How to Use Clip Art
Having a library of free images available can be a fantastic resource for DIY projects. Faster and easier than trying to draw an image yourself, clip art can provide many options for the creation of wonderful hand-made items. With a little bit of creativity, you can turn a simple black and white image into something really special. Read on and learn eight terrific reasons to have clip art on hand.
1. Greeting Cards
Using copyright-free images can be a fun and rewarding way to make personalized greeting cards. You can create your card on the computer using Word, Photoshop, Illustrator, Paint or any other program. Or, you can create a card by hand by cutting out an image and gluing it onto a folded card or card blank. You can hand color your image using watercolor, ink, or colored pencils. Add some other doodles and/or decorations and you’ve got an original and totally personalized greeting card.
Bookmarks make great giveaway gifts. Using techniques similar to the greeting cards suggestions above you can create personalized bookmarks to share with friends and family. You can even make collectible ones and trade them between friends.
Some clip art really lends itself to invitations. Making a hand-made invitation can be extremely easy to do. Start by typing up your event information in Word and then add an appropriate image to the bottom corner. This is an easy way to make a very personalized invitation.
4. Flyers & Business cards
When creating a simple business flyer or business card it is not always necessary to ask your designer to produce or procure artwork for you. Many times copyright-free clip art will work splendidly.
Scrapbooking always requires a lot of photos but sometimes you want to illustrate a specific event with another sort of picture. Whether you need an image of a baseball player for a Little League page, or a set of balloons for a girl’s birthday party page, having a few pieces of clip art on hand can be just the ticket.
Decoupage is a perfect use for clip art. There are a great many clip art books available with wonderful color art in various themes ready for any sort of decoupage project.
7. Enlarge it and use it as a coloring page for kids
Many times clip art can be enlarged on your computer or at a copy shop and then used as a coloring page for kids. Think of it! An ongoing supply of low cost coloring pages.
8. Dress up your Word documents with it
We use Word for so many things nowadays but most of the time we write our documents without pictures. Why not add a piece of art to spruce up a personal letter? If you’re writing a professional document you can also use clip art (only appropriate images, of course!) to create a professional logo or letterhead. Images used in a document can be as simple as a small image of a heart or can be much more complex, like an image that fits the name of your business.
Where to get clip art
Dover Publications is probably the best known source of clip art books on a wide variety of subjects. Dover books come in two styles, with and without CD’s. If you don’t have a scanner you’ll be better off buying a book with a CD. That way you can get your images directly and easily onto your computer.
Clip art is also available on websites online. A Google or Yahoo search for copyright-free images should lead you to online resources.