I'm excited to introduce my new design! I designed it myself and am happy to say that I'm kind of impressed with myself. I have designed the background, the header, the PP announcement, and the favicon.
I will show you how easy it is to come up with your own!
I've known how to design things and have been doing the headers and such for quite some time. The problem I've been having is with the background. I would design a background and try to post it with my blog. Unfortunately, I would come up unsuccessful with getting to show up correctly. Every tutorial I had found out there on the subject told me a different way to go about it, but none of them worked. The background would never show up with high enough quality or it wouldn't show up at all.
Now, Blogger finally made it easy - it's just a matter of knowing where to start!
First, design a background. For you non-techies out there, it's actually easier than you think. You need to start with basic elements that you would like in your theme (search for scrapbook designs - there are some with minimal cost and some free). I found Raspberry Road Designs and LOVE it. There are a ton of sites out there with the same kind of items.
After you have your elements, open them up in a design program like Photoshop. There are a bunch of these kinds of programs too... just find one that fits your abilities. You need to start with a blank canvas to make sure you have the right size and quality. Open a new project and start with a 1450x1100 pixel canvas at 100 dpi (if you go with a a smaller canvas, your quality will be lacking and if you start with a larger dpi, your file will be too large).
Combine your elements how you would like them on your new canvas. You can basically add anything you want... photos, words, etc. Once you have finished, be sure to save it as a psd as well as a jpg. The psd file will allow you to come back and change each element separately, without having to redo the whole layout. The jpg file will flatten the image, causing unchangeable elements but is also a file that can be uploaded to the internet.
*Now, here's an important tip...* Make sure you save your file so that it is less than 300 kb otherwise it will not work in Blogger Template Designer. The easiest way to do this (in Photoshop at least) is to do a save as: jpg then when the JPEG Options come up to save, dial down the quality on the Image Options until it goes below 300 kb.
Get to your Blogger dashboard.
Click on Deign.
Click on Template Designer.
Here, you can do all kinds of things from change the layout, and text to background and colors. If you want to upload your newly designed background, chose the Picture Window Layout then click Background. From there, it will ask you what picture you want to use as your background. Make sure to delete the existing picture then add your jpg file by clicking on the down arrow and Upload Image. Boom... you're done!
If you are not computer friendly enough to design your own but you want a personalized photo in the background, you would do it the same way.
Make sure you go through all the options in your Template Designer or you may not be happy with the outcome. Make sure the colors and texts are what you like as well as the layout, width and weather or not you want to tile and scroll the background. Don't be afraid to play around with it.
Come back next Monday and I'll tell you some more easy tricks!