How to Make a Brochure by Hand

By Elizabeth Chaplin
Handmake your own brochure with scrapbook markers and other materials.

When you think of brochures, your mind may flock to the idea of mass production, shiny printed paper and slick type fonts. However, if you have a small, quaint business, that may not be the look you are trying to attain. For example, if your business specializes in old-fashioned soap making or homemade candles, your brochure should reflect the handcrafted feel. Create a brochure by hand using basic crafting tools like stamps, scrapbook markers and other decorative elements.

Cover Panel

Use natural paper with low texture.

Purchase an acid-free, low-texture paper that is naturally fibered or decorative on both sides, and is a mid-toned cream or lighter shade. Place the paper onto a flat surface so the shorter ends are horizontal.

Fold the short end closest to you about 1/3 of the way up the paper. Flip the paper around and fold the other short end so that it overlaps the first folded end. This creates a trifold brochure with a cover, three inside panels, two back panels and a folded inner panel that sits directly beneath the cover.

Position the folded paper so that the top panel, or cover, is facing up. The cover should have a main title in larger letters, a subhead if necessary, and an image to make it more appealing. Use a ruler to draw very light pencil lines horizontally across the cover to represent where the title and subhead will rest.

Place the first letter stencil for the title so that the bottom of the letter is touching the first line. Trace around the inside of the stencil. Repeat this for each letter in the title. Move to the second line for the subhead, using a letter stencil half the size of the title.

Color in the text outlines with fine-tipped scrapbook markers, which are usually acid-free, waterproof and non-smearing. Let the letters dry for 15 minutes, then carefully erase the ruled pencil lines.

Purchase a large stamp that is big enough to stretch across the cover, and leave a 1/4-in. margin on each side. Press the stamp firmly into the stamp pad so that all of the upraised parts are coated with ink. Press the stamp onto the paper so that it is centered on the cover. Let the stamp dry for 15 minutes.

Adhere to the cover one or two 3-D stickers that fit your business theme. These should be only small garnishes and should not overshadow the stamped image.

Inside Panels

Use the ruler to draw straight horizontal lines about 1/4 in. apart from top to bottom of all three inside panels. Do this even if you are planning to include images inside the brochure.

Determine how you will lay out images and text inside the brochure. Keep in mind that brochure information is often broken into sections with titles. Draw lightly outlined boxes in the areas where images will appear, keeping with 1/4-in. margins.

Draw or stamp your images within the constraints of the outlined boxes. Let the drawing or stamp dry for 15 minutes. Create section titles using the subhead letter stencil from the cover, and let the letters dry.

Write the business information on the lines with a pencil, printing for better legibility. Trace the pencil lines with scrapbook markers. Let the letters dry completely, then carefully erase all rule lines.

Repeat Steps 1 through 4 for the inner panel that folds under the cover and the two back panels. Add contact information and more images if desired.

Tip

Make a practice brochure beforehand on cheap paper to ensure all images and text will fit. This will also let you experiment with layout.

Text layout will vary depending on the business. For example, if you have an old-fashioned soap shop, you might have two sections on each panel with such titles as “About Us,” “Our Objective,” “Goat Milk Soap” and “Lavender Soap.” The first panel often contains background information on the business.

It is useful to have the business information for the inside of the brochure written in advance, as this will reduce the likelihood of mistakes.

Leave the middle back panel blank, or have the company logo and contact information positioned 1/4 in. from the bottom of the panel.

Adhere stickers to the inside of the brochure as a small garnish. Avoid using 3-D stickers on the inside, as this will make folding difficult.