Create your own Christmas cards


1 April 2005

Microsoft Publisher is an excellent tool for creating a multitude of personalised and professional publications in a classroom context, including flyers, invitations, greeting cards, newsletters, calendars and certificates, to mention but a few. In addition, Publisher provides an extensive range of templates in its catalogue for almost all possible publications that can easily be customised with a couple of mouse clicks using the program’s inbuilt wizards. However, we would suggest starting from scratch with a blank publication, ensuring your publication is not only personalised, but completely unique.

Like most desktop publishing programs, creating a publication involves creating a series of frames specific to the element you wish to insert, be it text, clipart, word art or shapes, which can easily be resized, moved and adapted as needs be.
In this tutorial we will use Publisher to create a customised Christmas card. We have downloaded a selection of Christmas clipart from Kids Domain for this purpose (, but Publisher’s own Clipart Gallery is more than adequate. Maybe though you’re after the ultimate personalised greetings card, so get the digital camera out and get your class to incorporate their own snaps in their cards.
Click here to see the images accompanying this article.

Step 1.
Open Microsoft Publisher and from the Blank Publication tab in the Catalog window select Side Fold Card and click Create. You’ll be asked if you want to automatically insert three further pages into your publication, click Yes and from the View menu, select Two Page Spread. Next click the Hide Wizard to optimise screen visibility and from the File menu, choose Save, saving your publication as in the My Documents folder. By default Publisher inserts layout guides. These can be adjusted by going to the Arrange menu and selecting Layout Guides or hidden from the View menu, selecting Hide Boundaries and Guides. For this tutorial we will keep the default settings.

Step 2.
Next select the Word Art Frame Tool from the Objects Toolbar on the left and click and drag to draw a frame for the greeting on page one. This opens the Word Art window, type your greeting and change shape, font, format, colour, shadow and outline as you require. When finished, click outside the Word Art frame to return to the main Publisher window.




Step 3.
Next select the Picture Frame Tool (Landscape Icon) from the Objects toolbar to the left and draw a frame below your Word Art Greeting. Double click on the frame to open the Insert Picture dialogue box. Use the drop down list in the Look in box to navigate to your Christmas clip art. Select the picture you require and click Insert. Click and drag the resize handles, resizing until the image is of suitable size. Alternatively you can use the Clip Gallery Tool (Clown icon) to insert images directly from Publisher’s Clipart Gallery.

Step 4.
Select Page two and three on the Page Navigation in the Status Bar at the bottom. This will open two blank pages, which will be the inside left and right of our card. Next select the Text Frame Tool (Capital A) from the Objects toolbar to the left and click and drag to draw a frame for your Christmas message on page three. With the cursor flashing, type your message and format the text as required using the Format toolbar at the top. To finish, select the Picture Frame Tool as in Step 2 and insert some more Christmas clipart. Repeat to insert extra images as required.

Step 5.
Next open page four from Page Navigation. Select the Text Frame Tool and click and drag to draw a text frame near the bottom of the page. Type the publisher’s details here and format the text using the Format toolbar. Next with the text frame still selected, go to the Format menu and choose Line/Border Style and select More Styles. The Border Style dialogue box will open, select the BorderArt tab, choose a style and click OK. Resize and reposition if required. (Repeat this step for other pages to include BorderArt as required, if the border obscures other frames, go to Arrange menu and select Bring To Back).

Step 6.
To finish, go to the File menu and select Print. The Card will print on a single A4 sheet and once folded is ready for it’s undoubtedly delighted recipient.


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