Drupal Theme from Scratch

Published on May 24, 2015

This is my detailed instructions on how to create your own Drupal 7 Theme from nothing. I took it upon myself to learn how to do this rather than download an existing theme because I wanted to better understand how a Drupal theme works. It also makes customizing the theme to my needs a lot easier now that I’ve created it myself.

This is the accumulation of all the online research I did over the course of a year. I’d like to thank the helpful members of the Drupal community for their generous efforts in providing solutions to all my questions and problems. At the same time I’d like to tell all of the less generous members who offer replies like “Google it” or “Refer to the official Drupal site” to just go away. Google is what brought us to the page in the first place. And if Drupal’s website was more helpful, we wouldn’t need to “Google” anything.

I was a Drupal theming newbie* at the start of this project and I have found that, throughout this journey, the official Drupal documentation to be almost completely unhelpful.

One year later I’m no expert, but I am a hell of a lot more comfortable with the Drupal 7 interface and theming a Drupal 7 website. I present this documentation to all the Drupal newbies out there and anyone else looking to pull away from customizing someone else’s Drupal theme.

*By “Drupal newbie” I mean I hadn’t touched Drupal since version 4 or 5 (6 years ago). Since then, I have been exclusively using WordPress (my friend). When I used Drupal before, I had only dealt with editing the default theme at the time and I knew very little about programming.