Create Your Own Graphics in Microsoft Word

Create Your Own Graphics in Microsoft Word

After my posts about creating monograms, labels, and banners in Word, I have received quite a few questions asking if it was possible to make other graphics as well. It is! Today I’m going to show you a couple examples of how to create your own graphics and let you in on my little graphic-making secret. ;) Let’s get started!

Make Your Own Backgrounds

Have you ever searched and searched for a background graphic to use only to become frustrated that nothing is “just right”? I have definitely been there, so I started creating my own simple backgrounds. I actually make a lot of them in Photoshop Elements, but the same thing can easily be accomplished in Word as well.

1. Use Gridlines

The first thing I do is, under the “View” tab at the top of the screen, check the “Gridlines” box. This way you’ll have a guide to help you make sure your patterns are straight and evenly spaced.

Gridlines

2. Start with a Shape

Let’s say I want to make a plaid pattern. I will go to the “Insert” tab, click on “Shape” and choose a rectangle to begin my pattern. I made my rectangle two boxes high and ran it the full width of the gridlines.

Insert Shape

3. Pick your colors.

I can then go to my “Drawing Tools” toolbar to change the outline and fill colors of my shape. I chose pink. {Because who doesn’t love pink in the spring?!}

Change Colors

4. Continue Adding Shapes.

Continue this same process with each shape until you have the pattern you want. {Shortcut: You can copy and paste the shape if you’re using the same one over and over.} I used a combination of vertical and horizontal rectangles and the “Line” shape to make my pattern.

Plaid Pattern

5. Group Your Shapes.

Next, like we did in the labels and bunting banner tutorials, I am going to “group” my pattern. To do this. I select each shape by holding down the “Ctrl” key and clicking each shape individually. I then right click and select “Grouping” and then “Group.”

Group Shapes

6. Save As Picture in PowerPoint.

Here comes my little secret when it comes to making graphics. In order to use this as a graphic, we need to save it as a .jpg or other picture file. While Microsoft Word doesn’t let you do this, PowerPoint does. So the next thing you’ll do is right click your shape and select “Copy.” Then paste it into a PowerPoint presentation and right click it. Select “Save as Picture…” I usually save it as a .jpg file as opposed to .png or .tif, but you can test them out and see what works best for you.

Save as Picture

Use Your Background to Create a Graphic

You can now use your graphic as a background in Word or another program or to fill a shape, like we did in the bunting banner tutorial. I used my background to create a graphic for my blog in Word.

I drew a shape, then under the “Drawing Tools” tab, I clicked the “Shape Fill” drop down and selected “Picture.” I picked the pattern .jpg that I just created.

Shape Fill Picture

Next, I drew a white rectangle as a background for my blog name.

Rectangle Layer

I wanted to make sure the circle was defined, so I drew another circle of the same size and put it directly over my existing circle. I chose “No Fill” as the fill color so that I could have a well defined outline while still seeing my patterned circle.

Define Your Circle

I then went under the “Insert” tab and used the “Word Art” feature to add my blog name. {For more details on how to format your Word Art, see my Bunting Banner Tutorial.}

Add Word Art

Finally, you will want to follow steps five and six above to group the graphic and save it as a picture using PowerPoint. Then you can use it like you would use any other .jpg picture file!

If you’re just starting to experiment with graphic design and aren’t ready to invest in designing software, Microsoft Word has a surprising amount of options available and is SO easy to use! The possibilities are endless!

Do you have any design tips in Microsoft Word?

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Comments

  1. Michael Lombardi says

    Wow. I can’t really imagine doing this in a word processing program, but you did excellent.

    I don’t even have Word on my computer, though.

    Keep up the great tuts!

    • says

      Thanks, Michael! If you’re looking for an easy way to make graphics, I love picmonkey.com. It’s free {there is a fancier, paid “Royal” option, but the basic plan works just fine for me} and really easy to use! Hope your week is going well!

      ~Abby =)

  2. says

    I love this! I only wish that I had Word :( I was so excited but realized that I only have OpenOffice — and I can’t even find a gridline option…. oh well — I will go make a ribbon wreath to make me feel better :)

    • says

      Ooh can’t wait to see your ribbon wreath–I know it will be gorgeous! If you’re looking for easy ways to make graphics and labels, another resource I love is picmonkey.com. It is really easy to navigate and it’s free! (There is a paid “Royal” option, but I’ve used the free stuff for a while now and have felt no need to upgrade. :) Hope you’re having a great week!

