31 Days :: Buttons


This post is the Match.com of buttons. If you make buttons or if you need buttons, find each other in the comments.

On October 1st (or actually let’s do this the night of September 30th) we’ll all come here and link up our different topics. I’ve always given a place to load an image and this year is no different. It’s nice to have a little button all ready to load up so that anyone scrolling through your category can have two ways to identify your topic–you’ll have a place to enter your topic name (20 characters so be forewarned) and a 100 x 100 pixel sweet little image that we are calling a button.

Here’s a screen shot of the first twelve buttons from last year (these are not clickable here, see the real, clickable version here):

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 4.51.54 AM

If you have questions about button making OR if you can make buttons and would like to offer your services for a small fee, leave a comment after this post and get together. If you are a smart button maker and want to give button making advice, please do so in the comments.

My personal tips, love them or hate them:

1. For crisp reading:

If your button keeps loading blurry you could make a special button that is 100 x 100 exactly, load that into your blog post you want to link to, hit publish, then when you come here and link up with your permalink, choose the 100 x 100 sized button for your image. Once it loads, you should be able to go back to your post and delete it if you don’t want that tiny size in your post and it should still show up here. Practice that here.

2. Simple.

The more simple the button, the easier it is to read. You could create a different button for your link up button and for your regular use-it-on-your-posts-image for your series if you need to. Also, when in doubt, white space is your friend.

I set up a special practice page so you can link up your button and see how it looks. Also, remember, only permalinks will be accepted on the day we link up–other links will be deleted. Find out more about permalinks and practice your linking here.

31 Days starting September 30th What?!

Instead of all of us getting up at the crack of dawn on October 1st to coordinate with 8am east coast time, how about we meet here Monday night and open the linky then? We did this last year and although it throws off the whole ’31 days starting October 1st’ thing, it actually makes sense because the majority of us will be awake in the evening. See you September 30th between 8pm and 10pm EST.


  1. Great tips! :)

  2. Thanks so much! I’ve been working on mine but am still not quite happy with it. Love the idea of making it a part of the post and using that. Can’t wait! Are you going to tell us your topic?

  3. Oh, one more question (for anybody): I’m trying to just make a simple circle button with simple text inside. ex. Nester’s 31 days black and white button from a few days or the pink and white button from the practice linky page. It hasn’t proved to be so simple for me who has no idea what I’m doing. Any ideas? I’ve been using the PicsArt studio app, but am not actually going to be using an image. Just a circle. It’s hard, apparently.

    • I use a program on my computer that I’m really familiar with–keynote–I use it when I speak at conferences so I know how to use it well–so I just make my buttons there by making shapes using fonts and such and then…I take a screen shot of it in the size I need and ta-da–an imperfect wrongly done, but good enough button is created!!

      so maybe if you have a program you know well you can make one in that. or use a screen shot of a black circle and use that as an image?

    • Try using PicMonkey.com! They are so easy and totally free!

  4. I am itching for this new series to start! I have no idea how to make a button for my series and I would really appreciate some help in creating it if there’s someone out there who might help me?

  5. Hello there,
    I am really looking forward to this series, and would love a button, BUT I would not even know where to begin. Anyone making buttons for us button challenged girls? =)

    • I posted waaaay down at the bottom but I’m always happy to make some cute buttons for nesters 31 days posters. It’s so fun. I’m a graphic designer and I charge $20 for the 31 days posters.

  6. Hey y’all,

    If you’re using a photograph, it’s VERY easy to add text using picmonkey.com. Their basic application is FREE and it’s magical! I have no idea if you can use it only for a shape (i.e. a circle) with text superimposed; when I’ve tried that, I added a rectangle & shaded it black or white, then added text on top of that “image”. There’s probably an easier way, but bless my heart…my skilz are VERY limited.

    …said the girl who blesses her own heart. :)

    • You make me laugh, Robin! :)

    • If I don’t want to actually use a photograph, but just want something simple , I have gone into picmonkey – collage and then tweaked it. I take a basic square collage, then x out all the blocks, leaving one big block. I then leave it blank, no pictures, I can leave it white, or add background color, – I then hit edit and it takes me into editing where I can choose graphics, text etc. . When I save it I re-size it to the 100 x 100 and save it as a jpeg to my computer. I have actually saved a blank square in the button size, that I can upload to Picmonkey as a “picture” and then add text etc. Just play around in picmonkey – it is very easy – if I can figure it out, anyone can. :)

  7. My first thought is to make something in Word, then print it and scan it back in as a jpeg. Photoediting software can size and resize it for me. (Pic Monkey is great!)

