Picture of Remove Clip Art Background with Pixlr
You do not have to buy expensive photo editing software. You can use Pixlr to remove background from your images.
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Step 1: Yippee for Pixlr!

Picture of Yippee for Pixlr!
I was introduced to Pixlr through Instructables. Instructables ran a contest which had a Pixlr option. I am quite familiar with Photoshop and somewhat familiar with many other photo editing programs.

First go to http://www.pixlr.com

I get a lot of my clip art for FREE from Graphicsfairy She has accumulated so many graphics over the years and they're all FREE! But most have a white background to them (what do you want for free?).

Worry no more - you do not need Photoshop to get rid of that white - use Pixlr. So download some clip art and let's go!

Once you're on Pixlr's home page, choose Open Image From Computer and grab your image. 

Step 2: Easy Peezy

Picture of Easy Peezy
Choose the Magic Wand from the "tool box" on the left hand side of the side of the screen.

The Tolerance Setting in the menu bar allows you to change how "detailed" the magic wand is. For this project, choose "3"


Step 3: Let's make Magic

Picture of Let's make Magic
Click any where on the white background of the image. The entire white of the background should be chosen. You will see a dotted boundary line around the chosen area. In this step the white of the background is "chosen."

However, we do not want the white part. We want to get rid of the white. 

Click Edit from the Menu Bar and choose Invert Selection. This will now flip the dotted line to be around the image (in this case the elephant).

Step 4: Presto, Chango

Picture of Presto, Chango
From the Menu Bar now choose Edit again. This time choose Copy because we are going to copy the image (elephant) on to a blank - no background - canvas.

From the Menu Bar choose File, then New Image.

thanks a tonne!!! <3

NikkiP111 months ago

I am able to follow all the steps and save as PNG but when I go to view, import or create a contour line around the image the white background still appears. Any suggestions? I attached a random picture saved as a png after going through the steps.

Arlera2211 months ago

Nice....I like it I love it

thegeeke2 years ago
Interesting. You can do this through GIMP, and powerpoint has some neat background removing options if you plan to us it in a ppt (or pptx these days), but still... interesting.
Carol at Natures Sol (author)  thegeeke2 years ago
Oh, wow, you are WAY more savvy in computer than I am. I know PowerPoint has a lot of graphic options which are "neat." These instructions would be for someone creating jewelry with the image (which you would not want a white background on) or mod-podging images on jewelry boxes, book covers, etc. Sometimes you can print on decal material and then place the image on a book cover, etc. and make some interesting displays.

I feel great that my presentation is interesting to a "geek." Thank you for your compliment. I hope to do some presentations using images for various crafts/projects so keep in touch.
To be honest, I wasn't even aware of Pixlr until I saw this. I wasn't exactly sure who it was geared towards... I tend to use background removal more in powerpoint or videos, which is why I mentioned that powerpoint offers those features. (In fact, there are two different ways of doing it in powerpoint... I normally just prefer "Keying" out the color, but there is another way too.) :)

Anyway... very nice instructable. Keep up the good work. :)
sunshiine2 years ago
Thanks for sharing! I need to learn this program.
Cool! Thanks for the tips, I always have such a hard time getting ride of backgrounds :)