Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday Project - Christmas Tags

Alright!!  The presents are finished, wrapped, and now just need tags!  I decided to use the holly, mistletoe, and pinecone drawings I made for my gift bag heat transfers.  If you'd like to use these, too, a PDF of these tags can be found here.  However .... I found a really cool effect on GIMP that you might want to use on your own images to make your own personalized tags.  I'll show you how!

First, for those who haven't heard of it, GIMP is an image manipulation program that you can down load for free here.  I've been using it for several years and love it!  To make my gift tags, I took photos of my drawings - I tried scanning them, but thought the photos looked better.  I find it easiest to download my photos to my computer, copy the one I want to work with, and put it on a PowerPoint slide.  There are other ways to get photos into GIMP, but this one works for me!

Next, copy the photo from the PowerPoint slide and and paste it onto the GIMP page.

If the image isn't perfectly crisp, you can sharpen it by going to Filters, selecting Enhance, and selecting Sharpen.  A box will come up - I set it to about 25 and hit OK.  If you want to sharpen it up more, you can keep selecting Repeat Sharpen until you like it.

I wanted my gift tags to be either circles or ovals, so I went to Toolbox and selected Ellipse.

I made my circle around the mistletoe by clicking on one side of it and pulling the circle to the other side.  You can adjust your circle by clicking on its edge where it touches the square (see below) and pulling it out or pushing it in.  It takes a bit to get the hang of this - just play around!

Next, I like to copy the circle and paste it on a PowerPoint slide.  That way, I can play around with it all I want and not have to worry about getting it back to its original form if I don't like the changes.  I also find it easier to play with if I don't have that extra photo around it.  To copy, right click on the circle, select File, and select Copy.

Now copy the circle from the PowerPoint slide, close your previous picture on the GIMP page, and paste on the circle.  The checkerboard pattern you see below means that portion is transparent.

Next I played around with the Artistic Filters.  There's one called Clothify that adds a lot of nice texture.  I'm not sure it looks like fabric (maybe burlap), but it's interesting!  I selected it and hit OK.

You can see the nice texture I got!  However, it's a little dark and dinghy looking.  Most photos benefit from having the contrast increased.  Under Colors, select Brightness-Contrast.

An adjustment box will come up.  I made it brighter and increased the contrast quite a bit.  Hit OK when you like it.

Now just copy it and paste it back on a PowerPoint slide.  Tada!

To attach the gift tag to a present, I used a hole puncher to make a hole, tied on some size 10 crochet thread, and tied it onto the gift.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

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