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How to make a Children's Picture Book

Updated on May 29, 2018
Nell Rose profile image

Nell is a trained Psychologist and lives in London England. She has been writing since she was a child.

Graphic art graphic design  Labeled free Usage
Graphic art graphic design Labeled free Usage

How to design a graphic children's picture book.

So you want to draw a children's picture book but you feel that your skills as an artist are sadly lacking? What can you do?

Or you have a poem or story that would go nicely with some artwork. Well there is a way. And this is exactly what I am doing right now!

I am writing/drawing/graphics, a picture book to show the story of my fairy poem.

But how did I do it? And is it really that easy?

Well yes, as long as you are aware of a few pitfalls, trip ups and annoying slip ups!

For starters you need good sites that will help you, for free, to download, shrink, move about and pixelate your work.

And then of course there is the very important copyright infringement that you must avoid if you don't want your book to be taken off the 'shelf' so to speak. Or more to the point, be taken to court for theft. It happens!

Check the sites you are going to use for formatting first. Then you can open them all up at once. This saves hours of fiddling about with the wrong ones!

Believe me!

Usage Rights on Google.

My rather poor screen capture! But it shows where to find the the copyright and free usage.   Google Images Usage Rights
My rather poor screen capture! But it shows where to find the the copyright and free usage. Google Images Usage Rights

How to find Usage Rights in Google Search.

If you are planning on using Images from Google there are a number of things you can do before you start.

  • Keep checking that the pics/photos are 'Free to use'. This may be obvious. But trust me, its not! For example, if you put the words Pixabay into Google, click Images, you will get loads of pictures. But on closer study you will see the word copyright underneath them. This is because so many of the real copyright photos have been stolen, passed around and so on, they have ended up in the wrong place. Pinterest is one of the worse contenders for this. Not the site itself but the people who add pics discriminately. In plain English, they get muddled up with the free ones.
  • So, what to do? You really need all the free sites together. Wikicommons, Public Domain, Pixabay, and so on.
  • Write your key word in Google search. In my case Fairies. Then click Images. Underneath the word Fairies, and above the pictures you will see smaller writing which says Video, Shopping, News, More. Then slightly further along you can see Settings and Tools.
  • Click on Tools. Below to the left you will see the words Usage Rights. This is the one you want.
  • Click Usage Rights, look down the list until you get to Labelled for Reuse.
  • Click to open, and there you go. All the freebies in one place! But still check and double check as you go to use them.
  • In fact there are two bits you can use. Labelled for Reuse, and Labelled for Reuse with Modification. I take it this means you can use it as long as you are changing it in some way. The good thing is both seem to bring up the same pics but be careful all the same.
  • And last but not least, check and recheck.

Usage Rights.

Make sure you keep checking Usage Rights. Click the wrong picture and it could take you away from the Free pictures and photos. Be careful.

Lunapic the best of the rest.

Lunapic possibly the best online editor on the Internet.
Lunapic possibly the best online editor on the Internet.

Now for the fun part!

Okay, so now we have found our photos or pictures. The next step is to find the best site to make them bigger or smaller, according to the page size you intend to make.

This is where the awesome Lunapic comes in! You can more or less do anything you want on that page. But the best part? The Gradient Blend or Blend two pictures. Not only that, you can add Text, Shade, add Borders, too!

It allows you to place a picture as your background, and then grab another pic from your own collection or the free sites, and blend it onto the other photo! And you can put it anywhere on the page.

I could not have done my book without that site.

And the other two sites are a must too.

The first being Recisepiconline. You need high resolution pictures for your book. This the one place that will do them for you! Just follow the guide lines.

The next site is really useful too. Its called Picresize. I use this one separately purely because its so easy to cut the pictures down to size. Just click on, grab your photo from your gallery or Images, scroll down and it asks you how small? Just click and go!

Need Resolution, size, blend and add text? Here's the best sites to use.

blend, art, effects etc
The best! I tried the rest, stick with this one!
Adding text.
Tried and tested. Came back to this one as it suited my style best. Easy to use.
Cuts pics down to size.
The reason why this one is the best? Its simple. No chatting,explaining etc. Just does what is says 'on the label'.
Best Resolution.
Makes pics bigger, but adds pixels

A quick word about Roflbot.

I love Roflbot. Its the easiest and best site to add text. Well I think so. But of course you choose the best for you. This is just a suggestion for you.

But whatever site you are using for text, make sure that once you have added the text, saved and sent to your gallery, you need to do one more thing.

