I had already made a new header for my blog, using a picture of a girl on a pig. It's actually a picture of a painting that my aunt did, and the girl on the pig is yours truly. I decided that I wanted a background that would work with the colors in the painting.
I started by reading the detailed instructions I found in Blog Secrets on The Cutest Blog website. You can find them here.
The next hurdle was to learn a little more about PhotoShop Elements. I had previously used PS Elements to edit photographs, but I had never created something from scratch. In the past, I have found that trying to use the help files on PS Elements is like trying to navigate a very complex maze. If I just had someone to show me how, I could do this. A little Google search produced enough help to get me started. The rest was trial and error. A time or two I would get to a point and could go no further and couldn't undo what I had done wrong. When that happened, I had to start over.
I found the paper and all of the elements I used for my background and header on DigiScrapDepot.com. They have thousands of freebies that you can grab for personal use.
Once I had my completed page (the first version looked like this), I had to establish an account with Photo Bucket, upload the file and follow the instructions for editing my background on Blogger. The first time around I couldn't get it to cover the entire screen. I even upgraded to a Photo Bucket Pro account, which costs money, so that I could upload it as a 2 megabyte file. No luck. However, once I saved the page as a smaller jpg file (medium file, using PS Elements), the problem was solved.
Now that I sort of knew what I was doing, I played around with the background some more and tweaked the header to coordinate with the background. What you see probably won't be the last version. I had too much fun to quit.
I'd love to know what you think, and if you have suggestions to share, just post them in the comments. If you'd like to read more Show and Tells, be sure to visit Kelli at There's No Place Like Home.