Okay, so maybe I play The Sims 4 too much. And… I also have a probably unhealthy quantity of TS4 CC pinned on my Pinterest board… but! This is a rare opportunity for me to share my unhealthy obsession!
Today, I will present to you some of my favorite Sims hair custom content!
Necessary disclaimer: I will double-check that everything is still downloadable at the time of writing, but I might not necessarily remember if I’ve tested a particular cc hair in-game. I don’t do adfly or anything that looks fishy, though!
*Please note that the links are ABOVE their respective images!
Artist trading cards are fun to make, but artist’s block is a legit thing. It’s not always easy to magically be inspired to make stuff.
So today I bring you an idea that I hope will inspire you! I actually don’t know that “improbable maps” is an accurate way to describe them… but that’s how I think of them! I’ve recently been making these abstract “maps” on a ton of cards.
For example, here is the simplest variety:
As you can see, these improbable maps are really just a lot of shapes drawn so that the spaces in between, or the “roads,” are approximately the same width between all the shapes on the card. The shapes themselves are pretty random, but drawn carefully in a bold pen to keep the edges looking clean and straight.
What you’ll need
ATC blanks, standard 2.5 x 3.5″ size (thick, sturdy paper like watercolor paper works best)
Something to draw with (I used a Sakura Pigma Micron pen, size 08, but this is really up to you and your favorite drawing tools)
Patience! Go slow to keep your lines as clean as possible.
This is the fun part–deciding how to vary up this concept to make a unique design. I find that something that feels limited like this simple idea is actually very freeing for creativity.
For example, you can try:
Different pen thicknesses
Different shapes (e.g., all straight edges, including curves or not, only triangles or only rectangles, etc.)
Selectively coloring some parts but not others, for emphasis
Different simple patterns to fill the spaces
Cleaner or messier lines, depending on how many times you trace over them
Different sizes of shapes or “roads”
Structuring the map as a logical grid versus centered around a point or random
Looking at real (probable) maps for inspiration!
My examples: photo dump time
I hope that my ATC examples sparked some inspiration for your own art! Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you soon!
A while ago I wrote about creative video games worth trying out and The Sims 4 was at the top of that list. And for good reason! There’s just so much you can do with sims, and community-made mods and Custom Content (or CC) add even more possibilities.
So many, really, that it’s hard to know where to go to find the best cc and… “collecting” the best stuff for your sims is almost a hobby in and of itself.
Or maybe I’m just a hoarder, you know. Whatever. 🙂
Anyway, I thought I’d share some of the best places I’ve found a lot of great custom content to help you get even more creative with your sims.
First off, here’s what you DON’T want to do:
download anything that looks sketchy; for instance, if it uses ad.fly? Not worth it!
simply place .rar or .zip files in your Mods folder without extracting the files first
if you don’t know what I’m talking about, don’t worry; I’ll explain below
download mods or cc that requires expansion packs you don’t have
many downloads will specifically say “base-game compatible” or “bgc” OR note what expansions are required to use the content
(optional) download a ton of content without also getting mods to help you manage it
for example: expanded CAS columns becomes verryyy necessary at a certain point
Yeah, so I would suggest NOT doing the above things. Here’s the basics of how you actually DO download mods/cc for your game:
Disclaimer: I have a PC and am running Windows 10. I honestly have no idea how this changes if you have a Mac. YMMV, etc etc.
Find cool stuff and download it! Yay! This is the fun part. Make sure you know how to get to where everything downloads, i.e, usually your Downloads folder.
Look at what file type each download is. PACKAGE files are the easiest to handle; go to 2a. Go to 2b for .rar and .zip files.
2a: If the file in question is a PACKAGE file, all you really have to do is move that sucker into your Sims 4 Mods folder. Click to select it, then you should see “Move to” up at the top of your file browser. Use that to navigate to your Mods folder, which for me is in Documents, but you might have to look around. The path should be something like Documents > Electronic Arts >The Sims 4 > Mods. Once you’ve moved the file to Mods, you’re done with this step.
2b: For a .rar or .zip file, I would recommend using 7zip, which is free and by all accounts much better than winRAR or whatever else is out there. With it installed, right click the file, then 7zip > Extract… and click the three little dots off to the right to browse for your Mods folder. The path should be something like Documents > Electronic Arts >The Sims 4 > Mods. Press OK to extract the files to your Mods folder and now you can delete the files from your Downloads.
Now you’ve installed your mods/cc and want to actually play, right? To do this, you’ll need to start the game, go into Options, and enable mods and scripted mods. You’ll find the options in the “Other” category. Note that you’ll need to re-enable mods every time the game updates.
Now you’ll need to restart your game. Do this and you should be all set!
Now that you get the process, where do you actually find all this cool stuff to download??
