Bonus! Free downloadable PicMonkey alignment grid

PicMonkey Alignment Grid
free downloadable

free downloadable picmonkey grid

 

 

You know how in yesterday’s post I was bemoaning the fact that it’s stupidly hard to align and centre objects in PicMonkey because they don’t offer any tools to do so, or any kind of grid? Well, I’ve fixed that! I’ve put together a really simple tool – a grid as a transparent overlay, marked in convenient halves, thirds and quarters. I’m providing this as a FREE DOWNLOADABLE, so use it for yourself with your next project, and/or you are most welcome to share, share away!

 

How to use it.

1. Download your transparent grid HERE, and save it to your computer in an appropriate folder.
Make sure it’s saved as a .png file, so it retains its transparency (saving it as a .jpg will automatically give it a solid white background).

2. Open your background image in Picmonkey.

3. Click on Overlays, and Your Own. Choose the grid (it’s called “picmonkey alignment grid”), and click on Open.

4. Resize to cover your whole image by dragging the corners to the edge of your background image. My grid is square, but if you hold the shift key down while you drag the corners, you can change the proportions so that it will cover rectangles too.

5. If your background image is dark, the grid might not show up very well – no probs, just play with the Colour settings and Blend Mode in the Overlay pop-up box until it’s got the best contrast against your image.

 

picmonkey tute - alignment grid1

Overlay colour set at black shows the true colours of the grid. Some lines on the grid are difficult to see.

 

 

picmonkey tute - alignment grid2

Overlay colour set at white shows the grid much more clearly.

 

6. Add your other elements, and align them with the grid by dragging them around when you see the four-headed arrow, which should appear when you hover over the highlighted object box.

 

picmonkey tute - alignment grid3

 

7. Delete the grid. You should be able to select it by clicking on the solid circle in the bottom right of the grid.
And there you go! Perfectly aligned text.

(p.s…. You can also download my beach pic as a free stock photo, here.)

 

picmonkey tute - alignment grid4

 

How easy peasy was that!? I’m actually a bit gobsmacked that nobody’s thought of making something like this before. But I’ve searched and searched… aaah well. Now it exists! Hooray!

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Now. I’m going to go out on a limb here, and say if you’d like better alignment tools in PicMonkey, then just don’t. Get yourself onto Canva instead. PicMonkey is set up for photo editing (especially photos of people – and it’s fab for this) but not graphics; it’s unlikely they’ll be adding any alignment tools anytime soon. Canva, on the other hand, is specifically set up for graphics; it has a fabulous ‘snap’ functionality which allows you to have text and images that line up perfectly, every time. It also allows you to put in your own guidelines, display grids, and you can display the pixel position of any element. And it’s free. Yes, there are some things it can’t do (the paid version has more functionality of course), but there are workarounds to just about every shortcoming.

I’ve been teaching people how to use Canva over the past year or so (and no, I’m not affiliated with Canva in any way; I just want people to make better graphics). If you’re interested, my free 5-day challenge to ‘Conquer Canva’ is starting again soon. It’s aimed at teaching you the tech, as well as the design skills you need to create great graphics, so you don’t have to waste time learning everything by trial and error, AND you learn how to create beautiful images your audience responds to and loves. You can find out more about it here – bit.ly/ConquerCanva4.

See you there?

Julie XX

 

Small biz how-to: Make product labels with PicMonkey

Another tutorial on PicMonkey? Yes yes of course! Because it’s easy and it’s free and you can do fabulous things with it for your business 🙂 In this one, I get to grips with making beautiful packaging, as presentation is another indispensable tool for grabbing your customers’ attention and making them fall in love with you.

So without further ado, here’s how to make product labels with PicMonkey.

 

DIY labels

DIY labels with PicMonkey

 

I wanted something a bit more modern than retro, which means I need something clean, flat and fresh. One minimalist trend at the moment is to layer a white shape over a pattern, so I started with this pattern in fresh, clear colours.

 

watermelon stars by tractorgirl

watermelon stars by tractorgirl, made using colourlovers.com

 

 

There are several websites you can download patterns for free – but as always, check the licencing! Some are free only for personal use and not available for commercial purposes. I didn’t want to bother with all of that, so I made my own pattern in ColourLovers, which is also a free online program (and VERY fun!).

