Friday, June 29, 2012
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Total Cost: $2.24
Hello everyone! This tutorial is a "two-parter"
Part 1: How to use a light box to take photos
Part 2: How to use a FREE photoshop program to finish the photo
**This program is open-source, completely free and free of any viruses (they do a have a couple of advertisements in the installation. Just don't sign up for them)
Part 1: Lightbox
Do you find yourself scrambling around your home in the early morning or late afternoon to take pictures of your products at that "perfect window" before the good lighting goes away? If you are one of those people (I am guilty of this), then do yourself a favor and invest in a light box. I spent barely $3 on mine. Most of the materials needed are probably laying around your house somewhere anyway, so no excuses for crappy etsy listing photos!
I am not going to go into the nitty gritty details of how to make a lightbox. There are plenty of good tutorials on the interwebs. (Just google "how to make a light box", easy)
The materials that went into my personal lightbox included:
Big box ($0.99)
White tissue paper ($1.00)
White Poster board ($0.25)
Scissors/box cutter (free)
1. Cut 3 large squares out of your box (the sides)
2. Cut the flaps off
3. Cover squares with white tissue paper or fabric
4. Slide a long piece of poster board into the box.
DONE. (again, just search for another tutorial on the internet. I saw a neat one that had a cat in it.)
NOW, to take decent pictures for your shop... you will need:
Newly aquired lightbox
2 or 3 lightsources
Here is my set up... (I did this for the tutorial, so it's REAL [no photoshop, yet] I promise)
|3 light sources, some are resting on the box, |
others the bed frame. Get creative!
|lights on! Oh, my camera is resting on a turned over trashcan, again CREATIVITY!|
|One of my necklaces I sell on etsy.|
|Ordinary objects I used as examples for this tutorial.|
Part 2: Photoshop
I am not here to endorse any brand of photo editing software, so I decided to use an open-source photoshop that is available to everyone.. for FREE! I will be using GimpSHOP in this tutorial.
Click here to go to GimpSHOP page for download
Definition for open source:
Alright, I get it. It's free. But you do not necessarily NEED to have this program in particular. (Any will do)
This tutorial will also be VERY dumbed down. I don't know the technical terms for everything. I'm here to give you a basic concept of WHICH buttons to twiddle to make your pictures look good!
SO... You uploaded your pictures to your computer.. and you look at them, and they look... okay.
|me and my boyfriend's rings, bought on etsy :]|
Step 1: Download, install and open GimpSHOP (It's a pretty big program, 200ish Mb, so you know) (and DO NOT agree to the dumb advertisements they put in the installation, just make sure you READ before you click)
|box in the center is your workspace, drag pictures into here|
|fyi. once you get good at this you can select multiple pictures and drag all into workspace|
Step 3: Let file open.
Color > Levels
Step 5: This will open the Level adjustment window.
Now, locate a SMALL WHITE TRIANGLE on the RIGHT side of the graph thing. This triangle will become your best friend.
Step 6: DRAG the White triangle to the left. Drag until it reaches the beginning of the black graph (you can fiddle with this a bit later)
Step 7: Now, locate a drop down menu called CHANNELS. Note that you are in the Value Channel.
|notice the new location of the white triangle. (the black and grey triangle will also move)|
Step 8: Change the Channel to Red. And repeat step 5.
Step 9: Change to channel Green and repeat
Step 10: Change to Blue and repeat!
Step 11: LOOK! You have an awesome picture now!
Once you play around with all the channels, you'll realize what they do..
Value: Changes the overall brightness/contrast of the image
Red/Green: Don't do too much in this example
Blue: Makes the whites whiter!
Step 12: I went ahead and moved the white triangle under the BLUE CHANNEL further left, to make it even whiter.
|moved to the left a little bit to remove orange cast from the ring itself|
Step 13: Time to save your new picture. (Do not press Ctrl + s) Instead of "saving" in Gimp, you want to EXPORT your photo. (Saving, will result in saving it as a Gimp file)
Step 14: So you want to go under file and press Export
File > Export (or ctrl + shift + e)
Step 15: Click Export, then click Replace to replace the original file.
Step 16: Click Export once more.
YAY, you're done! Each picture below took me less than a minute to complete! They are super easy to edit if you do it in bulk.
**I want to note that I also touched up some of the photos using the eraser tool. I erased some shadows and dark spots in the background I didn't like.
So I will go over the final cost for all of this once more...
Lightbox materials: $2.24
Don't wait any longer! Your dingy etsy listings will thank me! Seriously, my dirty old sandal looks sooo good! Just go do it!
_Lisa NguyenPin It Now!
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Here is a quickee tutorial for you all!
STORY TIME: Have you seen the DIY Stamp tutorial on pintrest? I have and I placed the craft on my Todo list. Now I have finally found the time to try it out. Below I will show you the steps needed to recreate this neat craft.
Step 1. Gather materials.
There are basically no out of the ordinary materials needed for this stamp. My parents brought home some Chinese take-out, so before they threw away the boxes, I cut out the top flat part. You will need to look for those styrofoam containers. The flat parts (not the sides of the container) make the ideal stamping material.
