Just the other day, I created a set of free character cards as a printable for my Facebook fans. Another blogger asked how I did this and I thought, hey, why not turn it into a post?

A lot of what I learned comes from some very creative online people. Here goes.

First…

Decide on what type of printable you want to make. When I started the character cards, I wanted them to be 3×5 inches, the same as a normal recipe card so that people could tuck them into a recipe card box. You could also create a full-size document or whatever you prefer.

Next, Steps for Creating Your Printable:

Use PicMonkey to create your printable. If you haven’t ever used this program, it’s basically a free version of Photoshop, with simple instructions for people like me who really don’t have the time or brain power to figure out something more detailed. :)

To create something in PicMonkey you need a photo or image to work with. I used these free blank images from Everything Etsy {the link to download the files is at the end of their post} to create my 3×5 character cards. I simply downloaded and saved said images to my computer. Then I went to PicMonkey.com. {Pardon me for the Halloween image, I’ll change it once the website changes ;) }

Click on “edit a photo”.

Upload your chosen file. I used the Everything Etsy blank in size 200×200. It doesn’t really matter which one you pick because you’re going to resize it.

Once you get it open, you want to click on the symbol at the top {see where the arrow is pointing below} and “resize” the picture {see second arrow} to your desired pixel length and height {dimensions}. PicMonkey has a list of inch to pixels conversions. You may have to uncheck the “Keep proportions” button under your “Change size to” area.

Add text, images, a frame, etc as you’d like. PicMonkey is very straightforward and simple. The black arrow below is pointing to the various editing options you can click on. The white arrow is pointing to the choices {in this case, frames} within each option. {For a more in-depth tutorial on adding elements to your printable creation, Becky from Organizing Made Fun has some great tips!}

If you add a frame, check to make sure your dimensions are still where you want them to be. Adding certain frame types changes the pixel height and width just a little, so just tweak it.

Be sure everything is spelled correctly and arranged nicely, because you cannot upload your creation again and fix something {like delete text because you spelled wrong–ahem} once it’s saved. You can only add something to it that wasn’t there before. Then save your creation to your computer. 

Editing and Saving Your Printable

 

Open Word or whatever you use and insert your printable image as a picture. You may have to resize the picture to get it exactly how you want it. I think next time I’ll make my original image in PicMonkey smaller so I don’t have to redo it as much when I insert it into Word. 


Save your file as a PDF. This is available in Word under File—->Save & Send—->Create PDF/XPS Document. I’m not sure how to do this on a Mac.


***NOTE: If you have hyperlinks {i.e. to direct people back to your blog} in your printable, you may want to save your document in the Word 97-2003 format (an option when you click Save As) and then convert THAT copy to a PDF. There are issues with Word 2007 and newer files not converting hyperlinks correctly.

Uploading and Sharing Your Printable with Blog Readers

Originally, I used Adobe Acrobat to host my pdf, but it didn’t work very easily. Thanks to a tip from reader Sherryl, I joined Dropbox. It’s a free file hosting site and it’s incredibly easy to use. If you’d like to join, just click on the link and follow the very simple instructions on uploading and sharing your file. It basically involves sharing a link that you can insert into a blog post so readers can have access to the printable.

A graphic depecting a mobile phone hugging a Dropbox

One more step you can use if you want to offer the printable to readers for, say, liking your Facebook page, is to use a Facebook app called Only for Likers. Also an easy tool, it just took a bit of tinkering around for me to get everything just so. Here’s how I made it work for me. {UPDATE: Some people have said they have issues with the Only for Likers App, but Facebook claims that it still works, so give it a try and let me know if you have success or not!}

Test out your links a few times by downloading and printing your own printable to make sure everything’s working the way it’s supposed to. Then share it with your fans and others who might like to spread the word!

Speaking of that, feel free to spread the word about my character card printables and let me know if you have a free printable to offer readers. I’ll share it on my Facebook page!

Does this tutorial make sense? Have any questions? Feel free to ask them in the comments. Please share or pin this post if you find it helpful. It took me a looong time to write! :)

 

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Jenn

Blogger/ Author at The Purposeful Mom
Hi, I'm Jenn! I'm an "unstuffy" pastor's wife and mom to four amazing and active children. My desire is to equip you with the resources, tools and encouragement you need to learn God’s Word and apply it to your life so you can teach the Word to your children in a way that has a lasting impact! I want to help you turn good ideas into good practices so that you feel confident, by the grace of God, in carrying out the many vocations you have been called to as a Christian woman. Read more on my about page!

35 Comments on How to Make a Free Printable and Offer it to Blog Readers (Using PicMonkey)

  1. Thanks for this post! I have a 10-year old version of Photoshop Elements on my computer that’s finally biting the dust, so thanks for telling us about PicMonkey – I’d never heard of it before. P.S. I love Dropbox!!

