I’m such a fan of Pinterest and find myself pinning my favorites quotes from time to time. I got to thinking how easy it really is to create your own free printable word art with free online editing software. Not everyone has access to Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator, or the skills to use them proficiently like many talented graphic artists.
I know the basics of Photoshop, and work with it from time to time to make inspiration boards, but most of the time, I turn to the free and very user friendly software programs provided by Picasa that I’ve mentioned in the past. Nope, I’m not getting paid to say, it, I just have been using these two for years and love what they can do! I use them often for my own photo editing and watermarking but they are equally great for creating your own artwork with fun fonts.
If you want to make your own free printable word art for your home in any color, style and font you love, it’s really easy if you follow a few simple steps.
Download and Install Your Favorite Fonts. The first step is to find fonts you like and install them on your computer. There are hundreds of free fonts available online if you simply search for them at sites like Dafont, Urban Fonts, Fonts2U, Fonts.com etc.
I’m a PC gal, so I I’m not the one to ask how to install fonts on a Mac (anyone have a link?), but with a PC here are some simple instructions. Once you’ve installed your fonts you can get to work creating your own word art, whether it’s your favorite quote or a bus roll of streets or places, your family rules, or a seasonal inspired creation.
Download Picasa. Many of you use Picasa already and sing its praises, but for those who don’t know, Picasa is free, and it will import and recognize all of the fonts on your computer.
Next, Grab a High Resolution .jpg You want a high resolution image to work with so when you print your art, the fonts are clear and crisp. If you have a snipping tool, you can simply snag a plain white image (say from Microsoft Word), import it into Picasa, and either export the file and resize it (which is more complicated) or simply use the “Edit in Picnik” tool to resize it. I find sizing your vertical image to 2000 pixels by 2500 pixels works well for 8” x 10” printable art. To make it easy, you can download this plain white high resolution image and start with that. (Right click on the blank image and save to your computer).
Start Creating. Once you have your high resolution plain white image, you open it in Picasa and begin your creation with the basic font tool.
You can also download and install dingbats which are decorative characters or ornaments attached to keyboard letters. Above I used the ‘BlackJack’ font and the ‘2 Peas Love Me’ dingbats to form the heart.
Let’s say you want to create a printable to remind you of your favorite things about the fall season. You can keep your background color white or you can change it to your color of choice. To change the background, choose “Auto Color” under Basic Fixes and then choose “Tint” under Effects. You can select any color background from that tool.
Next, get to work laying out your fonts, as seen below, with the Edit Text function. The nice thing about Picasa is you can increase or decrease the size of your font with one click and drag, and also tilt your words in any direction, whether it’s diagonal or vertical (like the ‘Scrabble’ tiles above).
Use whatever fonts or words appeal to you. Here’s just an example of a quick ‘Autumn Favorites’ printable I created in Picasa by using different fonts on my computer and changing up the colors for added variety.
We all have our favorite quotes we turn to for inspiration. Here are two of my favorites I recreated using the same tools in Picasa. 1. Roosevelt Quote: Kutsler Script, Nymphette dingbat. 2. Ziglar Quote: Matchbook and Honey Script fonts, Graduated Tint option in Picasa.
Another great thing I love about Picasa is the instant access you have to Picnik, the sister online photo editing software. For the Lewis Carroll quote below, I added a frame by importing the image into Picnik and then using the border tool.
*UPDATE: Picnik was closed in April of 2012 but you can use PicMonkey to do the same things show below.
Afternoon Delight and Berhard Fashion fonts, Auto Color + Tint function in Picasa, frame border in Picnik.
Picnik also has a few cool tools and stickers in their gallery to play with. (use PicMonkey instead, Picnik is closed).
I used the basic triangle in different colors to create this colorful pennant art – a sweet idea for a child’s room.
Once you familiarize yourself with the tools, you can create any 8” x 10” word art you can imagine, in any color you like, from bus rolls to inspirational quotations to favorite scriptures, and print it at home on your printer. If you want something larger than 8” x 10” to frame, simply have your local print shop print the larger size for you.
Again, Picasa and Picnik didn’t pay me a thing, they have no clue who I am. I just happen like their free software, I’ve used them for years, and felt like sharing the creative possibilities with you today!
Have you ever created your own word art with Picasa or Picnik? Got any other tips you’d like to share?