How to Print Postcards at Home with Word Processing Software

By Alina Bradford
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There's no need to buy expensive, pre-made postcards. You can create your own customized, professional postcards at home for a fraction of the cost using your word processing software. Simply make sure that your printer can print to card stock and begin by collecting some basic office supplies. Here is how to get started:

Postcard Supplies
The supplies you need to create your own postcards are easy to find and inexpensive. You will need paper scissors, card stock, a printer, word processing software, clipart or photos, and pens or pencils. If you have trouble cutting a straight line with scissors or if you want to speed up the process, you can add a reasonably priced paper cutter to your list of supplies.

Instructions for Creating Homemade Postcards
While doing this project at home is easy, the process might take a little getting used to if you are not well acquainted with your word processing software. These instructions will help you find the options you need without having to refer to your software's helpdesk.

  1. Create a document that is 6" wide and 4" tall. This is the size of an average postcard. The size is important because the bigger the postcard, the more it weighs. This determines whether you can use a postcard stamp or a regular stamp. If you want to use regular stamps, feel free to make your cards bigger. To save cardstock, you can print two postcards on an 8 1/2" by 11" piece of card stock by dividing the page into two separate sections and creating a card on each section.
     
  2. Next, add clipart, photos and text to your postcard by using your software's Insert option. Most postcards have one image that covers the entire surface of one side with a simple message at the bottom of the image. Try to fill the entire card space with some kind of image or message. You can do this by clicking and dragging the small squares at the corners of your image to enlarge it.
     
  3. Print the postcard onto your card stock. You may need to adjust the settings on your printer to accommodate card stock since it is thicker than typical computer paper. Do this by opening your software's printing options and selecting Properties and Paper Type. Choose the card stock option from the menu and click Okay.
     
  4. Cut the printed card stock into a 6" by 4" rectangle using your scissors or paper cutter.
     
  5. You will use the blank side of the postcard to write a message and an address. Draw a line down the center of the card with a pen or pencil and put your message on the left side and the address on the right. This is standard postcard layout.

Now that you know this simple process, you can create your own postcards for friends and family for any occasion using your own photos and drawings and your word processing software.

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