Check that it doesn't have the Roflbot logo or word on the pic. Roflbot tend to add that word to the bottom right hand corner of your picture. So go into your live photo gallery and find the crop, retouch, red eye bit at the top. Then use the retouch to get rid of the Roflbot word.

Obviously if you are using these sites to make your book, give them a mention, thanks, or link when you publish.

I loved Roflbot because it does a good size Text, white and easy to read. Nothing fancy. If you need color Text then stick to Lunapic. (above)

Roflbot Text.

Example of Roflbot Meme and Text
Example of Roflbot Meme and Text | Source

Write it down!

When you start the process of finding Images, adding text etc you may forget one little thing that will mess up the whole.

So its best to get a bit of paper, remember what that is?! Yep, and a pen.

And jot down the sequence.

Simple as that.

The Process.

As I mentioned above, its best if you open all the pages first. Roflbot, Lunapic and so on. This will save you time and not add frustration to your efforts!


Because even though it sounds easy, the whole process is time consuming. Even though, like me, you love doing the graphic art thing, or just using Free stuff, you have to be very very careful of Copyright.

Sigh, yes but we all moan when someone steals from us, so it worth the extra time to make sure its all legitimate from the free point of view!

So as not to make it too convoluted, I do bullet point.

  • Open all sites.
  • Check and recheck Free Usage.
  • Find your background pic, then go to the Resolution site and make sure you have enough pixels per page. Its self explanatory when you get there.
  • Open Lunapic and find the Blend list. Once again its easy when you are looking at the page.
  • Find your 'Add pic' that you want to put on the background. Save, and then blend with your background pic.
  • Experiment with various pictures and colors. And either make the pictures to size by using the cut down to size sites, or if you have a steady hand, use the Lunapic version by pulling the pic. down yourself. Once again it is self explanatory when you see the blend.
  • And then just save!
  • Simple as that!
  • My example below is from the book I have just published.

Violet Pippin Fairy book  Just one of the original I tried out before adding other pics and text.  Copyright Nell Rose
Violet Pippin Fairy book Just one of the original I tried out before adding other pics and text. Copyright Nell Rose | Source

Here's another example- How to do graphic design for a book cover.

And finally....

One last tip that will be useful! And trust me I know because I nearly fell into the trap!

Make sure you keep all your 'practice' pictures! You may just need them if you mess up the ones you are working on! Been there, got the book so to speak!

Sounds obvious? Yeah, but trust me simple things like that are the stuff of nightmares when it goes wrong! Searching the Internet for your original free pic. is a nightmare if you have forgotten where you got it from!

And there you are!

And a last word on manners. I used so many Pixabay pics. from a particular lady who produced these amazing fairy pictures, that I tracked down the artist, and said a great big fat


I received an email back afterwards, and she was so happy to think someone had taken the time to say it! So thanks, DeeDee51 !

Doesn't take a minute to be polite.

Sources that I couldn't do without.....!


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    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      16 months ago from England

      Thanks Frank, have a wonderful New Year!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      16 months ago from Shelton

      it seems like a wondrous is a project.. you get what you put in and you did put in a great deal

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      17 months ago from England

      Thanks Jackie, have a great Christmas!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      17 months ago from The Beautiful South

      Sorry to take so long getting back. It was canstock and middle size which is less expensive are great for book or ebook.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      17 months ago from England

      Thanks so much Peggy!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      17 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Congratulations on your book. Those fairy images are so cute. Thanks for the "how to" on creating them with text, etc. Copyrights are so important! I am glad that you stressed that in this post.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      17 months ago from England

      Hi Devika, aw thanks so much! always good to see you!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      17 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Nell Rose, Congratulations on your new book and many sales too.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      17 months ago from England

      Thanks Thelma, always good to see you!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      17 months ago from Germany and Philippines

      This is a very interesting and very informative tutorial, Nell. Congratulations on your new book. Well done. I hope you will sell a lot. Thanks.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      17 months ago from England

      Thank you Dora! we do have a glitch with the amazon print out, so its off the cards at the moment! lol! but I will get it done soon, and thanks for reading.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      17 months ago from The Caribbean

      Congratulations on your publication! Thank you for walking us through the process. Will use your article as a guide if I ever plan to do something like this.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      17 months ago from England

      Thanks Martie, I may change it a bit, not sure if I like my format of the book yet. but thank you! lol!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      17 months ago from South Africa

      Nell, I love working with pictures whether they are my own or found on the Internet. Thank you for all these tips, and especially regarding usage rights. From now on I will spare a lot of time searching for free photos.

      I have Violet Pippen on my wishlist.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      17 months ago from England

      Thanks Flourish! that's an awesome comment!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      17 months ago from USA

      This is a very useful resource and I like that you summarized everything at the end and provided links to helpful sites. Beautiful work!

