Introduction: Simple Tricks in

Last November, I finished a Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice inspired Korean-American novel Five Stones, I needed a book cover. My son showed me how to use Pixlr, and I thought I'd give that a try before I ask him to work on another book cover.

I wanted the cover to anchor the book in Korean culture, so I took a picture of a girl's hanbok and decided to see what I could create with it.

Step 1: Let's Get Started!

These are simple steps, but I needed these steps from my son who created another cover for me. So, here are the steps.

  1. Go into
  2. Click on the downward arrows, and then choose Pixlr Editor.
  3. Once in Pixlr Editor, I chose Open Image from Computer.

Step 2: Blurring of Reality

I wanted the cover to have the feel of blurred reality. The mother never sees her daughters as they are, but as what she wants them to be - married.

  1. After importing the photo, click Filter and choose Diffuse.
  2. Set Diffuse value to 20 (I wanted maximum blurring) and press OK.
  3. Then click Filter and this time, choose Pastels.
  4. Set Pastels value to 5 (I wanted maximum blurring) and press OK.
  5. Save the new picture file and exit Pixlr Editor.

Step 3: Creating Shadows.

The demanding mother casts shadows, some darker than others, in five sisters' lives, and I wanted play with that aspects of it.

  1. Go back to
  2. Choose Pixlr Express this time.
  3. Import the picture file from your computer.
  4. Click on Effect.
  5. Click on Default.
  6. Arrow across many choices and click on Hagrid. I liked the darker blue tones of Hagrid.

Step 4: Adding Light.

Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is a romantic comedy, and my book Five Stones reflects the original feel of the book. So, I didn't want the cover to have too much darkness.

  1. Choose Overlay.
  2. Click on Default.
  3. Click on Bocea to create points of light on the cover.
  4. Save the new picture file.

Now, the cover is done.

Step 5: Now, the Comparison.

Since last November, has gone through some changes (Pixlr O-Matic disappeared), and I couldn't duplicate the cover exactly, but close enough.

The picture on the right is the jpeg for my cover, compared to the one I created today on the left.

I would have been just as happy with this cover, too. The picture on the bottom is the cover I used for Five Stones.

Hiring someone to do your book cover can get quite expensive. So, I was very happy with the finished product.

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