This one can be divisive because you have to pay to conveniently download anything, but it’s pretty cheap. I think it’s very worth the price.
The content here tends to be high-quality and there’s a lot of it. It’s kind of overwhelming, honestly. Often I find cc through another source (like Pinterest) that points me back to TSR, though I wouldn’t have ever seen it there otherwise. Maybe their search needs some tweaking? Not sure.
You can absolutely try TSR for free for a while and if you use it a lot, consider upgrading to a paid plan.
So-called “simblrs” tend to host free cc, but sometimes they link to Patrons-only Patreon accounts.
Simblrs are great for going down rabbit holes, because often they reblog each other and/or have lists of other simblrs you can check out.
You don’t need a tumblr account of your own to search tumblr!
The biggest downfall of searching tumblr is that many of the links are broken. Sometimes it feels like a cc cemetery. 😦 But there is still so much left up there!
I unironically love Pinterest lately. It learns quickly what you’re into and suggests infinite sources of cc once it picks up on your interest in it.
Pinterest is also great for organizing all that stuff you want to download later!
I would recommend adding a “note to self” when you download something so you don’t forget. For example, I would add “Downloaded 5/11/22” to everything I download today. These notes are only visible to you, don’t worry.
ModTheSims is especially great for, well, mods. I means mods as opposed to cc that doesn’t really function in an innovative way, e.g., clothes.
You can download stuff for free here!
Beware of very old mods–I haven’t seen anything malicious on MTS, but some modders have abandoned their mods over time and they can either just not work and/or cause problems with your game.
I’m sure I’m missing other sources, but these are what I use, generally. I’m a little hesitant to recommend Simsdom because I find the wait time (if you don’t pay) to be extremely annoying and the price doesn’t seem worth it. That said, sometimes I’ll download from there anyway.
Maybe you’re looking for even faster shortcuts to the good stuff. 🙂 Don’t worry, I got you.
My more specific faves for cc sources
The following list is probably well into “overwhelming” territory, but I’m providing little notes to help you determine which links to follow based on what kind of cc you’re looking for. Have fun!
Like I mentioned above, TSR is technically a paysite, but it’s well worth the cost, in my opinion. There’s no other site as legit, high-quality, and (almost) free of ads.
Some of my favorite TSR artists are:
KaTPurpura: clothes, especially female kids and toddler clothes cc
McLayneSims: clothes, especially male clothes cc (for all ages). Really prolific creator on TSR.
This is Them: skinblends cc that make sims look like real people. It’s crazy.
My Pinterest board
If you want a direct way to see what I’m into as far as Sims 4 cc, check out my Pinterest board.
I will warn you, however, that some links may be broken and/or lead to adfly or be otherwise sketchy. I can’t guarantee everything on here because I don’t download before I pin, typically.
Most of these are on Patreon, but here’s a protip: scroll down to “See all posts” and then filter on the tier dropdown to only show public posts. This lists all the free content for you!
Around the Sims: an unreal quantity of buy/build objects as well as clothes cc. If you aren’t a paid member, you need to download items individually (sometimes a pain, but I think it’s worth the effort).
myshunosun: object/furniture cc with a distinct minimalist style.
Gorilla Gorilla Gorilla: clothes, especially male clothes cc. They have a very clean and professional style and are super prolific. I probably have hundreds of Gorillax3 pins on my Sims board.
I’ve recently started playing around with Canva and am having a lot of fun with it. I only have the free version, which is frustrating, but you can still do a lot with it! I”m surprised at how much I’m able to do, actually. I expected them to stop me from downloading my designs or something.
But yeah, so I’ve been designing some postcards and I thought I’d share with anyone who’s interested. I’m no professional graphic designer, by any means, but I think these designs are cool enough that I plan to use them, so why wouldn’t someone else?
The “catch,” I guess, if there is one, is that you would either need to get these PDFs printed professionally as postcards or be cheap (as I am) and somehow stick them to fully blank postcards. I tried it with Mod Podge (both between the paper and postcard and over the top to seal it and give it texture) and it worked decently.
I say “decently” rather than a more positive adjective because it did warp the cardstock a bit and I will probably end up taping the edges (with clear Scotch gift wrapping tape or similar) to make sure nothing catches or rips when it goes through the scary postal machines.
Here’s a little before and after picture demo (while still wet versus fully dry):
So you can see that it does work, if not perfectly. I bet it would flatten more if I pressed it with heavy books or something. If you do try this method, I would hold off on taping the edges until you write on the back, because you probably won’t be able to write over the tape as easily.
This sort of thing works better if you use less Mod Podge or none at all. I would recommend the UHU glu stick because it’s amazing. I’m not an Amazon affiliate or anything, it just is a really good glue stick and that’s the best price I could find, especially when shipping comes into play.
