Take a look at my wallpaper today. If you stare at it for a bit, does it appear to move around on it’s own? Isn’t that creepy … or maybe it’s just me?
If you’re interested, I’ll show you how to create an infinity of wallpapers like this one using only the MS Paint application which is included with every copy of Windows.
* Open Paint
You can usually find it in your Start Menu under “Programs” then “Accessories”. If not, go to Start > Run, then type “mspaint”.
* Set the size
In Paint’s menus, go to Image Attributes.
Then set it to 8 by 8 making sure you’ve selected the Pixels radio button as well.
* Zoom in
The normal zoom setting is too small to work with. You can adjust the zoom settings by choosing “Image”, “Zoom” then “Custom” in the Paint menus.
Once the Custom Zoom dialog appears, set it to 800%
Now you can see blank square which is 8 x 8 pixels.
* Show the Grid
I recommend that you turn on the grid setting so you can see each pixel easily. Select “View, “Zoom” and “Show Grid” to see the grid display.
Now you can see each pixel.
* Fill the background
Pick a color on the color box.
Then choose the fill icon.
Click anywhere on the grid and the color you’ve chosen will fill the entire square. I’ve chosen black in this case.
* Create a pattern
Pick the pencil icon …
… then choose a few different colors and fill in your own crazy pattern. Here’s one I’ve finished.
* Save as bitmap
Once you’ve finished, save the pattern as a bitmap (*.bmp) by making sure you’ve got this selected in the “Save as type” pull-down box. I’ve found that the next step is easier if you save the .bmp file in your “My Pictures” folder.
* Set as Wallpaper
Right click on an empty area on your Windows Desktop, choose properties, then choose the “Desktop” tab. Now select the bmp file you’ve created. If it’s in your “My Pictures” folder, it should already be listed. Before you hit “Apply” or “OK”, be sure to also pick “Stretch” in the “Position” pull-down box.
It looks blocky before you hit the OK button, but Windows will smooth out those rough edges when it stretches the little bitmap to cover your desktop. If you’ve chosen to “hide” your desktop icons, this bitmap will still appear blocky and you’ll have to “Show Desktop Icons” to get the smeared effect in a stretched bitmap.
If everything goes well, you’ll have a great looking psychedelic wallpaper like the one I showed you at the top of this article. Once you get the hang of this, you can play with the size of the BMP and different colors to create your own weird universe of color.