Revamp your Facebook • Cat Morley

Not sure what to put at the top of your Facebook profile? Here are some tips and tricks to help put your stamp on your profile with a unique cover photo.

Have you converted your Facebook profile to the new Timeline yet? If so, you'll have noticed the new cover photo option at the top. This is a great way to personalise your profile and show off who you are. The problem is, what should you put in it? I debated on this for ages, unable to settle on any one photo and in the end, decided I should create something unique filled with all the things I loved. Want some help with your own? Here are my tips for creating an awesome Facebook cover. You'll need image editing software (I used Fireworks) and a bit of tech know-how, but there's nothing too tricky that some Googling won't help.

First things first, make sure you've converted your profile to the new Timeline. Now is also a great time to decide if you want to allow subscribers. This is a good idea if you gets lots of Friend Requests from people you don't know who want to follow your updates.

1. Start with a photo or texture

Take a screen grab of the top of your current Facebook page and open it in your image editing software. Select the space taken up by your current cover photo and delete. Make this the top layer and lock in place. Create a layer below and either add a photo or fill it with a pattern. To add a pattern, draw a rectangle slightly larger than the cover image and set the Fill Option to Pattern before picking something you like. Check out if you're out of inspiration.

2. Put your stamp on it

If you've got a logo for your business or even yourself, add it to your cover. You can take your time to intricately chop it out but I just pasted mine on top and set the Layer Blending Mode to Multiply.

3. Add a speech bubble

A speech bubble is a nifty way to add more info to your profile and is a little more visible than the current About box. You can even add a cheeky link to your blog or website if you like. I created mine by combing a rounded rectangle with a triangle. I then used the standard Facebook font, Lucida Grande and colour to write my message. I also added a note above the Subscribe Button to make it stand out a little bit more.

Warning: If you're making a cover for your business page, you're not allowed to add any text, so miss this step out! For more information on restrictions for business pages, check out this FAQ.

4. Add things you love

Now you can really get creative by adding photos of all the things you love. Think polaroids, photo strips, favourite possessions or things you collect. Photograph each item against a white background, trace around the outline with the Select tool, choose Select Inverse and delete the background. Choose a position and size that looks right for each item and just keep adding until you're happy with the look.

5. Use shadows

You can make your possessions stand out by adding a shadow to each of them. Make sure to keep it subtle by adjusting the shadow settings for an even more realistic look. I also created a frame shadow around the entire cover image to make it look inset from the page.

Are you happy with how your cover looks? If so, delete the layer with your Facebook profile on and crop the image to size. It should be 851 x 350 pixels. Export as a jpeg and upload to Facebook. Stand back and admire your work. Now if only I could pick a profile photo I don't look stupid in... too bad there are no Fireworks tricks for that!


What do you have as your Facebook cover image and what other tech tips would you like me to write about?