Friday, April 29, 2011

Teacher Appreciation Idea - Custom Notepad

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Teacher Appreciation Week is coming up next week here and I like to give a little something homemade to the teachers to let them know I appreciate all that they do. I wanted to make something useful and personalized and came up with the idea of making a custom notepad. I recently saw a tutorial on Infarrantly Creative for creating your own notepad and knew this was what I wanted to do. I came across these wonderful labels at Lovely Package and felt inspired to create my design with a clean, simple, antique type of feel.


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• Some decorative fonts for your label. I chose Beffle and Rosewood, which are available for free download from FontRiver.com and SearchFreeFonts.com respectively.

• A script font to be used as a faux signature of sorts. I chose Freebooter Script, also available free from FontRiver.com

• A basic circle for part of the label

• Some rough lines to age the label (shown enlarged by comparison in the image above)

• A banner. I found this cute antique banner here at ScrapGirls.

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Gather all of your ingredients. Feel free to make adjustments, according to your own tastes. I used Illustrator to draw the circle with black outline. I duplicated that circle and dragged it diagonally down to the right and filled it with black, then sent it to the back. This duplicated the feel of the font that I had chosen and felt in keeping with the banner. Next, I set the type inside the circle the way I wanted it to appear. Once I got this circle done, I imported it into Photoshop to assemble the rest of the design.

In Photoshop, I used a standard brush called Paintbrush Tool Texture Comb and drew some rough lines inside my circle label to rough it up a bit and help it match the banner that I had chosen. I drew and erased and drew and erased some more until I liked the look.

I chose to make my notepad 1/4 sheet of letter-size paper, so I set up my document to be 4.25 x 5.5 inches. I drew the rectangular outline border, then a thick black rectangle on top and a thinner black rectangle on the bottom, to frame the design. I typed "A NOTE FROM" in the border at the top, reversed the text to white, and gave it a little extra letterspacing to spread it out a bit. I placed the banner and dragged the circular nameplate on top. Almost done now! For a final finishing touch, I typed the teacher's first name in a script font and stuck it down near the bottom, as if as a signature.

After my notepad design was complete, I duplicated it 3 more times and placed them 4 to a page on a new letter-size document and printed it out. I printed 20 copies on tan paper, then used my paper cutter to cut them evenly into fourths.

Then, using some Mod Podge, rulers, and binder clips, I followed the tutorial at Infarrantly Creative to make my own notepads. If you would rather not make your own, you can easily take your finished design to FedEx/Kinko's (and maybe other copy shops, but I have used Kinko's and know they do it!) and have them turn it into a notepad for you. The cost is only a couple dollars.

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Here is my final notepad! I'm hoping my daughter's teacher will enjoy this gift and think of how much we appreciate her every time she needs to write a note. I'd love to hear if you decide to make your own notepad!




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Designer. Mother of 4.
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4 comments:

  1. What a terrific project....would be a great gift for grandma using a cover with photos of grandchildren on it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love this project! As an art teacher, I would appreciate such a thoughtful gift. Thanks for sharing those freebies with us!

    ReplyDelete

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