Introduction: Make Your Own Halloween Themed Desktop Background

Picture of Make Your Own Halloween Themed Desktop Background

It' s almost Halloween and you've spiced up everything from your costume to your car, but you forgot one thing: your desktop background! Here is a simple way to transform your boring desktop background into a Halloween inspired background using free software.

You will need:
*Gimp (You can download it here )
*Halloween Vector Brushes for Gimp (Download them here )
*A boring desktop background to convert
*Some imagination

Step 1: Download and Install Gimp

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Once you've downloaded Gimp , run the installer. Read and accept the terms and conditions for the installer, then choose "Install Now". Wait for it to complete then proceed to step 2.

Step 2: Download and Install Brushes

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Next, after downloading the vector brushes , copy and paste it into your gimp brushes folder. It may be different on your computer, but on mine, it was located in C:/ Program Files/ Gimp 2.0/ share/ gimp/ 2.0/ brushes. For more information on installing brushes in Gimp, do a quick Google search or visit here .

Step 3: Find Out Your Monitor's Resolution

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Often times, you'll get a desktop background and try to set it, but it will get stretched out, reduced in quality, or both. To make sure this doesn't happen with our desktop background, first, we'll figure out what your monitor's resolution is, then we'll set our image's size to that resolution. To find your monitor's resolution, right click on the existing desktop background in a blank area, and click on Properties. Next, click on the settings tab. You now need to either memorize the resolution just enough so you'll recognize it if you saw it again, or write it down.

Step 4: Start Editing

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Open Gimp by clicking on the shortcut on your (still boring) desktop. Click the File button in the upper-right corner of the editing window, and then click New. Now look for your screen resolution in the drop-down menu labeled "Template:" in the window that will pop up. If you don't see it listed, you can manually type it in through the width and height boxes below. Upon selecting your screen's resolution, click OK to confirm and open a blank canvas that we'll use to paint on.

Step 5: Create Backdrop

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For our fifth step, we'll create a backdrop for our image. For my backdrop, I decided to use a smooth blend of white to orange as that seemed most appealing to me. Feel free to experiment with the colors. You can use whatever you like! The idea is to have complete customization. We'll start by selecting the blend tool from the toolbox on the right. Next, to get the colors you want, click on the color boxes as shown in the pictures above. Once, you've selected your preferred color, change the gradient type if you wish by clicking on the "Gradient" box, and/or the gradient shape by clicking the "Shape" drop down menu (in the blend settings). You're now ready to start painting. Click and drag on the blank canvas in the direction you want the gradient to blend. You can also reverse the direction by ticking the check box next to the gradient box. If you make a mistake or want to change the gradient, click Edit>Undo or push Ctrl+Z.

Step 6: Making Pictures

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   Before we can place stamps on the backdrop, we'll need to change our colors back to default colors so it stands out. I decided to use black. To change colors back to normal, click the smaller black and white squares underneath the large ones on the left. Now select the brush tool from the toolbox. By default, your brush will be a big black dot. To change to the Halloween brushes we installed, scroll down through the brushes box on the bottom-right corner and you should see them. Select one you'd like to use. You can change the size of your stamp (as it will probably be huge at first), by drag the "Scale" slider on the left. Now click once on the canvas and you should see it appear. Do this as many times as you'd like with as many brushes as you like until your satisfied. Use different sizes and maybe even colors to stress different elements. Remember, you can undo as many times as you like by clicking Edit>Undo or pushing Ctrl+Z. For extra customization, you can add text like your name or whatever by clicking the big A in the toolbox and selecting a box on the canvas. You can edit the font and size in the text box settings.

Step 7: Saving and Setting

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   Save the background by clicking File>Save As, and giving it a name (with a jpg extension) and a convenient location. Save it in as good quality as possible by adjusting the quality slider to the far right. Set it as your desktop background by opening the photo up in your file browser, right-clicking on it, and selecting "Set As Desktop Background". Congratulations! You've just converted that boring desktop background into a desktop background to be proud of. Now stand back and look at the difference. Be sure to share the dramatic change with others in the comments section below. Happy Halloween! 

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