I originally posted this piece several years ago but as my blog and it audience has grown so dramatically since then, i thought I´d re-share it with you – I did´nt want any of you to miss out.
As my monthly wallpapers are becoming more and more popular and people are starting to ask me ‘How you do dat Tom..?’ so I thought it might help a few folk out if I shared the process which I go through to make these things.
It’s all created in photoshop and uses just 2 files. The first is the photograph, but not every image works well as a desktop wallpaper, I often find myself shooting specifically for the wallpaper. When I do Im looking for a particular composition, I’m looking for clean, uncluttered, simple, bold images that have space not only for the calendar details but also for the desktop shortcuts (of which I have way too many). You’ll need to crop and resize it to fit your screen resolution.
The other file you’ll need will be a .psd file that will contain the actual calendar info (month name, days of the week etc.)
In this file you’ll need several layers:
- One with text for the month and year name (ie ‘April 2012′).
- One with text for each of the days of the week (Mon – Sun).
- One with text for each of the numbers between 1 and 31 (depending on the month).
- A shape layer which I use as the calendar background and have set the opacity to about 60%. You may wish to add some other effects, such as a shadow or bevel & emboss.
- One with text for a copyright notice layer.
- A Transparant background layer.
Arrange the layers nicely and it should look something like this.
Confused??, Lost?? or lazy?? just download mine
In this file you´ll find a group of layers for every day of the month, as obviously the numbers need to match up with the days. Now when you create your monthly wallpaper all you have to do is check which day of the week the 1st is and open the correct group (you many also need to hide the number 31 for some months and the numbers 29, 30 and 31 for February).
If you’re still with me you should have 2 files open in Photoshop.
In the Days.psd file change the month name and year to match the current month.
Now it should be a simple case of dragging and dropping all the layers from the right group in the Days.psd file into your photo file, keeping them all grouped together makes this much easier. Flatten the image and save this as a .jpg. Browse you hard disk until you find where you saved it (you did save it somewhere sensible, no??) right click and select ‘Set As Desktop Background’
As if by magic, you’ve just created your desktop wallpaper.