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 

      17 months ago from Ohio

      I sure hope so, Nell. :D

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      17 months ago from England

      Good to know Kari, you are going to make an awesome book!

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 

      18 months ago from Ohio

      Thanks so much for all this information. I do have a children's book written, but my artist skills do not do it justice. I am going to try your method! Thanks again, I'm really excited. :)

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      18 months ago from England

      lol! thanks Zulma, always great to see you!

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      18 months ago from England

      Hi cynthia, yes that's the trouble, in fact I have seen some images on sites with the owners name on them! Its easy to do by mistake, but sometimes its obvious! lol! thanks for reading.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      18 months ago from England

      Hi Jools, long time no see! lol! good luck with getting back to writing, I know it can be hard sometimes.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      18 months ago from England

      Thanks Linda! have a great weekend.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      18 months ago from United Kingdom

      Wow! Fantastic hub, Nell. You really know your stuff. :)

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 

      18 months ago from Georgia

      Hi Nell, You have created an awesome resource. Thank you for doing that research and capturing the process you used. I already use I couldn't do without it.

      I also listen as a lot of people talk about capturing images from Google for various projects online. Some listen as I explain to them that those images are not free for use. Many try to tell me where I am wrong. Oh, well.

      This article will be so helpful when I finally put that book together. I appreciate the work you put into this.

      Take care. Cyndi

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools Hogg 

      18 months ago from North-East UK

      Excellent article Nell - I've been too long away from writing (life and other stuff got in the way!). If this article doesn't help me to get my finger out, nothing will!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      18 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a very useful article, Nell! Thanks for sharing all of the information and the names of the sites that you found useful. I'm going to explore the websites.

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      18 months ago from England

      Great advice Jackie! never thought of buying the images or pics, is it from fiver?

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      18 months ago from England

      Thanks Glenn, I am so glad you found it helpful. Trial and error and a few strange words floating around before I got there though, but I loved doing the book! lol!

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      18 months ago from England

      Thanks so much Bill! took me a while but...LOL! always great to see you!

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      18 months ago from England

      Thanks Heidi! its a first attempt, I will see how it goes, next one I may try and draw! heaven forbid as my mum would say! LOL!

    • Nell Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Nell Rose 

      18 months ago from England

      Thanks Mary, my layout was different from what I wanted, but thought it was okay. to be honest I may still change it! lol! glad you found it helpful, and good luck with your book!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      18 months ago from The Beautiful South

      I try going to Pixabay - Official Site to get all that I can but they really seem limited when you need something specific. Great information here and I know I will be back to jot down all this important got to know stuff.

      Thank you!

      Oh, and I bought my pics for my children's book and not very expensive at all...been a few years but under $3 and they are mine to use forever! So!

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 

      18 months ago from Long Island, NY

      This is a very complete and detailed article that I found to be very helpful.

      I see a lot of people make the mistake you talked about. They take images from Google, not realizing that Google is only referencing them, and the actual licensing rights need to be verified before using them elsewhere, as you discussed in this article.

      I’ve made the mistake you talked about, where I start searching for free-to-use commercially, and I end up being routed to another site without realizing it. This can be very misleading and I’m glad I caught myself before using a copyrighted image. But I’m sure many people fall into that trap.

      Your article gave me a lot of ideas. I always had a plan to write a children’s book using my own doodles, but I never felt they were good enough. I never thought of using images from search for a book, although I have always done that for my online articles.

      My Mac as a built in tool for adding all kinds of text fonts to images. And I use a couple of apps to change images too, but I just tried Lunapic that you recommended. I like the way you can try different effects and click “undo” if not happy with it.

      I’m going to check out those other sites you mentioned too. It looks like they have some interesting built in tools and features as well.

      I love how you put together DeeDee’s images to make your book cover. That sure is a great reference you gave. I can see why it helps to have the various image editing sites open at once, so you can take advantage of the different tools to combine images.

      Thanks for all the useful tips.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      18 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Look at how far you've come? Now you're going "how to" articles on something you never dreamed possible ten years ago. So very cool! Great tips, my friend, and a job well done.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      18 months ago from Chicago Area

      Great tips, Nell! I have a lot of author friends who want to get into the children's book arena. And you've pointed out some of the biggest challenges they face, especially with images. Thanks for sharing your advice with us and have a great weekend!

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      18 months ago from Brazil

      This is interesting Nell, as I am in the middle of trying to do a book and it's the images I am struggling with. I think I am over complicating the process.

      I will check out those sites.

      Congratulations on your book.


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