Just a Party with My Peeps {#7}

It’s my favorite time of the week again!
Share your favorite projects and posts and LET’S PARTY!

If you don’t know HOW to link up, check out my blog post from back in July with full instructions.

  • Feel free to link up any furniture, crafts, recipes, makeovers and home décor.
  • Please enter a short project description in the “name” section of this link form.  Also make sure you link to your specific post and not your entire blog.
  • DO NOT link Etsy stores, giveaways, or other link parties! You will be deleted.
  • And if you didn’t make it, don’t link it (please)! Party ends Sunday night at 11pm CST. LET’S GET THIS PARTY STARTED!

How to Nest for Less

Photoshop Tips & Tricks #4: How to Make a Blog Button {Using Stock Images}

As most of you know, Picnik will soon be going away and a lot of bloggers are left in the dark when it comes to adjusting their photos and creating new blog buttons. I’ve always been an avid user of Photoshop and currently have recently been posting about my favorite Tips & Tricks.

Well today I thought I’d share a quick tutorial on how to make creative blog buttons using Photoshop and stock photos… perfect for beginners. So let’s get going!

First thing you want to do is find your design elements. Since I’m guessing most of you aren’t graphic designers or illustrators, you’ll need a little help with this part! One of my favorite sites to purchase stock photos, illustrations and vector artwork is BigStockPhoto.com.

You can purchase web-sized JPGs from as little as $2.99. Yes, you can sometimes find little illustrations online that you can grab off Google, but some of those images are copyrighted. Play it safe and purchase your clip art or illustrations. Plus anything you purchase for a blog button can also be used for your website header or Facebook timeline cover! Just note that any item you purchase from BigStockPhoto.com cannot be redistributed. It is for personal use only.

For the first blog button I found this little pink polka dot background (which you could easily create yourself) and a little blue birdie.

First thing you’re going to do is size your downloaded photo. I suggest starting with a 300 pixel square. Most websites and bloggers use 125×125 pixel buttons, but I find it better to create the file larger and scale down as needed.

You can either create a new document at 300×300 pixels and drag your downloaded background to the new document and transform it to fit (Image > Free Transform), or you can crop the downloaded image to size (I chose the latter for this exercise).

I set the width and height in the Options Bar to 300 pixels each (see above screenshot) and cropped the image.

Create a new layer on top of the background image. Use the circle marquee tool to draw a circle and fill it with white (Edit > Fill). Add a drop shadow if preferred.

If your icon (like my birdie) has a plain white background you can use the Magic Eraser to isolate the bird. Just click in the white area with the tool and it magically disappears! Now you can drag the bird onto the new button and create a layered effect.

Next let’s add some text! Use the type tool to create your text, change the font, and choose your colors. Position it into place.

Go ahead and save the layered file as a PSD to you can make any changes in the future.

To make the JPG version, go to Layer > Flatten Image.

Go to Image > Image Size.

Change the pixel with at the top to 125 (the height should automatically change with it).

Now you can SAVE AS a JPEG by going to File > Save As. Change the format to JPEG and click SAVE.

{aint’ she cute?} 

If I didn’t overload you too much already,
wanna see one more quick thing? 

For this next blog button I decided to download this fancy background with several tags. It had everything I was looking for… clean space to type my information, a little birdie for “How to NEST for Less” and some little clothes buttons (for this blog BUTTON!). OK, it’s not always that easy to find something so perfect, but it does happen!

I downloaded the small version and saved it to my desktop.

Now I don’t need all of this. I only want the bottom right hand corner so I’m going to crop out the rest.

Use your crop tool and set the parameters in your Options Bar to 300×300 pixels. Again, I do this size first because it’s easier to see the details when I’m creating these elements and I can always make the image smaller… you can NEVER make an image bigger (it will get pixelated and blurry!).

Once you have the image cropped, you can add your text (I rotated mine a bit with the Transform tool or Control/Apple T).

And that’s it!
Looks like a professionally designed button in a matter of minutes!

BigStockPhoto.com has a bunch of elaborate, predesigned scrapbook-like elements available for download. This is make your design effort SUPER SIMPLE! Just plop on the text and you’re done! Here are some quick samples of some adorable backgrounds…

One last thing… If you want a grab box with the code for your new blog button, check out these tutorials:

The Cool Realm Code Generator
Between Naps on the Porch
Live. Laugh. Rowe.