learn. create. do.

Learn How to Make Your Own Perfect Printables

by Erin Williams
craft & maker

Pretty Spring Bookmark Printables-6

Printables are a fun and inexpensive way to customize a party, gift or even home décor! Creating custom cake toppers for a party or an inspirational quote to hang on your wall can be as easy as doing a Google search for the thousands of free printables online.

However, if you want to create something custom to fit your needs, you can learn to create your own! You’ll need to choose the right software and learning program, and you’ll be well on your way to making amazing and unique printables.


You can learn to design printables with free options like Canva, or Paint. These programs are fine for basic designs, but can be very limiting. If you would like completely custom designs, programs like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are excellent.

Adobe Illustrator is the best option because graphics are vectors, meaning you can size and resize your images without making them pixelated. You can create poster sized images or cake toppers with the same graphic and the quality of the graphic won’t be affected.

In Illustrator, you can design patterns, complex graphics and work with type. You can learn to design printables fast with the Basic Printable Design Course from Printable Crush. Illustrator is a highly in-depth program, so taking a course is a quick way to learn the basics.

If you’d like to create hand-lettered printables, consider taking a custom lettering class so you can edit your designs in Illustrator. Hand lettering is an excellent way to make a printable truly custom.

The great thing about printables for personal use is that you don’t need to have a fancy printer or pay a printing company a fortune. Simply print graphics at home with an inkjet or color laser printer. You can find a printer for as little as $60 or upwards of $2000. Don’t think you need an expensive printer to create incredible graphics. A printer in the $100 range should work fine.

The biggest question is whether you should get an inkjet or a laser printer. It depends on your needs. If you plan on printing a lot, the toner in laser printers lasts a long time, but the replacement ink can be pricey. The color on laser printers is much more vibrant than an inkjet. However, inkjet ink is relatively inexpensive but plan on replacing it often. Inkjets also print photos better, so if you use photography in your printables, that is something to consider.

There are so many options for cutting out your printable designs. You can use a paper trimmer for straight lines and scissors for more intricate objects. If you plan on creating party printables, get a 2” round hole punch for cupcake toppers and gift tags. It’s a minimal investment that will save you hours of time, and your hands will thank you. Also, check out the hole punch aisle at your local craft store for more options.


For maximum efficiency with cutting printables, consider in investing in a cutting tool like the Silhouette Cameo or Cricut Explore. Both allow you to print out any shape and cut around the printable. It takes minutes to set up the file and cut compared to hours of using scissors.

You’ll need adhesives to assemble certain printables, like attaching cupcake toppers to paper straws. A printable designer’s go-to adhesive is usually a hot glue gun. They’re inexpensive, and the glue is guaranteed to keep everything in place. You can also use glue dots, double sided tape (permanent is preferred), glue sticks, or regular tape.

Another handy tool for printable assembly is a score board. You’ll use it to make creases in paper for easy and precise folding.

Don’t feel the need to buy all these items at once. It takes time to acquire all the tools for printables, but in the end, you’ll find that the investment will be small for a fun and creative hobby or business in printable design.

Need a little inspiration to get started? Download this printable quote and pin it to your cork board to keep you inspired.

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Erin Williams

Erin is the owner and designer behind Printable Crush, a blog dedicated to printables, recipes, parties and fun activities for kids. She is married and has three children that inspire her creativity every day!