I leveraged Microsoft PowerPoint to create my image since I feel that my Adobe Photoshop Elements skills are not where they should be. Many people forget that once you create a page in PowerPoint you can save the slide as a PNG, BMP or JPG format file for use in other programs.
Here's how I created this image:
1. Open Microsoft PowerPoint and create a blank presentation.
2. On the Insert menu, select Shapes, Rectangle and draw a rectangle the width of the presentation slide and about two inches high.
3. Right-click over the rectangle and select Format Shape. Use the various options in the Format Shape dialog to select the desired Fill Color and to add or remove the line around the rectangle. Click Close when finished.
4. You should now have a background upon which to insert your banner text.
5. On the Insert menu select Text Box and draw a text box the length of the banner. Format the text to be centered, with a large font size (48 points or larger) and your desired font style.
6. On the Insert menu select Pictures and locate various photos to insert on the banner. Once a photo is inserted, you will need to resize it to fit and then align it with other photos on the banner.
7. Once the banner is complete, save the presentation in the Powerpoint format (ppt or pptx) for safekeeping.
8. To export the banner to a picture file format, on the File menu select Save As. In the Save As dialog, locate the Save as type drop-down list and select TIF (a format which creates a very high resolution image). Specify a location and click Save.
9. Next, when prompted, select Current Slide Only to save the presentation as a picture.
10. Open the TIF file in your photo management software. I use Microsoft Picture Manager as shown below. Use the Crop feature to crop out the "white space" above and below the banner, leaving only the image.
11. Export the file to the PNG or JPG formats which will reduce the file size and make it easier to upload to Blogger.
12. Go to the Dashboard for your blog in Blogger. Select Layout and locate the Picture widget. Click Edit.
13. In the Configure Image dialog, select Choose File and locate the PNG or JPG image which was just exported. Also click Shrink To Fit.
14. The image will appear in the dialog. Click Save.
Note: This method of adding a large banner image will not work with all templates especially those that are not included in Blogger's standard set of templates.