Monday, July 9, 2012

Creating Attractive Newsletters Using FREE Digital Scrapbooking Supplies!

There are so many great templates for newsletters out there! However, many of those templates are for software programs that I do not have at the moment, so I decided to create my own newsletter template using Microsoft Word (publishing view), digital scrapbooking supplies (they were FREE!), public domain clipart (also FREE!), and inspiration from other templates that I found online.

The first thing I did was search (using Google, Bing, etc.) for a template and a "look" that I liked and would enjoy using. I decided to use the first one on this page. Aren't they all great? I really loved the look of them, so I scrolled down to the comments section to see if the designer offered any information on where she got her digital scrapbooking supplies, which she did! Hers originated from but she found them on specific blogs that were offering freebies. CraftCrave is really terrific, so take a look! Simply click the link, then click any of the freebie links on that page. You'll be amazed. Really. There are templates, word arts, papers, embellishments, the list goes on and on! All you have to do is download them!

The CraftCrave website wasn't responding yesterday when I was working on my newsletter, so I did a search for free digital scrapbook supplies and was directed to a page containing these links: Digital Scrapbooking Freebies, Shabby Princess, Peppermint CreativeComputer Scrapbook, well, you get the idea :)

I searched through many of the wonderful free digital scrapbooking papers that are available and found one I really loved at Digital Freebies.

Next, I downloaded it (as a jpeg) to my laptop, then uploaded it into a Word document and sized and cropped it to fit the 8.5x11 page size. Be sure to carefully read the Terms of Use information of each designer, because their permissions are all different from one another. Some allow their products to be used freely, while some place many restrictions on their use. I learned I could use this particular background in my business documents if I simply added a link to their webpage, giving credit to this digital paper's designer (you can't really see the credit in this photo, but it's there, just too small to see at this size).

Next, I needed to add the backgrounds for my text boxes, so I added the squares and rectangles from the Tools menu (I have a Mac, so PC menus might be a little different), made them the size I wanted, then changed the transparency to 25% so the original background would show through them just a little. I changed the lines to dashed, with a weight of 2.25. To choose the colors for my boxes, I used the "Pick A Color" tool from the Fill menu, clicked on part of the original background that contained the color I wanted (flower petals, background color, dots) and filled the boxes with that color.

To add an additional layer of color and texture, I visited a public domain clipart website and searched for daisies, which I then uploaded into my project.

I added clear text boxes with no border on top of the partially transparent boxes, then chose the font Pea Tolman from Kevin and Amanda, and the Pupcat font from for the rest of the document, giving credit to them by listing their website at the bottom of my document. Your newsletter can be as many pages as you wish. All you have to do is insert a duplicate page once your first page is complete! You could also add pictures of students (with parents' permission), photos of your studio, studio events, etc., whatever you like!

And there you have it...a simple and attractive newsletter for your studio using Micrsoft Word, public domain clipart, free digital scrapbook paper, free fun fonts, text boxes, and shapes with dashed borders! Isn't "free" fun? :)

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