Last week when I told you about how I do hay bale seating on a budget, I promised you I’d show you how to make these S’more Love tags. I’ve been putting it off in hopes that I’d get some photos from the wedding to show you how beautiful they looked in action, but we’re not having luck in the ‘photography getting done quickly’ department.
This design tutorial really can be used to make anything design-y (technical term) without dropping a cent on fancy programs. I do use the Adobe programs for more complicated things and for my photo editing, but this time I used all online free software and so that’s what I’m sharing today. I also made some game cards for the shower I’m hosting this weekend using the same resources (inspiration here) and I’ll be sharing those as a freebie later this month. What I’m getting at is there’s free programs to do pretty much anything. I will warn you that this post got a bit wordy on me- but it really is simple to do. I made our wedding invites using Gimp long before I could afford Photoshop (it’s basically a free shareware photoshop). But Gimp is pretty time consuming to figure out, so when I discovered PicMonkey I was hooked. Most of the graphics and photo overlays I use on this site are done with PicMonkey. It’s is ridiculously user friendly, so I promise you can figure it out (if you haven’t already). To make a tag like this, we’re going to be using the ‘Design’ function that PicMonkey offers.
Before you start making anything pretty, you need to decide how big you want your tag to be printed. I decided I wanted to fit two wide and three high on a regular sheet of paper. I took those measurements in inches (accounting for space in between to make cutting easier) and punched them into this handy online calculator which tells you how many pixels you’ll need to make your image. It’s not a pretty tool- but it gets the job done. If you are going to print your tags, make sure you choose the 300DPI option from the drop down- this means it wont be grainy when you print it. You can go ahead and make your canvas that size.
The vision for this tag was to add more of the smoke colour to the tablescapes- that were predominately white and burlap colored. That meant the main color needed to be smoke, not white. I did about four drafts that got sent back because they weren’t the ‘right’ colour of smoke. I asked for an inspiration photo and was sent their bridesmaid dress photo (from ModCloth). Here’s this super sneaky way to make sure you get the right color… a color selector tool! I took the photo and put it into this Color Hunter website and it spits out two colour pallets. One muted and one deeper. I sent both over and had my the client choose the colour they wanted. Everyone was happy- I didn’t have to keep guessing what they had in mind, and they knew that these colours came directly from the inspiration they had given. Once you’ve chosen your color- you can use that exact color in PicMonkey by using the color code (hex) that’s below the colours. We used the more muted dark colour.
Can I tell you why this was so important to me to get the right colour and stop the back and forth? You can’t save ‘in progress’ designs in Pic Monkey. Once you save it, you can’t go and change a colour. So each time the colour was changed, I had to re-make the tag from scratch.
Okay, so we know the size- and the colour, it’s time to start designing! The first element was the label type outline. This was requested- and I knew PicMonkey has a bunch of free options like this. After making the background my smoke colour, I chose this label overlay and made it white (white is always ffffff on the hex codes). The overlays are found under the butterfly tab on the left. Then I duplicated that overlay (right click to find that option) and made it that same smoke colour. I made it a bit smaller and centered it, essentially making the white shape an outline. I’m not sure why, but I haven’t been able to figure out how to make just a shape outline in PicMonkey- so this is a bit of a cheat.
Next, I played with fonts. PicMonkey now lets you use any font you have installed on your computer- YAY! So you can go to a site like DaFont (my go-to) and download your favourite font for your project and use that… all for free. The fonts I chose for this project are American Typewriter Condensed Light and Ma Sexy. The dots around the S’more Love is actually another free overlay from PicMonkey. I used a dotted circle and positioned it how I’d like. The circle went through my text, so I used the eraser tool (while the overlay is selected) and erased the dots I didn’t want there.
Once you’re happy with it and are done all your tweaking, you can save that (make sure you save it as big as you can- Sean size if you’re using PicMonkey) and look at making it into a one page document. I went back to my handy inches to pixels calculator and input a standard sheet of paper (8.5×11 inches) to find my pixel size. Then, I created a new blank canvas in PicMonkey with those dimensions.
Adding the label you’ve made is easy! You go to the overlay tab again and at the top choose ‘Your Own’ and select the image. It will show up really small. Right click and choose ‘original size’ and it will be the size you had intended it to be. Now you can start arranging the labels on the page (duplicating by right clicking and selecting ‘duplicate overlay’). So easy, right?
Save that, and then open your image in your computer’s ‘preview’ program. Go up to the File drop down menu, and choose Save As- then change the file type to PDF. I find PDF is the best for printing on regular old paper at a Staples- it’s how I do everything for parties since its so cost effective. If your computer wont let you do this (I know some wont), there’s another handy tool out there for you to do this online here. There’s a video instruction on the site so I won’t go through it.
Once that’s done- I upload it to Staples and it’s done in an hour (HURRAY!). I know this is a bit wordy- but all the steps really are simple, especially once you play a bit.
Again, I’m not a designer– I did this tag for my sister-in-law… but I do love to play around with design and do all of my own for my blog- so I’m hoping you find this helpful! Let me know if you have any feedback or questions! I’d love to hear from you. Do you do your own design?
Lory at Designthusiasm
I’m not familiar with Pic Monkey but I’m hearing about it over and over. I spend most of my day on Illy and Photoshop, so it’s impressive to see such great tags done on a free program. Well done!!
Wow Lory! I really appreciate the compliment :)
Super cute! Ironically enough, I’m actually in the process of installing Gimp right now, before I even started reading this! I heard about it at Haven. I love PicMonkey, I just wish I could add my own fonts so I could use the fonts that are in on my logo throughout my blog, ya know? I’ve heard I can add fonts in Gimp, so hopefully that works out and I don’t spend too much time teaching myself how to navigate it! :)
And I’m an idiot. I just discovered I can use my own fonts in PicMonkey.
And I feel double dumb because you mentioned that in your post, that I obviously skimmed. :S
Ha! all your comments made me smile :) I need to work on using consistent fonts… I change my mind all to often! It’s awesome that pic monkey lets you use your own fonts now though.
oh gosh, throwback to my picmonkey days! i think i used gimp too- and then on to photoshop! a similar journey, i guess? love the tags, and absolutely adore that dress :)
Haha, I’m on the journey… I have photoshop but I’m not all that efficient!
Great tutorial! Thank you so much for linking this up to The Creative Collection Link Party.
Thanks Rebecca! Great party as always :)
Bre @ Average But Inspired
Colleen, this is such an AWESOME tutorial!! THANK YOU! I am pinning this and definitely referring back to it. Thanks so much! – Bre @ Average But Inspired
Thanks for the kind words Bre! I’ve never written a web tutorial like this before so I’m glad you found it helpful :)