PI8 Printed Stationery

This tutorial shows how to use my UFO stationery kit to make your own stationery for printing.

printed stationery

The stationery kit contains ruled lines and placeholders for graphics. If you want to use my pastel country butterfly objects as you follow along, you can get them here. Alternatively, make stationery using your own objects or photos.

Open the stationery object in the work space. Hit Enter to deactivate any objects. The file is so big that you won't be able to see the pale gray ruled lines. Hit Ctrl+1 to view the lines. Click on them with the Pick tool to make them active. They are Grouped to preserve the line spacing, so all of the lines will be active at the same time.

grouped lines

If you want to change the color of the lines, you can choose Edit, Fill (Ctrl+F) and fill them all at the same time with a different color. If you're going to leave them pale gray, hit Enter to deactivate the lines. You can right click and Ungroup the lines if you want to change the spacing between them, or you can move the shorter lines at the top and bottom if you want to switch the sides on which you place the graphics.

In the upper right corner you'll see a gray placeholder object.


This placeholder can be deleted now. Open the objects you're going to use to decorate the stationery. Drag them onto the stationery and right click, Duplicate, as necessary. Use the Transform tool to resize and rotate the butterflies or other objects until you have a pleasing arrangement. Leave some space at the top and right side so that you can add a border later.

position objects

Go to the bottom left corner of the stationery to delete the small placeholder. It's fun to put a smaller version of the graphic you've used at the top down here. Duplicate and resize one of the butterflies to fit the available space.

add bottom graphic

Select the Text tool. Click on the small copyright statement in the lower left corner to make it active. Right click and choose Edit Text. Drag over the "Your Name" text to select it, then type your own name. Click in the base image to finish typing. Hit Enter to deactivate the Text object. I've used the Fusi font. If you don't have it, PI will use a default font. You can, of course, select the Text object and change the font, font size and color if you wish to do so.

edit copyright text

At this point your stationery is finished, but I like to add a complimentary border. A border makes it easier to trim around your stationery. If you want to add a border, right click with the Pick and choose All to select the entire base image. Right click and choose Expand/Shrink. Shrink the selection by 15 pixels, Box shape. Keep in mind that you can make a much smaller border if you are going to fill with a solid color, but 15 pixels is a good size for a tiling image.

shrink selection

Right click and Invert the selection. This inverted selection can be filled with color or an image now, creating a colorful border for the stationery. I'm going to fill my border with a tile I made out of the butterfly objects, shown below. If you want to use it, right click and save it to your hard drive.


Hit Ctrl+F (Edit, Fill) to open the Fill dialog box. If you want to fill with a solid color, gradient or texture, click the appropriate tab and fill the border. If you want to fill with my tile, click the Image tab. Browse to and select the tile.

fill with image

As soon as you click OK, the border will be filled.

border is filled

I like to make a 1 pixel line of harmonizing color around the border. While the border selection is still active, select the Paintbrush tool. In the Attributes toolbar, edit the brush Size to 1 and the Soft edge to 1.

edit brush attributes

Right click in the Color box and choose Eyedropper. When the Eyedropper dialog box opens, click in the preview window to select a harmonizing color. Click OK to close the Eyedropper box.

Select the Pick tool. Hit Shift+P (Effect, Creative, Paint on Edges) to paint a 1 pixel line around the border. Don't be alarmed if your image window zips up and down and around while the edge is painted on the selection border. The nifty thing about POE (paint on edges) is that it will add the colored line to both sides of the selection.

paint on edges line

Right click and Merge All. If you are going to just use the stationery yourself, you may want to save it as a BMP file to preserve color. If you wish to offer your stationery to others online, as I do here, hit F4 (Web, Image Optimizer) to save the stationery as a GIF or JPG image.

Finally, here's some tips for printing your stationery. Choose File, Print Preview to open the Print Styles dialog box. Deselect the Title option. It just takes up space on the printed paper.

deselect title

If you want to print the stationery at its original size, all you have to do is choose File, Print. If you want to make it larger (or smaller), drag on the bounding box control points in the Preview window, keeping in mind your printer's default margins.

resize as needed

After printing, trim around your stationery, if desired. I like to use fancy-edged scissors to make a scalloped or patterned edge.

Now you'll never have a reason to run out of stationery again. If you would like to see more examples of PI8-created stationery, you can download my stationey in GIF form here.

This tutorial uploaded 4/25/03

Do not duplicate, translate, copy, archive, appropriate or redistribute this document.



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