    Thanks for hosting again this year, Nester. Looking forward to it.

    • if you make something in word, just take a screen shot (on a mac it’s command/shift/4 and you can outline exactly the size you want to capture so if you make it the right size you can screen shot it exactly and use that as a jpeg.) I think?

    • If you make something in Word, you could copy it into PowerPoint (or just make it in PowerPoint) and actually save it as a jpeg image. I teach school and our librarian taught me this! :)

      Hope it helps!

  8. i can do buttons! Feel free to email me: karenohuber (at) gmail (dot) com. :) or visit my blog for examples. I don’t know how to “charge a small fee” but if you’re interested, could figure out something!

  9. Hello! I am Katana doing 31 Days of Art and can make your button! Button Giveaway – two persons who contacts me via my web form will get a free button! If there are more than two needing a button, then it will be $14 and you can have one revision to your graphic. All text and imagery will be available to use free so you don’t have to worry about infringements! Contact me at http://www.artlovelight.com/contact/

  10. I’m really looking forward to this! Thanks Nester :)

  11. I’m with Robin Dance. I love PicMonkey. It’s free. You can load any photo or image, add text to it, and size it to exactly what you want. I’m really not that savvy with stuff like this. I don’t have photoshop or any fancy editing software. PicMonkey is perfect for people like me.

  12. Well it took me three tries, but I finally got it – thanks for the practice link-up page, Nester – apparently I needed it badly!

    I used PicMonkey, and the trick for me was to crop my photo first, using Crop, and then clicking on “No Fixed Proportions” and scrolling down to the 100 x 100 avatar size. Then I added the text onto the tiny picture, so I was sure it would fit. Originally I tried to design the text on the photo and THEN resize to 100 x 100, but it wouldn’t let me go to that size – it kept automatically changing it to 150 x 100 or 100 x 67, which made for a blurry button when I linked it up.

    Now I just have to decide if I’m going to go through with the 31 days – never did this before!

  13. Thanks Nester for hosting this again! I’m glad to hear I’m not the only “button challenged” gal out there, but I’m going to “try” with the advice given in these comments. If that doesn’t work, I’ll try another route. I also have a whole list of topic options I brainstormed for the 31 days. Now to make a decision! This will be my second year. Love the challenge and community this builds!

  14. So love that you offer this! Thank you for your ‘internet’ hospitality!!

  15. I should have mentioned that I’m working completely off of an ipad so I don’t really have any draw/paint/create/text programs. I’m going to try to figure out the screen shot option if I do figure out something I’m happy with.

  16. Another vote for picmonkey. I’ve never made a button before so I tried putting text over a photo at first. But I liked the chalkboard background with white text that some others have used before and that is a better way to go, I think. I followed the directions in this post http://www.soyouwannabeablogger.com/how-to-create-a-blog-button-using-picmonkey/
    As you can see from the practice linky page, mine is a little small. I’m still tinkering with the size. I spent a couple of hours on this but overall I’d say it was pretty easy and it was free. Good luck!

  17. Melissa McIntyre says

    Lol!!! When I first saw this blog post in my email my first thought was ” Really? Nester is doing a 31 day series on buttons?” As in real live buttons that you sew onto fabric! Lol! Been a bit scatterbrained this week :-)

  18. Hi! I’m a graphic designer and would love to help out by makings some buttons. I charge $20 for the 31 days buttons. You can email me at funkyfaithgirl at gmail dot com if you’re interested. Thanks!

  19. Ha! I thought the same thing as Melissa McIntyre above. As do many here I recommend PicMonkey for DIY. I use it ALL the time when I’m too lazy to break out photoshop. But if you don’t have time to mess around I would charge $10 to make a cute simple graphic that matches your blog. You can visit me at my design shop – Skinny Mermaid Design Studio. If you like what you see, just click the contact me tab and I’ll take care of you.

  20. I’ve already been making buttons for a few people, so let me know if you need help with one!

    DancingWillowPhoto (@) gmail.com

  21. I have four letters that describe my ability to make buttons: H.E.L.P. :-) So glad that many of you gals have offered up your services and/or put some instructions/suggestions out here. I am going to copy all of these comments in a Word document and look over them. I may be emailing one of you ladies and writing out a desperate plea for assistance if I cannot figure it out, though!! :-)

  22. I made buttons for people participating in the 31 series last year. I’m a freelance graphic designer and charge $10 per button. Contact me if you’re interested! daviesj1 @ yahoo.com (remove spaces)

  23. Hey all! I posted earlier about making buttons for a small fee, but for ease (and cuz I don’t know how), am offering to make buttons in exchange for advertising. Let me know if you’re interested! It will include at least 2 png buttons, sized 600×600 and 100×100. Open to doing more to suit your needs. Lemme know! karenohuber (at) gmail (dot) com.

