Creating Personalized Thank You Cards with Publisher 2003 (Part 2 of 4)

Now that we’ve covered the basics of the project, let’s jump into the details:


Here’s the household items you’ll need for this project:

· Elmer’s glue (or paste)

· Safety scissors

· A 6-inch length of string

· Glitter

Oh wait, that’s a different arts and craft project. The tools for this one are a little more upscale:

· Microsoft Office Publisher 2003

· A digital camera capable of downloading images to a computer

· A color printer capable of producing photo-quality prints (or access to one at work)

· A computer (preferably a laptop or TabletPC)

· A paper cutter (you can substitute safety scissors if you must)

Now, if you don’t already have these basic household items, don’t be afraid to include them in your wedding budget, especially if her father’s picking up the tab. This works best if you don’t call them out in the budget as individual line items. Group them with similar expenses. For example, go ahead and roll the cost of the digital camera into the “Wedding party corsages” line item, or expense the photo-quality color printer under “Table decorations (misc.).”

Bribe a Friend

Actually, I forgot an additional item you’ll need for this project: a friend willing (or willing to be bribed) to take the pictures of the happy couple with each gift. If they can work a digital camera, even better. Alcohol, chocolate, and/or food make excellent inducements, depending on the friend. One piece of advice, though: don’t be too free with the alcohol until all the pictures are taken. Also, things go most smoothly when you unwrap and sort the presents before the camera person gets there. A laptop’s great for entering the gift information in the spreadsheet as you open each gift.

One thing we hadn’t anticipated was how many people would be giving us the universal gift: cash. Or gift cards/certificates to the stores included on our registry. Since we didn’t feel a picture of us fondling a gift check, or rolling in a pile of low-denomination bills was appropriate, for these generous souls we included a picture of us on our wedding day.

Now granted, you could take the pictures with a conventional camera, and scan them into the computer later. But the great thing about digital is there’s no wasted film, you can be sure you’ve got the photo you want as soon as you take it, and you don’t have to get the photos developed. And in the end, isn’t your wedding worth it?

(If she buys that argument, my work here is done.)

Once you’ve got the pictures taken, download them to the computer.

Design the Card Exterior

You’ll use Publisher for the rest of the steps. First, design the outside (front and back) of the card. In our case, we made the cards 5.5 by 8.5 (5.5 by 4.25 when folded) so that two would fit on a regular 8.5 by 11 inch sheet. So the basic layout looked like this:

Remember that anything on the back of the card needs to be upside-down in your layout, so that’s correct once the card has been cut and folded. To flip shapes, including text boxes, select the shape and then, from the Arrange menu, click Rotate or Flip, and then click Flip Vertical.

Then print as many as you’ll need.

The ruler guides mark quarter-inch borders around the actual faces of each card . Once the cards were done, we cut them on the center vertical ruler, and folded them along the center horizontal guide. Just don’t cut yours yet, because we still need to print the personalized inside of the card.

Which we’ll cover tomorrow.