DIY Gift Ideas

From cookbooks, to calendars, to a poster of your favorite Instagram photos, use MagCloud to get a jump-start on your holiday gift giving by creating your own masterpiece.

cookbook_templateCookbooks

Recipe collections are a popular MagCloud publication type, serving the purpose of business promotionscommunity fundraisers, and wedding favors. With options for ordering print copies and downloading onto mobile devices like the iPad, MagCloud cookbooks are easy to keep close at hand in the kitchen. To help you get started on your own cookbook, check out our prior blog posts with templates and instructions for Adobe InDesigniWork Pages, and Microsoft Word.

Calendars

calendar_templateCalendars are a great way to relive the special moments of the past year, memorialize a one-of-a-kind summer vacation, highlight business accomplishments, serve as a collectible fundraising idea, or show-off your dog Kai’s greatest moments. Whatever your inspiration is, we’ve made it easy to get started. Select from one of our pre-designed templates or read our recent calendar blog post to design one yourself. And with a 28-page Standard format calendar costing only $5.60, it’s an affordable gift idea as well.

Posters

poster_templatesGive your child’s artwork, favorite New Year’s resolutions, new product offerings or your best-of wedding photos the rock star treatment with our Poster format. MagCloud’s full-color Posters are printed to order so there are no minimum order requirements – you can order copies of your poster as you need them, and come back to order more when you run out.  And if you want to make your poster gift extra special, read our blog post and watch our video for tips on framing MagCloud posters.

Share your DIY printed gift ideas in our comments section below.

Celebrating Dads and Grads

With Father’s Day this Sunday and the school year coming to a close, today we’re going to highlight some ways to use MagCloud to do some last minute shopping for Dad, and also how recent graduates can use MagCloud as they commemorate the past and look toward their future.

MagCloud Gifts for Dad

18 Month Photo Calendar

DadCalendarThe mid-year timing of Father’s Day is a perfect opportunity to create a custom photo calendar that your dad can enjoy through the end of 2014. We’ve modified our 2013 calendar templates to go from July 2013 to December 2014 in our Standard (8.25″ x 10.75″) and Small Square (8″ x 8″) formats for InDesign CS4 and newer, and Apple Pages. Just download the template for the size of calendar you want to create in your software of choice, add your photos and use the included instructions to export a PDF for uploading to the MagCloud website. With MagCloud you can order just a single print copy for your dad, or order additional copies for other family members.

InDesign CS4 and newer: Standard template  |  Small Square template

Apple Pages: Standard template  |  Small Square template

If creating your own calendar file in InDesign or Pages isn’t for you, check out our partner PoyomiPoyomi lets you create a calendar just by uploading your photos from your computer, SmugMug, Picasa, or Facebook, and then you can have it uploaded automatically to your MagCloud account.

Custom BBQ Recipe Book

If your dad loves to grill, pull together his go-to recipes into a custom recipe book. Click here to check out our recent post on National Barbecue Month for templates and tips.

Print and Digital MagCloud Publications

No matter what your dad is into, from cars or technology, to sports, cooking, or travel, chances are good you can find a MagCloud publication about it. Print copies always make a great gift for reading on the beach this summer, or if he has an iPad, get Dad an iTunes gift card that he can use to purchase digital versions of the publications he likes right inside the latest version of the MagCloud iPad app.

CarHeader

MagCloud Uses for Grads

Photobooks for Friends

PhotobookBefore you and your friends head off in various directions after graduation, commemorate the fun times you had together in a photobook. MagCloud’s 8.25″ x 5.25″ Digest product is a great size for displaying full color photographs in a nice compact format, and only costs $0.16 per page to print. Check out our blog posts about creating photobooks with Adobe Photoshop or Apple Aperture, or see our Getting Started page for instructions in a variety of other programs. You can also use our partner Poyomi to quickly turn your photos from Facebook or Instagram into a photobook without having to lay them out yourself.

Custom Thank You Notes

ThankYouNow that you’ve received all those generous graduation gifts, show your appreciation with customized thank you notes. MagCloud’s single sheet Flyers in our smaller Digest size are printed on a heavier cover stock that make them ideal for using as flat notecards, and the size fits perfectly into A9 envelopes. All you have to do is use the program of your choice to create a PDF that is either 8.5″ x 5.5″ for portrait notecards or 5.5″ x 8.5″ for landscape notecards, and upload that PDF to MagCloud. Then you can order as few or as many thank you cards as you need, for just $0.32 each (or $0.24 each if you order 20 or more). For instructions to create your PDF, check out the Software-Specific Instruction Packages on our Getting Started page.

