Saturday, November 23, 2013

How To Make Super Cute Hand-Drawn Blog Frames

It's finally the weekend.  The wonderful weekend.
Can you believe it's Thanksgiving in less than a week?
This year has gone by so stinking fast.
It's hot chocolate season already.
Well, it's always hot chocolate season at my house.
But now I can drink it wearing cute reindeer pajamas.
Which is really exciting.
I've got my eyes on these ones right now,
which you can buy here at Aerie (my obsession).

Aside from doing some selfish early-Christmas-for-me shopping,
I've also been busy getting lots of stuff ready for my Etsy shop,
and working. Which means being stuck behind the front desk of 
a beautiful hotel for a while.  Long enough to get bored.

So I decided to try and do something I like, but since I don't have
any of my files or programs on the work computer, I had to get creative.
I sketched a couple of frames by hand and turned them into something
to use on my blog.  I was going to share the ones I made,
but it's so simple I decided to share how I did it instead.

(Click on any of these photos to enlarge them)

 1.//  Draw your image with a very bold pen or sharpie.
For best results use one that won't bleed or smear.
Then scan your picture!
If you don't have a scanner available,
you could also take a good picture of it.

2.//  Open your image in Paint.Net.
If you don't have it already, 
you can download it FREE here.

Use the "Rectangle Select" tool to outline your frame,
then press "Crop to Selection".

 3.// Adjust the contrast 
 until the image is completely black and white.

4.//  Using the wand tool, select anywhere outside of your drawing.

Press Delete.
Continue deleting any of the white,
so everything outside of your drawing is transparent.
(You can press "CTRL" + "+" to zoom in
and "CTRL" + "-" to zoom out to get any hard to find spots)

***Some frames have disconnecting pieces,
that's why I showed this step in a way that works for everyone.
If your frame is only one big connecting line, like this one, you can shortcut this step
by using the Wand tool to select the frame, press Edit>> Invert Selection, and Delete.

5.//  At this point you can save your frame as a PNG.
It's all done! Just time to make it pretty.
Add pictures, make it white and put it over a chalkboard,
whatever you'd like.
Let's add a photo.
Select Layers >> Import From File.

6.// Move your layer down so you can see your frame again.
The layer you're working on stays highlighted,
make sure you stay on the layer with your picture. 
If you inserted a large image, it probably made your canvas huge.
Don't worry, we'll fix that.

7.// Now you can adjust your photo so it is in your frame how you want it.
The proportions stay the same if you hold shift while resizing.
You can right-click if you want to rotate your photo.

8.// Let's get rid of all that annoying extra space.
We'll use the "Rectangle Selection" tool and "Crop to Selection" again..

9.// Now to get rid of the overhang.
You'll want to make sure you're in your "Background" layer.
Then using your wand tool click inside of the frame.

Now go up to  Edit >> Invert Selection. 

 Switch to your Picture layer and hit Delete.

10.//  That's it! Yay! Enjoy your beautiful creation.

If you want you can add some special touches.
Some color or whatever you'd like.
Here's what happens when you fill in the black with white
and stick it on a chalkboard.

In case you're thinking, "Hey, what if my frame has disconnected lines,
so I can't select the area around the photo to delete it?
Or what if I want a perfectly shaped image inside my frame?
Don't worry! We can do that. It's really easy.

Let's use this frame as an example.
We're already to Step 8 in the directions above.


1.// Use the  "Ellipse Select" tool to make a circle.
(If you want a square instead use the "Rectangle Select" tool).
If you want a perfect circle hold the Shift key down
while you are creating your shape.

2.// Select the "Move Selection" tool.
You can use this to move your circle and size it
over how you want your picture to appear.

3.// Once your shape is how you want it,
go to Edit >> Invert Selection.
Press Delete.

You're done! Simple as that. 
You can still use the "Move Selected Pixels" tool
to resize or reposition your circle if you want.
Once you're happy just save it as a PNG.

Voila! Now you can make pretty frames for your blog.

They're not just for pictures either,
they look pretty with text too!

 Have fun :)


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