Pinterest is addictive!
It has been known for users
to lose whole days to pinning.
Pocketful of Dreams
accepts no responsibility for this,
but we do wish you
Last week I spoke about gathering inspiration in order to create your own mood board, I mainly spoke about offline inspiration and finding images, fabrics, swatches and colours. Basically anything tactile that you are drawn to, that would help you begin to outline what your core ‘style’ is.
This week I am moving online and wanted to talk you through an amazing online inspiration tool called Pinterest, a tool that has actually changed my life as an event designer.
Image credits: Grey Likes Weddings
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is basically a virtual pinboard, it is a way of gathering inspiring images and storing them online. Think of it as like an inspiration filing cabinet, you may have lots of folders at home bursting at the seams with ideas for your wedding, inspiration for your home decor, those delicious recipes you want to try one day, maybe a file full of fashions you are currently coveting and of course that file full of things you don’t know why they appeal to you so much ~ THEY JUST DO!
Well Pinterest allows you to store all those folders in an online filing cabinet. Just think how much extra space this creates at home, room for another shoe wardrobe perhaps?
And it’s not just your own pins that you have access to, hell no, you also have access to the pins of the millions of other users on there. So essentially they are doing most of the hard work for you in seeking out inspiring images and ideas, all you have to do is pin, pin, pin, or rather repin. More on that later.
How does Pinterest work?
Well there’s a few things you need to know about Pinterest to be able to use it. Here’s my pointers:
- Pin - This is the basis of Pinterest. You can pin any image online (As long as the author has not set restrictions) and you can even upload your own images to be pinned. When you ‘pin’ the image gets added to your Pinterest board, you can choose which category you want the pin to be filed under and you can even add a little comment underneath that helps you to remember why you are pinning it in the first place.
- Repin – This is what every Pinterest user does to build up their collection of inspiring images. Basically anything that is already pinned to Pinterest can be repinned by any user of Pinterest. This is great for finding really quirky ideas or beautiful images that you would never have come across without having spent days and days trawling the web, and even then you would only find a smidgen of what is at your fingertips on Pinterest.
- Board – This is essentially your offline folders taken online. Your boards are where your pins live and you can name them however you want to categorise them, for example home, wedding, fashion. Or you can get really specific and have things like flowers, hair, make-up, dresses. Basically whatever makes the most sense to you for when you want to revisit and find certain images. Plus the great bonus is you can have as many boards as you like.
- Collaborators – You can have multiple collaborators to your pinning boards, so for example if you collect and share ideas along with your bridesmaids, you can invite them to a specific board and they can add their own pins too.
How do I join Pinterest?
To gain access to Pinterest you have to request an invite. They are quite quick at responding so don’t worry you will soon gain access. The other way is to ask a friend who is already a Pinterest pinner to send you an invitation. I have a few invites available, so if you want one, get commenting below and I will send out to the first ones who comment.
To join you will create a user profile, choose a username that means something to you, particularly if you are a blogger or business (ie make it relate to you business name). You can also link your profile to your website, to facebook and twitter, with these widgets appearing underneath your profile for other people to find you across other networks.
But how do I Pin?
You first of all need install the Pin-It button to your web browser. It could not be simpler to do this, simply visit this page and where you see the Pin-It button (like in this image below) drag it to your bookmarks bar at the top of your web browser.
This video shows you how to install the Pin-It button….
Now that you have the Pin-It button installed you can begin pinning.
To pin an image you like you need to be on the webpage that has your image displayed:
- Click the Pin-it on your web browser
- All the pictures on that page will appear, just select the one you want
- Another window will pop-up, from the drop-down menu at the top you can select one of your boards to add it to, or create a new board. As well as adding a comment where it says Describe your pin…
- Once done press the red Pin It button
- This pop-up menu will now change to say: Success! Your pin was pinned to [Name of board]. Along with a few other options to See your pin, Tweet your Pin or Share on Facebook.
You will always see a range of images on the homepage when you log into Pinterest, these are the latest pins being pinned by every user.
There are several ways to view pins and you will see a selection across the top which gives you the following options:
- Pinners you Follow ~ to see any pins here you need to be following people, more on that below
- Everything ~ These are all pins split into several categories, such as Weddings, Architecture, Design. Just choose the category you want to see the latest pins within it.
- Videos ~ This is a fab resource and you can actually view the videos from within Pinterest
- Popular ~ Is self explanatory really, the most popular pins that are trending either being shared and repinned or talked about in the comments section
- Gifts ~ If a price is added to the comment section then that pin will have the associated price slashed across on the top-left. They will usually link back to the site where you can buy that item so always a good one to search if you’re looking for a unique gift ideas.
If you want to view what you have already pinned simply click on your profile name (top right) and you will see a range of options (top-left) which says: Boards, Pins and Likes. Just click on the one you want to view and these will appear in the feed below.
Repinning, Liking and Commenting
When you find a pin you like the look of simply hover over it and the following buttons will appear: Repin, like, Comment. Click on the ones you want to do any or all of the above to.
Repinning will add a pin to your own board as shown above.
If you Like a pin it will appear in a separate newsfeed rather than being stored within one of your boards. This is useful for those random pins that don’t really fit into any of your boards but you still just like.
You can Comment on pins you find, sometimes there will be whole conversations going on beneath a pin so make sure to check them out.
You can also mention another Pinterest user in the comments section. Much like on twitter and Facebook you just include @username. That user will then receive a notification, so again great for sharing information with others.
To search for pins you can enter a keyword into the search box in the top left corner. For example you may be looking for bouquet ideas, just enter this term and a number of pins will appear based on how people have described their pin. You can be more specific with your search term, such as pink bouquet, and the ones that match this term will appear first.
You can choose to search pins, boards or people. I find it especially useful to search boards if you are looking for a specific theme, eg summer wedding.
Another interesting feature of Pinterest is the ability to view pins from a specific website. For example, if I wanted to see what had been pinned from Pocketful of Dreams I would enter into my browser pinterest.com/source/pocketfulofdreams.co.uk to discover all the pins that have been pinned from my own website. As you can see from this image, the twine-ball light garland I created recently has been extremely popular!
Following other pinnners
The way to get the very best use out of Pinterest is to follow other pinners, this way you will always have a really interesting and varied range of pins at your disposal. You don’t need to have permission to follow a pinner you can literally follow anyone you like, and they are under no obligation to follow you back either.
Here’s my tips for following pinners….
- The best way to build up your range of people to follow is firstly choose your favourite bloggers and see if they are on Pinterest (most will have a link to their profile somewhere on their blog, you will find mine to the top right of the homepage).
- Next have a look at who they are following and see if any of those interest you. You can choose to follow someone by their profile, which means you follow every pin, or you can choose to just follow certain boards of theirs.
- Another good way of finding interesting pinners to follow is, each time you find a new pin you like click on the pinners profile and have a look at what else they are pinning, again add them to your following list if you like what you see.
- You can also invite friends or find friends who are on Facebook by choosing Find Friends from the drop-down menu where your profile name is.
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
I do hope you’ve found this rather epic tutorial helpful, Pinterest is an amazing source of inspiration. It is true though that you can get lost in it for hours so my advice is don’t get too carried away with it, find inspiration from outside of here as well.
Oh and Happy Pinning!