Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Teach Me Wednesday

Today, I thought I'd take the time to teach you something useful if you have an Etsy store or are planning on opening one up.
It took me a while to figure out how to make a banner in Etsy without Photoshop. It's kinda frustrating when most of the tutorials that I read assume that I have Photoshop. Well, I do not and it's currently not in the budget, so, here's how I create my banners in a way that fits nicely into my rather slim advertising budget.
First of all, you're going to need to download the completely free photo editing software Picasa. Go do that and then come back....
back? choose your photo from your file and open it in Picasa.

Now, to the left where it says "Crop", click on the little icon and you'll get this screen:
Now you're gonna have to make a Custom Aspect Ratio, so click on the drop down to the left that says "Add Custom Aspect Ratio". You'll get this box. Type in your specs for an Etsy Banner (100x760) and give it a name like Etsy Banner. (original, huh?) Save it.

Now, try to crop your picture using the Etsy Banner Aspect Ratio and you'll see that you get the perfect crop for an Etsy Banner. Figure out where you want your crop to be and click "crop".

Now, you'll get this:

Now, here's where the fun begins. Click on that little button to the left that says "Picnik" and you'll be taken here:

Now, using the categories at the top of the workspace (Effects, Borders, etc....) you can edit your photo to look the way you'd like. Here I've added the vignette to give the photo a little pop.

Now, I want to add some Text, so click on the Text button and you'll be taken here:

Type your text into the top left little text bar and it will magically appear in your banner.

Edit it to your liking...

Now, here's one thing that I kinda came up with...I really wanted a shadow on my letters, but that option didn't exist, so...I right-clicked on the text I currently had and clicked on "Duplicate Type".

This gave me two of what I had previously created.  
Using the editing box to the right, I made the first type black...

and lined it up directly below the second to get that shadow look without actually adding a shadow.  

Add any other text you want, and click on the yellow button in the upper right hand corner which says "Save to Picasa".

It will take you to this screen...From here, simply save your banner where you'll be able to find it when you go back to edit your store.

Head back to your shop and drop it in! Voila!
Now that you know how easy it is, you can make banners all day...
I really like making a new banner when I'm having a sale or special promotion, or when the seasons change, or I make a new piece that I'm really proud of...ya' know, whatever.

The best part? It's free.
I hope this is useful and if you've got questions, feel free to ask!
Enjoy your Wednesday!


  1. This is a great tutorial, Marcie. I love both Picassa (for collages) and Picnik (for lots of stuff!)

  2. This is a wonderful post. I had been strugglinh with sizing photos, so it was perfect instruction. Thanks

  3. I don't use Picassa but I think I could get through the basics with this tutorial. So I just might try it. You are so clever to figure out the letter shadow. I think I might see if I can get that to work in the photo editing program I use. Thank you!

  4. Thank you! Thank you! I know what I am doing tonight.

  5. I use Picasa to organize my photos but I've only been using old school Photoshop to make my banners because I had no idea how to do it in Picasa! Thanks for the tips! I'm going to try it!

  6. What a wonderful tutorial! Thank you so much for posting it! :)

  7. Great tutorial. Have never used picnik. Looks very cool. Thank you so much

  8. Okay. This is going to sound like the dumbest thing. I use Picasa almost exclusively. And I have used Picnik. But I had NO IDEA they were connected!?!?!? How could I have missed that? I love your tutorial. Thanks for sharing something new with me. And I use that trick all the time to make a shadow (even in Photoshop before I figured out how to do that!)
    Enjoy the day, Marcie!

  9. Great post and wonderful new banner! Thanks for the tutorial :)

  10. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am so bad at computers sometimes, but you spelled it are a gem!

  11. That is an awesome tutorial! Thanks for sharing it.

  12. I gave it a go... love it, thank you Marcie. Looks like I'll be changing my banner everyday :0)

  13. I might love you ..... great tutorial Thanks!!!

  14. Thanks a lot for the great tips!

  15. Thanks, I think - I've suddenly become a fool for banners, changing my mind three times in the past half an hour!

  16. Thanks for the inspiration - was finally able to do this even though I don't normally use Picasa and Picnik. Yay!

  17. Thanks so much! I finally have a banner I like.