Pinterest has become more and more popular in the last few years and is a big referrer for Instructables. Many people have found out how to utilize Pinterest to its fullest and one of those ways is to create a long pin. This takes up more space on Pinterest and gives you more of an opportunity to draw people in to click on your pin.
You can take the time to use Photoshop to make a pin, but there is an even faster and easier way to do it using Picmonkey.com. It's a free website that anyone can use. It might take you a pin or two to get the hang of it, but it gets really easy the more you do it.
Step 1: Photos and Pin Formats
Before you can make your pin, you need photos.
While photographing your Instructable, keep Pinterest in mind. In my opinion, there are 3 main formats to focus on when you go to make a long pin and you'll need to think about what you are going to do even while taking pictures of your project.
Long Pin Formats
- One main image; with or without text
- Multiple images just showing your final project (or food); with or without text
- Multiple step by step images of the making of your project along with 1 or 2 images of the final project; with or without text
The reason you need to think about this while making your project is different for each type of pin.
For #1, you are probably going to want to make sure you have an image that is longer vertically, so it won't be so small on Pinterest (horizontal images show up small on Pinterest). Also, if you are going to add a text overlay, you probably want to plan that when setting up your shot so you have an ideal area you'll be able to add text without disrupting the subject of the image.
For #2, if you are going to do a pin with multiple images of your project, you are going to need to make sure you take a variety of photos (different angles, backgrounds, etc). Also, take images that are long vertically and horizontally, it's fun to have variety in your pin.
For #3, you should probably be fine as you should be taking step by step images when you make your Instructable anyway ;)
Before you go to make your pin, you should also make sure your photos are edited, if that is something you do. You want them bright, in focus, and all-around appealing.
Jessyratfink has a great Instructable on basic photo editing to get you going.
One last note, when you are making your pin, do not leave the browser! If you do, everything will be lost as you can only save it when you are done.
Step 2: One Image Pin
Go to picmonkey.com to start :)
Okay, the first pin format, is a pin with just one image.
This is a good format for projects/objects that are taller than wider. I'm going to show you this format using my How to Curl Hair with a Flat Iron Instructable. So you could just leave the image tall and pin that. You'll already be showing off your project pretty good, but why not add some text?
Since, I didn't plan ahead for this one, I don't have an idea spot to put text, but that's okay. If you can, go ahead and put text into a nice clean area of your photo. If you don't have a clean area, you can create one using an overlay.
Start by going to Edit on Picmonkey. It will prompt you to upload your image (if you haven't already edited your image, you'll be able to do that now before you add the text too).
Click on Overlays to add a overlay, it is show with a butterfly on the left side of the screen. Change the color of the overlay (white is good) and turn up the fade (your fade will depend on how busy your background is, the busier it is, the lower your fade will be and if it isn't that busy, your fade will be higher).
- I decided to pick a light green color from the background and turned the fade up to about 37%.
Time to add text! Picmonkey allows you to use some of their fonts or any of your own.
- Choose a font that goes well with your subject (make it bold if you can so it stands out against the image).
- Also, it is popular on Pinterest to use different fonts for different parts of your text. For example, I could use one type of font (a more standard one) for "How to Curl your Hair" and then use a fancier font for "with a Flat Iron". This doesn't work well for this image, but could work well for others such as this one for my Minecraft project. You'll need a different text box for each part of the text you want to use a different font for.
- You can also change the color of different parts of your text. You'll need a different text box for each text that you want a different color.
Do whatever tweaks you want and you'll be done!
Save it. Having your pin about 500pixels wide should be a good size for Pinterest. Resize later if you need to.
Step 3: Multiple Main Images Pin
This is my favorite format for a long pin. This might be because I take SO MANY pictures of my finished project though :)
For this pin, make sure you've taken a variety of photos of your project. I would say 3 is a good number if you are just going to stack them one on top of the other (like I did for my Candy Bar Brownies), but you can safely do more if you are going to put some side-by-side (which I will show you here).
I'm going to use my Crochet Pac-Man and Ghosts Project.
- Start by clicking collage and uploading all the images you want in your Pin (or might want).
