GIMP is the open source (free) equivalent to Photoshop. So there isn't any excuse not to try this project! If you've already got GIMP downloaded and operational, then all you need is a photo and less than 30 minutes!
Since we're creating our image on a 8.5 x 11.0 letter, you can easily translate this project into a bound collected works. Or just post your image to any profile for your own unique avatar!
Step 1: Preparing the Image
1. File>Open>Select image to manipulate.
If necessary, Image>Transform>Rotate by necessary degrees.
2. Using Rectangle Select Tool select area of image* to be traced.
3. Copy area to clipboard (Ctrl + C).
4. File>New>Choose US Letter.
5. Paste image (Ctrl + V) to New Untitled Image.
Now is a good time to Title (Save) your project!
6. Layer>Scale layer
If image taller than wider, enter 11 in height field.
If image wider than taller, enter 8.5 in width field.
The other field with auto adjust.
Click Scale button.