Last week I posted a link to some free printable alphabet flashcards that I was thinking of using in my dining room. While my natural tendency IS sometimes to decorate as if I were a five year old, I decided these were probably a bit too juvenile for my dining room purposes (heck, I don't even HAVE a five year old right now, my youngest being nearly SEVEN). I thought black and white instead of so much color might be a little more grown up (and also a lot cheaper to print, since I could use the laser printer instead of the ink jet).
I also liked the idea of designing them myself and making several different sets that could be switched out from time to time. I made two sets last weekend: an animal alphabet set and a human anatomy set (for Halloween!).
(I feel a little ridiculous posting anything resembling a tutorial, since I assume anything vaguely crafty that I can manage to figure out, everyone else can, too, but....) Here's what I did:
1. Found free images to download and use. My main source for the alphabet set was The Graphics Fairy, and my source for the anatomy set (and a few of the images for the alphabet) was Clip Art Etc. I wanted vintage-y looking black and white line drawings in both cases. The Clip Art Etc site has nothing but that, as far as I can tell, and lots of it. Graphics Fairy is more diverse, with a great selection of color images, too and wider ranging subject matter, but if you're looking for a line drawing of a quahog for your Q card, Clip Art Etc. is your place.
So like this:
2. Downloaded a font to use from Fonts 101. I picked Colonial Dame because, you know, Boxy Colonial and all, and also because I thought it had a nice old-time schoolhouse vibe to it:
3. Went into Open Office and made the flashcards. I'm actually still playing around with the format, because they ended up printing kind of off center and that made cutting them out challenging. But I did a landscape page with two columns, centered and sized the images, and then added the text. I'd also like to find a way to have them print with guidelines for curved corners and a regular size when they print, so I can just cut along those.
4. Went to Target and found the cardstock selection woefully inadequate for my needs. They had either plain white or packs with, like, 5 sheets each of a gazillion different colors. What I really wanted was some kind of light brown color, maybe with a little texture to it. But I got white instead. I'm going to find the kind I want elsewhere and reprint I think (or at least do the next set on the different paper), but I didn't have the patience to wait.
5. Printed and cut! Cutting was more complicated than I wanted it to be, owing to the aforementioned formatting issues. Consider this flashcard set as something of a rough draft.
6. Strung twine across a wall of the dining room and hung up the flashcards with clothespins: