Whether you are making the booklet for a wedding, funeral, or any other program you need to follow some basic steps to make it as creative and interesting as possible. This article will explain the basic template that you can use to go to the computer or to a printer and create a professional looking copy.
Although how many pages you anticipate having for the entire booklet will usually determine how many pieces of paper to fold, to get an 8 page booklet you only need two sheets of paper. These steps will help you make a template for an 8 page booklet. Once you've made your first template, you will understand how to increase it as necessary for many more pages.
To create a 5.5" x 8.5" multi-page booklet for a program or wedding or any other event, you need to make a mock up book or template. Gather two sheets of plain 8.5" x 11" paper and fold it in half. Turn it sideways. Now you have a "mock up" book template where you can plan out the entire booklet. Remember each sheet of paper folded in half will create 4 pages.
First, open up your pages and mark the cover on the right hand side of the full sheet. When folded back into the template, you realize the left hand side is actually going to be the back cover. For the front cover, are you going to have just writing, design an original picture, download a graphic, or use a preprinted shell? Indicate on your template what this is going to be. Remember the front cover is only on the right hand side of the page; the left side will be the back cover.
Now fold the pages back in half and go to the inside of the booklet. The inside of the front cover will be your first page. Are you going to use this page or leave it blank intentionally? Mark the template. Number it for yourself with your pen or pencil as page 1. The next page you have in this folded condition is actually the right hand side of the second sheet you folded. Number that page 2 for yourself. This is a main focus page. If you are doing a program, this is where it would normally go.
Turn the page of your template and mark it page 3. This is the back side of page 2. Pages 3 and 4 are also the center of your booklet if you are using two sheets of paper. Page 3 could be used for explanation, poetry, scripture, identification of key personnel, etc. What information do you need to convey to your audience? Page 4 is on the right hand of this page. Whatever you put on this page is going to be prominently displayed. In a wedding program, you could put responsive readings or words from the bride or groom to the congregation. It's your decision what goes in your book.
When you turn the page, you are now looking at page 5. Number it. What part of the program needs to go here? The inside of the back cover is your last inside page. Number it as page 6. Now as you pull your template apart what do you find? The reverse of the front cover is page 1, but the reverse of the back cover is page 6. When you go to the computer to input your information that will be important. The back of page 2 is page 3 and the back of page 4 is page 5. The more pages you have in your booklet the more confusing the pagination will be if you haven't done the template. Always do a mock up template to be sure you have it right.
Once your mock up book is completed, you are ready to move to the computer or go to a professional printer. If you decide to work on Microsoft Word, go into page setup and change your basic page orientation to landscape. You could leave your page setup at the default settings of 1" all around, but it has been my experience that it's best to make them anywhere from .5" to .8" depending on how much material you have to include. Now go to the format and change it two 2 columns. I usually widen the space between the two columns to 1". This gives you folding and stapling room. This will create the individual pages of your booklet. Now it is just a matter of typing in the material you indicated on your mockup. Remember that the reverse of the front cover is page 1 and on that same side of the paper you are going to have page 6. This is why it's so important to do the template.
After you've finished typing and are ready to put the pages back to back on one sheet, it's best just to print out your pages and go to Kinko's or Office Max. If you have a printer that will print back to back automatically, fine. Use that function. Personally, I find it much quicker to go to the professional printer' s and use their machines. Once your booklet is printed, to get the most professional effect you should staple it on the center fold line. You can purchase program staples at an office supply store. If you plan on doing a lot of programs, or are doing this for your wedding spend the money and buy the stapler. Remember to staple on the 5.5" marking and you'll get a perfect booklet.
If you don't want to use a Word but have other publishing software you want to use, that's great. Having the template will now make your job a lot easier.