Print and Digital Portfolio

Children's Sports Photography PortfolioFor those of you heading into the work world as artists, photographers, designers, architects, or writers, MagCloud is a great option for publishing your portfolio. MagCloud’s print-on-demand features allow you to order commercial-quality printed portfolios at an affordable price, across a range of sizes and binding options, in as few or as many copies as you need. You can even have copies of your portfolio shipped directly to an address list of potential employers using our Ship to Group feature. In addition to having high quality print versions of your portfolio available on demand, you can also make your portfolio available digitally for viewing in the MagCloud Web Viewer, iPad app, and as a downloadable PDF, using the same PDF you upload for printing.

MagCloud wishes a hearty congratulations to all the graduates out there, and a happy Father’s Day to all the dads!

Create a Beautiful Recipe Book with iWork Pages

Still hunting for that unique gift idea for your friends and family this season?
Why not create a custom recipe book with iWork Pages and print it through MagCloud?

If you are Mac user looking to do some basic design without spending a ton, check out Pages, (Apple’s design tool that comes in their iWork productivity suite–and retails for just $79 at store.apple.com).

*PC users: check out yesterday’s post about using a Microsoft Word template, or Tuesday’s post about using InDesign to create your own recipe book!

But enough of that… let’s get started!

Open a New File
You can DOWNLOAD the template I use in my demo here, the Pages 2008 version here,
or if you are feeling inspired, design your own from scratch!

MAKING IT YOUR OWN:

Deciding on a layout:
To save yourself a lot of time and effort, do some extra planning ahead.  You’ll want to determine how many pages your recipe book is going to be,  and the order of the recipes before you start entering your content.

This is because the pages are specifically designed for right and left pages, and changing the order will be difficult after you have assigned content to a left or right page. The template has 15 built-in designs to use, so that every page doesn’t have to look identical. Though that doesn’t mean you have to use all of them. In my sample recipe book, you’ll notice that I modified the template for a very clean result.

The whole idea is to play around with the template so that it fits your own personal style.

Changing Fonts and Colors:
Nothing transforms a print project more than changing up the fonts. Whether you want to go with a traditional serif font, or a contemporary sans serif font, or even a whimsical handwritten font, you can easily change this template to your preferences.

To adjust the paragraph styles, you’ll first want to expose the “Font Window” by selecting the “A” icon in the Toolbar (If for some reason you don’t see the toolbar at the top of your application frame, then Select VIEW >> Show Toolbar, then select the “A” icon)

You’ll also need your “Styles Drawer” handy, which you can expose by going to VIEW >> “Show Styles Drawer” (or with  “SHIFT + cmnd + T”)

Now that you have your tools handy, it’s time to make some changes. You can repeat the following steps for each font style that you wish to modify:

1. Select a block of text that you wish to change

2. Make desired changes to font, size, weight and color using the “Font Window.” As you make selections, you should see the font change on the page.

3. Select the block of text again–notice how it highlights the selected style in the “Styles Drawer.”

4. Update your paragraph style sheet so that all of the subsequent uses of this style reflect the style changes. You can do this by either “right-clicking” or “ctrl+ click” on the name of the font style in your “Styles Drawer”, then select “Redefine Style from Selection.”

Adding your own photos:
Swapping in your own photos is almost as easy as “drag and drop.”

Simply select the photo you want to replace by clicking on the image once. Then, with the “Media Browser” open (VIEW >> Show Media Browser), locate the photo you would like to replace it with and just drag it over the original image. It should pop right into place.

To adjust the framing of the image, or the image size, double-click on the image to toggle between the size adjustment and the mask adjustment.

(Tip: If you are inserting a new image that doesn’t already have a mask, you can create a mask on any image by going to FORMAT >> “Mask with Shape.”)

Save your file as a “Template” for future uses

If you plan to create another recipe book, or like the style of the template and want to use it for another type of document, be sure to save your file as a template. It’s easy to do, just select “File> Save as Template.” This puts a copy of your file into the Pages Template Chooser so you can find it easily next time you launch the application.

Tip: Because your using a template to create your recipe book, and have the power of HP MagCloud’s digital printing, there’s no reason you can’t personalize each copy… Perhaps change the cover image for friends vs. family… Or create a recipe book for a school fundraiser, or one for your colleagues at work… it’s up to you!

TURNING YOUR DOCUMENT INTO A PDF:
You’re done designing? Yay!
This part couldn’t be easier! Simply select “FILE>> Export.”
Leave the default settings for PDF (image quality = BEST) and save your file.

WANT MORE INFORMATION ABOUT PAGES?

Apple’s Pages ’09 site

Apple Store: iWork $79

Easy Custom Cookbooks with Microsoft Word

The holidays are creeping closer, so we’re back today, with another template to transform your family’s favorite recipes into a colorful, beautifully-published recipe book that you can give to your friends and loved-ones this holiday season.

