July 19, 2012

Creating Printables - Your Questions Answered

I've received a ton of questions lately about how to create printables now that picnik is closed.  Well, I wrote a post about some other photo editing options HERE, but since I'm still getting lots of questions I thought I'd address them all here on one post.  Here we go!

QUESTION:  Now that picnik is gone, what can I use to create printables?

ANSWER:  As far as ease of use, I would recommend picmonkey.  It's really simple and you can create printable in the exact same way that I showed you HERE using picnik.

QUESTION: Where do you go to get free backgrounds for printables?

ANSWER: I like Design House Digital because they have a handful of really cute files that are free.  Click on freebies to find them.  You need to create an account and load the free stuff into your cart as if you were buying it.  Then proceed to check out and confirm the order.  Then after you've placed your order there's a spot below that says "download."  Just click it and download it to a place on your computer where you can find it again.  Keep in mind that these freebies are NOT meant for commercial use.  They are just for personal use.  (i.e. you can't sell a printable you made using them)

QUESTION: What the heck are you even talking about?  (Okay no one asked that, but some of you are thinking it right now.)

ANSWER: Let me clarify it all by showing you a quick video of how I might create a printable like this on picmonkey, by also utilizing a digital scrapbook file for the background.  (See the cute chevron background here?  That's what I mean.)

Here's a quick how to video.

QUESTION: I am trying to make my own printable like you showed HERE, but when I print it out it's too fuzzy or pixelated.

ANSWER: You aren't using a big enough file.  I use a photo and cover it with a rectangle for my blank canvas like I explained HERE.  However, if you don't have a nice camera to let you start with a really high res image, you can create one easily on iPiccy HERE and then take it into picmonkey if you're more comfortable using the software there.  It'll look like this on iPiccy.

After you've clicked the "start editing" button on the home page you'll see this at the top of the page.  Pick the one farthest button to the right that looks like an artist palette.  

Then you can set your own pixels.  It goes all the way up to 4000 pixels, which is easily big enough for a massive print.  

So, if you're looking to do an engineer blueprint like I showed you HERE, the printed dimensions are 24"x 36" so you could set the pixels at 2400 x 3600 (same ratio).  Type that in and it will take you to this screen.

The navigating in iPiccy is a little trickier, but the software can actually do a lot more than picmonkey.  Click the tab that's highlighted above (in the picture below) that looks like three pictures stacked on top of each other.  Then click on background, then color overlay, and then check the color overlay box.  It will let you select the background color.  If iPiccy feels complicated just save the image and take it to picmonkey.  If not stay and play a while.

(If you want to add a photo over the top of this overlay, like I did on the giant newspaper for Rex then you should stay in iPiccy.  Click photo and you can upload and add a photo right over the top.)  

Whew!  That was a lot of info and hopefully it was helpful rather than confusing.  Let me know if you have other questions and we'll try to hammer out all the details.  

Thanks for reading.


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