Making your Own Blog Header in Picasa, Part 1

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Want to make your blog unique? The first thing a reader sees when they visit your blog is the header. You can create your own using any photo program that allows you to combine text and photos.

blog dog kissBlog dog is going to show you how to create a header using Picasa. I like keeping things simple, so if you’re a wiz at Photoshop, you may not need this tutorial. But if you want a simple to follow how-to on creating a custom header for your blog, you’re in the right spot!

extravaganza

I’m going to show you how to create this design, using your own photos and words. You can have more or less photos, I chose three.

This tutorial is for blogspot blogs, if you have another blog host you can create the header using Picasa, then install it using your own blog’s help section.

First, it helps to know how wide your blog is. Cheater tip: You don’t really need the size,  you can wing it and blogger will allow you to set it to size correctly when installed. To find out your blog width, go to dashboard>template>customize>adjust widths. Don’t change anything, just take a peek at how wide your blog is. (By the way – I use the new Blogger interface, if you use the old you may have a slightly different path to get to your width settings).

If you can’t find it, or just want to skip this part, you’re safe creating a header of 800 x 200 pixels for two column blogs, or 1000 x 200 pixels for a 3-column blog.

Blog Dog designer tip: don’t make your header too big. The phrase “Above the Fold” means the area you can see on your computer without scrolling. This is prime real-estate. Your header is above the fold… and there should be room for your content too. “Content” means your posts. A large header that take up a ton of screen space is a sure sign of an amateur design. Regular visitors should be greeted by a new, fresh page often. If your header is taking up most of the screen, your blog appears stagnant. You want the header WIDE, but not DEEP. Leave room for your content – keep your header 200 pixels tall, or less.

Let’s make a header!

Open Picasa and browse through your pictures. When you find a photo you want to include in your header, select it by clicking on the photo, then click the hold button in the tray at the bottom left of your screen.

picasa screen

See that tiny green lightning bolt in the pic below? Click it and it saves the photo into the tray.

picasa hold

Keep adding photos until you have your choices. You can change your mind later, so add whatever you think you might need. I’ve got three photos in my tray, so let’s move on.

picasa menu bar

In the menu bar (shown above), click on “Create”. Select “Picture Collage.”

picasa collage square

Your screen will have all of your photos that you placed on “hold”  in the collage. As you can see, my photos are repeating themselves and the  size is wrong, so let’s fix that.

picasa page format

Set your collage to “Grid”, if it’s not already set that way. Then open the “Page Format” shown in the middle of the screen shot above.

picasa add custom aspect ratio

Set the size of your header by selecting “Add Custom Aspect Ratio”, as shown above. A new window will open. Type in the width and height you want. Two column blog: 800 x 200. Three column blog: 1000 x 200. (or whatever your blog width is).

picasa collage wide

Drag the photos around on the screen to arrange them how you want. If you want to add white space between the photos, add it with the “Grid Spacing” sliding tool.

picasa grid spacing

With space added.

picasa grid with space

If you have photos you don’t want, they can be removed dragging off the workspace, over to the left sidebar, or by clicking the remove button on the workspace. You can also drag the photo within the cropped area, moving it around until it looks just right.

When you have everything in place, it’s time to save the collage (you’ll add the type later). Click the “Create Collage” button.

picasa create collage

Collages are saved automatically to the Collage album. I forget this, then I can’t find my photo after saving! To find it, go to Pictures>Picasa>Collages.

That’s it for part one. Next step… adding text.

20 comments:

Stampin n da Hood said...

LOVE!

Ann said...

Thank you thank you I have wanted to do this and just didnt know how.

Romaine said...

Cool! I will have to try this next! Your tips for brightening and cropping my pictures worked FAB! I have to remember to try to add the watermark yet! Loving your tips, Tresa!

Mary Gunn FUNN said...

I may be free from having to use my kids for support, yet! You are the best! thanks

Dot said...

We are all going to have amazing looking blogs thanks to you, Tresa! Thank you so much for posting this. The header is the hardest thing for me with designing my blog. Now it will be easy peasy!!

Heather said...

This is just what I needed! I was one of those crazies who had a SUPER HUGE banner and no idea how to fix it...as usual...Tresa Black ROCKS!

Sharon-The OKI StampQueen said...

Thank you so much for this!!! I can't wait to have time to try it! Blessings,Sharon

Jazzi Ka said...

Love it, thank you! Now waiting for part 2. :o)

Bye bye,
Jessika

p-inks said...

Simply - THANK YOU

Barb @ GritsandGlamour said...

I always thought I was a little computer savvy until I tried this. I cannot find the "create" button at the top, no matter what I do. I noticed your sample pic shows "Picasa 3." Mine does not. Could this be the problem? I am going to uninstall and try reinstalling Picasa and see if that helps. sigh

blackhuff said...

I have come along your blog via Google when I wanted to make a header for my blog. Thank you SO much for sharing this step-by-step guide with us. This have helped me in creating my own header for my blog. THANK YOU.

Dude said...

Thank you for your great advice, it helped me creating my own graphics!

annawallacecouk said...

Phew, thank you sooo much for this posting. was beginning to think that I'd have to pay a fortune for software to be able to create a header for my blog. Awesome x

Michelle O'Connor Studio Pencil Portraits and Mixed Media Arts said...

I have a question! This was a great tutorial and everything worked up to the part where I am trying to fit the header to my blog. I'm doing some adjusting,I get it...this is not my issue. I want to know how to create a collage with a space BELOW and/or ABOVE the photo collage for my TYPE so that my type doesn't have to be on top of the pictures. Any advice? I found another tutorial for making headers in Picasa on a blog called Clover Lane, however, it was from 2009 and I believe the commands are different now. Any help is greatly appreciated! I did a layout in Word (because I am OLD SCHOOL at 41 years old) to get a visual of how I'd like my header to appear...I would be happy to share if you even have the time to make suggestions! Thanks again! Michelle

Tresa Black said...

Hello Michelle,
Since Picasa is meant to be a simple photo editing tool, I am not certain that there is a simple way to accomplish this task in Picasa. Aside from going directly to a more complex photo editing program, you do have the option to create the header with only pictures, then when you upload your header in blogger, add your blog title in the "description" box. Then select "have description placed after the image". This will give you a small title below your photo banner.

Hope that helps!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this, well explained and documented explanations!

Heather@SugarDish said...

This is brilliant and helpful and THANKYOUSOMUCH!!! I am soooo technologically challenged, but I followed your tutorial, step-by-step, and was completely proud of my finished product. Thank. You!

Marloue Cee said...

Thank you, thank you.. it was very helpful yay

Virginia Caviola said...

I know I'm late to the game on this post, but this is the easiest tutorial to follow, and has helped me make (a few ) banners for my blog:) ty so much for this post!

okoye oni said...

Nice post

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