Holiday greeting cards are a great way to recognize and remember business contacts, friends, and family that you'd rather not buy gifts for, but do want to wish a Merry Holiday and Happy New Year. If you want to add a personal touch, try making your own holiday cards - no special software required. Microsoft Word has everything you need to make create, charming greeting cards for the holidays.
Set the page layoutBefore you design the card, you must set the page layout (Figure A). Go to File | Page Setup (in some versions of Word, the menu may be File | Page Layout).
Page SetupUnder Orientation in the Margins tab, select Landscape. (Figure B)
Landscape OrientationAlso in the Margins tab, select two pages per sheet in the Multiple Pages drop-down menu. (Figure C)
Two pages per sheet
Click Okay and you're set to go.
Understanding the layout
The card will be made up of four pages. Page one is the left-side interior. This page is often left blank in store-bought cards. Feel free to embellish it any way you wish, but keep in mind that text may not be noticed if it's on this page.
Page two in Word will print as the right-side interior. This is where your message should go. Page three will print as the outside back cover. This is a great place to put a personalized embellishment, usually done at the bottom where a printer's stamp would be. Page four will print as the front cover of the card - this is a good place for a graphic and card title.
Design the cardFor added interest, you can decorate page one any way you like. (Figure D) If you are printing at home, consider leaving the background white and using graphics and font styles and color to add interest -- you'll save quite a lot on printing if you don't fill in the background. If you wish to leave page one entirely blank, simply insert a hard page break by hitting [Ctrl]+[Enter]. This will send you straight to page two -- the interior, right-side page.
Page oneTo add a graphic or image to the design go to Insert | Picture, and then select Clip Art or From File as appropriate. (Figure E)
Adding a graphicWhen you are done creating page two, go to Insert | Break. (Figure F)
Insert a page breakThen select Page Break under Break Type and click OK. (Figure G)
Break TypeYou are now on page three, the exterior, back cover. Greeting card companies usually put their stamp at the bottom of this page. Let them you know you care enough to make your own cards by adding your own stamp here. (Figure H)
Put your by-line at the bottom centerPage four is the front of the card, so it is important to spend time getting it just right. (Figure I)
Before you print
Before you can properly print your card, you will need to know what direction your printer prints. You can determine this by performing a simple test. On the top end of the top page of a piece of inserted printer paper, write "top side". Now print a test page. Did the test print on the marked side or the blank side of the paper? Make note of which side of the paper was printed -- you'll need to keep track of that while printing your cards.
File | Print PreviewCheck the layout carefully for accuracy. You may consider having another person look at it for you. (Figure K)
Print the cardIn order to get the perfect card shape, you must print the card in two printings. Here's where knowing which way your paper feeds is important. Begin by printing pages 1-2. Go to File | Print. (Figure L)
Page RangeNow, turn the paper over and replace in the printer. You want to be certain that the blank side will be printed on this time. Again, bring up the print menu, but this time enter Pages | 3-4 in the Page Range field. (Figure N)
Print the other side
At this point, you should have a card, printed on both sides of a sheet of paper or card-stock. Fold carefully down the center, and you have a lovely, home-made greeting card.
Nicole Bremer Nash is Director of Content and Social Media for HuTerra, where she uses SEO and social media to promote charitable organizations in their community-building and fundraising efforts. She enjoys volunteering, arts and crafts, and conducting science experiments at home. Nicole has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Transylvania University, and has experience in copywriting for education, print, business, and the web. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter via @HuTerra.