  24. This may be the dumbest question ever but I’m a first timer…do I have to link up between the hours of 8 and 10 pm on September 30 or can I still link up early morning on Oct 1?

  25. I have appreciated all the information given on making buttons! With all that has been shared, I was able to figure out how to make two very different buttons with PicMonkey. I will keep trying as it is still a work in progress. I do have a question—my letters are blurry. I sized it 100 x 100 but cropped it when I chose it because I could not figure out how to get the lettering closer to the edges when I made it. Any suggestions? Thanks so much!

    • Debbie, I take a larger picture, crop it as a square, design it as-is (so I can see it big and close up; helps with editing and clarity) and once i’m happy with my final product, I resize it down to 100×100 when I SAVE it. (or I resize it right before saving, to double check for clarity). Does that make sense? I also usually save two different sizes… one large (I do 600×600 so it fills the width of my content column) and also a smaller one for button-use.

  26. I have never done this before and I’m still struggling with this button thing. I made one. Thanks for the suggestions to use PicMonkey. I saved a big one and a small one. I did try the linky practice page, but my picture was probably too big. I tried to get the link from my unpublished post. Does it have to be published before it will work? One more question. i got the picture from Microsoft Office gallery. I didn’t see anywhere that it had a copyright issue. There was a big download button is all. Any help would be very much appreciated.

    • I’m having the same problems … i saved a big one and a small one, but neither one of them are coming up right on the practice page. it doesn’t show the whole image.

  27. Thanks for doing this, Nester! I always enjoy the 31 days!!!!

  28. Okay thanks for all the hints. I used PicMonkey and created a picture, but it still isn’t working when i try in the post where we can practice. :) I resized it, but it’s still not the whole pic when I upload to the page with all the links. THat make sense?
    Any hints?

  29. I’m losing my mind here. I think I made a button…though when I post it to my blog, it comes up as a question mark no matter what I try. AND THEN, even if I have this button, how do I even go about sharing it here? My blog has something that lets me drop a widget over, but I’m not sure how to make it go anywhere else.

  30. I’m late for this, but if you need a button, I can make one via photoshop for $5 if you have a background photo I’ll just be adding words to, or I can design one for $15 via paypal. Disclosure: I’m not a designer, but this is fairly simple (other than taking time) and photoshop can make a snappy difference. I designed my header if you want to get a view of what I can do. :)

  31. This will be my first time– both with buttons and with daily (EEP!) posting.
    I might also be in denial, but I’m crazy excited to have found you again.
    (last time I was free, your dad– if I understand right, he’s your dad– did the “Scary Hope” Series that turned into an ebook that I benefited greatly from.

    I’m so excited to see the friendly community, AND I’m supper happy link-ups stat the night before: I live in Alaska, so we’re 4 hours after east coast time.

  32. I am willing to help anyone make a button for $5 each.

  33. Thanks to someone’s comment above, I went to PicMonkey and jazzed me up a button! WOOHOO! :O)

  34. I give up. Try as I might I, PictureMonkey and I are just not getting along. I’m going to take a break and work on my post. If I still can’t get it to work when I come back, can I still link up with just a picture from my blog? I hope so…..

  35. I copied a button with 31 on it in pink. I pasted it to my blog in the widget window and the address is written out, no pretty button. I need major help with buttons and linky’s. I read the information but did not understand. I have an iPad and i love it. I know that might make a difference.

  36. How do I get my button (already created) to show up on the linky page? Help!!!

  37. I posted my button and it’s too small. How can I delete and post a larger version?

  38. Thank you for hosting this! I am very new to blogging and I don’t have a button :-( Thank you everyone for all of the suggestions. I tried PicMonkey and didn’t like what I was making. Next up I’m going to try Photoshop. If I get really bold I’ll pull up Illustrator and see what kind of damage I can do! I’ll be watching the buttons that everyone creates!

  39. I’m a little late here, but if anyone still needs a 31 Days button I’m giving away 10 for FREE! :D http://www.anestfullofsquishers.com/2013/10/31-days-of-helping-other-bloggers.html

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