Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Why I LOVE Pinterest and How Pinterest Works

I'm not sure I can ever go back to life without Pinterest.  I don't want to go back to the days of buying magazines and tearing out pages for inspiration.  (But I still love magazines, especially food magazines.)  For example, I didn't buy a single wedding magazine while planning my wedding.  I remember friends planning weddings 5 or 6 years ago and going to their house to see the stacks of wedding magazines with dog eared pages and binders of torn out pages with ideas.

Not only is wedding planning SO much easier with Pinterest, but finding new recipes is easy too.  Form healthy to unique to gluttonous and wonderful baking recipes - the list is almost endless.  There are so many blogs out there with recipes that will never make it into a cookbook or website.  I love that I can find them now.  Let's not also forget cleaning and home organizational tips.  Pinterest is full of ways to make your live simpler around the house.  I had no idea white vinegar was so useful until I saw pin after pin of uses, several that I have tried.

Lastly, crafting.  OMG, the craft ideas are overflowing on Pinterest.  I have close to 100 pins on my Craft Ideas board.  Before Pinterest I had a few craft projects in my head, but with Pinterest I've been exposed to so many new things I never once considered to try on my own.  But with links to tutorials on basically everything I could ever want to try, the world has opened new doors to me.  I even registered for a sewing machine on our wedding registry so I can learn to sew to make items for around the house!

Pinterest works like this.  You set up an account and once approved you can search through other people's pins and add them to boards that you have created so you can come back to them later.  When you log in to the site this is what your main page will look like, below.  The pins update constantly and you can see what pins that you have added that have been pinned by others down the left hand side of the page.  Every time I go to this page it is different based on how active the people I'm following are that day.

Think of the boards as the folders you used to keep when you tore out pictures from a magazine.  You did that, right, just like me?  Each board is a different topic and you can have unlimited boards.  At least I think you can, I've seen people with more boards then I could even try to keep track of.  They must be professional pinners.  (Is that a job?  I want it.)  I have boards for Craft Ideas, Wedding Inspiration, Food and Drinks, Holidays, Books I want to read, and several more.  Here is a screen shot of what your account page on Pinterest will look like with your boards.  I have a few more that don't fit on the screen until you scroll down.

My Pinterest page
Into each board you add your pins.  You can see in the image above how many pins I have in each board.  Obviously this changes daily as I add pins.  Each board has a "cover photo" which is the large picture and you can set this to something or it is your most recent pin.  To get inside a board you click on one of the images in that board and it brings you into that section.  Below is my Holidays board.

My Holiday Board
Using my Holiday board above you can see that each pin is linked from another website, shown in the grey below the picture caption.  Each picture gets a caption which you can create.  This caption is seen by all of your followers and anyone searching for a key word that is in your caption.  When you click on one of these pins (photos) it makes it larger so you can see it in more detail and from there you can double click on it and it will open the original website with that content in a new window.  I have a few of my projects posted on one of Pinterest boards and it's fun to see web traffic to the blog from Pinterest.

You can add to your boards in two ways.  First, and the most fun in my opinion, is just browsing through Pinterest.  You can see pins from people that you are following or everything that is being pinned at that moment.  You can even search Pinterest for ideas.  When I put in the search box "red truck" below are the pins that show up for me.  Of course, if you go and search for the same thing it may look different depending on what has been pinned since my search.

When I was planning a baby shower I had a board dedicated to just Baby Shower ideas and I searched through tons of key words for inspiration.  Same for when I was trying to find ideas for how I would wear my hair for the wedding.  I'm pretty sure I pinned close to 10 different photos to my board and I showed them to my hair stylist when I went in for my trial.  Much easier than flipping through several wedding magazines and tearing out pictures or printing pictures off a web page.  It's great when you find a pin that you like and you go to the board where that pin lives and you find other photos that were inspiration to that pinner.

The second way to pin to your board is with a button that is loaded to the Toolbar.  It's so simple to use!  For example, I'm on a blog and the blogger has posed a new recipe that I want to try later.  I go to the "Pin It" button now on my toolbar and it pulls up all of the photos on that current page that I can pin to my board.  I select the picture that I want to pin (make sure it's representative of what the content is) then I add a caption and select which of my boards I want that pin to land on.  Easy as that.

Feel free to search for me and browse around all of my pins.  There is so much out there to see and do! A few of my favorite pins from the past few days:

What a fun trick for holiday decor from Dandelions and Dust Bunnies

A project I can't wait to try!  Using Mod Podge to create a giant "canvas" for the wall from Life as a Thrifter

A tutorial for no-sew bunting that I used recently from Corner Blog.  More on the project to come later.
 If you haven't given Pinterest a shot, don't be afraid.  All you have to lose is a few hours of free time!  Stephen said something that was pretty true yesterday during one of the MANY commercials during the Olympics last night.  He said, "Should I assume that if you have your ipad in your hand I should assume everything you say relates to Pinterest?"  Yes, he's right.

Pinterest does have an App for the iphone and ipad, but I'd rather use the website on my ipad instead of the app. The app never seems to work right for me.  I'm sure they're working on it.

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