Tuesday, January 28, 2014

How I Gave My Blog a Free Makeover

I have been wanting to give my blog a makeover for months! But...I didn't want to pay someone to do it and DIY blog design just seemed so intimidating. Finally, after I spent some time pinning all sorts of blogging design tutorials to my Blogging Pinterest Board, I decided to buckle down and give it a try!


First, I redid my header. There are literally dozens of tutorials out there about creating your own header and you don't need fancy software to do it! I found a helpful tutorial that shows how to use PicMonkey to create a header. You can check it out here! I also used a little bit of Paint.net to incorporate the fonts I wanted because as far as I know, PicMonkey doesn't let you add fonts.
 BEFORE:

AFTER:

After I created my header, I was stumped. I hadn't really thought out how I wanted my blog to look. So, I took a step back and did some brainstorming. I decided to create a new "test" blog with private settings so only I could see it. Why? So I could experiment with my blog design ideas without screwing up this blog! This made my life a lot easier :) 

Once I'd added my header to my test blog, I started to create other blog elements, beginning with something very simple. I found a tutorial entitled How to Customize your Search Bar in Blogger. Before, my search bar was standard and boring. Now I think it's pretty cute! For being a search bar :)

Next, I created sidebar gadget titles! 


Again, I used PicMonkey and found this tutorial by Something Swanky to be very helpful!

Linkable photos on my sidebar came next. I've been dying to have those on my blog for so long! This tutorial from Living Laughing and Loving is the one that I used as a guide. 

I also added a custom menu bar! I had NO idea you could even do that until I found this tutorial from Living Laughing and Loving. It was so easy and I love the way it turned out :)

A few months ago, I made my craft closet. I wasn't super pleased with the way it looked, but it did the job. While I was working on my nifty sidebar titles, it occurred to me that I could just have my tech savvy husband make the format more appealing! He did a wonderful job, and I only wish I could tell you how he accomplished it. 

There are still a few things I'd like to change/add (like social media buttons, for example) but right now I'm feeling pleased with my little blog!

Do you like it??

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