Thank you for such sweet comments about the Lilly Pulitzer inspired birthday party last week. You girls apparently love a good party and want to know how to make your own printables. Today, I’ll show you how to do just that.
Printable labels and cupcake toppers really amp up parties and holiday celebrations. In the past, I ordered mine from various online vendors because I thought I lacked the design skills and software to create my own. After lots of experimentation in Microsoft Word, I learned how to do just that. Talk about a game changer! Imagine being able to completely customize your printables at home without having to invest in a fancy program.
Step 1: Choose a Background.
To truly customize your printables, you probably want to use a fun custom background. With Fourth of July right around the corner, I decided to create some patriotic cupcake toppers. Aren’t they cute?
Inspired by the fun Lilly Pulitzer theme from last week, I did a Google image search for “Lilly Pulitzer red white and blue.” Up popped this cute fireworks print.
I simply took a screenshot of the print to use for my toppers. To take a screenshot on a Mac, press CONTROL+SHIFT+4. Your cursor will turn into crosshairs that you’ll use to select the area you’d like to copy. It automatically saves to your desktop.
I’m not sure PC’s have this option, so in the alternative, you can right click on an image and save it to your computer.
Your background options are really endless. Choose from almost any Google image or photograph to match your party or holiday theme. Word also has some basic background options and patterns that I’ll show you how to use below.
Step 2: Select Your Label Shape.
To start making your printable labels or toppers, open a new document in Word. Then select INSERT SHAPE.
You can choose from tons of shapes, but for cupcake toppers and favor tags, I almost always use circles. Scroll down the menu to Basic Shapes and find the circle, and then click back over to the document and draw your circle with your cursor.
I have a 2″ circle punch, so I draw a 2″ circle. This size works well for most projects.
Step 3: Customize Your Label.
To customize your label, right click (or two-finger click on a Mac) your shape and select FORMAT SHAPE.The formatting menu will open, and the first function is FILL. Click on it. If you want your label to have a solid color background, select SOLID and then choose your color. To select a basic background (like stripes, dots, gingham, etc.), select PATTERN. Word has several pre-set patterns that you can easily customize by changing the colors.
To use a custom background as described in Step 1, select FILL WITH PICTURE OR TEXTURE. Then, select CHOOSE PICTURE.
Locate the file you saved on your desktop and select INSERT.
The next option in the formatting menu is LINE. Click on it. Then click COLOR and choose NO LINE.
The following option is SHADOW. Click on it. SHADOW is preselected, so unclick it.
Then, click OK to save your customizations. You’ll end up with something like this.
Step 4: Create a Text Circle and Add Text.
The next step is creating the text circle–the inner circle that will hold your wording. Start by drawing a 1.5 inch circle (as explained in Step 2).
To customize your text circle, right click on it, and select FORMAT SHAPE. Choose these items from the formatting menu to customize the text circle:
- FILL – Solid color, white.
- LINE – Choose any color to complement your first circle. I picked navy for these labels. Then, select WEIGHTS & ARROWS. You can completely customize the line: e.g., solid, dotted, dashed or double line. Thicken the line by increasing the WEIGHT. Here, I used a basic 5 point line.
- SHADOW– unclick.
You’ll be left with a white text circle as shown here. Next, right click on the text circle, and scroll down to select ADD TEXT.
A blinking cursor will appear in the text circle. Select your desired font, size and color. Then type out your text. Again, your options are endless–monograms, birthday wishes, names, etc.
Here, I used American Typewriter (size 18) in the same navy color as the text circle outline.
Step 5: Align and Combine.
Now you need to combine your label with the text circle. Click, drag and drop your text circle over the label. Don’t worry about the alignment–Word will do that for you.
Click on both circles to select both of them. Then, right click on one of the circles and scroll down to ALIGN OR DISTRIBUTE. Select ALIGN CENTER.
Now, right click on one of the circles again; scroll down to ALIGN OR DISTRIBUTE and select ALIGN MIDDLE.
Now, your circles are perfectly aligned.
To combine them into one object, make sure both circles are selected (they should be already, but if not, just click on both to select them). Right click on a circle and scroll down to GROUPING and select GROUP. This makes it easier to copy and paste them as one object rather than two.
Step 6: Make Printing Easier.
Woo hoo! You just made a printable! You’re almost done. Because you probably want to print more than one, let’s make them easier to print.
Copy and paste your label twice to make a row of three.
Next, hold down SHIFT and select all three labels. Then, right click on one of labels; scroll down to GROUPING and select GROUP. This makes it easy to copy and paste the entire row. Just copy and paste 3 times to make a full sheet of 12 labels.
Finally, save your labels in two ways: (1) as a Word document, and (2) as a PDF file. Why the double save?
Your Word document is now your template for all the wonderful labels you’re just waiting to create. There is no need to reinvent the wheel next time you’re hosting a birthday party. Simply open up your file, click on one of the labels and customize it with your desired pattern, colors and text. Then, just copy and paste following these directions.
Why save as a PDF? This ensures a clean printing job. On a few occasions when I needed a large about of labels, I had them printed at my nearby FedEx. When I received the completed print job, the spacing was completely out of sorts. They said it often happens when documents are printed on different computers from those they were created on. The solution? Save as a PDF!
That’s all there is to it. To make sticky labels, print them on full-sheet labels like THESE. For favor tags and cupcake toppers, print your labels on card stock and cut out with a circle punch. Tape your cupcake toppers to lollipop sticks, toothpicks or cute straws.
To make “fancy” layered labels and toppers like these, cut another piece of card stock with a scallop punch and use a raised glue dot or a rolled piece of tape to adhere it to your label.
I know this probably seems like a lot to digest, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be so happy. If anything is unclear or if you have any questions at all, please leave me a comment or send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).