Create a Simple Double-Sided Printable PDF From Free Images Online

Create a Simple Double-Sided Printable PDF From Free Images Online

So far Ada is a week and a half into distance-learning, for grade one, and her most frequently used item is a plain piece of cardstock within a protective binder sheet that they’ve been calling their whiteboard. The first or second day of school Ada scribbled on the paper, by mistake, and I had to replace it with a less sturdy piece of computer paper so her whiteboard would, once again, be white for her. Additionally, over that first week I noticed Ada having to create a lot of number bonds and needing to be careful while erasing the contents of each circle so she didn’t have to redraw the whole thing each time. Also at the end of the week, when I picked up her math supplies, I noticed that a little piece of paper with a ten frame on it was included and I wondered how long that would last even if was protected within the binder sheet… spoilers I noticed marker marks on it a day later. Between the whiteboard, number bonds, and the ten frame I decided I needed to come up with my own simple solution so we’d have a longer lasting and simpler material making class easier for Ada. Looking back I could’ve simply printed each image I found onto it’s own page or manually returned each printed paper to the printer so I could have it print double-sided, but I instead choose to create a PDF and I figured I’d share it with you in case you’re also interested.

Pinterest Image showing the two images from online (left a number bond with three circles and right a double ten frame), the printed full size images, the blog title, and the url of my website:

I’m showing you how I created a PDF file on an Apple computer so if you don’t have a Mac some of this will be different. If you have a Microsoft Windows machine this article, from How-To Geek called How to Combine Images into One PDF File in Windows, looks helpful.

All the screenshots, below, were taken on August 21st, 2020. The images I used, ordered by when they appeared, are:

I started out by looking for the images I wanted to use for Ada’s new whiteboard by using the image search through Google. I didn’t want to download anything random from a third party site so I wanted to save the images to my computer rather than downloading files. Through Google, on my computer, whenever I clicked on an image I could see more information about it pop up on the right side of my screen. Once I found an image I liked I right-click on it and chose to save it to my computer. At this point I can use the name it’s already assigned or rename the image to something that makes more sense for me.

Image shows the results, on Google image search, of "number bond blank".
I used Google image search to find blank number bond diagrams.
Image shows the Google image search results (see above image) with the right side of the screen changed. Now it's showing the blank three circle number bond along with the name, source, and related images below.
When I clicked on an image I was shown where it was from, Pinterest in this case, and the title. When I clicked on the link and then the Pinterest source I was brought to a free download through Teachers Pay Teachers.
Like the previous image this shows the Google image results and an overlay, on the right side, of the selected image. Also shows in the menu, when I right-clicked on the image, and the line "Save Image As..." is selected.
At this point I right-clicked on the image and chose Save Image As…. This then popped up a dialog box and I was able to rename the image and choose where I wanted to save it to. The image size was small which caused my final US letter page sized image to look a bit blurry.

I then followed similar steps to find a ten frame I liked online and saved it to the same folder, or directory, as the first image. You could repeat your image searches many time so you’d have multiple saved images to create your PDF from if you’d like.

Once I had my images I next opened them up in Preview and went to the print dialog by going to File and selecting Print at the bottom of the menu. You could also press command and then p to open the same dialog. At his point I chose the orientation I would, later, want to print it in, selected Scale to Fit, and then switched between Print Entire Image and Fill Entire Paper to decide which print version I liked better. When switching between these two points the percentage, beside the label Scale, changes to reflect how much you are resizing the image. Any percentage below 100% shows that you are making the image smaller to fit within the paper and any percentage over means you’re making the image larger which could cause the image to pixelate, be blurry, so you might not want to go too high. Remember, at this point, your preferred percentage and then close the print dialog and, under Tools, select Adjust Size… so the Image Dimensions dialog opens up instead. At this point I make sure that the little lock image, next to the width and height text fields, is set to locked so adjusting one field automatically also adjusts the other one; however, if you keep it unlocked, in this case, you can easily set both fields to the same value. Beside these fields I changed the dropdown to percent, rather than my default pixels per inch and then filled in the width and height of the image with the percentage you preferred on the print dialog. Once you’re done click okay so the dialog closes and saves.

