How to Make an Award Certificate of Completion

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How to Make an Award Certificate of Completion
Stationary with designs add visual flare to your certificate. (guilloche - layout image by Pawe...‚ Burgiel from

Award certificates of completion allow a person to demonstrate their achievements in a tangible way. You can use them for events as diverse as the completion of a business training course or the completion of a level in a fitness program. If you need to make an award for someone in your company or organisation, take advantage of the many arts and crafts tools available for this kind of project.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Cardstock or thick bond paper
  • Decorative seal stickers
  • Frame and matting
  • Computer
  • Graphic design program (such as Corel Draw or InDesign)
  • Printer

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  1. 1

    Gather the written information that you'd like to feature on the certificate. Include the person's name, the date the award is being given, the organisation offering the certificate and the purpose of the award. Type this up on a computer and save the document on to a desktop file so that you can have easy access to it once you begin designing.

  2. 2

    Purchase some thick bond stationary paper, which can be heavier than regular printing paper. You can also opt for cardstock, which is thick paper used to print greeting cards. Look for a paper with a good tooth (the tooth is the material's texture). You may also want to consider paper with a slight design like marbling or a recycled paper which features tiny flecks of colour thread embedded in the paper. This will provide an interesting texture and visuals for your certificate.

  3. 3

    Buy a decorative gold sticker seal at the frame shop if your organisation does not already have its own seal.

  4. 4

    Look for a nice frame for the award. Appropriate choices would be a matting and frame set that is designed to hold a college diploma or award certificate. These frames are typically constructed of nicer woods or metal and already have a fitted mat. The mat is a cut piece of special cardboard-type material that preserves the paper of the certificate by keeping it away from the glass. In terms of certificate sizes, you may want to go with an A4 size, which fits standard paper sizes, usually 8 1/2 by 11 inches.

    How to Make an Award Certificate of Completion
    The mat in this set is the white area between the frame and the picture. (signature framed mat serving as guest book image by Paul Retherford from
  5. 5

    Measure the inside of the mat. When you're designing your award, you don't want the writing to be hidden underneath the matting. You'll use these measurements to set the page borders in your design program.

  6. 6

    Create a file folder on your computer. You'll store all of the information related to this project in the file. This will help you keep your information organised if you have more than one award certificate you need to make.

  7. 7

    Open up your design program. Use a program that allows you to do page layout. Some possible choices include Adobe InDesign or Illustrator, Corel Draw or even Microsoft Publisher.

  8. 8

    Set the page parameters. As stated previously, a regular 8 ½ by 11 inch paper measurement should work. However, at this time, you'll want to set the margins. Most design programs will "mark" these margins with a blue or red line. This tells you how far you can go with your design on the page.

  9. 9

    Name the file and save it in your folder.

  10. 10

    Begin adding the textual information about the award's recipient. Use the information you wrote down earlier. If you're having trouble centring the text, use the program's guide rulers. These are little lines you can pull into the frame that show and set the exact measurement for anything you want to place in the document.

  11. 11

    Fill the printer with paper and print out the certificate. Add the decorative seal sticker. It should be positioned below the last sentence of the writing on the certificate and between any signature lines on the bottom of the certificate. (These are usually the signature of the dean of a school or the manager of a department.)

  12. 12

    Place the certificate in the frame.

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