Free-Printables are huge on the blog circuit nowadays. Readers love them because they make crafting ever so simple. What would you say if I told you that most people already have the tools to make great printables on their own computer? Well, you most likely do. If you have a PC, and have Microsoft Office, you probably also have Microsoft Publisher. I do all my free-printables in Publisher, and I do a ton of them. Now, you can too. If you are an Apple person, I am not going to be able to help you. Sorry!
Over the next few weeks, I will be bringing you tutorials about designing your own printables. Sure, Photoshop gives you more options, but you don't really need them. You might be somewhat limited with using Publisher, but not nearly as much as you might think. Let me first start off by saying that "free-printables" should be totally created by you in order for you to give them away for free. There are some exceptions to this, but lets roll with that for now. I will go a little more into depth about this when we get into using other cliparts. But basically, unless the original designer gives you permission to use their digital papers or cliparts you cannot use them. Even though you are not selling these designs, the designer doesn't want you just giving away their designs to others who haven't paid for them. So, using a digital paper purchased elsewhere for your freebies is a no-no. This is why knowing how to create your own digital papers is so important. Today's tutorial is how to make your own digital paper with diagonal stripes. Diagonals are super easy and very flattering. Today I am going to teach you how to make this orange and white diagonal paper.
First open your Publisher program and select Blank Print Publication. The default page size should be 8.5 by 11 already, so you shouldn't have to worry about changing anything. For future reference, know that you can always change your page size or orientation by clicking on File, Page Setup, Custom and then typing in your dimensions.
Once your document is opened, click on Insert, Autoshapes, Basic Shapes, and Rectangle.
Use your mouse to stretch the rectangle to fit the entire page.
While the rectangle is selected, double click on it. A window should open up that looks like this.
Under the Fill category, click on the arrow next to Color and some colors should pop up. Select the one that you want. You are not limited to just the ones that pop up. You can also select from the standard and custom options. For now, I just chose orange. I also changed the Color of the Line to No Line, so that the rectangle didn't have a border.
Your page should now look something like this.
Next click on Insert, Autoshapes, Lines, and Line.
Take your mouse and stretch your line to fit the span of the paper as a diagonal.
To change the color of the line, select it and double click it. A window will pop up again. Since it is a line, no values should be available for the Fill category. Select the arrow next to Color in the Line category.
Select the Color you want. I chose white for mine. You can also change the Weight of your line here. I made mine 9.5 pt.
In order to make the rest of my lines I just copy and paste it at intervals. If you don't see it paste, it is probably pasting the line directly on top of the other. If this happens, just move it. You don't have to worry about the lines running off the page. Just make sure that they cover the area that is orange. Since your document is sized 8.5 by 11, the image will cut of anything outside of those dimensions.
Once you have your paper the way you want it, you will need to save it. Go to File and Save As. Type your file name and then Save As a JPEG. This is found under the File Name option. Just click the arrow and scroll down until you find it. Once you have selected that, it will give you some options for Resolution. Select Commercial Printing (300 dpi). This will insure the best quality printout.
Once you have saved it, open the file up as a picture to view it. It should look something like this.
If you want to change up your diagonals, here are some other ideas to try. Select different lines and play around with the Color, Dashed, Style, and Weight categories.
Here are some of the changes I made with mine. Also, make sure to save the document as a Publisher document as well. This way you can make multiple papers for one document by changing the colors. Just save the JPEG as a different name each time.
I hope you have benefited from this tutorial and it wasn't too confusing. I will try to bring at least one new tutorial per week related to this subject. I would love to hear your feedback about things you would like me to cover. If people don't seem interested, I won't continue to do them.
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