, but in the meantime, they are allowing the use of all the premium membership benefits for free. Just thought you'd want to know :)

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  74. Thanks for the tip on this. I have been looking for something like this for ages.

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  75. Love this! Just tried to make my own, and when they printed it for me at Staples the words were all pixelated. What am I doing wrong?

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    Replies
    1. BabyMads - Read my comments above about low res. If you know your file is huge and low res isn't the issue, it might be a problem with the Staples web site. I've had multiple problems with their site and it's best to take the file in on a zip drive because their web site often shrinks the quality. Good luck!

      Cheri

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  76. Help! What can I use now that Piknic has closed?

    Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Here's a recent post with two great options:

      http://www.iammommahearmeroar.net/2012/04/picnik-funeral.html

      Cheri

      Delete
  77. Yes, what Shellee said?!

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  78. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  79. hello, picnic is over! so which program can help us to make printables?

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  80. Hi! I am trying to create a printable using one of the new programs that you recommend (picmonkey) and
    all the steps don't work with this new program.
    I'm stuck where you instruct to choose the rectangle/shape button (can't find one of picmonkey) and make the background black. (can't find that option either on picmonkey)
    Could you please help?
    Thanks.

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