Customize Your Covers on Pinterest

Happy Summer everyone!! I think I can officially say that to all of you now, right? :) And summer freedom means more time to join in with Tara for her weekly Monday Made It, one of the best parts of summer!
http://4thgradefrolics.blogspot.com/2014/06/monday-made-it-summer-week-5.html

So, like any teacher, I have a looooong list of things to work on during the free time of summer. And one of my first tasks was to tackle my boards on Pinterest.

Because I seriously had to be the worst pinner in the world. 

My boards were a mess, my pins were totally intermittent, and I literally cringed every time I looked at my boards.

So I decided to get on track as a pinner by reorganizing my boards and bringing a little cohesion to everything:
I am a HUGE admirer of so many boards that are gorgeously organized, with the perfect photograph chosen as the cover image. But I am not very good about that part, so I went with the other option and designed my own board covers.

I designed all of my covers in Fireworks, a graphics software I use for practically everything I make. But you can also design these covers in Powerpoint (my other true love!) and the steps are as follows:

1. Set Up the Board Image

Open a new file in Powerpoint. Using the Shapes tool, draw a rectangle. I found this excellent site that shares all of the sizes of the various Pinterest features: The Pinterest Cheat Sheet to Image Sizes

The board covers on Pinterest are 217 x 147 pixels...which is roughly 3.01" x 2.04" so I set the rectangle to this size:

2. Text Time
Then I used a couple of textboxes to write the board name. For mine, I left a lot of space on the bottom and I'll explain more about that at the bottom of this post:

3. Take a Picture
Well save it as a picture, really. Use the "Select All" command, then right-click (or control + click on a Mac) to get the "Save as a Picture" option:

4. Name It
Name your new little picture, so it will be ready for uploading:

5. Upload Your Cover
Head into the board you would like to customize first (in this example, I am in my Admire Beautiful Classrooms board). Click on the + sign to add a pin:

Then, click on the arrow for the Your Computer option:

Next, upload the image you created:

Make sure your image is on the board you would like it to appear on:

Then describe the pin...I just give it the name of the board, as it is the new cover for that board:

Edited to add another important step!!!
Much thanks to my sweet friend Diane from Fifth in the Middle who has done this process in the past. Diane tells us that you can link your board itself to the cover images you design.

Simply go to one of your boards and grab the URL of that board:

Then paste that link in the box next to "Source":
Your board cover will now take your fellow pinners right to that board! Thank you so much Diane!!!

All that is left is to set your new image as your board cover:

A couple of things to consider:
  • Branding: If you are a blogger and would like your boards to represent you and your brand, you can use a color scheme that matches your blog. The end result will be a page that looks like your blog and is easily recognized by your readers, which is great for branding.
  • Layout: I am a tad obsessive over these kinds of things, but there is really is a lot you can do with the layout and design of your cover. You can crop the images/graphics for that look everyone loves. You can use a variety of fonts for a fun look, or the same fonts for cohesion. Even of the positioning of the images and text on the cover can have an impact. I left some space at the bottom of my covers so that number of pins text could stand out nicely on its own:

As you can see by my boards (Ladybug's Teacher Files), I still have a lot to learn and a LOT to pin! Do you have any tips you would like to share with us about Pinterest? I would love to learn more from you!
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A Parent Volunteer Gift Idea

For the first time EVER I am actually ahead of schedule for my parent volunteer gifts!!! And they are ready just in time for Tara's lovely...
http://4thgradefrolics.blogspot.com/2014/06/monday-made-it-summer-weekly-2.html
They are also ready for you, in case you would like to use any of the ideas or free files in this post!

So. I am very fortunate to have two room parents who have coordinated all of our major festivities this year...and they have done so much to create those memorable moments for our class. 

I knew I wanted to find a different way to show thanks, so I thought of wrapping up a bit of summer for them!

My sister (Fashion Craze Learning Days) and I had a blast shopping for these. Here are the goodies I found:

Plastic Mason Jar
These are so trendy right now and I was psyched to find some that are dishwasher-safe for my families!

Summer-Themed Gifts
First we gathered summery (is this a word?) gifts for under a dollar each. Can I tell you how much I love the color-scheme of these Kool-Aid packets? These are for the kids in the family:
 
Iced tea for the adults:
 
A huge bubble wand:
And one of those wooden plane-things (REMEMBER those?? Takes me back...):
For the larger part of the gift, I also got a few giftcards to the movies:

Mason Jar Label
Here's the best part of the whole gift...I had an excuse to make a new label! I used a simple phrase and design, printed it on cardstock, then taped it to the jar.

Then I made a second little tag with the thank you message for each of my families:
 (I erased the names on the card if it looks a little funny)

And here they are, all ready to go!
They were so much fun to put together!

If you are still in school and would like to try this idea for your volunteers, a complete list of materials is below:

Walmart
plastic mason jar
bubble wand
Kool-Aid drink packets

Michaels
wooden airplane-thing
(for lack of the actual name...I'm ready for summer vacation!)

CVS
movie giftcards

Thank You Labels and Tags
please click on the image to download for free:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2ARzMSbNzXNNkdZWFM3dXZNSlU/edit?usp=sharing
I hope some of you might be able to use these...thanks so much for visiting!
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