Tuesday, January 22, 2013

15 Minute Project: Make Your Own Print

I am very particular about word art. I don't care for ones like, "Wash Your Hands" or "Love is Patient..." but super cute ones can be expensive and hard to find.

I also don't know how to use photoshop. Nope. Not a bit. I just downloaded it, but I haven't had a chance to play yet. My preferred way of editing photos (other than on my camera and with iPhoto) is with PicMonkey.

It is the newer version of "picnik"- you know, that photo editing thing on facebook where everyone came out with drastically edited photos with silly words on them?

Yes, I was one of them. I got sucked in.

Not only can you make images like this:

But you can also make simple collages and blog headers.

I decided I'd give making prints a shot with it and I'm really pleased with the graphics. Our printer is out of ink, so I'll be having these printed on cardstock at Staples before I can frame them.

I used quotes that matter to Nate and I (the PG version, we thought about whipping out some Boondock Saints and being all "Why don't you make like a tree and get the F* out of here" but we thought people wouldn't appreciate that as much...we may still do that, sometimes I get feisty) Here are my three finished prints that we'll be talking about today.

The quotes are from the Lorax, the Muppets, and Ghandi.

We're well rounded people.

Now to make these, go to www.picmonkey.com

Click on Collage.

Down on the bottom, you will see the size of the standard image.

You can add or take away size as you see fit. I made mine extra large because I assumed that the text can shrink down easily, but I didn't want it looking stretched out should it be too small.

I think I did something along the lines of 2000x2800

Yeah, it may have been excessive.

Then, hit save collage. Yep- completely empty. Name it "Blank" on your desktop. That way you can make as many prints as you want without having to redo this step.

Next, hit the X in the upper right corner. That should take you back to the home page.

Then, select Edit Photo. A pop up image should appear, select your blank image.

This screen will open.

Select the "P" button on the far left tool bar. The tool bar will switch to fonts.

Hit the Add Text Button, and a text box will appear on your image.

With these graphics, I suggest you use no more than 3 fonts, or your image will look too busy.

I also suggest you type bits and pieces of your phrase at a time to give it more visual diversity. You can not size text differently inside of the same text box. If you want the first letter bigger and a different font than the rest (like in the LORAX) you can only type that one letter. Then you can type the rest of the word/line in another text box.

This handy tool bar will also open if you wish to change your text color, etc.

Now that you're started, it's pretty easy to keep going. Just keep playing with interesting positioning, sizing, etc. Be aware of the spacing between words.

Keep going until your words are in place and you like their sizing and positioning. For this graphic, I picked a quote from the Lord of The Rings movie- spoken by Gandalf, a wizard, and I liked how the "A" kind of resembled a Wizard's hat, so I made it the focal point. I probably resized this 10-15 times to get it just right.

If you'd like to add an emblem in the back, keep reading, if not, save as to your computer and you're done!

For those of you wanting an emblem, select the expression bubbles in the left toolbar.

Go through the free options (ones that don't have a crown on them) and select a sticker. Since Gandalf has this stupid habit of sending butterflies and moths out to fetch his eagles (the same eagles that cause many marital disputes in our house- I'm sorry, they do the job half assed and they could save the whole world hours of time if they just freaking flew the ring to Mordor, etc. Nate claims I don't get it, I think they need to shut up and do the job right) I chose a butterfly sticker.

It will appear on your image in black. Using the pop up tool bar, play with the color and size of the image. It will be over the text- don't worry, we'll fix that.

Once you like your image, slide the "fade" bar over to about 45%. You can play with the opacity more if you'd like.

Once it in the place on your image that you'd like, right click on the image and select "send to back"

Click off of the image, and you will have your finished image! Select the save button and put it on your desktop.

Send your image off to wherever you'd like to get your image printed, and put in a matted frame (like RIBBA from IKEA or the Room Essentials line at Target) in the size of your choice.

Et, voila! Home made art that will only cost you to print and frame.

What saying are you going to do first?


  1. I love me some pic monkey. Sometimes when I need extra fanciness and I don't want to get up and get my external drive (where Photoshop is saved to) I use pixlr.com ... it has better layer options.

    also, I love that gandalf quote.

  2. I have been in the dark ages using Picasa. Maybe I'll step out of my box and start using PicMonkey.

  3. (It took me all morning to read this post, what with one thing and another, but I did it!). I have a complicated relationship with word art. Thus far I've always been too worried I'll pick something too overdone/cheesy/cliched that I just don't have any. But I am also drawn to it on some level, so I suspect I will have some eventually. Thanks for the tutorial!

  4. Please do a Boondock Saints one. Please.

  5. Hmmm...I may have to give picmonkey a try...picasa doesn't do anything fancy!

  6. Love this idea! I think I may have to make some to hang up in my apartment!

  7. Great tutorial! I love it!!! I need to start thinking up some for my house. Thank you for sharing this. I'm going to pin it now.


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