You don’t need to know how to draw to make great painted signs, printables, painted furniture, iron-on decals, etc. This post will show you how to find, layout and resize internet images to make your own art.
The only tools you need are PowerPoint, Adobe Acrobat Reader (free software), and a printer. I use this technique to create my own artwork for signs, furniture, and home decor. It can also be used to make t-shirt decals, painted fabrics, and much more.
Steps to find, layout, and resize internet images
1.Use your favorite search engine to find free clipart, printables, vector drawings, or images. For this example I searched Google for “Free Arrow Clipart”. I could have used “Free Arrow Vector” or “Free Arrow Image” or “Free Arrow Printable” too. You can also find lots of great printables and graphics for a low price on sites like Etsy. Note: Vector drawings can be edited by software designed for vector drawings, but they can easily be opened as a jpg and copied to a PowerPoint slide if you don’t have that software.
2.Scroll through the results until you find something you like. I ended up picking an image from a website called Freepik. They provide free and paid images to download for personal or commercial use. If you do use their free images for commercial use, they request that you credit them with the html they provide. I’m not really selling these images, but I am using them for my site, so I am happy to credit them.
3.I downloaded this image. It is a vector drawing, but also a jpg that can be open as any jpg. I double-clicked on the jpg to open it in my default photo app. Right-click on the image in your photo app and select ‘Copy Image’ from the menu.
4.Open PowerPoint and create a new blank presentation. On the design tab, select ‘Slide Size’, then ‘Custom Slide Size’.
5.This Slide Size message box pops open. Enter in the width and Height you’ll need for your art. Example: If you have a 36″ wide x 6″ high piece of wood that you’d like to turn into one of those popular “Farmhouse” signs, then you’d enter those dimensions here. I am working on a 15″ round piece of wood. So, I am setting the width and height to 14, just to give a little space around the edges. Hit OK.
6.Select Ensure Fit on the next message box. This will keep your image inside the slide.
7.Now you’re slide has been sized properly. Delete those default format boxes to clear the slide. Right-click on the empty slide and select paste to paste in the image you copied in step 3. If it is no longer available, just back back to your photo and copy again.
8.After pasting my image into the slide, I need to crop just the section I will be using. Click the image on the slide to select it. This will add the Picture Tools Format Tab to the PowerPoint menus. Select that tab to click crop on the far-right side of the menu. The crop box will be on top of the whole image. You want to resize it to just show the part of your image you want to keep.
9.Hit the crop button again and the non-selected area of the image will disappear. Now you can resize this image as you’d like. I want this image to fill my entire slide for the sign I’m making next.
10. You can add other images or text to go along with the images to create your new masterpiece. Once you have the image layout exactly as you like it, save it as a PowerPoint first (in case you need to edit it again), then select ‘Save As’ and save it as ‘pdf’ also. Leave the ‘Open file after publishing’ text box checked on. Hit Save and the Adobe Acrobat reader will open with the image you created.
11. From Adobe, select Print. On the Print screen, select the Poster option and the Cut Marks checkbox should be checked. This will print large images across multiple sheets of paper to keep it at the size you selected. The cut marks act as guides to help you match the papers up when taping together.
12.These are the cut marks on the 4 papers that were printed for my image.
13.After carefully lining up the cut marks on each sheet and taping them together.
Congratulations, you are ready to transfer your new image. I usually use a pencil or chalk rubbed across the back of the image before tracing the image onto the piece I am working on. There are instructions and images for doing this in a previous post about paint pens (click here).
My current examples of how to find, layout, and resize internet images
I recently used this technique to create these signs from previous posts. Click the images to read more about them.
Feeling inspired? Want resize internet images for your own masterpieces? Have fun and let me know if you have questions. Or post pictures of your work and tag Abbotts At Home on FB, I’d love to see it!