The Mad Skills party will be open until 12 noon (EST) on Wednesday, so there is still time to link up!
I have been asked a few times how I make my blog buttons. I do them myself, but I am sure I make them in a really convoluted way since I don't really know what I am doing. I will give you a run-through of what I do, but I can't promise it will make any sense!
First, I search around the internet for a background or a frame that I like, and I save it to my computer. Preferably somewhere where I will be able to find it again. For my new Mad Skills party button, I found this image that coordinated with my blog banner:
I saved the image to my computer and uploaded it to picnik.com which I use ALL the time!
I resized the image to 160p x 160p since that would be the final size of my button. Then I went to the "Create" tab and clicked on "Text."
I typed "Mad" into the text box, chose a font, chose a color, and placed the word. I then right-clicked on that word, and chose "Duplicate Type" in order to keep the color the same for each of the "Mad"s. Then I would just choose a new font, place it, and repeat.
After I had enough "Mad"s, I clicked on "Stickers." Under "Geometric," I chose a star to coordinate with my other blog buttons and rotated it a little. I picked a slightly darker gray color for the star and placed in the center of the button.
I went back to the "Text" function and added "Mad" and "Skills."
To create a shadow effect on the text, I just right click on the text, choose "Duplicate Type," and change the newly created text to a different color, and place it slightly off of the original.
Add any more details you would like or go to the "Effects" tab to finish it off. I am a fan of the "Ortonish" and "Cross-Process" effects. When you are done playing around, save the final version to your computer.
I follow the directions for creating the "Grab a Button" html code from Blogging With Success. I hope this helps any of you who are looking to create blog buttons without having to pay for them!