Sandy asked for tips on making blog layouts. This is how I do mine (in PSPX) -
BLOG LAYOUT TEMPLATE
1. Open a new image 1500 x 1200 with a transparent background. I make it this big so it can cope with all the various screen resolutions and widescreen monitors.
2. Open another new image 1024 x 1200 with a black background. In the top left corner add text 1024 and merge. Copy and paste this to your first image as a new layer.
3. Open another new image 800* x 1200 with a white background. Copy and paste to your first image as a new layer.
* This is the layer your text will be on and the width is determined by the widths of your main wrapper and the any side bars. I made my main wrapper wider than the standard for my scrap previews. To change this figure you need to look through the html and find this -
4. Save this template to use for your blog layouts.
To use the template -
Duplicate and close the original.
Floodfill the transparent layer with a scrap paper of your choice (small papers may need to be made seamless first).
The black layer with 1024 represents the screen resolution 1024 x 768 which according to my Bravenet stats is currently the most common resolution used. It is there as a guide for placing decorations on your layout. This layer will be deleted when your layout is finished.
The white layer is what your text will sit on but you can make it any colour you like. I generally keep mine white because it is easier to read plus most of my tags are done on a white background.
Use embellishments from your scrap kit to decorate the sides where the white meets the paper, taking care not to go outside the black 1024 guide. Do not impose too much on the white layer or you will be covering text. Don't forget to delete the black layer. Merge as a single layer and check the size. If you are using Photobucket to host your layouts your layout must be under 1MB or it will be automatically resized.
Make a matching blog header 660 x 120 with a background to match your white and using matching embellishments from the scrap kit.
Installing Your Layout
For tips on how to install your layout visit Lisa's blog and click on the label Layout Installation Tips and start reading from the bottom up. Thanks Lisa for providing great tips for customizing blogs.