When people do a great job for your school, organization or business, they need to be recognized. One of those ways is to grant them an Award Certificate. These certificates can be used for a variety of occasions, such as gift certificates, appreciation and award certificates. While you can purchase these certificates separately, you don’t have much ability to customize them. however, when you make your own certificate, you will be able to customize it to meet whatever circumstance or celebration is needed.

Manually Creating Your Certificate

When you manually create your award certificate, you will be creating an award certificate template. In other words, you will be creating the design from scratch, and saving it as a template for future use. Let’s go over the basics of creating your very own, award certificate. Always remember, when we do these tutorials, there might be slight variations depending on what version of Word you have.

Award Certificate Quick Summary

  • Research your design and layout
  • Open Word
  • New Document
  • Choose ‘landscape’ orientation
  • Choose imagery and/or borders
  • Add the text and fields
  • Save as a Template
  1. Research Design and Layout

This is the brainstorming part. Here, you will be gathering up ideas to create your very own award certificate. Think about the topic. for example, if this is a certificate for a flower show, you may want to gather a nice collection of royalty free floral imagery. Remember, you can even get an image that will be on the entire background.

Next, do some searching online for award certificate samples. Take notes on design. Some will have borders, some will not, some will be plain, and others ornate. Also note the type of font that appeals to you. You’ll need all of this to create your award certificate.

Researching the design and layout of your template can actually be very fun. Here, you are simply looking for interesting images and ideas which will make your template stand out from the rest. For instance, if this award certificate concerns a flower show, you may consider gathering stock images relating to home and garden topics. Websites such as www.pixabay.com will have plenty of imagery free to use.

Next, you’ll want to look at the layout of award certificates by looking at samples. Take a look at how they format their certificate, and pay close attention to the fonts that they use. Some certificates will be elaborate with script fonts and detailed borders, while others will be plain, simple and to the point.

  1. Background

Now that you have done your research, and have a good idea of what it is you want, it is time to begin creating. Open up your Word program and create a new document. As most award certificates are usually designed in landscape mode, simply click on ‘Orientation’ and choose landscape.

Next, have some fun creating your basic design by placing imagery and experimenting with different borders and fonts. Don’t be afraid to get a little messy here, after all, you are simply getting an idea of what looks best for you. To experiment with borders, go to ‘Page Layout’, click on ‘Page Borders’, and see what looks best for your award certificate.

  1. Putting it All Together

Once you have your images and/or border just right, it is time to start to compose the certificate. Type the title of your certificate at the top. This should be a large font size, such as 50 or above, in a style that suits the occasion. For instance, if you are awarding someone a certificate that is dealing with science fiction writing, you may want to choose the Atari Font. If the award revolves around a topic that involves comedy, then you may want to choose Comic Sans. Remember, when putting it all together, you want to end up with an award certificate that has the look and feel of the occasion it is celebrating.

Once you have typed and centered your title, space down a few times, to give a little room between the sections, and proceed to complete the remainder of the certificate. From now on, what you enter here, will depend on your chosen layout. Basically you will center and type the following in descending order: include the recipients name, the date the certificate was awarded, and fields for signatures.

Basic Layout for the Award Certificate

  • Title: Certificate of Award
  • Name of recipient
  • Text describing the award (optional)
  • Date the award is given
  • Fields for important signatures
  1. Finish, Save and Print

When you are certain you have the layout just the way you want it, you need to save it as a template. Click Save As, then Save as Type and click Save as Template. In order to ensure that all of your hard word is not in vain, take some time to look into some elegant paper to print your certificate. Many people love the look of old parchment, so use this paper to print out their certificate. Office supply stores also have paper specifically made for creating certificates which come complete with designs and borders. The bottom line, is that you really don’t want to spend all this time creating your award template, and then simply print it out on copying paper, it will simply not look right. Finally, consider purchasing a simple frame for your certificate.

Pre-designed Award Certificate Templates

If you are not comfortable with creating your own award certificate from scratch, there is always another way. This is by choosing and pre-designed award certificate template. These templates are available for download online. You simple choose the best design to suit your needs, download, customize and print. All of these templates are professionally designed, and can be customized by you, simply by opening the certificate up in Word. Once you have your certificate customized, you can print out as many of these as you like. All of these templates have been designed in order to give a high definition, professional print, suitable for presentation and framing.


We hope you have enjoyed our tutorial on how to create an award certificate. The first method is a bid more detailed, but you will have more control over the final design. The second method produces a professional quality award certificate, and does it with a few clicks of your mouse button. Both methods will produce excellent results. But remember, no matter which method you choose, or how hard you work on it, if it is not printed on high quality paper, you will not achieve the professional effects which you so desire. As a final touch, consider purchasing a low cost document frame from your local stationery or arts and crafts store.