 

Step 1. How big does your image need to be?

SO! There’s a bit of maths involved here, but don’t panic. Just make sure you measure and double check everything before you print, so you get the size you’re after. Take it slowly and write it all down logically so you don’t confuse yourself.

Print quality is something you need to consider – a good quality print is at 300dpi (dots per inch), although an OK result can be achieved at 150dpi. What this means is that for an A4 sheet of paper printed at 150dpi, your total image needs to be 1240 pixels x 1754 pixels, and for the same A4 printed at 300dpi, your image needs to be 2480 pixels x 3508 pixels.

How many labels are you going to print onto your sheet? If you’re printing at 150dpi and there are 2 across the page and 3 down, each label image needs to be about 620 pixels by 584.  If you’re going to buy printable sticky labels, the sheets are already precut into various sizes so that will dictate the image size you need to work with.

 

Step 2. Getting it to the right size

Go into Picmonkey, click on Edit and load up your background pattern. Go into Crop, and get your image to the size you want – either by using Crop, which will cut the edges off, or with Resize, which will simply shrink your image.

 

Step 3. Designing your label

Here’s the simple and fun part! Go into Overlays. Choose whether you want a simple Geometric, or something a bit fancier – scroll down PicMonkey’s list to find Labels and Banners. Click on the one you want, and resize it by dragging the corners.  The default colour is black, but that’s easy to change by adjusting the colour in the pop-up box – I’ve changed mine to white.

Centre your circle (or label shape) within your image. There are no specific tools in PicMonkey to do this (booo PicMonkey – this is a basic thing!), but you can either do it by temporarily overlaying a grid (you’ll have to upload one of these yourself as an Overlay, set the Fade to 50%, align what you need and then delete the grid layer), or by simply by grabbing the nearest ruler out of your kid’s pencil case and measuring the screen.
****Update! I’ve made a transparent grid to help you do this. It’s yours for free here! ****
Don’t try and do it by eye unless you’re a ninja.

Next, pop in your text. Go into Text, click on Add Text, then choose your font/s (I’ve used a PicMonkey font for most of it (Special Elite), and Goblin for tractorgirl, which is a font loaded on my computer). Then click in the box that appears on your image and add in whatever you need – item name, ingredients, etc.

 

tractorgirl - picmonkey tute

 

Finally, flatten your image by clicking on the Combine icon, second from the right on the top of the screen, or simply just hit Save. Name your file, choose the best image Quality (“Sean”) on the right, and then hit Save to My Computer.

 

For the next part, you’ll need to close that image (click on the cross at the top right); PicMonkey will drop you back to the main page.

 

Step 4. Getting your collage sheet to the right size

Click on Collage, and then it will ask you to choose a photo to upload. Choose your label image.

Go into Layouts, and choose the 3 x 3 in Square Deal – we’ll change the dimensions next.

You’ll see the dimensions listed underneath the collage grid. Make sure the proportions aren’t locked – the little lock icon should be grey (click on it to lock – it will show blue). So for A4 at 150dpi, click on the left-hand dimension (width) and put in 1240, and on the right (height), put in 1754.

 

Step 5. Getting the right number of cells and adding images

Click on the Images icon on the top of your left sidebar – it will already show your label image. Click on Open Photos, and add in your label image again – keep on adding in as many copies as you need to fill your page.

If you’ve got too many collage cells (e.g. I just want 2 across and 3 down), just hover over empty cells until the cross appears in the corner and click on that. If you need to add in some more cells, drag one of your label images over and hover in between cells – a blue area will be highlighted where the new cell will be. (If you’re not sure how big/where the new cell will be, drag your image around to different areas of the collage to see what happens with the cell position.)

 

Drag your images one by one over to the empty cells and presto! A page of perfectly sized labels to print.

 

tractorgirl - picmonkey tute - label collage3

 

And as before, when you save your image, do so at the best quality (“Sean”) – every little loss of information from your image means lower print quality. Your products are worth the best, aren’t they!?

 

(p.s. you can download my pattern Watermelon Stars to use as you wish for free! And you can even recolour it. Here.)

 

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Did you like that one? Not too hard really, was it? 😀

If you’ve got any problems, tricky issues or any other questions about PicMonkey, or about labelling your products, I’d love to know! Hit me up with a comment below.

