Happy Monday friends! For today’s Mini-Lesson Monday I’m going to share a little tip about digital stamp brushes. You know, the ones that you can purchase each month over in the digital shop at Studio Calico or other places online? I am a big fan of using the digi brushes on all sorts of projects and think they are a great value in terms of getting a lot of bang for your buck. You can use them on photos, print them out, convert them to cut files, etc etc etc. But… what if you don’t have Photoshop? Photoshop is expensive AND it has quite a learning curve attached to it. It’s amazing, but might not be practical if you aren’t a big photographer or graphic designer type. So, what to do? Give PicMonkey a try! You can use this free online tool to add digital stamp brushes right to your photos and then save the edited photo back to your computer (and then print it or upload it to your favorite printing service). Please note – I have no affiliate with PicMonkey or anything like that. I just have read about it on pinterest and other blogs and started wondering if it would allow you to use brushes like photoshop does. I played around with it yesterday and am amazed at what you can do with it and how easy it is. First just go to www.picmonkey.com. The website looks like this. I haven’t looked into the upgraded version. It seems that the free version does a lot of what you’d want… you just have to put up with some ads. Click on the “edit” option at the top and a new little drop down graphic will appear. Click on the computer option if you want to upload a photo from your computer. You can also find photos from your facebook, etc.
You could edit your photo at this point, but I’m going to skip ahead to adding the digital stamp brush. See that orange arrow pointing to the butterfly icon? That’s the “overlay” option. Click on it. As you can see below, a new side bar will appear with some preset brushes you can use. But I wanted to use one of the brushes from the March Office Hours Project Life set. To use a digi brush you have on your computer, click on the “your own” button.This will open a window on your computer and you’ll need to navigate to the folder where your brush is saved. I found the folder with the March Office Hours Project Life Brushes and clicked on it. Inside there are two options: .pngs or .abr files. The .abr files are the photoshop version, so ignore those. The ones marked .png are the ones you want here. Click on that folder and inside you’ll find all the different brushes in the set. Select the one you want to use, click on it, and it will appear on your photo.
See that little box that popped up next to your photo? That’s the brush editing box and now comes the fun part! You can change the color of the brush by clicking anywhere in the spectrum there or you can change it to white (or anywhere in between black and white) by sliding the black circle up to the top of the box. (see below) You can also use the “fade” slider to change the opacity of the brush.Then use the corners of the box around the brush to resize it and move it to where you’d like on your photo.Once you’re happy with how it looks, you just merge the layers by clicking on the stacked paper looking icon above the photo. Then click save and you can select where you’d like to save it on your computer. There are even share options for uploading to social media, etc.And that’s it! Now you can either print at home or upload to your favorite photo printing service to order prints. So what do you think? Have you used PicMonkey before? Let me know if you have any tips to add or if you think you’ll give this a try. Have a great day!