Polyvore: A Tutorial Part 2

Did you get a chance to check out Polyvore and set up an account? If you need help on getting started make sure you check out the first part of my tutorial. It will get you a quick glimpse of the site and some of the options available. Today we are going to get started in actually creating a graphic.

polyvore main page


Start by logging on to your account. Then look at the top center for the button that says “create.” You can either “click” on the “create” or “hover” on it to get the drop down menu, which will give you multiple options. For now, stick with sets.

Polyvore activity  page for clipping tool and show create 1

Once you hit create or sets you will be taken to the editing page which will look something like this:
Showing the basic create page

The left side is your work space. The right is where you will find your items to put into your graphic.

But lets stop for a moment. Before you start creating this graphic think of a theme. It can be a color, an event, a movie, a tv show, a book…whatever inspires you! Having a theme in mind will make your work more productive, help you feel less overwhelmed, and keep you focused.

When I am making movie/TV inspired graphics I always open a second tab on my computer specifically for google images. For the example graphic I used the movie The Notebook as my inspiration.

Here’s what my google images looked like:

images from the Notebook 1


Scroll through the images. You will probably find some other polyvore creations on there. You can use their ideas as inspiration, but please do not try to copy them! This is your time to shine with your own creative juices!

Get a feel for what kinds of clothing were popular in the movie/show and pick something that resonates with you. It should be something that is recognizable as being from the particular movie/show. Or something that simply fits the character well. Some characters this is easier to do than others.

For The Notebook I noticed that the main character, Allie, not only wears a lot of dresses (makes sense for the era) but she wears a lot of red. So I kept my eyes peeled, not only for a dress that fit the era, but also for one that was red.

Here is a snapshot of my search after entering “1940s dress” in the search box on the right hand side.

Search for 1940s dresses 1


As you can see, a search box comes with your search. This is awesome if you find out that what you originally used as your search words wasn’t as helpful as you had hoped.

After browsing through the dresses I found this awesome red one and dragged it over to my editing space.

Red dress with editing options

Now what?

There are several things you can do to alter your dress (or pants or shirt or shoes or whatever you find). First you can adjust the size. This is just like any photo editing software and if you click on the photo it will give you a box around the graphic  with a box in each corner that you can use to make the photo bigger or smaller. I can’t get my computer to let me take a screenshot but I think you can figure it out.

Lets take a look at some other tools that you probably can figure out on your own but I want this to be easy for you!

Red dress with editing options 1

Photo Background

When you are still editing your photo you have the option to adjust the photo background. In this particular photo you can see that the manikin has some grey around her. In this case, I chose to leave it. But there are two other options.

The top option is an invisible background. This is perfect for many items with backgrounds like the one above when you want the image to be seamless with the rest of the graphic. But you will need to be careful of images with white in them. I find that any photo with too much white in it will take the white out of the photo along with the background, which creates holes in the photo. Sometimes this works. Sometimes it does not.

The second, or middle, option is to leave the photo alone with the background being exactly as it is in the original photo. In this case it leaves a bit of a grayish box around the dress. As you will see in the finished product this worked out okay with this particular photo. Sometimes though the background is very distracting or you only want part of the photo.

That’s when the third option comes in handy. With this option you can crop the photo using one of two tools. You can either use the box cropping tool, or you can use small boxes to draw around the item and create a close crop. Play around with the two options to figure out which one works best for you. And don’t forget to save when you are done cropping it!

Hit okay and you will go back to your graphic with your newly edited photo.

Pop up window on editing the item 1

Alright, so you have that dress cropped the way you want it. You’ve taken away the background or left it just the way you want it. Now lets move on to the next set of tools you have available to edit the photo.

Red dress with editing options 1

Photo Options

These items are all pretty self explanatory. Want something to appear on the graphic more than once? Click “clone.” Want to turn it so that the manikin is facing the other direction? Hit “flop.” Want the dress to be upside down? Hit “flip.”

Forwards and backwards are the two tools in the top section that I use the most. With these two options you can put the dress in front of, or behind another item. Let me show you an example.

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 3.51.43 PM

Here in the first option I have the Batman shirt in front of the yellow blazer. It puts the focus on the Batman shirt.

Now lets say I take one of the edited versions of the jacket (someone else cropped it for me but I found it the same way as if I had done it myself in the pop up window) and put the shirt “backwards” so that it looks like it is “in” the jacket exactly as it would be if someone was actually wearing it.

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 3.55.36 PM

This takes the same two items and creates an entirely different look.

Sometimes it will be layering clothing. Sometimes it will be accessories. Sometimes it will be extra items like a graphic of a location or a fun item that reminds you of the movie/TV show that inspired the graphic in the first place.

Red dress with editing options 1

Save Options

These options are not just for saving, but when I was trying to figure out what to call them, it seemed like the best title.

On the left side of your graphic you will see a box that is there (and sometimes in the way) no matter what you are doing to the set.

The top button is fairly obvious. This is the one that you will click when you are ready to share it with the world. Do not hit this button if you do not want anyone to see it. Hitting “publish” will put it on the polyvore site and will give you a choice to share it with your friends on Facebook. After you hit “publish” you will also be able to “pin” it to Pinterest, email it to a friend, share it on your blog, or add it to a collection. All of these are options that you will be able to utilize and probably want to use (who doesn’t want to share their great creations with everyone they love?) but not until you are finished creating.

But don’t worry! There is a save option right below the “publish” button that you can click on if you need to go make dinner, answer the phone, or whatever is interrupting your amazing creative juices.

“New” will give you a brand new slate to work off of. But make sure you save the one you are working on first so you don’t lose it!

The arrow on the left is to “undo” the last thing you did. This can be handy if you resize the graphic and it just doesn’t look right. The arrow on the right is for “redo”ing your last action that you just “undid.” Pretty simple, huh?

Under that are the magnifying glasses that are for zooming in and out. I find them to be a bit frustrating at time as they don’t zoom like I would like them too. But they can be handy if you really want to zoom in on a part of your graphic.

The bottom circle is another tool that is very handy. If you click on it, your graphic (what you have so far) will center. It will help if you find that you started out too far on one side or the other and need to fix it easily.

Alright my lovely readers, that is where I am going to leave it for right now. Go into your polyvore and play around. Pick a couple of items and learn how to use the tools. Think of a theme or a movie, book, TV character that inspires you.

In the next post we will discuss how to use the clipping tool, where to find the things you have clipped, how to finish up a graphic, how to create a collection, and how to save your collection to your computer so that it can be edited/shared as a photo instead of a link.

Hope you are enjoying the tutorials and that it will get your creative juices really flowing! I can’t wait to see all your great collections!

Add me to YOUR polyvore (@adaynasmile) and let me know what your name is that I can follow you.


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