Hello, wizards! I've been working hard at keeping Travels neat, flashy, and interesting for the eye, and recently I met someone who agreed! After meeting (virtually) Kyle Wildgiver, I have helped him revamp his blog a few times, mainly the banners.
After a few banners, I started learning more about what I could do with pixlr (as GIMP doesn't like me) and Paint, and my style grew and blossomed. I wanted to show you all how to make something similar to this:

P.S. This guide is compatible with Windows

Make sure you have a few different tabs open:

Pixlr is the site I use for photo-editing and banner making. It (in my opinion) is a nice alternative to other editing software, and is very easy to learn. Make sure you're familiar with it. I had to look back at Living as Life a lot to match the colors, or at least almost match them. Wordle, well, you're going to have to see where that one goes!

Know what is going to be put in there! I knew that as a standard, I would put in the blog title with diagonal positioning, and have the link at the bottom. Also, I use a blue D as a signature, this time in the upper right-hand corner. It took me some brainstorming for the background, and I came up with Kyle's wizard at the last minute.

The site I used for the background is Wordle is a site that helps you make world-clouds. One way to make them would be to paste in a lot of text that is relevant to your subject, but, a better way is to paste in the link of any site with an RSS feed. Don't ask me to explain. Most blogs have one, and so, if I were to input The Sorcerer's Sights into the bar, I could get something like this:
 Or this, for the Suitcase Project:
 Project Spiral Jigsaw:
 Or, in the post's case, Living as Life:
 (I lost the Travels one)

I found that the only way to get a Wordle onto your desktop is to take a screenshot of it. After that, just crop it, and save it as a bmp (bitmap) or jpg (jpeg). You can change the colors, remove words, or randomize them from the site.


Once you have that saved, open up Pixlr. Choose 'Open Photo Editor' and then choose 'From Computer'. Find your Wordle. Once it's open, crop it to the correct length.


Next, under 'Filter', use 'Blur' to blur your picture to however you want it. This will make the text stand out. Make sure yours blur isn't too blurry, or it causes odd visual effects, sometimes causing headaches.


Make sure your tool is changed to text, and that you use a color that will contrast your blurred background. Like, for LaLW101, I chose green to contrast my ghostly colors. (You can change the colors on Wordle) Note that, after you open up a new text box, your text is anchored in.


This was a tricky one for me. Use the lasso tool to cut out a picture in another picture (file, open) and copy it. Then, file, new it, to paste it in. Erase any mistakes with the eraser tool, and lasso to copy again, this time pasting it into your banner. In my banner, Kyle ended up being GIGANTIC, so I just inserted part of him.

Make sure you go to layers and merge all visible layers before you go on to this next step.


File, save. Easy as that. Save it to whatever the computer suggests (mine is normally a bmp or jpg) and to somewhere where you can find it. I have a folder for banners.


  • The undo button is under 'file'.
  • Use Paint; Image; Stretch and Skew to change size. I have 100x120 for a big, flashy banner; but Kyle uses 75x50 (I think)
  • Don't be afraid to improvise!
  • If you have a faulty computer, save often.
I'd love to hear feedback on how this worked, and if you want to hear more!

Keep Traveling!

P.S. Thank you Valerian Nightbringer for the Prudent Hound!

This post has been scheduled, and was written on June the 16th, 2012


  1. Nice post :) I forgot about adding that banner to The Spiral Jigsaw Project lol, :P. I will probably add it soon


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