I consider myself zen master of Word and Paint manipulation… I’ll give Photoshop a run for it’s money any day with my mad Microsoft office skills. And after this post, you too will be able to create sweet and *free* room mock-ups using only Microsoft Word and Paint.
Let me preface this by saying, there are a lot of really great room layout planners online that are free as well. You can create your room size, select your furniture and colors, and even view in 3-D. I would highly recommend homestyler.com.
But sometimes, you just want to see what it would look like in the actual room, not some weird virtual rending of what your walls, windows and space looks like. This is where we turn to Microsoft Office and Paint to do our magic….
1. Start out with an empty (as much as possible) room
(I just found this randomly on the internet, and it turns out it’s a room of an awesome blogger, Sarah, check out her site!)
Try to get a straight on shot, or at least a 45 degree angle because that’s how most products are photographed and you’ll need them angled correctly to look right in your room.
2. Put it in Word
Copy and paste your room into a Word Doc, and I would recommend right-clicking, selecting: wrap text, behind text. That way your picture won’t move around on you when you copy and paste more images in the Doc.
3. Determine your bottom-most layers first
You will want to add your elements from the back most layer to the front. That way everything will be stacked as in real life. You don’t want your rug showing in front of your sectional! You can change the position of images by right-clicking, selecting move forward or backward and the relevant options. But trust me, you don’t want to be clicking this a million times to get everything layered right, just do your best from the beginning to start with the bottom-most layer.
4. Find an image to add
Let’s start with a rug. When looking for a rug, obviously you want to find one you like, but also be looking that is has a white background. I think the easiest way to do this is to search google images or google shopping for what you’re looking for. Also be thinking about the angle the object needs to be and size of the picture.
5. Add to your Word Doc
Once you’ve found your image, right click and copy, then paste into your Word doc. Immediately after pasting any picture into your Word doc you will want to align it in front of the text (right click image, text align, in front of text), and shrink to a manageable size if necessary.
6. Set transparent color
Obviously in real life this rug would not have a big white border around it. Luckily there is an easy way to get rid of that! Double click the image or select the Format tab at the top of your Word Doc. Select Color, then set transparent color. You will then take your pointer and click on the white surrounding to make it transparent. Magical, isn’t it? 😉
7. Position your item.
You may notice that the rug doesn’t exactly lay naturally as is in the room. It’s going to take some manipulation.. some objects you can do this to more than others. Obviously you’re not going to be able to tilt and slant a couch too much, so it’s more imperative for those that you find an image at the correct angle for your room.
There are several ways you can do this, first is by using the presets provided in Word. If you go again to the Format tab (or double click image) then select picture effects, then 3-D rotation, you will see a slew of options for you to try and make your image fit more organically into the space. Just hover over each one until you find one that looks natural in the space.
Or you can create these effects your self by rotating and adjusting the width and length of the image. (Hint: use the green circle at the top of the selected image to rotate) You can even flip images by dragging the width over and past the image.
8. Adding images without white backgrounds
Alright so what if the exact curtains I’m going to buy don’t have a nice picture I can set a transparent color on? Never fear, we have Paint to the rescue (you were wondering when we would start using that weren’t you? 😉 )
You may find that there is still some of pieces of the surroundings showing through, so in order to get rid of those, trace around the edge using a thick brush stroke or line. You will want to use a color that is not in your picture to avoid issues when you set it to transparent. After outlining, fill in the remaining area that you don’t want in that same color.
To get it into your Word doc, click select all, and copy. You can then paste in the Word doc and use the instructions above to align in front of text, set the transparent color, and position the item correctly.
9. Change room elements with Word shapes
Instead of going through all the rig-a-ma-role of finding and adding a curtain rod, I just made one using Insert, shapes, line, in Word. I formatted the line to be the thickness and color I wanted. But, since I forgot to do that before the curtains I have to send them to the back by right-clicking and selecting send backward which moves the object one layer back) or send to back, which puts it as the bottom layer (minus your room picture because it is set to align behind the text).
You can use shapes to do lots of cool things in the room, like paint your windows, or change the wall to be a different color (using opacity helps it look more natural.)
10. Finish it up
Once you’ve completed your room, take a screenshot and paste it into Paint. You can then select the area of the original room so all objects are contained, then press crop. And there you have it, you’re very own room mock-up!
This is definitely not an easy or quick solution, but if you want to see how things will actually look in your house it’s a great (and cheap!) solution. I’d love to see your room mock-ups!!! Pin them to your Pinterest board and link up below 🙂
See my den mock-up post here! And feel free to pin the image below so you can find this tutorial later and share it with others 😉