I’ve had a few people ask me how I create my headers so here is a quick tutorial on how to create a free blog header. This is the most basic of blog headers but it will be a good starting point. I don’t do or use anything fancy. My headers don’t have illustration, I can’t draw to save my life so I just use the photos I take for my blog. I make my banners either in Photoshop or in free web-based site Picnik.
For the sake of this tutorial I’ll be using Picnik and using details from a Blogger blog (these should be easy enough to find on another blogging platform.)
1. Pick your image or take your photo. Make sure it is clear and fits in with your blog design and colours.
2. Open Picnik, select your image and crop to the vague shape you fancy using. Change the size. The size that will work best for you depends on which blog template you use but I tend to go for 900 x 300 so it doesn’t come too far down the page, leaving room for part of my content to be visable without scrolling down. Make sure you untick the ‘keep the proportions’ box.
3. Click ‘Create’ along the top and pay with the effects. I usually use lomo-ish to make the image more vivid.
4. Play around with blurring or abstract effects such as posterize, neon or focal zoom for interesting ideas. Don’t just blindly apply the effect, play around with the fade (and other) sliders. Some of the wilder effects can look quite good if tonned down to the minimum. I have gone with Posterize here.
5. Try out different frames. I tend to use the ‘Rounded Edges’ tool but ‘Border’ can be interesting as there is a lot to play around with. This time I’m going to go with plain old round edges.
6. If you’re using the rounded edges make sure you enter the same background colour as that of your blog or you’ll have different coloured edges. You can find your exact background colour in Blogger by going to Design>Template Designer>Advanced>Background. Simply copy & paste the background colour code into the Picnik colour code box so you get an exact match.
7. When it comes to adding text I tend to use the same three fonts and four colours (blue, green, orange and white) across my blog in order to create cohesion and I continue this when it comes to making headers. Pick out the colours and fonts you want to stick to and use the colour codes (you can find them on Blogger by going to Design>Template Designer>Advanced and looking at the various colour codes you use on different parts of your blog) in the text box.
8. Add your title and tagline in your chosen fonts and colours. Move them around, play with the sizes or have the words appear at an angle.
9. Save your image. Make sure you saved the full size or it will appear blurred on your blog.
And there you are, simply add it to your blog. Please do remember to link back to A Thrifty Mrs if you use this tutorial. If you have any questions, feel free to ask and I’ll try to do what I can to help. All images in this post (except the last one) are screen shots from Picnik.
P.S. I urge you to play around with Picnik, you can make lots of cool things with it. The more you play with it, the more you’ll discover. Have fun! P.P.S. If you want the hassle taking out and something a bit different I can make you a blog header and 2 sidebar buttons for £25.00 email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.