    • You’re welcome–I have a 10 year old version of Elements as well–got it in college and I find that PicMonkey is much easier!

  2. Jen, I actually only need the sharing part. I already know what I want to share, I’m just not sure about the only for likers part, and giving access to it…did you just make a page on your blog, and then the only for likers part refers directly to that? That’s the part that I’m not sure how to do.

    Thanks for the tutorial though…I’m sure it will help others looking to create something :)

    • Thank you for this!! I was just going to ask someone how they make printables. I am so not tech savvy. And my husband is a computer tech. LOL!!!

  3. On a Mac, to make a PDF, you simple click Print and when the dialog box comes up, in the bottom left there’s a drop down menu and you select Save As PDF! Easy peasy :)

  4. Can I ask why you chose to use Dropbox and not simply the media storage through your blog? I have some older stuff available through google drive (from before I moved to WordPress) but I’ve been adding recent pdf files directly to my media storage. Is that a bad idea?

    • I guess I just was nervous that if I added stuff directly through my blog storage that somehow it would all get erased. All I know we can use on Blogger is Google Drive but I know that WP has more options. I think I’m just paranoid ;)

      Dropbox was a safer alternative and seemed like something people could access easily, especially if they didn’t have a google account. I actually use Dropbox all the time now, even for non-blog stuff. You can get it on your iPad, connected to your main account (on my laptop) so you can access files anywhere (although I have yet to set that up). Hope that helps!

  5. I was wondering if you could actually go through the stage where only blog subscribers can get the free printables (and not through Facebook). I have googled this and am not finding an answer to my question. Can you help?

  6. Hey! I just wanted to add that I have used box.com for years to share my printables and other media. and love it. And its free with a ton of storage. Thanks!

    • thanks!! And thanks for the post! I have a few printable ideas, but want it to be *professional*. I recently discovered Picmonkey – you can do EVERYTHING with Picmonkey!! I love it!!

  7. I’ve been using PicMonkey for a hot minute and I had no idea they had a pixel/inch converter! Thank you ever so much for putting this tutorial together – it’s super!

  8. Thank you so much! I have been trying to put my favorite quotes up in my kitchen and it was a hot-looking mess on Word.

  9. Jenn
    Thanks for sharing. I just clicked over from the IBN FB page and this looks like you really explained in such detail! I appreciate the share!

    Your blog is so inviting and you have so many topics I’d love to sit and peruse right now! I subscribed so I can get posts delivered.

    Have a great weekend! looking fwd to keeping in touch via the blogosphere.:)

  10. I looked all over for this, so glad I finally found your tutorial! Exactly what I was looking for! I couldn’t find it anywhere else. Thank you so much!! Off to work on my first printable!

    • From your home page on Dropbox, after you sign in, you’ll see a list of all your files. On the far right of each there will be a little pic of a chain link. Click on that and it will give you the link to share! You can also find that same chain link when you click into each individual file. Hope that helps!

    • Oh, and whoops, I should say you’ll see a list of all the files you’ve uploaded, assuming you’ve done that already, on the home page :)

  11. So glad I came here this morning! I’m looking for ways to upload and then offer printable cards on my blog. Not sure yet whether they will be free or paid! Ok, I’ve done everything you say (I use Photoshop and only use Picmonkey for collages or overlays). But my image looks so fuzzy both on my blog and when i print out. I’ve tried uploading at 300 and at 72 dpi. I have WP blog. Do you have any ideas about this? Many thanks!
    Libby
    Libby Wilkie recently posted…FRIDAY FLOWERSMy Profile

    • Hi Libby, the only suggestion I have is to make it very high resolution and use large amounts of pixels. I only use Picmonkey for everything, ha ha! And so I know to make it a lot of pixels (1700 x 2200) for an 8 1/2 x 11 printable I think, and it always works out fine. It *shouldn’t* have anything to do with your actual blog or how you’re uploading it, it is probably to do with the size of your image. I hope you are able to figure it out! YouTube is great for that sort of thing :)

      • Well, it seems now that it has to do with Dropbox. I tried uploading to my media file in WP and linking back to my original file URL (thus no Dropbox) and it’s perfect. Another blogger had shown that, and I guess for me, it works. Thanks for your time and help in this!
        Libby Wilkie recently posted…FRIDAY FLOWERSMy Profile

  12. Hello Jenn! Thank you so much for this post. This helps a lot! I’m making my first large document (planner) and really needed to step it up a notch. Glad I found you! (Actually, I immediately recognized you from a few groups/networks around. ;) ) Happy Blogging!

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