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How To Make Your Own Button Graphic

I have been asked quite a bit about how to actually make a button graphic- here is the simplest method I know. It will be using a program called GIMP which is a free program that you can download online.

Heres how you make your button in 8 simple steps.

  1. Take a screenshot of your blog header or background. This is the simplest way to get a matching button very easily.
  2. Now open your screen capture image in GIMP. Once opened click on the crop tool in the GIMP toolbox, and crop the area that you want for your button. 

3. Once your image is cropped, now add in the space you want for your text(if you don’t already have space). For mine since I don’t really have a spot I am going to create a spot for text by using my rectangle select tool and coloring using the paintbrush tool within the selected area. If you don’t know what color to use grab a color from your image using the eyedropper tool.

4. Once you have a place for your text, now add in the text with the text tool. If you want more options for fonts head down to kevin and amanda’s they have the best fonts! When selecting a font be sure it’s a font thats clear and easy to read, also make sure you don’t have too much text on there too because it will make it hard to read on such a small button. I typically tell people to keep it to 4 words maximum. If your blog title for example is longer than that then omit grabbing a graphic and just have simple colors with your text on it.

5. now we are ready to add a border, this will help the button pop a bit more. To do this go to the top menu in GIMP where it says ‘file’ then pick ‘new’. Now increase the dimensions by an extra ten pixels- click OK. This new image will go behind your button- now select the color you want it to be (use the eyedropper tool if you need to) and apply it using the bucket tool.

6. Once your color is in, now go to the window where your button is located. Go to the top menu where it says image and select ‘merge visible layers’ this will make your picture and text one image.  Now go to edit and select ‘copy’. Then go to your background image and again go to the edit menu- but this time select ‘paste’. This will place your button over the background.

7. Your button is now complete- all thats left is the resize it. The standard size that will fit in any sidebar is 125px wide (don’t worry if it isn’t completely square- no one will notice). As for size I wouldn’t go any bigger than 175px wide- to resize go to the image menu and select ‘scale image’.

8. Once your button is sized to the desired size now it’s time to add it into a shareable widget. To learn how to do that go HERE.

Here my finished product! I hope you find this tutorial useful and if you have any ideas for tutorials feel free to let me know- like always I love feedback.

Need a blog makeover? Check out my blog template of the week! FREE to download (click image to download)

NOTE: I appreciate all your comments- HOWEVER I will not respond to questions asked in comments. If you need any help or assistance with this tutorial please contact me via email at simplyfabblog{at}gmail{dot}com


Monday 7th of June 2010

Thank you so much for this SUPER helpful and easy to understand tutorial! I just made my button and I love it! Just getting started into Blogging and already enjoy it very much! Again, Thanks!!!!


Sunday 30th of May 2010

This is great!!! I was just wondering how to make one and thinking that I'd have to spend a kajillion bucks to have someone do it for me. Thanks so much for such a great post!

Lori Vaughn

Wednesday 19th of May 2010

Great tutorial, I have been trying to figure this out forever, Just made mine and it looks great.


Tuesday 18th of May 2010

Great tutorial My current button is this obscenely huge cupcake I got off of another site. Eww. Thank you for this. Saved from over sized-button embarrassment!Laura


Tuesday 27th of April 2010

This tutorial is great! I had made my buttons & banners before, but it had been well over a year & I had become very rusty, so thank you for bringing it all back to me! :-)