Styrofoam (cut into any size/shape you want, but I suggest starting small)
Dull pencil (I stress the importance of dull, do not try to make this stamp too detailed)
Paint (I chose acrylic, but you can easily use fabric paint if you choose to stamp on fabrics!)
Step 2. (1/4) Sketch the stamp design (the lines you make will show up as empty space in the print)
Step 3. (2/4) Go over design with permanent marker.
Step 4. (3/4) Flip sketch over (this is important if your stamp has letters) and tape to the styrofoam piece
Step 5. (4/4) Use the dull pencil to make an impression into the styrofoam using the sketch as a template. Pull off the sketch, and then push the pencil into the stamp further
Then your stamp is finished!
Step 6. Prepare the surface to be stamped
Step 7. Spread a thick layer of paint on to a palette, like a plate.
|I used a piece of acetate to spread the paint|
Step 8. Make good contact with the face of the stamp with the paint. You may need to rub the back side of the stamp. When you pick up the stamp again, check that it is fully covered. If it is not, just re-dip the stamp!
Step 9. Make good contact with your surface and stamp. Push down and rub carefully to ensure a good print.
**You may get better results if you use a rubber hand roller, but it is not really necessary, just practice a few times on scrap paper
TA DA! Cute prints!
|Top: Neat print on an envelope|
Bottom: Resulting stamp made from styrofoam
I made a few adjustments to the paint palette from step 7. You can see my results below.
Print 1: I used a thin layer of paint
Print 2: I used a thicker layer of paint
Print 3: I used a THICKER layer of paint
Print 4: Instead of using the palette, I painted onto the stamp directly.
Your results will be different so you'll need to practice!
And a quick note:
Steps 2 through 4 are only necessary if you wish to stamp letters or words. If you can free hand it, go right ahead! I free handed the stamp at the top of the tutorial with the wood grain.
That's it folks!
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Time to stretch out my fingers and crank out my first tutorial blog!
You may or may not have seen this card design on etsy and pintrest. No way am I paying $8 plus shipping for something I can do myself!
STORY TIME: My friends and loved ones know me for my cool cut out cards. But they do not know that I am a horrible writer and just as bad at the whole sentiment thing. So the joke is on them! I make a really intricate design on the front of the card to cover up the terrible greeting on the inside. Precision knives are kinda my thing, so a blank card and steady hand are all the things I need for a nifty card. (Much more sincere than the crap cards you find at the drugstore last minute)
Step 1. Gather your supplies.
Blank Greeting Cards (you can find these in packs at your local craft store, they will last a while unless you have a ton of friends) (Or you can always make the card from scratch, it is only just a folded piece of cardstock)
X-acto knife (Or any hobby knife. The one pictured I got at AC Moore for a dollar! I purchased maybe 3 of them for projects like this)
Scrapbook Paper (Or any type of pretty paper to use as a backdrop for your cut out)
Step 2. Sketch out a design on a scrap piece of paper. Be hyper aware of what pieces are popping out and which are staying intact. At this point you should know if your design is do-able. Simplicity is key here. I chose to do a wood grain design in the shape of a heart.
Step 3. Carefully and lightly sketch design on to your card.
Step 4. CUT CUT CUT! Carefully, of course. Paper tends to scrunch if you press too hard with your knife. And most likely you are pressing too hard if you are a novice, like me. Practice makes perfect.
Step 5. ERASE! Take a good eraser and erase the pencil marks left behind.
**NOTE: Remember when I said to pick a simple, do-able design? Yeah, well I didn't follow my own directions. I didn't realize the knot in the middle of the heart was an impossible maneuver. So, I kinda winged it when I got to it with my knife. Another important reason to SKETCH beforehand.
Hard part is over, now for the fun part. You can also stop here if you'd like. A color backdrop is not always needed. Sometimes I enjoy the simplicity of only the empty space left behind.
Step 6: Cut out a piece of scrap book paper, cardstock, vellum or whatever the size of the front of the card.
Step 7: Open up the card. This is where your preference can take over. You may glue your cut cardstock to the inside of the front flap or the back flap. (You can see both versions below)
Flatten the card and glue by placing it between two large books to dry. Then you're done! Write a crappy greeting on the inside and you are good to go.
I made two versions of this card.
|Glued to the back|
|Glued to the front|
Here is my boyfriend enjoying his card.
Quick and painless tutorial! Happy crafting everyone!
Monday, June 18, 2012
The days are getting longer (Summer Solstice is on Wednesday). Etsy sales are slowing down. My friends are away on vacation. And I am bored!I just had a garage sale where I unloaded a bunch of my CRAP that has been sitting around in my storage closet of a bedroom. Much of the garbage I sold included years of craft projects I've finished or lost interest in. With my mounds of free time, I hope to start a cute blog type thing that will be on the front page of pintrest and tumblr and all those other time wasters! I will show the world the secrets behind my awesomeness. You too, will be infamous and known as the girl(or guy) knitting in the back of the biology lecture room. Or be responsible for a multi-body pile up in the middle of the sidewalk because you were looking at rocks on the ground. (Results are not to be expected)
So here is to the kick off of one more blog that will most likely be lost in the great depths of the world wide web (who calls it that anymore, anyway)!
_Lisa Nguyen Pin It Now!