Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Designing Invitations Using PowerPoint

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As I’ve mentioned before, PowerPoint is a great amateur graphics design tool.  I used it several times in graduate school to create diagrams for presentations and posters.   More recently, it’s come in handy for creating homemade wall art (see here, here & here).

Well, now I’ve found yet another great use with PowerPoint…designing invitations!  I designed these adorable invites for my BFF’s shower earlier this month.

(image edited for privacy)IMG_8480 edited invite

Since I’ve used PowerPoint to do so many projects, I thought it might be helpful to share some of my tips and tricks for using it as a design tool.  So, here’s the tutorial for making the invites, but the basic idea can be used to create tons of great projects. 

Monkey Themed Baby Shower Invite Tutorial

Step 1:  Size of Invite

I wanted to make a 5x7 sized flat invitation.  Luckily I found this great embossing card stock at 50% off from Hobby Lobby one day. 


It was a nice thickness and would worked well really well for this project.

Step 2: Background and basic layout

First, open up a new document in PowerPoint.  Resize the page as needed, in this case to 5x7.  I also made the page portrait instead of landscape.

I had a basic idea in mind for the invitation, and started by creating the background in the basic colors of the shower.  I did this by inserting rectangles and stretching them to the size I wanted.  Even the gray line is a long thin rectangle. <Go to “Insert”, “Shapes”>


Step 3:  Dressing it up

To jazz it up, I added a “J” for Sarah’s last name by clicking on the center of the brown square.  Then go to “Insert”, then “Text Box” and click the brown square again.  A cursor will show up in the middle of the square…type away!


And then a repeating pattern of stripes and dots.


In PowerPoint, use can select one or more objects using the mouse and then use Ctrl-C to copy and Ctrl-V to paste over and over to get these repeating designs.

You can also “Group” objects by selecting multiple objects, in this case rectangles, using the mouse.  Then go to the “Format” tab, then Group.  Grouping makes moving items around easier some times.

Step 4:  Adding Clipart

To find a monkey for my invitation, I searched the PP’s clipart.  To access the clipart, go to “Insert”, then Clipart.

invite 1

Type whatever you link in the search box.  There are SO many things to chose from!

Step 5:  Editing Clipart

invite 2

After finding just the right monkey for my invite, I added him to the invitation.  Then I resized him to fit the perfect spot on the invite.  I didn’t want the entire monkey body and I wasn’t crazy about the color either.  What to do?

Well, I’ve found that you can edit many clipart images pretty easily.  First, with the image selected, right click and select “Edit Image”.

invite 3

A window appears…click “yes”.

Then you can click on any part of the image and delete it:

invite 6

Or click on other parts,

invite 4

Go to the “Drawing Tools” tab and change the fill color to anything you like!

invite 5

After a little messing around I ended up with this cute little guy:


Step 6:  Adding Text, the final touch.

To add text in PowerPoint, you simply add text boxes wherever you want them.

final smudged

For this invite, I had three separate text boxes.  This allowed me to move the individual items where I wanted them which makes for easier formatting.  You can click the text boxes and move them where you want using the mouse.  You can also make minor “nudges” using the arrow keys.  This works for all objects in PP.

At this point, I simply printed the images onto my card stock.  Be sure to adjust the page size on the printing properties.  The default is regular paper size.


Confused yet?  I hope not.  This is a my first tutorial using screen shots.  I thought they would be helpful in understanding exactly what I did to make these invites.

Stay tuned…I’ll be back to share how I made adorable monkey using the same PP ideas from this tutorial.

I’m linking this up to the following parties:

Get your craft on Thurs. giveaways    The Girl Creative 

handmade projectsShow and Tell GreenCreativeShareWednesdays

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  1. Thank you SO much for posting this! my son is getting ready to turn one and I wanted to make my own invites to match his theme, thank you thank you!

  2. Sabrina - Great tutorial! I have to admit, I havent used powerpoint since our U of I days. You have an eye for this stuff for sure! :)

    And, of course, a big congrats to Sarah! Hope she is doing well!

  3. Hi Sabby, this is a great article and very original, thanks ! I'd propose to create one of these invitations at - What do you think?

  4. You, my dear, are the answer to my prayers! I've been looking and looking for a way to transform my paintings into clipart. Yes, I have PS Elements, but I haven't found an Idiot's guide yet. I can't afford Illustrator. I just downloaded Inkscape, but that's gonna take a while too. But in the matter of minutes, I opened one of my paintings in PP, played around and I think I can create my own clipart now! Not vector graphics, mind you, but something so it doesn't look handpainted. Thank you soooo much!

  5. Wow, love the step by step! This might be something I could tackle! Love the invitation by the way!

  6. Thanks so much! This was super helpful!

  7. Fabulous! Your monkey invitation is adorable and I may use your tutorial to make bday invitations for our baby. :)

  8. Looks really cute!
    I'd love for you to come link up at Inspire Me Mondays

  9. Awesome tips! Something us ordinary folks that don't own fancy graphic software can use! Thanks for sharing your secret!

  10. Thanks for the excellent tutorial, so easy to follow! I featured you over at my blog today!

  11. came from tatertots and jello - never thought of this even though I use MS word for most projects, thanks!

  12. LOVE LOVE LOVE! I had no idea PP had such cute clipart & I especially had no idea you could edit images with it! Ah! Thank you! :)

  13. Great tutorial! I never knew power point would be great for invitations, thanks so much for the post!!!

  14. Absolutely darling, and it looks so professional! Thank you for sharing!

  15. I love PP, but I've never tried using it for designing! Thanks so much for these tips, I really want to try this now!

  16. These are super cute! I didn't know you could do that with powerpoint...actually I don't know anything about power point but now I have to go check it out and see what I can do! I would love for you to link to my Sew Crafty Saturday Party this weekend!

  17. Your tutorial was perfect! What font did you use for her name? I really like it. Thanks for the inspiring idea.

  18. Thanks for the tutorial! It was perfect. I love the font you used for her name, what is it? Thanks

  19. Thanks so much for the tutorial! I'm not great with doing this stuff on the computer, but mine turned out great!!!!

  20. Hi how did you resize the page to 5 * 7? Helppppp


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