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I get the cutest handwriting fonts at Fonts for Peas! kevinandamanda.com/fonts
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How Can You Design and Build Your Own Blog Template?

All, I can say is WHEW!!  I have spent a tough two weeks going through a break up.  So, I gladly welcomed the new love into my life.  I am sure you all want to hear about him.  I have spent hours gazing into his face, learning all his quirks, and reading his every movement.  I hope you are all happy for me.  This is going to be a long term relationship…I can just sense it.  They say you just know that you know when he’s the one.

Gotcha!  (maybe 😀 )  The breakup of course was with my old apple-y blog.  I am so glad to be rid of the old theme!  When I first started blogging, I had no idea there were so many teachers that were out there blogging until I saw the “blogs” tab on TPT.  When I started seeing all the other teachers’ blogs, I desired a little more personality, and I’ll just say it–cuteness–in my own blog.  And so, I made that one of my summer goals.  And of course, my new love affair is with my new blog because I literally poured over making the template, uploading it, and working out the glitches.  The last day I worked on it, my eyes were so red and my wrist was hurting from working on the computer so many consecutive hours and days.  You may think that sounds like no fun, but I found working on this project addictive!

Before

To help save you some time if you are considering building a blog, I will tell you how I did it.

1.  First of all I looked at some cute templates out there for sale, but I REALLY wanted to make my own because I had a design in mind.  Plus I wanted to learn how to do this for myself.  At first, I thought that I would have to know computer code, but after a little digging and you tube video watching, I found out that I could use Artisteer to build blog templates.  Artisteer is a program that you can download for about $50.  So, I used some of my TPT money and invested in this software.  They have a trial version for free that puts watermarks on your pages, but I just went ahead and bought it without trying it out because I had watched the you tube videos. (sidenote I have a word press blog, but Artisteer works for blogger too!)  Click below to go to the Artisteer site.

Artisteer - Web Design Generator
If you want your blog to be cutesy, you must buy some clip art.  I bought my clip art and backgrounds from mygrafico because they advertise on TPT and because they issue commercial licenses.  They have lots of designers that make all kinds of cute clip art.  They also have lots of freebies.

Mygrafico Digital Arts & Crafts
 

3.  Then I used Photoshop which I already had on my computer to put the cute clip art together to make my blog header.  I believe you can probably get Photoshop for less on Amazon.com because I checked prices on the updated version.  Every now and then though Adobe has sales on their software, so it would be worth signing up on their email list to know about sales.  There may be some comparable software to Photoshop that you could put your clip art together in, but I don’t know about it. Please comment if you know of something that works better.  I will warn you that Photoshop is  a learning curve if you haven’t used photo editing software like it before, and you may be better off paying someone to design a header for you, or paying for a template.

4.   Lesson Learned:  Choose from the fonts that are web fonts on Artisteer.  Don’t spend hours trying out all the cutesy fonts you have installed from elsewhere because all of the browsers (explorer, mozzilla, safari) won’t read them the same or at all for that matter.  If you want cutesy fonts in your header, then you will have to install them in a picture in Photoshop.  I used KevinandAmanda.com’s free fonts in my header.  The only way you can have cute fonts in your posts(in word press) is if you use a widget for google web fonts, but even those aren’t always read in their cutesy-ness by devices such as an ipad.  I can’t speak for blogs with a blogger platform.

*****(July 27, 2013–Since the time I originally wrote this post, I found a plug in that works wonders.  It is “Use Any Font”.  That plugin gave me the ability to put the cute font on my headers, titles, and hyperlinks.  This plugin will change the font in your posts as well, but I opted not to do this because the font was a bit wearisome to to the eyes.  The plugin was a God send.  I installed it and was able to see the results within a matter of minutes.  It was so easy to use!)

I get the cutest handwriting fonts at Fonts for Peas! kevinandamanda.com/fonts

5.  Thanks to Wayne Gretzky for helping me to make a button for my blog on his great button maker site.  Also, for a really great tutorial with step by step and picture  instructions on how to make  a blog button, go here to my pregnancybaby.com.

I hope the above helps you if you plan on creating a blog.  I still have a few glitches to work out in my own blog, but it is almost where I want it 🙂 yay me!  I feel like I just won a marathon.

 

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