Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Matariki Crafting Blog Hop: Snow Day Photo Tutorial


So excited to be part of this blog hop!  I've never been in one before, but, FUNS!!!  I've been sitting on this tutorial for over a week - did my homework early for once (yeah, did I mention that I was a bit excited?).  But really, this was fun to put together, and I ended up learning a thing or two in the process...

So this is what I'm going to teach you to create:

A fake snow experience for one of your kids!  If you are like me, and see the snow once every ten years or so, this tutorial is for you!  And if you are Northern Hemisphere, this is how you get your Christmas cards printed nice and early.  Ya'welcome.

The first step is really easy (actually, the whole thing is really easy, come to think of it).  Upload a background image of your choosing to PicMonkey.  Click on Effects and select Draw.  Add snow.

 (If you are not enjoying this step, or haven't found a good background image, scroll down to the bottom and use mine - snow included).

Now click on Overlays, and select 'Your Own'.  Upload a full length photo of your kiddo - preferably warmly dressed (if your child is too big/small for the items of clothing, you will need to use a photo of them in their own winter warmies).

As you can see, the lighting tones in each of these photos is disparate, so you may want to edit your overlay beforehand to match them up.  I'm a little lax about these things, and tend to edit afterwards.

Tip: For best results with these overlays, your kid will need to be posed with his/her face on a slight angle.  Doesn't matter which way, as you can flip either overlay.  Also, the jumper/mittens are drawn to fit a two year old, and may not work on a child too much younger/older.  However, I used them for a pic of Garland and it worked fine.

Zoom into your overlay (bottom right hand corner is where you'll find the zoom tool), and carefully erase the background of this overlay.

Now it's time to use my illustrated overlays!  Click on them to download (but if you're having trouble, email me at and I'll send them to you). Add them in the same way you added the pic of your kid, and then arrange them how you would like.

IMPORTANT!  When you use overlays, you will need to Merge Layers before you add any other effects, otherwise it will add the effects to the background image, but not your overlays.  The merge button is here:

Now for the fun (and really easy bit)!  I'm pretty obsessed with the Sunglow tool (in Effects), so I used that, once the overlays were in place.  I think it makes the image look more realistic because the 'natural light' falls on the overlaid subjects.  Plus, it increases the contrast (like, a lot) which is often a good thing too.  Make sure you fade this effect a little though (my preference anyway), and locate the source of light to where it would naturally be in your original photo.

Next up, click on Themes, and select Winterland.  Add some snow (adjustable - amount & fade).

A bit of Chill will cool the hues in your image...

And a tiny bit of Frost will give it a snowy feel (adjustable size, intensity and fade).

To test my own tutorial, I whipped up this one of Garland, in no time at all:

You may need to erase the arms of your child on your original photo, to make the sweater overlay 'fit', and your child's head will need to be on a similar angle for the hat to fit correctly.

If you want to have a go at this tutorial, please post your final image on my facebook page, and I will chose my favourite one by the end of this Blog Hop, and send that person a little prize!

Tomorrow, go and visit Nin of Make. Life. Beautiful, whose turn it is next!

NB: These overlays are for personal use only x


  1. Love this Stella!! Thank you :)

  2. AWesome!! YOu are GOOD!!!! Trub is, I'm not a picmonkey Royale member. Mmmm...
    But I might still just give it a whizz, in all my spare time (!)

  3. So cool! I'm like OP Shop Mama and I'm not a Royale member, maybe it's time to fork out $$$ - I really, REALLY love your overlays! xxxx

  4. Hey guys! The only royale feature is the sunglow effect which isn't essential, so you would be able to make a similar image with the free features! You could try using one of the other free effects and see how they look!

  5. It's so cool! Thanks for the tut - one day I will put all your handy advice to use! Your pictures are always so cute and effective :)

  6. Yeowza you are smart! Love this!

  7. Love this! Will definitely give it a go sometime - is that a real cat in the photo or was that added in too?
    Thanks for sharing :-)

  8. Cute! I much prefer this type of snow to the real kind!

  9. Hits head- I was sure that I had commented on your post already!
    Love this and can't wait to give it a go!

  10. girl you's got some skilllllssss.... clever and generous!

  11. Great fun Stella! I was wondering about the cat too... ha ha ha... xx

  12. Cute snow scene and I love the illustrations :) and some great tips there of how to use pic monkey...thankyou! :)