Rock Your Blog: Resources & Freebies + A Screencast Too!

by Jessika Hepburn, Editor

In my year of blogging I have done a whole LOT of clicking around on the internet. Sites with generic graphics don’t hold my attention and I usually click right out again (sorry!).  Since I started editing OMHG I have become more and more focused on creating all our own graphics, lay-outs and images. I do make a lot of our graphics by illustrating them on paper, scanning them into the computer and then playing with them in Illustrator or Photoshop. I take lots of photos and apply filters and actions too. But I also use these 5 free resources to make our posts fancy sometimes. I figure if they help me you might love them also, so I rounded them up here for you to use:

Lost & Taken-A texture gallery filled with high resolution free for use textures like old paper, watercolors, and a ton more. (found via How About Orange)

Morgue File-a endless resource of images for use in just about anything.

Flickr Collage Pool-The most amazing resource for images, ever! Seriously incredible resource for vintage ephemera.

Pugly Pixel-I’ve said it before & will do so again, Pugly Pixel is like a candy shop for bloggers. Katrina’s premium membership is worth every cent of the $5 a month but there are also a ton of free resources.
Font Squirrel-I love, love, love fonts-like hoarder level love. So this site makes me crazy happy-free, commercial use fonts of all kinds. I used the Blackout font for this post.

Now for the download fun!

rock your blog, free blog resources, free blog photo layouts, free blog banners

I made you a set of 5 small banners to use in photo layouts and sidebars, 5 large banners for layouts or blog headers and 2 photo templates to speed up your blogging. Plus a little screencast (my first!) showing you how to customize the banners with any texture or background.

rock your blog, free blog resources, free blog photo layouts, free blog bannersClick the banner above to download all the free blogging fun in one zip file.

Includes: 2 photo layouts (.psd files)

1 set of 5 long banners (.png file)

1 set of short banners (.png file)

For extra fun-you can transform the banners using any texture, like the ones from Lost & Taken or scans of fabrics, paintings, sketches…anything really! Not sure how to do that? I decided to take advantage of a semi-quiet house (sorry for the dog barking-it’s never really quiet here) to make my first screencast-check it out:

Oh My! Handmade Banner Tutorial from Jessika Hepburn on Vimeo.

This download is free for personal & business use-no credit needed, unless you are feeling generous: )

Do you have a favorite online resource for rocking your blog? Let us know in the comments!

  • Stephnie Douglas

    Loved your screen cast. Clear easy to follow directions and fun. Great Job!

  • Isa

    Such a great screen cast! You made it simple and clear for even me to understand! It is so nice to hear your lovely voice too. Thank you for the free resources 🙂

    • Jessika Hepburn

      Oh good-that is such a relief to hear Isa! Thanks for the cheerleading here in the comments: ) Today I’m celebrating my first screencast with a cupcake & thinking about your post from yesterday!

  • Serene Teresa

    You made my day Jessika! Super useful and not a boring screencast at all! 🙂

    • Jessika Hepburn

      Thanks Serene!I am so glad it’s not boring-it’s hard to liven up Photoshop but I tried: )

  • kelly Corado

    You did a great job! Someday I’ll have photoshop!!!! 🙂

    • Jessika Hepburn

      Thanks Kelly! You’ll love it when you do: )

  • katrina

    you did great! i loved this most: FUNKIFY! 😉

    thanks for the linky, Jessika. 😀

    • Jessika Hepburn

      Wow thanks Katrina! That means so much coming from you- you are a screen cast superstar:) I love sharing your site, you are fighting the good fight to make the Internet more beautiful!

  • Viv Smith

    Thank you! I’m really keen to up my game in photoshop and with my graphics etc, so when my littlies are quiet(er) I’ll be settling down to view your screencast. Thank you for the free downloads too – getting a bit bored of my current repetoire of photo layouts 🙂

    • Jessika Hepburn

      Thanks for all your support Viv! Good luck with your photoshop adventures: )

  • Emily @ Merrypad

    Love the points you make in this post; great tutorial! As always, you push us to do new things and think outside the box.

    • Jessika Hepburn

      Oh thank you Emily! I am definitely a stomp all over the box kind of girl; ) So glad you liked the tutorial!

  • Bridgett

    Bravo Jessika! I know that wasn’t easy but you came across professional and genuine. Can’t wait to see more friend! xoxo

    • Jessika Hepburn

      Thank you so much Bridgett! You are such an awesome friend-I feel much more confident now & ready to tackle more screen casts + a little video with one of our friends soon!!!

  • Holly

    Just discovered you and great info! Many thanks. I’m also a font junkie, but mostly they sit unused. I don’t know how to manage them and apparently to open them all and put in the main fonts file is to make that system uber slow (I’m windows based). How do you manage yours? I want to use them ALL!

    • Jessika Hepburn

      Hi Holly! Thanks for your comment-I am sorry I’m a mac girl & fontbook makes it easy to indulge my font obsession. I have no idea what would work for a PC-any suggestions readers?

  • Marie Noelle

    Great tutorial and post!!! + really useful links as well!

    Your banners are really cool, love the shape and colour!!!

    • Jessika Hepburn

      Thanks Marie!! I love those resources (especially pugly pixel & the flickr pool, endless blogging inspiration!).

  • mel mccarthy

    These are stunning. Thanks so much for sharing. Happy Oh My Handmade Birthday!!!

    • Jessika Hepburn

      Thanks Mel!!!!

  • Stacy – InkSpot Workshop

    ♥ these elements and layouts, just did my July post using them:) For some reason I can’t get my screencast to show up? emailing you now

    • Jessika Hepburn

      Thanks Stacy!!! I’ll go check into it right now: ) Can’t wait to see your post for the month!

      • Jessika Hepburn

        I just checked it out and everything is working fine here-you can maybe try viewing it right on Vimeo, here’s the link
        Hopefully it works!

  • Chara / Love, Me Boutique

    Great post and video Jess! Love the soundtrack of the dog and motorcycle – super bad ass.

    • Jessika Hepburn

      Thanks Chara! Love it, bad ass screen casting mama; )

  • NIcole

    Great tute! And you’re a natural on the screencast!

    • Jessika Hepburn

      Thanks Nicole: )

  • Kourtney

    This is “rockin” – very cool and bravo for the blog help! I need all I can get!

    • Jessika Hepburn

      Hooray! Rock that blog Kourtney: )

  • Zuri

    Thanks! I’ve been trying to decipher photo shop and this helps! I’ll be trying it once I get home tonight. I’m stoked!

  • Stylopath

    It’s inspiring to see so many wonderful design ideas culminating around sewing and blogging. Thanks for sharing these great resources.

  • Julie – On the Dot Creations

    Thanks for the wonderful list of resources, Jessika! I was so glad to learn about Morgue File — I’d never seen that site before! Since I’m always looking for great images to introduce my posts, that site will really come in handy! 🙂

    • Jessika Hepburn

      You are so welcome Julie! I don’t actually use Morgue File much but it is a great resource-I am all kinds of in love with Lost & Taken though!

  • Emily Jane

    Thank-you so much for the resources! I love the design of your website!

  • Guest

    Jessika, thank you so much!

  • Celestail Petals

    Thank you. I have a wordpress website. I would like to know how to offer a PSD files on my wordpress site by clicking a button – Can you share?

  • Emma Craig

    Thanks so much! I’ve been searching all over the web for those “just right” buttons for my categories in my side bar – and these are it! A million times thank you! 🙂