How to Make a Meme for Free

On my personal website, I set up a Zazzle store. It was one of many ideas I had to monetize my blog. The problem was that I didn’t have anything to sell. Nothing dazzling to put on one of the many products Zazzle sells that anyone would want to buy. But then it happened, there was a flash of light, I walked straight into a door, fell over, and I had an epiphany. Why not put a meme on a coffee cup or tee shirt and try selling that? How hard could it be? After all, a meme is just a photograph with a large, clever caption written over it. And, there are plenty of websites out there such as memegenerator.net and imgur.com that will make the meme for you. All you have to do is upload the photo. They also provide photos for people to use but to be clear – if you aren’t the photographer you do NOT own the rights to the photo and can NOT sell it.

Well, here’s the thing. When you use one of your own photos in the free meme-making websites, they automatically place their watermark on the image.  If you upload that image and try putting it on a coffee cup or tee-shirt, companies like Zazzle will flag it for copyright issues, preventing you from selling it on their sites.

That being said, I figured out a way to make a meme that could be placed on a product All that’s needed is a photo and photo-editing software.

Photos are easy – if you’re like me you have thousands of them on your computer and you’re wondering why you photographed the same pencil 27 times. The photo-editing software is also easy to come by and it’s FREE. I’m sure there are a number of websites available but my personal choice is pixlr.com.

(Any of the following screenshots can be enlarged by double-clicking on the image.)

Select “open image from computer” and find the image you want to turn into a meme.

I found this little guy on pexels.com. Pexels is one of a handful of websites that has royalty free and free for commercial use photos with no attribution required.

Once the photo has been uploaded, move your cursor over the letter “A” located in the toolbar on the left side of the screen. Then place your cursor over the photo where you want the text to go and left click on the mouse. When you do, a text box will pop up on the screen just like the one below.

Next, place your cursor on the down arrow and then scroll down to the font, Impact. This the most common font used when making memes. The text box will also let you change the color of the font. Double-click on the “Color” box located in the lower, right corner and select the font you want. I always choose white which has the hexidecimal code of #ffffff.

After that font has been selected, turn your caps lock on – assuming you want the text to be in all caps. Typically the captions on memes are written in all caps but it’s not necessarily a requirement. Then start typing.

Generally the font is set to a default size, to change the size there are a couple of options. The first is to change the font size with in the text box. It’s located on the lower left side. However, sometimes even after you max out the size of the font within the text box, you may decide you need the font to be even larger.

To make the font even larger, you’ll need to rasterize the layer.

Then you’ll need to use the free transform tool to increase the size of the font.

When you select free transform, a blue box will appear around the text.

Now all you need to do is place your cursor on one of the corner boxes and while holding down the shift key, drag it out until you get the size that you want. You can also use the free transform tool to move the entire text box around so you can place the text anywhere on the photo.

***If you want to have two lines of text, one on top of the photo and one on the bottom, you will need two text boxes. To get the second text box, click on the “A” and then tap anywhere on the screen to get an additional text box to pop up.***

At this point you could call it done, but I like to take one more step. In order to make sure the font can be read, I like to place a black border around it.

To place a black border around the letters, you’ll need to turn your attention to the far right side of the screen.

Double-click on the small folder that has a star sticking out of its right side. It’s circled in yellow in the photo above.

Another box will pop up with options of Drop Shadow, Inner shadow, Bevel, Outer Glow and Inner Glow. Select Outer Glow and then double-click on the words “Outer Glow”.

When you double-click on Outer Glow, another box pops up.

Change “Hardness” to 3 and “Size” to 5. If the “Color” box isn’t already black, double-click on it to open the color wheel.

If you want the letters to have a black outline type in six zeros (000000) in the box with the hashtag next to it. Or you can just look for black in the color wheel. I find it’s faster to enter the hexidecimal code into the box than it is to fight the color wheel but that’s just me.

Once you’ve completed this step, you’ll have a finished meme ready to save to your computer.

This is my final product and in case you’re wondering, I borrowed the caption from one of my favorite movies, “Home.” Also, if you’re wondering about the black outline – this is one of my first memes and I did not use it for this caption because I didn’t feel it was necessary but on most of the memes I’ve created, I have used a black outline to make the font easier to read.

Also, I created my own personal watermarks on this photo – one connecting the photo to my blog and the other giving credit to pexels.com – the website where I found the photo of the raccoon. Technically no attribution is required but I still like giving credit to the website where I found it.

My next blog post will be on how to create a watermark so you can protect your personal photos when using them on your websites.

Calling all writers! We are now accepting submissions for the October issue.  The theme is “What Lies Beneath?” Shadows under an old porch? A strange burial mound? A sandbox? Tell us your stories! The deadline for this issue is August 30, 2017!

 

 

 

 

1 Comment

  1. James Stack

    This is awesome! Thanks for educating me on this. I can’t wait to try it. Yippee!!!!

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