Monday, July 30, 2012

Blog Design Tutorial 1: Gathering Materials

This is the first post in a series that will help you to redesign your Blogger blog! Please remember that I am not an expert. Everything that I've learned has been through googling and trial/error. These programs and techniques worked for me. I'm sharing them with you in hopes that they work for you, as well. So, here we go!

Step 1: Gathering your Resources.

To design a blogger blog, here is what you'll need. [Cue Target school supply music.]

2. A Scrapbooking Kit [or various digital papers, elements, and clip art]
3. Photobucket Account

Using these elements, you can end up with a cute, clean, and attractive blog! Gimp and Photobucket are free, and I only use free scrapbooking kits [for now, anyway], so you can redesign your blog for free. But, it will take time. DON'T GET FRUSTRATED! 

Let's delve a little deeper into those three necessities.

1. Gimp

GIMP is a free program that was brought to my attention by A Turn to Learn. [Side note- Visit her site for various technology tutorials. She explains them thoroughly, and she takes requests on what to post a tutorial on!] It is comparable to Photoshop. It is used for "such tasks as photo retouching, image composition, and image authoring." Click the link at the beginning of this paragraph to take you to the site.

Once you are there, you will see this

Click download to get the program. Follow all the steps. 

You will be prompted to download another program while you are downloading GIMP, which is called XQuartz. You will need to download that, too, as it allows GIMP to run. When you go to open up gimp on your computer, XQuartz will open automatically.

Once that is downloaded, you will see this sassy little guy. 

Double clicking him will open up the program. GIMP is very slow to open on my computer. So if it is slow on your computer, don't click on it 100 times like I did because you're impatience, be patient! =)

That is as far as I'll take you in GIMP until the next step!

2. Digital Scrapbooking Materials

There are a ton of places to find scrapbooking materials. There are probably way more that I have no idea about, as I'm really new to this. But THE most important thing is to check the terms of use of the kit/designer that you are using! Most of the free kits that I've downloaded are for personal use only. Some aren't allowed to be used in blog design. Some aren't allowed to be used in freebies. Some require credit, etc. So please make sure that you follow the directions in the kit's terms of use! If you are unsure, email the designer.

For my tutorials, I'll be used digital paper and elements [like buttons and other add-ons]. So that is what I'm looking for when I search for kits. One place that I have been collecting kits from is 

[Say that three times fast!]

I subscribe to this site in my google reader, and it is a "program" that "gathers" freebie digital scrapbooking items from around the blog world. I have no idea how it works. It is kind of annoying, in that sometimes it lists many sites that doesn't have a freebie, and you won't know until you check. Other times, the freebie is a "brag page" or something that can really only be used as a scrapbook page.

Here are some other places where I've found some free kits. Please post in the comments or email me if you know of any great sites that I can pass along! As you are collecting kits, I would save them in folders, sorted by designer. That's always helpful!

[My layout kit is from AnnaBo. Such cute stuff!]

3. Photobucket

Most of you already know about this, so I'll keep this last step brief! Right now, just go to the site, and sign up for a free account. We will work with this again later.

Sorry, that was so long! I wanted to give you all the tools to get ready in a single post. My next tutorial will be Step 2: Constructing a Background in GIMP. It may take me a few days to get up, as I want to be as specific as possible, using a lot of screen shots.

So until next time, start looking for a kit that you'd like to practice with! It doesn't have to be the prettiest kit, just something to get your feet wet!

1 comment:

  1. I am so looking forward to your tutorials!!! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    A Pirates Life for Us