Telling you that I’m going to teach you how to make a printable for your blog in this post, is like telling you I’m going to teach you how to make art in this post. It’s impossible. Printables, like art, are so diverse, I’d never be able to run you through all of it.
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.
Printables can include:
- Home signs
- 3D items such as these pillow boxes
- Basically anything that can be printed (hence the term “printable”) that can take many forms and functions
This post just shows you a basic outline of how to use some tools, and how to create your file so that it is, indeed, printable. From there, you can search the web for a vast array of tutorials on the specific type of printable you want to make. Practically, I’ll guide you through making a home sign, since that is such a simple, straightforward thing to start with.
I will show you the ropes using Photoshop. Photoshop is my go-to program for creating printables of all kinds! The only need it DOESN’T cover is the vectorizing process that I do with my coloring pages. For that I use Adobe Illustrator, which is included in their Creative Cloud package.
Next week, we’ll discuss making printables using Microsoft Publisher, so follow along if that’s what you prefer!
How to use Photoshop to Make a Printable for Your Blog:
Step 1: Create your file.
Click file > new to open this window. This is where you choose your file size and color format. Make sure you choose print size and format, as pictured. Your file size should be the actual size that people will want to print it. Click “OK” to create your document.
Step 2: Create the base of your printable.
If this is a particular shape (such as in the case of the pillow boxes) that would be it. Otherwise, we’ll just fill in a background color or texture. Use the paint bucket tool in the toolbar on the left. At any point, if you don’t see a tool I refer to, you may need to long clic on the “partner” tool, to bring up the various tools in that selection. Choose your color at the bottom of the left toolbar. Click on the background to fill. Make sure your background layer (the only one you have so far) is selected.
Step 3: Next, we’ll add some text.
Find the type tool in the left toolbar. Click wherever you want on the screen, and type. If you want your text to fill an exact area, you can click and drag to create a text box.
On the top, you’ll find type options. For more text formatting options, click the “A” symbol on the right. If you don’t see that, you can go to windows > character, and that will bring it up. Play around with the options, until you’re satisfied.
Step 4: Create a new layer
Any time you add a new element, you want it to be a new layer, so that you can resize it appropriately. On the layers palette, click the second to right icon to create a new layer. Double click on the text of the layer to rename it, so you know what that layer is for. Click on it to make sure it’s selected, and you’re actually using the right layer.
Step 5: Draw away!
Photoshop is much like an advanced drawing/painting program in its capabilities. I’d recommend you start with some simple shapes. Play around with the tools on the toolbar. You can also put in some free vector images and photos, just make sure it’s allowed to be used this way.
Step 6: Satisfied with your drawing? Time to save it!
You should have been saving this file as you go along (a good rule of thumb in general) in case your computer suddenly shuts down, or another catastrophe happens.
Go to “File > Save As”. If you didn’t, save the file as a “.PSD” file (a Photoshop document) so that you can edit it later on if you choose. If you are ready to publish it for your readers, you can save it as a PDF or a JPEG. For this, we’ll do JPEG, as people are likely to print it as a photograph. If you do “PDF”, make sure you disable the option to “preserve Photoshop editing capabilities” to protect your copyrights (you’ll see that option on the front screen). Otherwise, do the highest quality JPEG you can, for a top quality print.
Step 7: Save it for Web.
There are a few reasons you need to save a separate file as the “display” file for your website, so that your readers can see what they’ll be downloading. You can read more about that here. Now, you want to “save for web” and make it as small as possible. Go to File > Save for Web (two below “Save As”) or Alt+Shift+Ctrl+S.
You can choose to have up to four previews. Make your file size smaller (I usually go for a 600 pixel width for Pinterest), and then choose the option from the previews that has a good quality preview, but as small a file size as possible. Make sure you’re converting it to RGB by keeping that box checked. Rename this file so that you know which is which (For example “File-Name-Web.png”.
If you’re on a different program, and don’t have this option, you can still edit your file size and colors (look for these options under “edit”). You’ll just need to make sure to “Save as” so you keep the original quality one.
You now need to upload it to your blog, using the instructions found here.
And… you can download this printable as a bonus right here! Once I made it special for this tutorial, I might as well offer it to you too, no? Enjoy!