Design boards just seem to scratch several of my itches all at once. My love for beautiful spaces, furniture, patterns and colours. My love for seeking out inspiration. My love for creating order in a world full of chaos.
Aside from helping to suppress said chaos with pictures of (eco-friendly!) console tables and fabric swatches, design boards also come in super handy when planning out the design and decor of a room. I mostly use photo editing software to create them, but not everyone has access to such a program nor the know-how and time to work with one. Enter Pinterest – everyone’s favourite online inspo gathering tool.
So many people already use Pinterest to collect and organize their ideas and lordy knows I love me some pinning. You may be wondering how to print a Pinterest board or how to save a Pinterest board as a PDF. Perhaps all you want to do is save a Pinterest board offline. Because when it comes time to reference them – which may happen when you’re out shopping, when you’re meeting with a design professional, when you want to show a friend your ideas – it’s kind of a pain in the arse to have to scroll through a bunch of boards and pins looking for what you want. And what if you go to look and have no wi-fi? Or – gasp! – are out of your service area all together and can’t even get on Pinterest?
Plus, arranging all the elements of a room in proximately to each other really helps bring it all together. There’s a reason why designers create design boards (sometimes called mood boards). And that’s because they’re helpful in choosing everything from flooring and paint to artwork and furniture.
So I figured I would put together a tutorial on how to create and “print” a design board using Pinterest. I used scare quotes on printable because – as a sustainability blogger – I have to remind you not to exploit the precious natural resource that is trees. However, I’m no saint and sometimes I do print things. Also, you can print to PDF and save the file on your computer or phone, which makes it easy to access even when the internet is not.
Here’s a video illustrating the process. You can also scroll down below the video to read a step by step guide. I won’t lie. It’s riveting. You’ve been warned.
Go to Pinterest
Sign up for Pinterest or log into your existing account.
Creating and Naming Your Board
Go to “Create new board.” Give your board a name. For this tutorial I chose “Design Board – Master Bedroom.” Essentially this is going to be the design board for the master bedroom in Our House in the Trees, which I am 99% sure we’re building this summer! Set the board to secret if you want to keep your design board choices on the down low.
Now for the fun part! You can add pins in a few different ways. You can repin or move pins you’ve already added to other boards. You can use the search bar to find new pins. Or, you can go to any website and pin from there. I think sometimes we forget that pinning ideas from the web – not necessarily from within Pinterest itself – is a huge asset. Pinning from within can get kind of insular. Try going “off-grid” and see what you find! (Note that you’ll need a Pin It extension for your browser for sites that don’t have that option on their end.)
You can also add a few different kinds of pins. Either photos of rooms that have some of the elements you want for your room, photos of the furniture and accessories you want, or a mixture of both. For this tutorial I added furniture and accessories as the end result will look more like an actual interior design board as opposed to just a collection of ideas, which is also fine if that’s what you want. There are tons of places to find product photos, but I usually go to sites like Amazon, Etsy and Wayfair and search or browse there. You can also just do a plain old Google image search and see what comes up.
If you want to be really specific, you can pin the actual items you want to buy. Then you can use your board as a shopping list when it’s time to make your online purchases. If you are going to go this route, make sure you pin the image from the product page and not from the image link or your pin won’t go to the place of purchase. Of course, I also must encourage you to shop local when you can, which is another reason why having a design board saved to your phone or printed out is so handy!
Last note about adding pins, I find having your total pin number in the board being nine or sixteen to be best. This is so they’ll fill the whole page when you go to print. You’ll see what I mean up ahead.
Getting Ready to Print (Using Google Chrome)
You might think the next step is to simply print your board from your browser, but this actually doesn’t work. Even if it did you would end up with all the text from the page – the date, all of Pinterest’s buttons, partial descriptions under the pin, which doesn’t look pretty. Instead, go to File -> Save Page As. This will save a file and a folder to your desktop. Delete the file and open the folder. Arrange by kind to group all the JPEGS together and then delete everything else. You’ll also need to delete two jpegs – your profile pictures, unless you’d like to keep one on the design board for branding purposes.
Getting Ready to Print (Using Safari)
As far as I can tell there is no easy way to save all the images from your design board using Safari. Instead, you’ll have to click on each pin to expand. Then, right click and choose “Save Image to Downloads.” Save each pin to your downloads folder, locate them and move them to your desktop, then proceed to the next step.
Saving to PDF or Printing
Select all your images and double click (this should automatically open them in preview if you’re using a Mac). Go to View -> Contact Sheet. You can now drag your images around and place them in the order you’d like them to display in. I usually put materials and finishes such as flooring and paint colours as the first few images.
Once you’re done organizing your images, go to File -> Print. Select “Scale to Fit.” Change “Preview” to “Layout.” Change “Pages per Sheet” to either 9 or 16. You should now see your design board in the preview window. The only thing left to do is either save as a PDF or print out a hardcopy.
When you’re all done, you should have something like this!
Let me know in the comments if you run into any difficulties and I’ll do my best to help out!
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Posted on January 21, 2018