Yesterday I shared a template for using an Adobe InDesign template, which you can read more about here. Today we’re looking at using Microsoft Word to create a quick and easy recipe book.

GETTING STARTED:
To get you started with publishing your own recipe book, you can follow along with the one I created for this demo.

DOWNLOAD the MagCloud-ready Word Template.

CUSTOMIZING YOUR TEMPLATE:

Editing Master Pages:
To edit the page number styles and the logo on the right-hand pages, you will need to acces the document’s master pages–these can sometimes be tricky to find, so be sure you are in “Publishing Layout” which you can select by going to VIEW >> Publishing Layout.

Then, in the lower right-hand corner of the application window, you can toggle from the document content to the master page layouts.

(Tip: be sure to toggle back to the content pages once you have made your changes.)

Making it your own:
Changing the paragraph styles of the document makes it easy to change the overall look of your cookbook with minimal effort.

For a quick transformation you can start by changing the “Document Theme” within the Formatting Palette. This transforms both the fonts and color palette quickly and then you can make more minor adjustments using the techniques below.

Change the Text and Accent Colors:
Much like you can change the theme, you can also simply adjust the colors used within the template using the “Colors” Options within the “Document Theme” section of the Formatting Palette.

By selecting this fly out menu you can select different color palettes, and see how picking them, transforms the look of your recipe book.

Change the Font Style Sheets:
1. With the Styles Segment of the Formatting Palette open, select the text that you would like to modify on the page.
2. You should see the current style become highlighted in the toolbox panel.
3. Click on the fly-out window to the right of the highlighted style name and select “Modify Style…”
4. Within the dialog box, you can adjust the font, color, sizing and other properties of the associated style.
5. Select “Ok” to save your changes.

Swapping-in and Adding Your Own Photos:
1. Select the image you want to replace.
2. Within the Picture Segment of the Formatting Palette, click on the “Replace…” button
3. Select the image you would like using the dialog box.

(Tip: If you want to add more photos to the template:
Simply go to INSERT >> Picture >> From File… )

Inserting More Recipe Pages:
1. Within the navigation panel, select a page and “right-click” or “ctrl + click” on the mini preview of the page you would like to duplicated.
2.  Select “Duplicate Page”
3. Drag the new mini page that has been added to the Navigation Panel to the desired location in the order of the document.
(Tip: You can also select a page and go to INSERT >> Duplicate Page)

SAVE AND EXPORT A PDF

A quick note about export settings:
Because this template has been designed with elements that bleed off the page (like the cover which has color that goes edge-to-edge), you will need to set your document so that it will export as such.

To do this:
1. Go to FORMAT >> Document…
2. In the dialogue box, confirm that your settings match the ones pictured in this screen shot. (Top: 0.13″, Bottom: 0.13″, Inside: 0″,  Outside: 0.25″, Gutter: 0.25″, mirror margins is checked)
3. Select “Page Setup”
4. Under paper size, if you don’t already have “MagCloud” selected, Select Paper Size >> Manage Custom Sizes…
5. Create a new paper size that is 8.5″ x 11″ with a User-defined non-printable area that is 0″ al the way around.

Microsoft Word 2003: To export your Word 2003 document as a MagCloud PDF on a PC, first go into Tools > Options and select the Save tab. Ensure that the box next to Embed TrueType Fonts is checked, but the boxes next to its subcategories (“Embed characters in use only” and “Do not embed common system fonts”) are unchecked.

Then, in the “Save to PDF” dialog box, click the “Options” button and check the “ISO 19005-1 compliant” box, which should also automatically put a check in the “Bitmap text when fonts may not be embedded” box.

Click Okay, then go to FILE > Save As and select PDF from the file type drop-down menu to save your PDF.

Microsoft Word 2007 (PC): To export your Word 2007 document on a PC, click on the Microsoft Office Button in the upper left hand corner and choose “Word Options”. Select the Save tab on the left and make sure that the box for “Embed fonts in this file” is checked, but uncheck the boxes below it (“Embed only the characters used in the document” and “Do not embed common system fonts”).

Then, in the “Save to PDF (or XPS)” dialog box, click the “Options” button and check the “ISO 19005-1 compliant” box, which should automatically put a check in the “Bitmap text when fonts may not be embedded” box.

Microsoft Word (Mac): When exporting your PDF on a Mac, there is no option to embed fonts, so simply select File > Save As and choose PDF from the Format drop-down menu.

*This usually is only an issue if you have empty, hidden or transparent text frames in your document, or when a single character within a block of text uses a different font than the rest of the paragraph. If you have problems, you will either need to eliminate these, or embed the fonts in a different program before uploading to MagCloud. (see the help section)

WANT MORE HELP WITH WORD AND TEMPLATES?

Microsoft Office Word Template Site

Mactopia (for Mac Word Help/How-to’s)