Friday, August 8, 2014

How I made the Blogger templates work for me (without learning to code)

Up until this point, I never felt my blog wasn't personalized enough for me.  I was using many of the different blogger templates but there never seemed to be enough options to customize my blog so that it was unique to me.  Everywhere I looked I saw beautifully designed blogs and I wanted to stand out just like them.  However, I always thought that you needed to be able to code and artistic to make major changes to your blog.  That all changed today.

I finally decided to take the time to learn how to make my pre-made blogger template work for me. I was able to create a personalized banner and some social media icons without ever needing to code.  On top of this everything I have done here I did for free!  Today I thought I would share what I have learned and some of the websites I used to help others struggling with their blog design.


  • Over at Dana's blog, Wonder Forest, there are some great tips for creating a stylish header without being an artist. 
  • I used pixlr to create my banner.  I don't have any graphic design experience and this program was pretty easy to use.  Plus it's free!  
  • When creating your banner make sure it is the right size for your blog.  Mine is 650 x 250 pixels and it fits well into the simple template in blogger.
  • If you use the templates on blogger they will be right justified.  I wanted mine to be centered and Elaine's explanation on centering your header was the most helpful. 
  • If you want to center the navigation bar as well, this site was helpful.
  • As always, if you do use images it is important that you have the rights to those images.  You can find many free images online.  Also their are tons of paintbrush shapes to choose from and you can download more all over the web.  I used the ones found on pixlr. 
Social Media Icons
  • Here is the tutorial I used to create the icons above.
  • Many of the tutorials I came across used PicMonkey to make their icons but in some cases you may need to subscribe to get full access to all the tools. 
  • I used pixlr again to create my icons.  Again it was free!
  • is where I made the icons work.  The mapping tool has been updated since the tutorial was written but everything is still pretty strait forward. 
  • Again, I found vectors the most helpful when creating the personal graphics but you can use whatever shapes you would like.  
After this point, I just used the normal customization tools to tweak the other fonts and colors on my blog and viola!  I now have a customized blog that I can call my own.  

I know these are just tips and sometimes learning to use a graphic design program can be tricky but I hope I have helped you create a blog you love.  If you have any questions feel free to ask.  I'm not an expert but I will try to help. 

ox Caitlin

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