So, come April the much beloved Picnik is closing???? Moving to Google+????
Or something like that.
But until that weird day, everyone can use the premium features for free.
Yay yay yay for you.  Except the closing??? part.  

I like Picnik.  It allows me to hide from the beast that is Photoshop.
In some ways it is a crutch, that is keeping me from actually learning the Photoshop beast.  I employ a rigged up hybrid of Picnik and Photshop to make all of my printables and Happy Sunday graphics.  
To be honest, the only thing that I know how to do in Photoshop is add text.  I have a font snobbish problem with the weird Picnik fonts.  I know.  It's exhausting.
From time to time I get queries on how to make my Happy Sunday graphics.
It's really easy, and now with the premium Picnik features, you can use this same method to make pretty much anything.

I took some screen shots as I made the above little thank you note.  It is my hope that they will help you make something cute and all graphic-y.

First you need a background pattern.  
I use digital scrapbook paper, which I purchase from Etsy, or Jessica Sprague.
I know that there are some great free ones out there too.  Feel free to google you little heart out.
When you have a background that you want to use, upload it to Picnik.

It will take you to this screen.  
It's about to get cute up in here.

Now you can pick what size you want the final project to be.
I usually work with 4x6 or 8x10.
Crop the appropriate size, and apply.

 A PNG file is basically an image with a transparent background.
Picnik premium lets you layer them on top of your background image.
There are a million zillion possibilities, as well as places to find PNG's.
I have occasionally found free ones, but mostly use ones that I have purchased.

Click on the Upload a photo tab, find the PNG from your computer that you want, and upload it.
Remember that the order that you upload it, will be the order that it appears on your project.  Start with the bottom and work to the top.
When it shows up in the green bar, drag it on to your background.

Use the circle arrow to turn and move the PNG.
You also can change the color of the PNG, or play with blending modes by clicking the rainbow box on the right.

To make the PNG bigger or smaller, pull the corner arrows.  
To move the PNG, place your cursor in the middle of the PNG and move it around.
Keep uploading, playing, moving, and layering until you like what you see.

This is where I struggle.
I do not love the fonts.
But I am a crazy person with extreme opinions in the font department.
Don't be me.  It is lame.
Add a font to your project.  Don't roll your eyes as you pick the least evil and ugly of them all.
Just go with it.

Then save it to your computer.
Print away.
If you send it out to be printed (Costco, Shutterfly, etc.) always be sure to check the box that says AUTOCORRECT OFF.  From my experience, the labs have their machines calibrated to print photos.  When they print graphics the colors always seem to come out darker and muddy.  If you make sure that they aren't autocorrected, they will return to you more like they look on your monitor.  Costco is THE WORST at this.  But their prices are super cheap.  So it is a rich person problem to get too mad about it.

Beware.  You are about to stay up late thinking about new things you can make.

So get to work.
Who knows what will happen when April 19th rolls around and Picnik is gone (?????)

I might just have to put on my big girl underpairs and overcome my Photoshop phobia.

Elements used in the above graphic:
Kitschy Digitals Butterflies
Chevron Papers
Graph paper
Making tape

Elements used in Happy Sunday posts:
Polka dot paper
Label




22 Comments

  1. You're like a rocket scientist doing all of that. Just reading it makes my non computery brain hurt.

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  2. Julie, here's the link to my favey fave tape strips. It's a free download, and since you speak Computer, I think you'll love them. :)

    http://www.puglypixel.com/2011/02/17/free-clip-art-tape-strips-patterns/

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  3. And here I thought you were a photoshop whiz. You totally fooled me. :)

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  4. great resources, thanks! and SRSLY with those fonts.

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  5. but WHY WHY WHYYYYYYYY did they take away collages for the last three months?
    W H Y ?????
    it's not fair.
    i am so annoyed.
    and i loved picnik.
    so much.
    they better come back.
    i sure hope they come back.
    plllllleeeease.
    you've got connections julie....send this message onto them.
    ha ha ha

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  6. I agree with Kimmie, Pugly Pixel is fab. And for me, videos are THE BEST. You can find anything on youtube and you can practice right along with them. And that's the key. Practice, practice, practice. It get's easier, promise. Terms to learn first are: Layers & Layer Masks. They are the key :)

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  7. head almost exploding. i focused on about the first 5 screen shots. the rest got hazy. i could do it if i already had all the best possible files ON MY COMPUTER. i just don't want to hunt the raw materials down b/c i have a perfectionistic-i-need-to-see-all-the-options-and-cant-shut-that-off problem. that disease is one picnik just can't remedy.

