Homeschool Creations

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

How I Create My Printables

I’ve had a LOT of questions lately about creating printables and figured it would be easiest to do a ‘blanket’ post that addresses several of the questions that are being asked ~ and who knows, maybe you had some of the same questions!

What program do you use to create your printables?

I work primarily with Microsoft Office 2010 Professional products and my favorite overall is Microsoft Publisher. Before you go into sticker shock over the price of Office 2010 Professional, I’ll let you in on a little secret…if you are homeschooling, you can purchase the teacher/student edition of the software for a LOT cheaper! You do have to jump through a few hoops, but I think that I paid under $200 for the set.

Microsoft Publisher is by far one of my favorite programs to work with ~ much easier to use than Microsoft Word. I can move things around a lot easier and they generally have some good clip art too.

Another program that I use a lot is Adobe Photoshop Elements ~ not as much as Publisher, but sometimes there are few things that I like to do in that program to edit files.

Where do you get your clip art?

Microsoft has a good store of clip art available in the program, so it is the first place I look, since it is free for me to use and also ok to use for copyright. I am VERY careful about the clip art that I use ~ I don’t pick random images off internet searches and do my best to make sure that an image is copyright free before using it.

One site that I’ve found recently and used a lot is Fotolia.com. They have some great clip art {like what I used in my Pirate Preschool Pack} and it only runs me a few dollars for the clip art that I purchase. In the Gingerbread Baby Preschool Pack, I used clip art that I purchased from Stockberry Studios. In the past, I’ve also had a subscription to Clipart.com, but that can get a little pricey too. I will admit that I’m a sucker for good graphics though!

Once I have the clip art, I use my programs like Adobe Photoshop Elements or Microsoft Publisher to manipulate the images by changing colors, creating shadow images, etc… Truthfully, that part can take the longest for me, because I like to get things ‘just so’.

Where do you get your fonts?

Generally, anyplace that’s free! There are a few fonts that I have that I did purchase in a set from Downhill Publishing ~ Fonts 4 Teachers. That is the more ‘teacher/print’ font that you see on a lot of my printables lately.

Other than that set, the rest of the fun fonts I find are all free online. I find them just doing general browsing on sites like 1001 Free Fonts.

What is that font you use to make your calendar printables?

The name of the font is Love Ya Like a Sister {and I love it!}.

Can you tell me how to make a printable?

As much as I’d love too, I’m really not sure how I can show you unless I were with you in person. Much would depend on what programs you are working with on your computer and it isn’t something I can really show you a step-by-step process on how to do. I’m sorry!

What type of a printer do you use?

I am frequently asked this question for ink usage, etc. We have an HP OfficeJet 7500 series similar to this one on Amazon. We pick up ink refills at Costco when they are on special once or twice a year. When we print things off, I generally print in fast draft to help save ink {and money}.

I also try to laminate printables that I know we can re-use. I am very much in love with my laminator. :)

Hopefully that will help answer a few questions for you all!

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11 Comments:

  • I've been meaning to ask you the specific name of the font that you use a lot (it's on your morning board printables and for the button for the preschool corner, for example). I wanted to create some new things for my morning board and have them match...

    Thanks so much for this info!!!

    By Blogger Leigh, At December 8, 2010 at 8:29 AM  

  • the font is Love Ya Like a Sister. :)

    By Blogger Jolanthe, At December 8, 2010 at 8:32 AM  

  • I swear we are on the same wave length this week! First with the gingerbread units, then I just started investigating how to create my own printables yesterday :) Thanks for the tips!

    By Blogger The Mom I Want To Be, At December 8, 2010 at 12:52 PM  

  • At some point I need to break down and get publisher, maybe I'll hint at my husband for it with my new computer.........

    By Blogger Ticia, At December 8, 2010 at 6:31 PM  

  • Thanks for the great info . . . I'm in love with my laminator too!

    By Blogger Kim Milius, At December 8, 2010 at 11:51 PM  

  • Drooling over Photoshop. Its on my wish list along with a new camera and aperature....
    O to dream... However if these dreams come true... I will take that in person training session! lol ;-)

    By Blogger K-tribe, At December 9, 2010 at 10:44 AM  

  • Thanks for the helpful post! I have both Publisher and Photoshop Elements. I figured I was really handicapped by not having the full Photoshop suite, so it is nice to hear that you make your awesome printables with Publisher, which I already know very well. BTW, thanks for the Gingerbread Baby printables, I had already been planning to have Little Miss' theme for the week be Gingerbread, so the timing was perfect for us!

    By Blogger Maureen, At December 11, 2010 at 2:31 AM  

  • I didn't know that Microsoft graphics are okay to use, if you have the program. That's good to know. I make a lot of printables but I always leary of copyright issues so I usually don't share them via download.

    By Blogger Katie's Nesting Spot, At December 12, 2010 at 12:45 AM  

  • I use Excel to make a lot of my printables, tons easier than Word. Just sayin', for those who may not have Publisher but do have Excel.

    By Anonymous Sheryll, At December 14, 2010 at 4:37 AM  

  • Thanks for the helpful post! I have both Publisher and Photoshop Elements. I figured I was really handicapped by not having the full Photoshop suite, so it is nice to hear that you make your awesome printables with Publisher, which I already know very well. BTW, thanks for the Gingerbread Baby printables, I had already been planning to have Little Miss' theme for the week be Gingerbread, so the timing was perfect for us!

    By Anonymous Maureen, At December 15, 2010 at 12:52 PM  

  • I swear we are on the same wave length this week! First with the gingerbread units, then I just started investigating how to create my own printables yesterday :) Thanks for the tips!

    By Anonymous The Mom I Want To Be, At December 15, 2010 at 12:52 PM  

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