AANNNDDDD…. What would you like to know next? Would you like to have a tutorial about how to make neat-o patterns in ColourLovers? Because that’s awesome fun too. Suggestions please!!!

 

All my best always,
Julie X

 

Meet the sponsors – July

 

Welcome to my sponsors for July! It’s quite chilly where I am – not surprising really, as it’s the middle of winter. So I’m snuggled up in my woolly scarf next to the fire. What’s it like in your part of the world?

 

Well of course in the US it’s summer!

anastridendeavor - skull brooch

anastridendeavor – skull brooch

And that’s why my brand new sponsor AnAstridEndeavor is having a fabulous sale all month long, but with some special spot sales within that – so get on over to check out what beautiful bargains you might pick up! Astrid makes a range of hand-embroidered brooches and neckpieces like this skull, as well as more abstract and geometric shapes – all very colourful, all very distinctive.

 

 

planettreasures - chunky gemstones necklace

planettreasures – chunky gemstones necklace

Tess from PlanetTreasures specialises in bold and colourful jewellery, made from delicate Czech and Venetian glass and semi-precious gems. If you’re ever up in the Blue Mountains, you can also find her and her work at The Nook in Leura.  I really like this chunky necklace, I’m very surprised it hasn’t sold! Look at all those wonderful colours. You can find it here.

 

 

von haus design studio

von haus design studio

It’s all about lots of colour this month with my sponsors! Fiona Parry-Jones is an interior colour consultant working out of Melbourne. As part of her services, she holds regular workshops for people wanting to explore colour in their homes. These workshops explore the latest trends and help you get exactly the colour result you’re looking for. Her next workshop is on Saturday 10th August, and you can find out more details on her website, von-haus.com.au.

 

 

photospots - colourburst decal {via country & co}

photospots – colourburst decal {via country & co}

Hello again to Holly of Country & Co.  Holly sources handcrafted goods from around regional Australia, including homewares, jewellery and accessories, delectable gourmet treats and a heap more. Every time I look, there’s always something new! How’s this for adding colour to your room!? Colourburst decal, from Photospots, via countryandco.com.

 

 

crimson pear - social media buttons

crimson pear – social media buttons

Libby Heasman of Crimson Pear (who I had the very lovely pleasure of meeting in real life a couple of weeks back!) is your go-to for all web design and wordpress themes and other good stuff. She’s got lots of useful things, including these fresh social media buttons. You can check out all she has to offer on her website, crimsonpear.com.au

 

 

middlemost - derby shorts

middlemost – derby shorts

Janine of Middlemost Clothing (well of course you know who she is, so I won’t ramble on). But HEY! She’s just started making fabulous roller derby shorts and things. Look at them, makes you kinda want to take up derbying, just so you can wear them! Check her new Etsy shop, BobbinWeaver.

 

 

*bespoke* - winter issue

*bespoke* – winter issue

A big welcome to new sponsor, *bespoke* magazine! I’m sure many of my readers are familiar with this wonderful little package of goodness, brought to you by Robyn and Elle. It’s all about promoting artists, makers, and designers. It’s about the handmade home, and vintage treasures; and it’s got recipes and interviews too! The winter edition, due out 31st July is a bumper, with 100 pages. Can’t wait to see.

 

 

74limelane - sunrise

74limelane – sunrise

A big welcome also to Kellie from 74 Lime Lane – a wonderful blog with all sorts goodness from around the interwebs. Kellie is a photographer as well, so there’s always lots of great images, as well as some very fun links, free printables to download, and plenty of Kellie’s other love, typography. Do have a look, I’m sure you’ll find plenty to keep you busy! You can find her blog at 74limelane.com.au/blog/.

 

 

shinelittlelight - frosty july morning

shinelittlelight – frosty july morning

Sophie, from Shine Little Light, also always has a fab bunch of photos on her blog. Isn’t this a fab crispy winter morning? You can check out her winterscapes in and around Wagga on her blog shinelittlelight.blogspot.com.au, as well as cute dog photos (yep, she’s always got cute dog photos – comes from having a cute dog I guess).

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Thank you SO much again to all my sponsors. I truly appreciate your support, and it would be great if all you readers could in turn, support my sponsors. Yep, go! Share it around 🙂

Cheers, Julie x