February 10


What Do You Need to Make Printables?

By Penny

February 10, 2022

Good prints and wall art look professional So you may think that you need lots of tools to make printables. But actually, you don't need much to make printables. Good printables.


What's Needed to Make Printables?

If you want to start creating printables, there are tools and software that you’re going to need to make your printables. What you’ll need exactly will depend on the type of printable you want to start making.


One of the tools that many people use in order to create printables is Microsoft PowerPoint.


This program is one that many people are already familiar with. This is because you can create custom designs using the program. You can find many templates in PowerPoint but you have to be careful with the terms of service when it comes to using them as printables.

Not everything is allowed with these templates. For example, you can’t use their fonts or images for commercial use. This means that you need to find fonts and images that do allow for commercial use.

What PowerPoint can help you do with creating printables is you can put together the text and the images or any artwork that you’re using to create from scratch. Before you start you will need to know about the dimensions.

When working with PowerPoint for printables, you’ll need to change these. That’s because the program isn’t set up like a standard 8.5 x 11 page. So if you’re creating pages, you’ll need to make an adjustment.

The slides are landscape size, so there may be a possible learning curve for those who aren’t used to working with the program. 


Many people use Canva to create their printables.

One of the reasons that this is a popular tool is because it’s free. You can use the tool to make any kind of printable. Plus, the site is pretty easy to navigate and it’s easy to learn.

The only downside to using Canva to create your stuff is that a lot of the graphics and icons aren’t free. So you’ll either have to import your own or buy them. There are a few of them that are free but there’s not a wide selection.

To get started using Canva to make printables, you need to set up an account with the site. This site is easy because their templates are simple to work with. You just choose the one you want and customize it.

You’ll need to choose what dimensions you want. If you’re going to be making pages, then you’d choose the letter design, which is the standard 8.5 x 11 format. Once you pick your dimension, you choose the layout and background.

On Canva you can use photos from the site or illustrations that feature things like flowers, animals and more. You can change the elements within a template, so this makes it easy to avoid starting from scratch.


You many have heard that Photoshop is also a tool that you can use to create printables. Photoshop is considered one of the best resources for this niche. However, there’s a steep learning curve for someone who’s not familiar with the program.

It does give users a lot of control over every aspect of the design because there are so many tools in the program. But having that much information and control can sometimes be overwhelming to someone who’s new to printable design.

If that’s you, then take a Photoshop course or use free YouTube video tutorials to learn how to use the tool. Taking the time to learn is an investment in your business. Because Photoshop leans toward the pricier resources for creating printables, you can use their more affordable Photoshop Elements option to make these.

Microsoft Word

With printables, you’ll be creating text and images. You’ll need something like Microsoft Word to create some of your designs if you don’t have any other programs or resources. This program enables users to create designs with things like shapes, lines and more.

This is one of the least expensive ways to get started making things like journal pages, if you already own Microsoft Word or Google Docs, but it’s not the easiest. If you’re creating a design in a checklist format or something like budgeting pages that require columns, then you’re going to need a spreadsheet format to design from.

For this purpose, you could use something like Microsoft Excel.

Microsoft Excel

This program can also be used to create planners. If you haven’t worked with Excel before, there are tutorials available that you can use specifically for making printables.

Most people who want to create printables who are new to design will often think they have to buy expensive design software. This is helpful and it can make setting up a printable business much faster.

But you don’t have to have it if you’re on a tight budget. You can work with something simpler. Design software is something you’ll want to keep in mind for a future purchase as you start to make money and are able to reinvest in your business.

The reason that you want this software is because you can create better designs and you’ll be able to format your designs easier. If you feel that you must have some kind of design software, you don’t have to choose a top of the line product to get started.

You can look for cheaper ones that allow users to pay smaller monthly access fees.


Some of the advice you may see will tell you that you have to buy a PDF program or find one that you can download for free.

This is not completely accurate. You do want to use PDF to save what you create. But most programs where you create your printable have PDF as one of the “save as” or export options so you don’t have to get anything extra to do this step.

It’s important that you save your designs in the PDF format. This is the format that you’ll use to allow customers to have the download. You want this format because it can’t be changed or edited in any way.

This is to prevent unscrupulous customers from taking your design, altering it and then reselling it as their own.


One of the things that you will use often when creating printables are graphics.

There will be some programs that come with graphics already. While a few do allow for commercial use, many do not. It’s always best to know exactly where you stand when it comes to using graphics in things you sell.

Take care because you don’t want to create something and then get dinged later for violating their TOS (terms of service). This can end badly for you and get your entire business shut down unexpectedly.

So either be 100% sure that you’re allowed to use the program’s graphics to resell or download free or inexpensive graphics that clearly state they’re allowed to be used for commercial purposes.

You’ll need a way to design your graphics and this is covered by using Canva, PicMonkey or any number of design programs that are available for free use. PicMonkey can be used to resize a design, edit one and create one from scratch.

Plus, it’s also easy to use. There aren’t a lot of physical resources you need to buy. Most of everything that you’ll use will be online resources. However, that’s the not the case if you’re making something where the inventory isn’t online.

An example of this would be pre-made printable stickers. Or if you’re making something like die-cuts that are often used with scrapbooking. There are two ways that you can do this.

Either you can use your own cutting machine to print, cut and mail the purchase to the customer. Then you’d be responsible for the inventory. If you choose this method, then your overhead does go up.

In addition to the extra expense, you’ll also have to handle mailing the purchases out to the customers.

An easier way is for you to create stickers or die-cuts that the customer can print on their end.

This is usually the option most people choose when setting up a printable business that includes stickers or other projects because it keeps costs down and there’s no extra effort on the seller’s part.

Your goal is to be as hands off as possible once the design is created and the best way to do that is to leave the downloading and printing up to the customer. Making money with printables is easy to start up as a business.

For the most part, it’s a fun way to earn extra money or even make a living with it. But there are some things that you do need to watch out for.


Last, but certainly not least, my personal favourite. Affinity Designer is my go-to tool for creating printables. Depending what sort of printable you are creating, you might also use Affinity Publisher and Affinity Photo.

There is a bit of a learning curve when starting with the Affinity suite of tools, but it is so worth persevering.

Start Creating Those Printables

I hope that this has helped you to decide what to use when you create your printables. The best advice is to start simple. And, as always, have a plan before leaping into action.

What printables do you love? Let us know in the comments box.

Penny xx


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About the author

Designed and published over 100 books. Teacher. Designer. Tea drinker.

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