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Computer greeting cards and other holiday fun projects

I can think of two good reasons for creating your own greeting cards and other holiday fun projects. One, of course, is to save some money because the cost of greeting cards keeps rising, but the main reason is to personalize your cards with your own flair and style.

I found a real deal – free software, offered by Broderbund Computer from their Creative Workshop Design Studio. This is a very simple to use greeting card program called PrintMaster Express that allows you to create greeting cards and holiday projects.

The PrintMaster Express provides you access to 25,000 pieces of clipart for all occasions. Here’s an easy way to download the software. Go to Google and type into the search window, “PrintMaster Express.” Click on the search result that describes PrintMaster Express then click on download now.



Once the software has downloaded, select open to install it on your computer. You will now have a PrintMaster icon on your desktop click on the icon to open the software and then select the “brand new” button.

A pop up menu will appear with several selections, select (click) on the type of greeting card you wish to make and click on next button. An orientation menu will appear, select (click) the orientation you wish to make your card, and then click on “next,” select the finish button and you now have a blank card on your desktop.




Tip: If you plan to print your cards on card stock, be sure to purchase stock for one of the card sizes listed in the menu. The same is true for other projects such as envelopes, labels etc. For a greater savings, when I make greeting cards, I just use plain 60wt 8.5 x 11-inch paper to make half fold cards.

You can buy the paper in several different colors as well as envelopes to match. In case you don’t wish to make the investment in prepackaged large quantities of paper, one of our local stationery stores offers a wonderful selection of paper and envelopes for purchase by the piece at reasonable prices and on Mondays, offer a 10 percent discount to seniors and teachers.

We’ll make our first greeting card using clip art. To download a selected clip art, go back to the same Web site you downloaded your PrintMaster from and select the “free 25,000 images” button.

To get there you’ll probably have to click on the “back to project studio home.” This will bring you to thumbnails of clipart available and you can search by “key words,” such as Christmas for the clipart you wish to use.

You can add background color or place a frame around your artwork by going to the menu bar, select “add.” You will find many selections available including “panel color” or “frame.”

To create a text box, click on the “T” icon, then go to your card and draw (drag your mouse) making a box for the text. A formatting toolbar will be available that will allow you to select the font and the font size you wish to use, (click on the down-arrow to see your choices as there are many to choose from.)

Also on the formatting toolbar, you can select the alignment orientation of the text. Next, click “format” on the menu bar to select the font color you wish to use.

You are now ready to type your greeting in the text box you created. You can use the “grab bars” around your text box to place the text where you want it on your card.

Next, in left bottom corner of your screen, click the right arrow to go to the inside of your card. Repeat the above steps to create your greeting inside your card. Then, in left bottom corner of your screen, click the right arrow to go to the backside of your card. You might want to add clip art and a text box noting that you personally made the card. Hint: Print your card on a plain piece of paper to see how it looks before using any expensive card stock.

Putting your photographs on your greeting card is a great way to add your personality and distinctive flair to a card. The process is the same, but instead of adding clipart, go to the menu and select add picture from disk. A pop up menu will appear with photographs saved on your computer. Select the photograph you want to use by double clicking on it. The photo will appear on your greeting card template ready to work with.

There are many online sites, such as Snapfish, that not only print photos or artwork you upload, but will print your fun projects on mugs, mousepads, ornaments, holiday cards, posters, calendars, T-shirts and much more. Try the photo centers at Longs, http://www.longs.com; Wal-Mart, http://www.walmart.com or Kodak, http://www.kodakgallery.com. All provide projects at reasonable cost.

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Diane Masini is a volunteer with the Gold Country Computer Learning Center. For information about computer classes or The Learning Center go to http://www.gcclc.org or call 273-3029.


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