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.

Guest Blogger: Two Bright Lights

TBL-guestpost4

There is nothing better than seeing your work in print. And we love how HP – MagCloud makes this possible and painless! At Two Bright Lights we focus on connecting magazines and blogs with great images from photographers and other creative businesses, so we understand the importance of beautiful magazines and business collateral. Many of our members use and love MagCloud. Whether they are photographers using it publish a portfolio or pricing guide, or editors using it to publish a print and digital magazine, HP MagCloud makes displaying and distributing their content a breeze.

Photographers, publishers, brides, and vendors have created thousands of beautiful publications using MagCloud, but we wanted to pass on what a few Two Bright Lights editors have to say about MagCloud and share details about the beautiful magazines and publications they create.

Meet Kym Stelmachers of DIY Weddings Magazine and Erika Pitera of Zest Digital Magazine.

tbl  Shalyn Kettering: Could you tell us a bit about your publication and editorial style?

DIYopenKym Stelmachers: DIY Weddings® Magazine is a wedding publication that is written and created by brides for brides.  We cater to the bride with a budget of $15,000 and under with our main focus on the DIY.  We provide DIY projects from brides, wedding planners, wedding vendors and crafters.  I designed the publication to be a “visually pleasing” experience for our readers.  We also decided to change the way we do advertising in our publications by developing a new innovative way to get the same content to our readers without the headache of having to thumb through endless ads to find the real content.  We were the first wedding publication to offer its readers a better reading experience.

Erika Pitera: ZEST Digital Magazine is a seasonally focused mix of recipes, entertaining menus and easy, do-it-yourself home and holiday decor projects. Our goal is to inspire our readers with recipes, DIY projects and entertaining ideas that are approachable for both new and experienced home cooks.

tbl  SK: How does MagCloud fit into your publication process and what have you found most helpful about it as an publishing platform?

KS: Because we are primarily a digital magazine, we wanted to be able to offer our brides, vendors and photographers the option to purchase a hard copy.  When we found MagCloud, we knew they would be a great fit for what we were looking for.  It really became clear to us that we made an excellent choice when we received our first proof.  The quality of their product is first rate! I hear it time and time again how beautiful our print publication is.  MagCloud uses quality paper; the color is vibrant; their delivery and customer service is exceptional.

ZESTprintdigEP: In all honesty, it didn’t at first! When we first started ZEST, we only envisioned it as a digital publication. However, in exploring all of the publishing options out there, we were thrilled to find MagCloud because it allowed us to print our magazine with ease! Its accessibility and quality encouraged us to start designing our publication for both digital and print readers. MagCloud is great because it’s user-friendly. My reasons for that are two-fold: from a reader/consumer standpoint, it’s very easy to discover publications based on your interests or hobbies; from a publisher’s standpoint, MagCloud makes it easy for small publications to print small runs of awesome quality at an affordable price.

tbl  SK: What are your top 3 tips for first time MagCloud users?

KS: Really they makes it so easy to upload, setup, price and manage – anyone can use it.  My only tip is to always order a proof so you know what you are offering your customers.

EP: 1. Be sure to follow MagCloud’s formatting instructions to get perfect results every time. You can get specific instructions customized for your publishing software that make it really easy to export your PDF properly.
2. Take advantage of the document preview to make sure all of your text and important elements are in the safe zone so that nothing gets cut off when it’s printed!
3. Get the most out of the your experience by offering both print and digital versions.

tbl  SK: Kym, We love all of your creative DIY tips in your magazine! Your sea shell bouquet in the last issue was fantastic! Where can people purchase it on MagCloud?

KS: Our Winter 2012 issue just arrived on December 1st and it’s our biggest issue ever.  We have more inspirational ideas, do-it-yourself projects and 12 experts in the wedding industry giving our readers some great tips, advice and budget saving ideas.  In each issue FiftyFlowers.com creates 3 DIY Flower Bouquet projects. What I love about it is they include an inspiration board and they provide the reader with a materials list and step-by-step instruction.  We have gotten so much great feedback that we are going to continue these projects through 2013. You can purchase all of our issues on MagCloud under DIY Weddings® Magazine.

DIY-Weddings

tbl  SK: Erika, The pear on the cover of your current issue looks delicious! Where can we get the recipe?

EP: Those are our Port Wine Poached Pears – they’re yummy and pretty easy to make. You’ll find the recipe on page 28 of our Holiday 2012 issue.

tbl  SK: What sort of submissions are you looking for from TBL members?

KS: I am glad you asked! We have a very special issue coming in 2013 and we are looking for anything that has a “red theme” about it.  We will consider any of the following using a red theme:  Photo style shoots, weddings, candy buffet tables, cake or sweet displays and engagements.  Style shoots and weddings with themes around the circus, boardwalk, carnival, Valentines, Christmas, Fourth of July – keeping in mind that we are focusing on “red”.  We look forward to working with all the talented photographers at Two Bright Lights!

zestopenEP: Your number one priority should always be to make the food or drinks look real and absolutely delicious! Natural light is a very powerful tool. I love food photos that are bright and appetizing rather than dark or dramatic. Props can be great, but make sure they don’t detract from the star of the show! Also, shallow depth of field can really help the food take center stage.

A big thanks for Kym and Erika for the interviews! Don’t forget to check out their magazines on MagCloud and if you are interested in having your photography featured in these and other great magazines check out the Two Bright Lights’ submission software!

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)