I was at a total loss for what to do for this week's Make it Monday post - I wanted to make a physical thing, but I wasn't sure what to make. I wanted to move away from planner stuff because I've got other ideas brewing. But I just didn't know what to do. So I thought I'd just turn to my old trusty PicMonkey for a little how-to inspiration for today.
this post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.
First - where do you find clip art to use?
The PicMonkey blog shared this post on 4 places to find free for personal and commercial use clip art - and it is super helpful in understanding licensing and file types that PicMonkey can open. While we're on that topic, PicMonkey can only open JPG and PNG files so you'll need to search for file types that end in .jpg or .png. A lot of creative bloggers offer free clip art on their blogs for various projects. I like to search Pinterest for free clip art to find some really creative and pretty images to use.
Now on to the important part:
Use Clip Art Over a Photo
In this DIY post, I showed you how to create your own watermark in PicMonkey to then use in PicMonkey over your photos. Adding clip art to an existing photo is as simple as this previous tutorial - just skip the step of creating the over lay. Here's how.
Open the photo you'd like to add the clip art to in PicMonkey. You can click one of the links on the top (choose edit in this case) or drag and drop the image on to the PicMonkey screen. Three squares should show up, drop your image into the edit square.
Under the Overlays tab (the butterfly in the left hand column) select the arrow next to Your Own and select my computer. Locate the clip art image on your hard drive and select open.
You can the repeat the process adding the clip art around your image. Be sure to create a visual balance across your image. Add text and save.
This is a great way to add interest to a scrapbook photo or photo to use in your pocket scrapbooking albums. It is also a creative way to create images for your blog or even your Instagram profile.
Create a Layered Design
In this tutorial I showed you how to fake a repeating pattern in PicMonkey. In another tutorial, I went over how to use PicMonkey's own graphics to create a patterned notes page for your personal sized planner. You can also use clip art to create a patterned background for various projects.
From the main PicMonkey page, hover over the Design tab and choose a canvas to design from. The 4x6 canvas works great for pocket scrapbooking cards. Once you have the canvas open, set the background, and rotate if need be. Navigate to the Overlays tab and begin to open the clip art in the same manner as the previous tip - selecting Your Own and then My Computer. Once the clip art is on the screen, size it to your liking and begin to duplicate it by right clicking on a PC or two finger click on a Mac and selecting Duplicate Overlay. Continue to place your duplicated clip art around the canvas. Like in this tutorial, you'll want to try to fake a repeating pattern.
Open a second clip art image you have saved that compliments the first. Duplicate it across the canvas as well to create a layered look. This adds depth to the pattern you're creating and creates a more interesting design. I suggest only working with 3 clip art images at max to avoid a cluttered design.
Once the second image has filled the canvas the way you like, you can right click and send it to the back if that image seems well suited to the bottom layer of the design. Save the design you've created.
This is a great way to create digital papers for personal use (if the clip art you chose is for personal use only) to use in any digital scrapbooking or other paper crafts you are looking to make. This is also a great way to make backgrounds for your various devices.
Change the Color of an Existing Design
If you've found a clip art image that you love but it happens to be a color your don't quite care for, there is an easy way to change the color within PicMonkey.
Begin by either opening the image you will overlay the clip art on to or open a blank canvas. If opening a blank canvas, and plan to use the clip art as an overlay in the future - set the canvas color to transparent. Navigate to the Overlays tab, select Your Own and then My Computer. Open the clip art image you'd like to change the color of.
You should see a little dialog box pop up any time the clip art image is selected. Use the color scale on the dialog box to change the color by dragging the little circle around the color scale.
Duplicate the clip art and create the design on the canvas you've selected, or use the altered image as an overlay on another photo. Save your design.
This is great if you want a few of one image but they were only created on one color scheme. This can add some fun to a design project - like a pocket scrapbook card or print. How cute would the design above be as an art print?
PicMonkey is a simple yet amazing tool if you're into being digitally creative but not down for spending a ton on higher end software. PicMonkey can do a lot for you even though it is such a simple, online resource. All of these tips can be done in the free version of PicMonkey but the Royale version offers a lot more - like the drop shadow on the text in the first tip! You can sign up here for either the $33/year plan or $4.99/month plan. Either one is totally worth it if you're down for some creativity and awesome fonts!
How do you get creative in PicMonkey? Any tips to share?