The free Blogger templates you will find on this site are set up for the Blogger Layouts format (as opposed to the old Classic format).
The Reader's Digest version of these instructions is that you need to save your old template and copy and paste the new template code into the "Edit HTML" page.
If you have a bunch of stuff in your sidebars, Blogger now allows you to keep them! You'll see the option after you hit save - it will ask you to select whether to keep them or not.
Here are more detailed instructions:
1. Log into your Blogger Account.
2. On your dashboard (the first screen you see), click on "Layout". (If you are still using a Classic Template, click on Template.) Click on "Edit HTML" and download a full copy of your current template. This is your backup in case all hell breaks loose and for saving the content from your current customized widgets. (If you are using the old Classic Template, save your old template, then select "Customize Design," then click on "Upgrade Your Template" and select any of the templates in there. Click "Save Template." Now you're all caught up.)
3. Come back to this site and copy the code for the template using the instructions in the post for the template you like.
4. Back in your Blogger account, go to the "Edit HTML" page.
5. Delete the code for your template and replace it with the new template code. I do this by right-clicking in the template area, clicking "Select all" and then hitting control-v to paste the new stuff over the old stuff.
6. Click Preview. If everything looks good, click Save Changes. This is when Blogger will allow you to choose to keep your widgets or delete them. (I highly recommend keeping them because it is much easier to delete them from the new template than to recreate them.) All done!
Things you should do after installation:
1. Save all the images in the new template and upload them to your own Photobucket or Image Shack account so that if anything goes sideways, you will have copies of the pictures to replace them.
2. Replace the links to the images in the pictures with the links to your Photobucket or Image Shack account. This way you have control over the images and will always know they are safe!
3. Leave the link to Made by Madeline in either the sidebar or the footer (please!).
If you have trouble installing it, email me and I can install for you for a small fee.