Lately I’ve been feeling the urge to create my own address labels and stationary – random, I know, but hopefully I’m not alone on that one?
It seems like everywhere I look people have made fun and funky backgrounds for their blogs, art prints, stationary, and all sorts of other cool things – so I decided to figure out how they do it. And I did!
Here’s a foldover thank you note that I made . . .
and this one is an address label (without our address, of course!).
And now I’m going to share my new-found wisdom with you fine people. :)
I’m going to walk through every.tiny.step, which will be boring for some of you but hopefully helpful for others! As a result, welcome to the longest post ever. It looks daunting because the post is so long but it’s really easy, I promise!
1. Open a blank document in PowerPoint. ‘Nuff said.
( FYI – click on any of the images for the option to see them in a larger size through the “Actions” menu. )
2. Set your document dimensions to something huge, like 20×20 inches. To do this, go to File -> Page Setup and then change both the width and height to 20, and then click OK.
You will get an error message, but just ignore it and click OK (we’re not printing this document so we don’t care if it’s too big to print).
3. Get rid of the extra gunk on the page. I like to just have my blank document, without all the extra sidebars and whatnot, so I always drag and hide the panes on the right and bottom . . .
and then change the slide layout to a blank page without pre-set areas for text and photos.
Just click the tab for slide layout a second time to hide the slide layout options and give you a bigger view of your document.
4. Start making your first stripe. Here’s where it starts to get fun. Go to Shapes -> Rectangles and select a rectangle. The shape will appear somewhere on your document.
Use your cursor to drag the shape to the bottom left-hand corner of your document . . .
then hover over the right-hand side of the shape until your cursor looks like this:
Then click and hold on the right-hand side of the shape and drag the right-hand side of the shape to the right side of the document, making a long rectangle. Repeat with the left side of the rectangle.
Then repeat this step by clicking and holding the top side of the shape and dragging it down until the shape is the thickness that you want – this long rectangle will be your stripe.
Alternate Method: You could also make your stripes out of “Lines” instead of “Rectangles” to achieve similar results. Just play with the “Weights and Arrows” of the line to achieve the desired thickness for the stripe.
5. Choose the color of your first stripe. Double click on the rectangle and this screen will pop up:
With this step you will choose the color of the “fill” of your stripe. Click on the arrow next to “Color” on the right-hand side – at this point you can choose a standard color or, if you want a ton more options, scroll down to the option that says “More Colors.”
A little color wheel will pop up and you can drag your cursor around until you find the color that you want. Just click “OK” and your rectangle should change to that color.
If you want to keep track of the colors that you’re selecting you can check out the ROYGBIV sliders which will give you more information like this:
While the small screen is still up, click on “Line” on the left-hand side and go through the same process as above to make the line around your shape the same color as your rectangle. Your chosen shade should still be visible on the drop-down screen as a “Recent Color.”
While the small screen is still up, click on “Shadow” on the left-hand side and decide whether or not you want your stripe to have a shadow. Click and unclick the box to see how it looks – I’ve opted to skip the shadow.
Now click “OK” at the bottom of the pop-up screen and the screen should disappear and all of your changes should be applied.
6. Duplicate your stripes. Right-click your stripe and select “Copy.” Then right click on the document and select “Paste.”
Your new stripe will appear almost on top of your original stripe.
Drag the stripe with your cursor so that it is above the original stripe, stretching from one side of the document to the other. This is when you will determine the spacing of your stripes.
Repeat Step 6 over and over again until you have filled the document with stripes, keeping the spacing between the stripes the same.
It will be easier to make the stripes an equal distance from one another if you have enabled the “Snap to Grid” feature by going to View -> Guides -> Snap to Grid:
If you want all of your stripes to be the same color then skip to Step 8 – if not, continue on to Step 7.
7. Change the color of your stripes. Here is your chance to get crazy with your stripes! Want rainbow stripes like this?
Just repeat Step 5 on alternating stripes – PowerPoint will remember which colors you’ve used under “Recent Colors.” (My stripes look skinnier here because they are – this is a screenshot of another project I was working on.)
Or maybe you want some of your stripes to fade like this?
To get this look double-click on alternating stripes and select the following options on the pop-up screen – Fill -> Gradient -> Style -> Linear. That will create the fade effect. Now get rid of the line around your stripe by selecting Line -> Color -> No Line.
Or maybe you want the background behind your stripes to be a different color?
Just right-click on the white space between your stripes and select “Format Background.” Then just choose a color like you did in Step 5.
Alternate Method: If you know from the beginning that you want a colored background just do this step before you start creating your stripes.
This is your chance to go crazy and really customize your stripes. Have fun with it!
Step 8. Save your document as a JPEG. Go to File -> Save As, then select JPEG as the format.
The slide will be saved in a folder in whatever destination you chose.
Step 9. Rotate and stretch your JPEG. You now have a JPEG with straight lines across it but what we really want are diagonal lines, right? Repeat Steps 1-3 and insert your JPEG.
Click on your JPEG after it has been inserted into the document and a green dot should appear above your JPEG. This is what you will use to rotate the JPEG.
Click your cursor on the green dot and hold it down as you rotate the image.
Release your cursor once you have the stripes at an angle that you like. You can adjust it as much as you need to.
Now that you have diagonal stripes, stretch them lengthwise and diagonally so that they cover the document and there is no white space showing. You can stretch the JPEG by clicking and pulling on the little gray dots at the top, bottom, corners and middle of your JPEG.
Keep your stripes intact by taking care to keep the ratio of the stripes to white space the same.
Step 10. Repeat Step 8 to save your document as a JPEG. Now you have your diagonal stripes!!
Step 11. Go crazy and create cool things with your diagonal striped background. Now you have an awesome striped image that you can use to gussy up your blog background, stationary, address labels, art prints . . . the only limit is your imagination!
And now, since you’ve hung in there through the longest post in the history of the universe, you will be rewarded for your perseverance and loyalty with some free printables!! Can I get a heck yeah?
To download the backgrounds/printables, just click on the image above and a new window will open in 4Shared. Click on each link and then select “Download Now” under the image. That’s it!
Please Note: All It’s Great To Be Home free backgrounds/printables are available for your PERSONAL use only, and are not to be used for commercial gain. Thanks for playing nicely!
Whew!! I hope that was helpful – let me know if you guys liked this or if you think you can make something cool out of the printables – if so I’ll be sure to do more of these posts in the future!