There are many great stationery templates out there, but it is so much more fun to make your own! You can match your theme; choose the colours you want; add a Bible verse; add your own clipart or photos; personalise it for your child; and adapt it for any age, theme or occasion. And it’s so easy! It’s just like shuffling virtual pieces of paper. This tutorial will show you how…
MAKE YOUR OWN STATIONERY-101
I’m more of a visual person, so I often find it helpful to imagine that I am holding real pieces of paper; cutting them to size and arranging them, until I get just the design that I want. Like scrapbooking. Often, it’s a surprise. And sometimes a mistake’ may turn out to be something wonderful, something you may not have ever thought about. And the beauty with doing it on computer, is that you can use as many pieces of virtual paper, shapes, colours and play with it as much (or as little) as you like! Okay, off we go…
1. Set up your page (file – page set up) in a program like MS Publisher or Photoshop. These instructions are for MS Publisher and I have chosen A4 / portrait. You can also do this in MS Word, although I have found Word tends to be a little erratic, with objects sometimes springing wildly away from each other like repelling magnets or naughty children, and not staying where they are put!
2. Insert one large rectangle to fill your page. This will be your background. Choose fill colour and border as you wish. I have chosen blue. Insert one slightly smaller rectangle to sit on top of it. For this template, I have chosen a rounded white rectangle. Choose fill colour and border. This is where you will write your letter. I have slightly angled them, to show you both shapes.
3. This is what our page looks like when we ‘straighten the papers up and shuffle them together’. You could easily print it just like this and you have some pretty stationery with a nice colourful border. But before we print it, let’s jazz it up a little…
NOW, LET’S JAZZ IT UP!
- Insert a text box and add a Bible verse.
- Insert some clip art or a photo relating to your theme (click on ‘insert picture’). I’ve found a cute turtle to put on mine.
- Optional: Insert a text box (or word art) and add a heading. This could be your child’s name; the title of your theme; a special message like ‘God loves you’, ‘Happy Birthday’; or simply ‘Hello’. You can also use a fancy glitter font if you wish for that special occasion. For this template, I have added the words, ‘A letter of love.’
- Insert a text box and add your sponsored child’s name and number; your name and number; and the date. (deliberately omitted for this tutorial)
Once again, it is ready to print and already looks fine, but first, let’s add a final touch just to make it a little more special. This time, I have added 3 rectangle strips, the same width as my A4 page. (One rectangle strip with a fancy border would work just as well). Fill colour and add a border as you wish. Next, I will shuffle them together and stack them on top of each other, so the edges are just peeking out.
Holding my CTRL key down, I will left click each of the 3 rectangles and then lock them together, by left clicking ‘group objects’. Now, I can move them around my page as one locked object. Next, I will shuffle them behind my white rectangle, by clicking ‘send backward’ just once. See that black circle? Click the tiny arrow on the right hand side of it and you will find that button in there.
And here is our finished stationery. Voila! This one will do nicely for the boys…
And simply by changing the colours of my final 3 rectangle strips, this one becomes a bright and happy summer theme for the girls.
If you would like a free printable A4 copy in full resolution of either of these, you can download them from here:
MORE CREATIVE IDEAS
EASY ONE-FRAME STATIONERY: Just insert one shape and add a border in a different colour – thick or thin. Your choice.
BACKGROUND SHAPES: Try different templates or shapes – rectangles, rounded rectangles, ovals, two rectangle strips (one side for translation) or a couple of intersecting squares with some photos or clip art filling in around the edges. Got a blank shape template matching your theme? Try that. (I can see a Jonah letter written on a background of whales; or a Daniel letter written over a huge lion face).
BACKGROUND COLOURS: Try different background colours; or a mix of colours. Add some different shapes to your actual background (e.g. stars or hearts) in a contrasting colour. Add a text box (on top of your background and behind the letter area); and add a Bible verse or some simple encouraging text in a contrasting colour.
BORDERS: Experiment with thickness and colours of borders. Try a fancy border – right click the object, then select ‘format autoshape’ – then select the ‘color and lines’ tab and play with the buttons in there.
ADD SOME CLIP ART SHAPES on TOP of your border, e.g. stars, circles or hearts. Go big, small, or a mix of each. Blend them into your border by using the same colour as your border, or vary the shading a little. Try a contrasting colour, or lots of different colours to make it a party!
PHOTOS / CLIP ART: Insert more than one photo or clip art into your letter relating to your theme. You may like to try adding a strip of photos or clip art down one side of your stationery or scatter them throughout your letter. Turn your page into a scene!
PHOTO BACKGROUND: Insert a photo as your background and then make your covering letter template shape slightly transparent. Right click the covering template, select ‘format autoshape’ – then click the ‘color and lines’ tab again and it’s also in there.
TURN YOUR LETTER INTO A COLOURING PAGE: Shrink down something simple to colour and insert it into your letter. Or maybe add a few pictures for your child to colour. Match them to your theme. Maybe you might find some inspiration from one of these:
- Turn your photo into a colouring page
- Scripture Doodles – Psalms – Old Testament – Gospels – New Testament
LOOKING FOR LINED PAPER? Do you prefer handwriting your letters to give them a more personal touch? No problem. Before you print it, simply insert a big (clear) text box over your whole writing area and fill it with dots (full stops, or you could also use underscores if you prefer). They will become the lines that you write on and you will still be able to clearly see your stationery underneath. Choose spacing, font and colour to suit. Hint: Choose grey dots for a more subdued look or go coloured dots for a more fun look.
PRINT ON PLAIN, COLOURED OR TEXTURED PAPER For that special occasion try printing your masterpiece on coloured, fleuro, or textured paper (e.g. linen look paper, leather look paper). You can also add a simple design on pre-printed stationery (e.g. your child’s name and a Bible verse).
Now that your creative juices are flowing, you will never have to use a stationery template again! You will be able to design your own masterpiece! What will you make? I can’t wait for you to tell me about it!
DIY Bookmark | DIY Note Cards | DIY Poster / Postcard | DIY Puzzles | DIY Stickers | DIY Wallet Cards | DIY Board Game | Adding photos to articles | Jazz up your Bible verses (typography / word art) | Jazz up your colouring pages | Jazz up your envelopes | Jazz up your online letters | Fun with Fonts | I love colors | 12 Cool Word cloud generators
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