What is Pinterest and How It Works

There are often multiple ways of doing things but what we’re usually looking for is the most productive and efficient way. I believe Pinterest is the most productive and efficient way to organize images from the web to create virtual mood boards. What I use to store in my internet favorites and in folders on my hard drive, I can now just “pin” to one of my pin boards for easy categorization and at-a-glance inspiration.

According to the Pinterest website:

Think of Pinterest as a virtual pinboard — a place where you can create collections of things you love and “follow” collections created by people with great taste.

People use Pinterest to collect and share all sorts of things — wedding inspiration, favorite T-shirts, DJ equipment. You name it, people are pinning it.

Pinterest has been called the best social media site since Facebook or Twitter. Still in it’s infancy, the founders are constantly making enhancements based on feedback from users. Let me show you how it works so you can judge the site for yourself.

First, since it is still in beta, you have to either be invited by someone who is already a member or you can request access via the site www.Pinterest.com. Being invited by a member gets you access quicker than requesting an invite via the website. However, you don’t have to be a memeber to view the images on the site.

As you can see in the top left corner of the image above, you can narrow the images to view by selecting any of a number of categories such as gifts, food, photography, weddings & events, etc. You can also search for specific images by typing in exactly what you are looking for in the search field.  Say, for example, you are going to the Kentucky Derby and would like to see photos of other derby hats for ideas and inspiration. Type “derby hats” in the search field to produce a page full of images from which to choose.

You can start browsing for images that spark your imagination or strike your fancy. Once you’ve been granted access,  you can “re-pin” that image to any one of your pin boards.

Images don’t have to only come from the Pinterest site. They can also come from anywhere on the web or from your hard drive. To do this you’ll need to drag the “Pin-It” bookmarklet to your Bookmark tool bar. To do this, select “Add” from the top right corner of the Pinterest home page and then select “add pin”. Another way is to directly upload the image from the URL.

Once you are ready to pin or re-pin, you can use one of the common categories created by Pinterest such as fashion, food, for the home, books worth reading, etc . Or you can create your own categories. For example, I have categories labeled kid crafts, gift ideas, quotes, boy bedrooms (for inspiration for my son’s room), and several others. Below is what my pin boards look like, by category:

So, say you find the image below on Pinterest and and decide you want to re-pin it to your pin-board.

Click on the image to open it in a seperate window. Next, click “Re-pin”.  The standard categories will appear in the categories drop-down menu or you can type in a new category in the “Create new category” field. You can also choose to publish the image to facebook if you would like to share it with your friends.

In addition, you can add a description or a comment in the description field. If you want to send it to a specific person, use the @mention in the description (same as twitter). By adding a $ symbol and the price, your image can be filtered under the “gift” heading by price. You may also post a question in the description field which will post your image and question on the “Discussion” board and allow others an opportunity to answer your question or provide their opinion.  

With pinterest, gone are the days of saving 100’s of inspirational ideas to my favorites and then forgetting what they were named. Another great feature of Pinterest is that it saves the URL of the image so that you don’t forget the source of the picture and can properly credit the image source.

In addition, you can follow people on Pinterest the same as following someone on Twitter such as a favorite blogger, designer, foodie, photographer, etc. This allows you to see what images inspire them.

I can see this being used in so many ways: gift wish lists, wedding inspiration boards for new brides, food ideas for dinner parties, do-it-yourself craft ideas, image ideas for photographers…and on, and on.  

As a beta member, I am able to refer a certain number of accounts for membership. If you are interested in a Pinterest account, let me know via email (so that I have your email address) and I will submit your information to Pinterest. You can also request an invitation from the main site but you’ll be approved more quickly if you are referred by a current member.

Thanks and Happy Pinning!

 Photobucket  Tip Junkie handmade projects somewhat simple button


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85 Responses to What is Pinterest and How It Works
  1. Veronica
    April 30, 2011 |

    Thanks for sharing, I was invited a few weeka ago but still didn’t figured out how it works!
    Visiting from Tatertots & Jello

    • It’s taken me a while to figure it out too, Veronica. I think it has helped that they have made some enhancements in just the past month. Check out their blog which provides information on new features and interviews from expert users: http://blog.pinterest.com/

  2. Mindy
    April 30, 2011 |

    I checked this out a few weeks ago and was completely lost. This made it make waaaay more sense! I have a zillion inspiration pics in a billion different categories saved to my “dead” computer that I pray aren’t lost forever. This site sounds genius.

