With the release of Acrylamid version 0.4 it is also possible to create and ship custom themes. Unlike other static blog compilers Acrylamid supports both Jinja2 and Mako as templating language. Unfortunately you can’t mix both, so you may write only a Jinja2 theme or Mako, although it is possible to ship both versions.



A minimalistic theme using HTML5 available for Mako and Jinja2. Preview. Install with:

$ acrylamid init --theme html5  # --mako optional


New theme from with slightly modified colors. Preview. Unfortunately Jinja2-only.

$ acrylamid init --theme shadowplay

Where to start?

In the beginning, you may start from an existing theme like the minimalstic HTML5 theme. At this point you can choose your templating engine of choice:

$ acrylamid init --mako  # or --jinja2

This initializes all templates and static files into theme/. This directory is configurable. Set THEME to any directory of your choice (but it should include your used templates). You can now modify and extend the theme (use Templating as reference).


I’d be glad if you contribute a theme to Acrylamid and I’m also willing to translate a Mako theme back to Jinja2. This requires a working copy if Acryamid itself:

$ git clone

All templates and default values are stored in acrylamid.defaults (incuding the sample text and default configuraton as well as Atom and RSS templates). A theme consists basically of a directory structure like this:

├── jinja2
│   ├── articles.html
│   ├── base.html
│   ├── entry.html
│   └── main.html
├── mako
│   ├── articles.html
│   ├── base.html
│   ├── entry.html
│   └── main.html
└── style.css

The theme is called “html5” hence it is stored in this directory. Even if you don’t support all templating engines, you have to put your theme into your used language. Otherwise Acrylamid won’t be able to locate it.

Instead of just copy’n’paste the files, Acrylamid uses a MANIFEST-like build system. A file can be either placed into the root directory of your theme or in the template language folder. The latter has a higher priority. So if you only provide a single templating engine, it is better to write your MANIFEST there. Let’s look what is inside of the mystical:

from acrylamid.defaults import copy

def rollout(engine):

    return 'theme', {
        'content/sample-entry.txt': copy('sample-entry.txt'),
        'theme/': [
            copy(engine + '/atom.xml'),
            copy(engine + '/rss.xml'),

The only import function there is rollout(). This necessary for the theme to work! It returns a hash of all files that need to be copied. If you don’t provide a Acrylamid will automatically one for you. But back to the actual meaning of the hash.

  • 'directory/somefile.txt': 'foobar.txt' is rather simple. Copy foobar.txt to directory/somefile.txt`. `foobar.txt is a relative to your theme.
  • 'directory/another-file.txt': copy('some-file.txt') is a bit trickier. It uses the file called some-file.txt that is relatively located to acrylamid/defaults/ and copies it to the destination.

You can use a list of files, too. But keep in mind that copy(file) searches in acrylamid/defaults/ and the regular main.html in acrylamid/defaults/mytheme/engine/! Take a look into acrylamid/defaults to get an idea why this manifest above works.

The first parameter tolds Acrylamid how your templating directory is called. You may set this to your theme’s name or leave it just “theme”.

custom configuration

By default Acrylamid includes the configuration via copy(‘’) and it only replaces the used templating engine. If you want to set custom routes and other template variables you have to provide your own

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