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  8. i really need to cry when i think about this. I did cry. and scream. and curse. when i first read those horrible horrible words that they were shutting down. i even think i prayed, asking God to please find some way to keep picnik alive. pretty shallow and selfish of me asking God for such a request when there are so many more important things in this world to pray about, but my crazy, mixed up, very non-technical brain loves picnik in a way that i can't explain. I actually get it. And now they are taking it away. Mean, Mean, Meanies those google people are!!!

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  9. i really need to cry when i think about this. I did cry. and scream. and curse. when i first read those horrible horrible words that they were shutting down. i even think i prayed, asking God to please find some way to keep picnik alive. pretty shallow and selfish of me asking God for such a request when there are so many more important things in this world to pray about, but my crazy, mixed up, very non-technical brain loves picnik in a way that i can't explain. I actually get it. And now they are taking it away. Mean, Mean, Meanies those google people are!!!

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  10. Do you use a Mac? I used to use Photoshop but found it to be a little too much (function and $$ wise) for what I need it for which is fairly basic stuff. There's an app for the Mac called Pixelmator which is only like $30 or something and has the basic functionalities of Photoshop. I think it was voted #1 app last year or something like that. Might want to check it out! :)

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  11. Haha you are so cute. I miss your sense of humor. Love ya Julie!

    Kristina
    Nook & Sea

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  12. I'm a font snob too. it's terrible.

    I HATE costco's coloring. it's ridiculous how dark they print. oh well, if it wasn't so cheap and convenient I might stop complaining and switch it up...

    also, I use photoshop (elements) and waaay back when I started, I watched some cheesy tutorial but it actually teaches a lot! I'll try to find it and email you the website (it wasn't free, like $25 maybe, but worth it!)

    cute lil thank you note, btw :)

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  13. What brilliant information this is! Thanks for sharing...just in time for me to figure it out before they shut it down. I, too, was sad when I read those horrible words. If you could figure out whatever google+ puts out instead and share it with us, that would be great!

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  14. I am a picnik fanatic. I have a photoshop phobia. I use picnik as a crutch. Or my husband, who happens to be a photoshop fanatic. I'm all full of crutches up in here.
    I'm confused about picnik & am hoping they don't really mean it. And...I think you're awesome. now I I don't have to beg (pester) my busy husband & can try my hand at my OWN prints. Woohoo! Exciting. Until April. Then I don't know what.

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  15. I am going to miss Piknic because it allows my children to look like they never have dirty faces. It is going to a sad day in April. Thanks for sharing this cool tutorial.

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  16. Closing Picnik is one of Google's stupidest ideas ever. I was so mad when that email came through!

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  17. Thank YOU for posting the tutorial I didn't even know I needed!! I am going to attempt a baby shower invite, I hope it turns out half as cute as your tutorial.

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  18. this is super helpful!
    why, oh why, does picnik have to close? i was devastated for days!
    and you're right...you will stay up thinking about all of the possibilities.
    you just can't help it.
    :)

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  19. I'm so happy to see this tutorial. Seriously, evertime I see your happy little graphics pop up I say out loud "How on earth does she do that, SO CUTE!"

    But the sad thing is...that site is going away now that I know about it...boo!

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  20. paint.net is a free program that is similar to photoshop, only I find it far easier to use. I do all of my digi-scraping on there, and well... it's FREE so it doesn't get much better than that in my opinion. :)

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  21. i am in denial that piknic is closing! what's with the google program.
    we have photoshop. my husband is mr. photoshop. it freaks me out. and it's fonts! seriously, they really do all suck.

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  22. Hi Julie,

    Greetings from PicMonkey! I wanted to reach out and let you know that a small group of ex-Picnikers is building a new photo-editor that will serve as a great replacement for your old fave Picnik! We know that fun photos that are easy to create can help to compliment a blog so PicMonkey's dedicated to bringing you all the familiar features (and more!) that you're accustomed to.

    Sign up on our site www.PicMonkey.com and we’ll keep you updated on a launch date. Also, feel free to send me your feedback, feature requests, and, of course, any questions you have!

    Cheers,
    Jenn

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I love sunshine, happy people, and the power to delete. Sparkles! Rainbows! Unicorns!