    • Mindy – It’s taken me a while to figure it out but now that I have, it’s so cool. However, it was very frustrating at first. It also get’s “hung up” quite a bit and I have to close my browser to get out.

  3. Jessica
    May 1, 2011 |

    I have looked at this site a couple of times and was wondering if they would ever get back to me with an invite! Thank you so much for the fabulous info!!! Would you mind adding me?

    • Jessica – sending you an email invitation

      • pavi
        August 3, 2011 |

        Could you please send me an invite as well? I’d really appreciate it!!!

  4. Melissa
    May 1, 2011 |

    Hi, Thanks for all the helpful information. I would love an invite, if you wouldn’t mind .

  5. Sue
    May 2, 2011 |

    OOOOh! I have been on pinterest but didn’t know all the details. I would love an invite too! Found you on Metamorphosis Monday.

  6. Lindy
    May 3, 2011 |

    I love pinterest! Come follow me http://pinterest.com/lindyv321/

  7. Jo Ann Woods
    May 4, 2011 |

    I, too, love, love Pinterest. I did not know anyone who belonged so requested to be added. It took awhile, but I can’t say enough about how easy it is to find the sites I wanted to revisit and ideas I wanted to keep.

  8. Katie
    May 4, 2011 |

    Thanks for sharing this. I would have never of known unless you posted this. I’m now your newest follower and i’ll be sending you and email to ask if you can add me in!
    Thanks again!

  9. Pinterest is genius…{I’ve only been on it for a month}

    Sure beats bookmarking everything…

    Thanks for linking to Creative Juice Thursday. Hope to see you back this week.

  10. Cathy Boeche
    May 8, 2011 |

    Thanks so much for breaking this down and making it easy to understand. I had seen references about it, but was never really sure what it was. Now I can definitely see how useful it would be. If you have another invite I would love one. Thank you so much!

  11. Alethea Louise Gamalong
    May 10, 2011 |

    can you please invite me ? i was hoping you could coz i’d love to start using pinterest :) thanks :)

  12. Jennifer
    May 10, 2011 |

    I would love an invite to Pinterest. I’ve been hearing about it, but not really sure what it offered. Thanks for the great explanation. I would love an invite if you still have them.

  13. Romina
    May 11, 2011 |

    This looks like an awesome tool! I would love an invite to try it :-)

  14. Stephanie B
    May 11, 2011 |

    I heart this post! I have seen a lot of buzz about Pinterest – but was not really sure what it was! I found your blog through Decorchick – anything goes linky party. If you have another invite I would love one too! Thanks so much and I am going to follow you in Google Reader! Great blog!

  15. Angela
    May 19, 2011 |

    This is great! I’m going to share it with a friends. I LOVE pinterest. I could spend hours going through all the pins but I can never explain to friends how it works.

    • Hi Angela –

      Glad this helped. It took me about a month of fooling around with it to figure it out. Walt turned me on to your blog today. I’m your newest stalker 😉

  16. […] more on what Pinterest is and how to use it. Visit The Weekend Homemaker. Crystal wrote a helpful article with all the […]

  17. Jag
    June 4, 2011 |

    Thank you for explaining pinterest in detail….I can’t wait to use this site to get organized. I would love an invite.

  18. Yuan
    June 9, 2011 |

    I look at Pinterest everyday and have finally decided I need an account. I requested an invite but didn’t realise it would take a while. Could you send me an invite please : )

  19. April
    July 1, 2011 |

    Yes thank you can you add me as well i have been waiting to hear back from them forever lol :)

  20. Kelly Finch
    July 1, 2011 |

    I would love an invite too….I always try to save images for further inspiration, but really don’t refer to them because I can’t find them! This is genius!