      ~Abby =)

  3. Kristi Veitenheimer says

    Thanks so much for a well-done tutorial! I’m just starting a blog, so this will come in very handy!

  4. Lauren @ The Thinking Closet says

    I love finding design hacks in the simple {wo}man’s word processor. In fact, I have used Word to create text boxes of color, that I save as a picture and then use as backgrounds in my collages in Pixlr. Eventually, I’ll invest in PSE or something of the like, but for now, I’m making do with my Word, Powerpoint, Pixlr, and iPhoto…and I’m doing just fine and dandy. Thanks for sharing these tricks with us! Never thought about creating a background in Powerpoint…genius.

    • says

      Thanks, Lauren! I hear ya–I’m always trying to find ways around needing expensive programs and equipment! I’m testing out the new plug-in you recommended, so hopefully you’ll be seeing this in your email. Thank you again for all of your help–you’re the best!!

      ~Abby =)

  5. Tammy says

    Hi Abby, Thanks for the kind words you left about my kitchen post. I’m so happy to have found your tutorial posts on creating graphics! My blog is need of a lot of fine tuning so these will be so helpful!

    • says

      Thanks, Jack! I use Photoshop some too, but Word is great if you don’t have a specific design program! Thank you so much for stopping by the blog! Have a great day!

      ~Abby =)

  6. Anecia Finch says

    I absolutely love this tutorial! So glad I came across your blogs. I am in the process of coming up with ideas for a blog makeover. I don’t know much about photoshop and want to get my design complete soon! Thank you again!

  7. Eliza says

    Hi
    I am wanting to make the monthly stickers that are used for babies and you put on their clothing each month, hopefully you get what I mean :) lol
    I know what I want to do but not quite sure how to do design I have had a go on photoshop and its extremely complicated when I have no idea what I am doing is it possible to be able to do good ones on Microsoft word or what other programs would you recommend.
    Thanks
    Eliza

  8. will says

    This is not as easy as you make it out to be….you really need some knowledge of microsoft word…I got totally lost when you mentioned:

    4. Continue Adding Shapes.

    Continue this same process with each shape until you have the pattern you want. {Shortcut: You can copy and paste the shape if you’re using the same one over and over.} I used a combination of vertical and horizontal rectangles and the “Line” shape to make my pattern.

    I stopped there because I was already frustrated…now I have to calm down…lol…I probably will keep trying but I know without having any knowledge or not having EVER used word this will take me some time…

    • says

      Hi, Will! I’m sorry the tutorial was frustrating. In step number 4, I just meant that you would just repeat steps 2 & 3 (drawing the rectangles and adding color) until you had your plaid pattern. If you’re just starting out with Word, I would recommend trying my labels tutorial first (found here: http://justagirlandherblog.com/make-labels-in-microsoft-word/), as it gives you the most basic skills you need to create designs, and once you feel like you have mastered those steps, give the graphics tutorial another go. I am always willing to answer questions and try to break things down even further if you’d like, so just let me know. My email address is justagirlandherblog {at} gmail {dot} com. Hope you have a wonderful weekend and a fantastic holiday!

      ~Abby =)

  9. Ophelia says

    Thanks for the tutorial. I just got done looking at your label tutorial and I’m having a blast on Word! I’m not sure if anyone has already asked in the comments, so my apologies, but is there a way I could make a polka dot pattern with this same tutorial?

    • says

      Thanks so much, Ophelia! You definitely can make polka dots too. Just use the circle shape and place it in the polka dot pattern using the grid like I did with the rectangles on the grid. The copy and paste feature will come in handy for this. Make one circle, copy and paste until you create a row of circles, then you can copy and paste the whole row and just offset them to make the pattern. I hope that makes sense! Have a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  10. Annabella says

    Hello, I am trying to recreated what you did here. I am stuck on the portion (step 4)
    I am not understanding the “combination of vertical and horizontal rectangles and the “Line” shape to make my pattern.”
    Please HELP!! :)
    I just sent you an email with screen shots of where I am stuck at.
    Thanks for your help:)

  11. Danyne Six says

    I’m trying to find a customized cross where I can insert by own Bible verse in the cross. Any ideas?

    • says

      Hi, Danyne! I would do a Google image search for a cross that would work, save the image as a picture, then insert the picture into a Word document. From there, you can use WordArt or a text box to type the verse over it. I hope this helps!

      ~Abby =)

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  1. […] guess what- you can build graphics in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint!  I found some great tutorials here. I will hopefully be spending a good chunk of the weekend using my new skills and building my first […]

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