- Click Layouts on the left and select Ducks in a Row - choose 3 or more images (since that is probably what you are using). Don't worry, they make it easy for you to drag images in and make it taller if you want it taller.
- After selecting the format, use the rotating arrow along the bottom of the screen to make it go up and down.
- At this point, as yourself, are you going to add text? If so, you will be leaving one of the photo spots blank and then we'll edit that later. If you want to add text, I suggest you leave the second box down blank. It seems pretty common for most long pins with 3 or more images to have a main image on top, text in the next slot down, and then more images going down after that. You don't need to leave a blank box if you can put text over the top of one of the images. It's your choice.
- Once you drag an image in, you can use the lines between the images to resize the image. Or, you can click on the left or right (or top or bottom) to resize all the images at once.
- To add images in where there isn't a box, just drag it over until you see a little rectangle appear. Then let go of the image and it will drop it in. You can always delete any of your boxes by clicking the "x" in the top corner of the box. There is a lot you can do with this ability. You can add one image with two next to it. You can stack three images and then put one long image to the right or left of it. Just experiment :)
- You can actually do minor edits (exposure and zoom in or out) on the pictures within your collage if you hover over the image and then click on the "Edit" button.
- Now, just keep dragging images into your collage, moving them around, and resizing them until you like the way it looks.
-Once everything is how you want it, you can mess with the background. here you can change the color of the background and lines between your images or remove them all together! I usually leave the background white and change the Spaceing to around 10 (I don't like too much space between my images).
- Did you leave a box for text? You can either leave it white or change it to a different color (if you do this, all of your lines around your boxes will also change that color, if you want it its own color, upload an "image" of a colored box). You can also click on "Swatches" on the left and drag a swatch into that box to put your text on. I decided to use a swatch for the fun of it :)
- Once you are for sure ready for text, you can click "Edit" at the top of the screen. This will make your collage all one image and open it up in their Editor. As you can see in mine, I made my "text box" a little too big. To avoid this, one thing you can do is download the collage, leave that page open so you can edit again if you need to (and re-download it), and use a different tab to edit your collage image you just downloaded. Once you go to edit, you can't go back to the collage to change it.
- Like I mentioned in the last step, if you want to use more than one font or color, you will need to make a text box for each font and color.
- When you are happy with it, save it and you're done!
Step 4: Step-by-Step Pin
This pin is done pretty much the same as the one before, except you use step-by-step images :)
I'm going to show you what I did with my Jell-O Marshmallow Fondant Instructable for this one. This is also an example of text on the image instead of in its own little box. Granted, I put the text on first, but you can do it before or you can add it to the collage after you are done.
Also, you could consider putting numbers on the pictures to order the steps. Experiment and see what you like :)
Step 5: What to Do With Your Pin Once You Make It
So it's all well and good that you've got the pin, but what do you do with it to make sure people use it?
First of all, you should remember to pin this image when you pin your project yourself. I suggest uploading it to Pinterest and then editing the url after you pin it to make sure it goes to your Instructable. This makes sure the Pin is in its highest quality.
You also want to ensure other people do as well, I suggest putting it right in your Intro step. I've noticed that if you upload your pin to Instructables it will be much smaller when pinned :( so I suggest you put it right into the HTML of the step. You will be able to do this if you are Pro; if you are not Pro, you can just upload it to the project or even link to your pin to encourage other people to Pin your Long Pin.
(If you are doing #1 which is just one image, it is fine if you just upload it; you only need to embed the image in if it is long because Instructables will compress it.)
Also, when you upload it, I suggest you upload it right to your Image Library and take that code for embedding it. If you upload it to the step and then go to your Image Library to get the URL, it looks like Instructables compresses it.
Here is the code you need to put in for your pin (go to your Image Library from your You page to get the image link. Remember once you click on the image you want, make sure you get to the URL page that ends in :
[img src="Link to image" style="width: 600px"] - remember to change  to <>, if I try to use the < it just tries to make it HTML and then I can't type it out. Also, if your image is under 600pixels wide, remove [style="width: 600px" ] or else your image will be stretched.
Step 6: Questions?
There is a lot you can do with Picmonkey and I'm no expert, but I'm happy to help out with any questions people have :)
Enjoy making your pins!