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 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!
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.
See that tiny green lightning bolt in the pic below? Click it and it saves the photo into the tray.
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.
In the menu bar (shown above), click on “Create”. Select “Picture Collage.”
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.
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.
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).
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.
With space added.
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.
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.