Make Your Own Gift Certificates

To make your own gift certificates, all you need is computer software and a few clever ideas. Family members or couples may create gift certificates for different gifts of their time and love. Examples could include washing the car, a backrub, a night off from dishes or breakfast in bed.

But making gift certificates shouldn't be limited to personal presents. People who own their own small business may opt to make their own gift certificates to give to select customers as a token of appreciation.

What You Need for a Gift Certificate

  • a computer with word processing software and Internet access
  • a color printer
  • paper suitable for the occasion, such as high-gloss card stock or photo paper (note that you can also purchase perforated paper for easy separation)

Getting Started
Regardless of what kind of gift certificate you will make, you should start with an idea of what you want the certificate to look like. If you are printing them for your business, use your company logo and name, plus a graphic about the subject of the gift certificate. For instance, a gift certificate for a bed and breakfast could have a picture of a bed with flowers beside it, or a tray of food and coffee. A gift certificate for a homemade soap company could have pictures of a bath, the soap products or a bathrobe. Personal gift certificates for gifts of time and love can feature pictures of the theme of the certificate or symbols such as hearts and flowers. You may want to sketch out your idea for organization purposes.

Think also of the words that need to be on the gift certificate. Generally, the company name (or presenter's name), what the certificate awards the recipient, the date and contact information for the company are all important. If there is an expiration date or legal information, that should be there, too. It's nice to have a place for the recipient's name as well. There are free gift certificate templates available online if you need them. Giftango.com is one source.

Putting It on Paper
You've decided on the basic design and wording. Now use your software template to put in your information and arrange it the way you like. Use readable fonts and complementary color choices. Be sure to test your design on a scrap piece of paper when you're ready to print so you know it will fit on the paper. Once you're finished, save the file so you can go back and make adjustments if you want to make another batch of gift certificates in the future.

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