Seriously, if you’ve only ever used an Elmer school glue stick, you think you know what a glue stick could be, but you don’t. It’s so strong and dries so fast. The only reason I couldn’t use it for this demo is I don’t have any! But it’s on the way from Amazon. I know, I sound like I’m benefiting from this somehow, but I’m honestly not. If I join an affiliate program, I’ll say so!
While I’m giving shoutouts, also–shoutout to Postcrossing. I just joined yesterday finally and am really excited about it. It’s a global postcard exchange program that holds people accountable via postcard ID that the receiver registers on the site. You can also upload pictures of the image side so everyone can see how cool and unique you are. That sounds sarcastic, but I mean it genuinely!
These designs would be fun to use on there, which I plan on doing. So, yes, arguably I’m making them less unique finds by freely sharing, but I think it’s all right. I would rather inspire more people to get into postcard and mail art than be worried about uniqueness.
So let’s get to the sharing, shall we? I’ll share my PDFs as downloaded from Canva. It worked when I set up my printer to print at “default” scale, by the way.
I will ask that you kindly only use these for personal use and link back to this blog post if you want to share.
The first design is “Books not guns”-themed, as pictured in my demo above:
I hadn’t planned to write this today, but I was just printing a bunch of stickers and ephemera to use for mail and/or collage art. I was frustrated both by how many of the resources were NOT actually free or came with obligations to sign up for mailing lists and the like.
But I also found plenty that were great quality, with no catch!
Note that I’m only looking into what works for personal use, so I can’t guarantee if they’re clear for commercial licensing, etc. My intention is to only use them for hobbies!
And I’m sure I’ll make more posts like this, as I discover more stuff. I’ve found most things through Pinterest. If you want to see my “Collage Art” board, you can find it here. Just know that I’ve not necessarily vetted all the resources and some of the pins are just inspirational (i.e., not resources).
*Disclaimer: none of these people sponsor me or anything. I’m just trying to help y’all out.
So a lot of sites have free SVGs, but one I came across recently and really like is craftstarters. They have sooo much stuff and most of it is simple but realistic silhouette-style. I love that style, and it’s perfect for making little stickers (as I was) because the design is readable at any scale.
I know that their licensing agreement is free for personal use only, so be good! No selling things with anything of theirs.
I found HG Designs through Pinterest and they have tons of cool-looking stuff. It tends to be overlays, textures, layers, and patterns, so this might be better for those into graphic design or collaging digitally. What makes them especially unique is you don’t even need a commercial license to use their freebies.
I don’t yet know my way around Photoshop or Illustrator (I don’t have them!) but I am very much interesting in getting them someday and learning digital art on alternative software in the meantime, so I’m really looking forward to having some cool free materials.
Smaller collections/specific printables
Most of these still have multiple images or versions, but I’m organizing them this way just to make this list less chaotic. These are typically blogs who do more than provide printables, at least. I’m extra proud of these finds because they’re harder to come by!
Today I found some awesome vintage sheet music printables on this blog. What I love is that Rose provides several different size and shape options for the sheet music snippets, so you’re guaranteed to find something that fits what you’re looking for.
Oh, whoa. So I hadn’t noticed just how many collections of free printables Rose Clearfield actually has up! Here’s her free printables page.
Personally, I’m most interested in the vintage-style stuff. There’s a lot of sheet music and hymns, but also dictionary pages and textbooks. Look at this algebra textbook stuff! I am really excited, you guys.
Pillar Box Blue vintage world maps
This blog has a page of 13(ish?) sets of vintage maps. I printed a really neat world one and was honestly a little surprised that it printed as well as it did.
I think there are probably a lot of vintage map ephemera resources out there, but this is one I know for sure is solid because I’ve tried it.
Rad Planner free blue stickers
So there are a lot of free planner stickers out there, but what I like about this post is that there’s at least one sheet that seems more widely applicable, if you know what I mean. It’s not all planner-focused.
I picked the “Blue Stickers” one to print and it looks great. Note that there’s a specific personal use-only warning on these.
Sarah Titus adult coloring book pages/stickers
This blog post has, well, an entire coloring book’s worth of black-and-white printables. They might not all be helpful for collage art purposes, but they certainly have potential.
If you scroll all the way down, you’ll find the page with 12 little flower mandalas–that’s the one I printed and am planning to make stickers with. They’re a great size, too. Large enough to be intricate, but small enough to be a sticker.
Sorry I haven’t featured more samples of the freebies here–it’s because my blog might be considered commercial use and I don’t want to risk it.
But I’ve linked all over the place and I promise that at the time of writing, the links work! I hope that you can find this useful.
Let me know if I’m overlooking some good resources you know of! I’m aware of the bigger sites like Pexels or Unsplash, but I’m interested in finding more sites with vector images, papers, or ephemera.