First, you need the right software. I highly recommend investing in Microsoft Publisher if you do not already own this. You can buy older versions for pretty good deals which work well if you do not want to invest in the more expensive newest version on the market. Otherwise, there are free open-source alternatives to Publisher that you can find on the Internet (Just google "alternatives to Publisher". I tried this and Scribus seemed to be a common alternative, but I have not tried this program myself).
Publisher offers two templates I have used for church events: programs or tri-fold brochures. I like to use the blank templates and insert my own pictures and text boxes where I want them to be from scratch. However, if you want to quickly create a brochure, there are many templates to choose from. You can even search the templates submitted by others via the Internet.
When you first open Publisher, you will see this screen:
Here you see that in the panel on the left side of the screen, you have a list of all the templates that Publisher can create for you, including greeting cards, flyers, programs, brochures, etc. You will simply click "brochure" or "program", depending on whether you would like a tri-fold or half-fold program for your event.
Once you click "program", you will have a bunch of different program templates you can choose from or you can choose to create a blank one. I like to create a blank one using about an 8x11 blank template. You just copy and paste pictures into your background on each of the four pages, then insert some text boxes (click "insert" at the top of the page and choose "text box"). You can move the text boxes and put them in front of or below your pictures or however you want to.
Here is a picture of the front of my Ladies' Day program:
All I did was insert a picture of chocolates. Insert a picture of a notepad with a bow to put on top of the chocolates. Then insert a couple of text boxes to add some writing. So you just layer the items you insert to make them look cute on the front of the program.
On the inside I included the following information: Schedule of events, Menu, and Biography of speaker:
Here I did the same easy things: just added some pictures and put text boxes on them to write some words.
I tilted my notepad with the bow in the bottom right hand side of the program by clicking the green circle located above the picture, allowing me to turn the picture.
I really don't have much more to say about this. Creating a professional-looking brochure is as easy as having the right software, starting with a blank template, and then layering some pictures and text boxes!
*If you want to use the tri-fold brochure template, here is an example of one I did for the Father's Day breakfast at our congregation. I actually used one of the templates available for this one rather than starting from scratch, so all I had to do was add some pictures and text because the green background was already there in a template Publisher had already created:
You simply fold this one three ways rather than in half. I put some Father's Day quotes and poems in there, thanked the fathers, and put some of the history of Father's Day.
There are also templates for flyers if you want to create flyers for your event.
Important: When you print these, you will have to print the first side (the front) and then turn this over and reprint the backside onto the program if your printer does not automatically print front and back (which most do not). Then you just fold them in half if you are doing the brochure style or into a trifold if you used the brochure style.
Please email me or leave comments with any questions! firstname.lastname@example.org