A friend of mine asked me how I do this so she can do it on her blog, so I decided to turn it into a post in case others need this info, too. Read on a for a full tutorial! (And, while you're at it, check out my friend's homeschooling blog at TeachingBoys.net.)
First off, the "box" at the top of the post is actually not a text box at all, but a photo inserted into the blog. You can do this using Photoshop, but Photoshop is expensive, and I don't have it. Nor can I afford it, so I have played around with my blog enough to find ways to do this for free! (Everybody say, "Yay!")
There are a couple different ways that you can turn your title into a photo without using Photoshop.
Way #1: For the less computer-savvy (or even for the pros!), one way to turn your title into a photo is to make the title using real objects and take a photo of it. Insert it into your blog post and viola! Mission accomplished!
Ideas for backdrops:
- plain old computer paper, construction paper, cardstock, scrapbook paper, posterboard, wrapping paper....any kind of paper really
- any surface large enough that won't distract too much from the wording: a wooden tabletop, a brick fireplace, a colorful (or not!) sheet, a countertop, piece of cardboard, even your fridge! (For the fridge idea, you can use magnetic letters or use magnets to hold up papers with the words of the title)... Pretty much any surface that is smooth(ish) and flat will work as a background.
- If you are feeling ambitious, you can get even more creative by using backdrops that have depth. For example, the seat of a swing, the inside of a tunnel or slide, the inside of an empty tote, a Bible, a serving tray, etc.
- You can even layer or stack your backgrounds or have props on your background with the words in front of it. Examples: a stack of books on a table with the words in front, a pretty tea towel on a serving tray with silverware and the words on the towel or a fancy napkin, something made out of Legos or something related to your post with the words in front
- Note: Make sure the background directly behind your words or letters has enough contrast and doesn't distract too much from your title. For example, never put light words on a light background and vice versa. If your title isn't readable, this is all for naught!
- For my title photo above, I actually used a white dry erase board.
Ideas for letters/words:
- printed letters/words cut from magazines, food boxes, catalogs, advertisements, etc.
- freehand cut letters from scrapbook or other paper
- sticker letters/words
- written in your own handwriting
- printed off the computer
- create one or all words using something related (or not related!) to your post; i.e. out of shoes, Legos, pencils, uncooked spaghetti, fake flowers, neckties, play-doh, yarn, blades of grass, crayons, markers... you get the idea ;)
- create words using abc blocks
- use magnetic letters, puzzle letters, metal letters, wooden letters or any kind of letters or words that you happen to have around your house (or in your kids' toybox!)
- You can also use some of your kids' toys that are not letters per se but have relevant words on them. For example, does your son have small traffic signs as part of a cars set? You can use the stop sign as "Stop" in your title of "How to Stop Nagging Your Kids to Do Their Homework." Dig around in the toy box and see what you find!
- For my title photo above, I used letters from a Melissa and Doug See and Spell, a Hangman game, and an Upwards game. Thrift stores typically have great word games with lots of letters. I got Hangman and Upwards from Goodwill!
Examples on pinterest of this approach: