Bloggers are always on the lookout for ways to bring more traffic to their site. One of my favorite ways to do this is to offer free printables! I use mostly free clipart and a standard program on my PC called Word.
Tools to make free printables
Word is a program included in Microsoft Office, but if you are on a tight budget or need a free version, check out OpenOffice. I used OpenOffice for years and it’s virtually identical to Word when it comes to features and things you can do with it. For purposes of this tutorial, I’ll be referencing Word.
Finding Images (free or low cost)
You can find clipart for free or low cost. With a quick google search for “free clipart” you’ll have loads of options to pick from! One of my go-to places for free images is MyCuteGraphics. They offer images by theme and seasons, plus they have some great background images too. Another great site is 123RF. They sell images but also have free images available.
If you’re part of the Inspired Bloggers Network Facebook group, you can access a document under the files tab with a list of sites that offer free images.
How to make printables on a PC with Word
Below you’ll see a guide that will help you create printables in Word. It’s very easy and you can tweak the steps and items as needed for your creative ideas!
I eyeball the placement on all of my printables but I suggest using an invisible table to help you get the hang of it, or if you’re not good at visually lining things up.
Go to: Insert – Table – Highlight the boxes you want – Click Enter or the bottom right box. Now you have this:
Now we need to extend those boxes so they fill the page. Click on the bottom line, hold down the left mouse button and drag that bottom line to the end of the page. It will look like this:
Next, highlight the rows (minus the top row).
Right Click on the box at the top left of the table. Select Distribute Rows Evenly. The rows you selected will be distributed evenly like this:
Next, we’re going to remove the borders color. This way when we print the page we will only see the images. To remove the border colors, click on the square at the top left of the table so it selects the whole table. Then, go to Design – Borders – No Borders. This will change them all to dotted lines so that you can still see them, but they will not be there when printed.
Now, let’s insert some images. Click inside the box you wish to insert an image into. Go to: Insert – Picture – Select image from your desktop or the file you have it saved in. In my case, the image is huge and it’s aligned automatically in such a way that it distorts my table, like this:
To fix this you can do a few things, but I find this method the easiest. Click on the “Layout Options” box found floating at the top right of the image. Choose “In front of text”.
Now you will have this:
To reduce the size, grab the bottom right corner of the image and drag it to your desired size. Because the image is no “In front of text” you can manipulate it’s position anywhere. It will no longer automatically align to the table or page. Like this:
Once you insert your various images, add a title to the top box we left as the original size. You can also manipulate the width of the columns. Simply grab the vertical line you wish to move, hold down your mouse button, and drag to where you want it. I wanted more space between the left and right column so I move the vertical lines closer to the edge of the page.
Save the Word Doc file. Then go back to File – Save As – Select PDF. This will now save the file as a PDF File.
**Be sure to add your disclosures to your first page and give credit to the website you found the images from if needed.