  21. Christie Leong Pui Yan
    July 3, 2011 |

    I’m so interested and can’t wait to join them! I would like to be a member of it quicker. My email: christielpy_93@hotmail.com Thanks in advance!

  22. Emily
    July 9, 2011 |

    Have been playing on Pinterest all evening and can’t wait to join! I sent a request for an invite but I’m already anxious to start using it! I would LOVE an invite if you have time. Much appreciated!

  23. Kelly
    July 18, 2011 |

    Thanks for your explanation. I just joined Pinterest this past weekend, but I still feel like I might not be doing things quite right. It is fun though. I am having trouble ‘unfollowing’. They started me with a bunch of boards from others and some stuff I don’t care for. I click ‘unfollow’ but they still seem to be there. Does anyone know what I’m doing wrong?

  24. Amy Dunkley
    July 20, 2011 |

    Hi, I would love a invitation to Pinterest, I can not wait to get started, hoping you will be able to send me a invite. 😉 jrdunkley@comcast.net


  25. […] more on what Pinterest is and how to use it, visit The Weekend Homemaker. Crystal wrote a helpful article with all the […]

  26. MissLucy
    July 29, 2011 |

    Oooo! I was directed here by Robin Beck of “The Robin’s Nest.” I’d love an invitation if you have any left! Smooches!

  27. Lemonade Makin Mama
    July 29, 2011 |

    Thank you so much for this! I still have a few questions and wondered if I could bug you? I have a blog called lemonade Makin’ Mama, and when people pin things taken from my blog, they go on a separate area of pinterest. I do have an account here: http://pinterest.com/lmmama/ but was wondering if you know how to combine them somehow? I have the account under my name, but would like it to be “Lemonade Makin Mama” not my real name… and I’d love for it to be connected to what others pin somehow. Does that make sense? And do you know how to do that?

    Happy Weekend,

  28. Becky
    August 12, 2011 |

    Hi – I would love love love to be a member of pinterest! Please invite me!!!!! Thanks! Love your post btw!

  29. Sheri
    August 18, 2011 |

    Hi!! I am sooooo interested in Pinterest! I have requested an invite at least 10 times and I get nothing!! I check my spam folder to see if the invites are going in there…nothing!!! Would you please invite me??????? Love your blog, by the way!!! :))

    Sheri in Texas

  30. Brittany
    August 31, 2011 |

    I WOULD LOVE AN INVITE!!!! I am hooked on this site! Please, please, please!

  31. Kristl Story
    October 26, 2011 |

    I’ve recently started using Pinterest, & I’m hooked! It’s so much more fun than twitter!

    My question is: can I publish one of my pinboards on my blog?

    • Crystal (theweekendhomemaker)
      October 27, 2011 |

      That’s a good question. I think you would have to just copy and paste the embedded code from each pin. Unless you did a print screen, I don’t think you could post the whole board from Pinterest.

      • Jennifer
        November 14, 2011 |

        I was reading your article about how Pinterest works. If you would invite me I would really appreciate it. Thanks so much! Jen

  32. Terri Kagawa
    November 17, 2011 |

    Love you site! I would love a pinterest invite!

  33. mary
    November 18, 2011 |

    Question: Can I log on to my pinterest accout on other’s pc’s? I tired to show my friend my account but could not log on to my pinterest from her pc ? Is that right?

    Thanks !

  34. Elizabeth
    November 19, 2011 |

    Hello! I love this article and I love Pintrest! Would you please send me an invite??? I would be so grateful! Thank you! :)

  35. Amanda
    November 21, 2011 |

    I would love an invite to pinterest if you don’t mind! Thank you for the info :) very helpful!!

  36. Tessa
    November 22, 2011 |

    I have been trying to get an invite from pinterest for over a week now. I would love to be able to join. Would you be able to send an invite me way? I would so greatly appreciate it!! Lukies_mama@yahoo.com.

  37. Wynn
    November 25, 2011 |

    Hi Crystal,

    Thanks for sharing the Pinterest invite with me. I’m having a bit of a trouble and was wondering if you might be able to help: I tried to sign up through the facebook link but was given a ‘500’ error page noting that it’s been reported to the team message. I’ve tried a few times, but the same error message shows up every time.

