Last week - at short notice - I was told that I needed to put together some reading lists to hand out to parents and students when they came in to school on Student Review Day (SRD) to encourage them to visit the school library. I added this job to my never-ending, ever-expanding list of Things To Do. With only a couple of hours left of my last working day before the SRD, I had only got as far as jotting down a few ideas for different reading lists.

I didn't want to just create a boring, plain bit of paper with a load of words on it - I wanted something visually enticing. I didn't have the time to create anything from scratch, but fortunately there are so many free online tools these days for just such a situation as this! I used a tool called Canva, and I'll briefly talk you through the process I went through to create these reading lists.

  • Once you have created a Canva account (you can join with e-mail, Facebook or Google), you can dive straight into your first design. There are plenty of templates to choose from, or you can start from scratch using whatever dimensions you require.
Pick a template, any template
  • When you have selected your template (I used 'Flyer'), you are taken to the creation screen - your 'canvas'. From here you can pick and choose your 'design elements' (layouts, text and backgrounds - some are free, some are not) or upload your own images. I used a layout element called 'Exotic Swimwear Promo Flyer'(!) as a base, then moved stuff around, added bits, deleted bits, changed fonts, altered colours and replaced the background image with book covers.
Canva Elements
Would this make you buy exotic swimwear?
  • After finalising the first flyer, I simply clicked the 'Copy this page' button (see image below) and changed the text, fonts and background images on each subsequent page. Have a play with all the options and features to discover exactly what you can do with Canva. You can also go through the Canva tutorials for a more in depth introduction.
Duplicate your design
Easily create a duplicate of your design
  • If you are happy with your designs, click 'Download', then choose an option.
Choose a download format
Download your creation

And there you go! It was all done in under two hours - including compiling the lists themselves (thank you, Who Next!) - and I got great feedback from teachers and parents.

You can browse all of my 'If You Like...You'll Love' designs by clicking on the image below - let me know what you think. Have you done something similar? Any tips or tricks to share?

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