  38. Kristina
    December 5, 2011 |

    I love pinterest. Could I get an invite? Thanks so much!

  39. Ellen
    December 7, 2011 |

    Would someone send me an invitation? emiano05@aol.com

  40. Pinterest | Wugez
    December 8, 2011 |

    […] pinterest theweekendhomemaker.com […]

  41. Danielle
    December 12, 2011 |

    I WOULD LOVE AN INVITE!!!! I am hooked on this site and have been waiting so long for them to respond to my invite request! Please & thank you!!!

  42. Chai
    December 26, 2011 |

    I would love an invite!!! I’m still waiting for the site to send me an invite. :)

  43. Margie
    December 28, 2011 |

    I would love an invite… Signed up on the site – but haven’t heard back margie@thehuddlestons.org

  44. Brittany
    December 30, 2011 |

    I would love an invite!!! Still haven’t heard back from the site yet :(

  45. Chris
    January 22, 2012 |

    I would love love love an invite!

  46. Tina
    January 22, 2012 |

    Hi, I would love an invite. Found this site and really love it. Please send me an invite! Thanks.

  47. Deborah
    January 26, 2012 |

    I discovered your blog when you were a guest at House of Tourquoise, and have just loved it. This post got me hooked on Pinterest, I have requested an invite from the site multiple times, to no avail. If you could send me an invite, I would be SOOOOO grateful. Thanks…….

  48. Deborah Guinee
    January 26, 2012 |

    I discovered your blog when you were a guest at House of Tourquoise, and have just loved it. This post got me hooked on Pinterest, I have requested an invite from the site multiple times, to no avail. If you could send me an invite, I would be SOOOOO grateful. Thanks…….

    • Crystal (theweekendhomemaker)
      January 26, 2012 |

      Sure thing – sending your way!

      • Deborah Guinee
        February 11, 2012 |

        Thank you sooo much for the invite. It took me to get the pin it button to work with my iPad, but I am up and running now and having so much fun. This is a social network that I can relate to, I’m as addicted as my teenagers are to Facebook.

  49. Charleen Schuehle
    January 27, 2012 |

    Still new at this & your article was helpful! How do I invite someone to join now that I am a member?

    • Crystal (theweekendhomemaker)
      January 27, 2012 |

      Hi Charlene – Click on the red ‘invite friends’ button in the top right corner. Type in there email address and any comment you’d like to send and click ‘ send invites’.

  50. Debbie
    January 29, 2012 |


    I was just wondering if the invites from you get sent out immediately or do the invitees still need to wait for a bit? 2 friends actually invited me, but I haven’t got the invite in my email yet.

    • Crystal (theweekendhomemaker)
      January 29, 2012 |

      I can’t answer for certain but I think it’s with 24 hours. I’ve sent folks invites and they have sent me a thank you note that same day. I assume they received the invitation.

  51. Pooja
    January 30, 2012 |

    Hey there,
    I really want to join the pinterest so please send me and invitation my email ps.sharmapooja10@gmail.com
    Thank you

  52. Kristyn
    January 31, 2012 |

    Can someone please send me an invite, as well? Thank you!


  53. Erica
    February 2, 2012 |

    Can someone send me an invite? It seems like I’ve been waiting forever to get my request answered on the website. Pretty please.


  54. Lisa
    February 6, 2012 |

    Can someone please send me an invite? I have been waiting forever! Thanks!


  55. Britney
    February 19, 2012 |

    Can u please send me an invite?

  56. Desiree
    February 28, 2012 |

    Love this post! Thank you, I’m no longer lost :) I sent a request last night and I’ve been going through some pins. I’m loving Pinterest so far, do you think you can send me an invite? I’m desperate to get in 😀

  57. Ceceilia Powers
    April 3, 2012 |

    Your blog was very helpful! Could someone please send me an invite so I can get started? I especially like your idea to have a board for gift giving ideas.

  58. Margie
    May 6, 2012 |

    Can someone please send me an invite? I love this site! Thanks!

  59. Maryann
    March 1, 2013 |

    Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after checking through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Anyways, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll
    be book-marking and checking back often!

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