Image shows a ten frame diagram with the print dialog open overtop of it.
I opened up the print dialog by pressing command and p, chose my print orientation, and chose to “scale to fit” the image. You can then check what the scale, currently greyed out above these choices, is set to, remember it, and close the dialog box as you don’t really need to print it right now. This double ten frame image was found on Pinterest but linked to Printablee.
Image shows the double ten frame hidden being the image dimensions dialog box. In the box you can see the width and height set to 87%.
I then opened the image dimensions by going under Tools and selecting Adjust Size…. After choosing to alter the image’s width and height, via percentage, I then put in the percentage I chose in the print dialog. If this matched the previous image I would’ve inputted the number 96% so I’m not sure if this was a mistake or if that was the percentage when the image filled the entire paper (not shown in the earlier screenshot).

At this point, if you wanted the image to be in landscape mode, you could rotate the image 90 degrees. I, personally, left this step until later when I rotated both images at the same time but if you want some images in landscape and some in portrait mode this would be the best time to rotate them. You can rotate the image by pressing command and either l (to the left) or r (to the right) or you could go under Tools to Rotate Left or Rotate Right. I then repeated this entire resizing process with my other image.

Image shows a zoomed in image of a number bond map with the image dimensions dialog open overtop of it. The height and weight have been changed to 217%.
After going into the printer dialog I took note of the percentage I wanted my image to scale at before going into tools and adjust size where I changed the drop-down to percent, adjusted the width and height to 217%, and then pressed OK on the dialog to save.

Now that the images have been resized it’s time to create a PDF including them. The first time I created my PDF I realized that the images where both right side up when I wanted them to be sideways for landscape mode so I had to rotate both images and generate the PDF again. Both the image rotation and the PDF creation are found by highlighting your images, right-clicking on them, and choosing Quick Actions; although you can also rotate your image by highlighting it and pressing command and either l or r for left or right. When I was ready to create the PDF I made sure all the images I wanted to include were selected and then right-clicked, chose Quick Actions, and then Create PDF. To select multiple images you can press command, for a single image, or shift, for a range of images, while clicking the images you want so they’re all selected at the same time.

There's enough background to show two image files being selected. In front of the images is a drop-down menu, from right-clicking, showing the Quick Actions option highlighted and the sub menu with the Rotate Left and Create PDF options.
To create the PDF or rotate the images you first select them before right-clicking, choosing Quick Actions, and than either Rotate Left or Create PDF.
Image shows two 2-page PDFs side by side. The one on the left shows smaller upright images while the PDF on the right shows larger sideways images.
The PDF on the left was the first one I created. I quickly realized the images were in portrait mode and they needed to be in landscape so I closed the PDF, made sure the two images I used were still selected, right-clicked, chose Quick Actions, clicked Rotate Left, right-clicked again, chose Quick Actions again, and then Create PDF. This PDF, on the right, shows the images sideways so I can easily print the entire PDF and have the pages be in landscape mode.
Image shows three PDFs with a double ten frame on the first page and a four circle number bond on the second. The far left shows smaller images, in particular the number bond, while the middle shows full sized up right images, and finally the rightmost image shows full sized sideways images so they'd print in landscape mode.
The first time I tried this was with a more complicated number bond image which I then decided to redo with the simpler image above. The far left of the image shows the first PDF I made with these two images. The middle PDF shows the images after they were resized. The final, rightmost, portion shows the final PDF after rotating both of them so they’d both be in landscape mode. This number bond image was a direct downloadable PDF on Google that said it was from Covedale school.

Once you have the PDF file all you have to do is print it now. I went through all these steps because I wanted to print a double sided page and this seemed easier than feeding the paper back through the printer and worrying which side should be up.

Image shows a sideways double ten frame with a print dialog open and the "Print on both sides of paper" selected.
Once you have the PDF how you want it all you have to do is print it! You can find print under the File menu option and I made sure it was set to print double-sided… my whole reason for turning these images into a PDF in the first place.
Picture showing two printouts on a kitchen table.
The resulting printed out pages. Since I printed out a number bond that was larger than I wanted the first time I ended up going through this process a second time and ended up with two double sided pages.
Image shows the finished PDF on the left side and the images used, opened in preview, on the right side.
I loved this but I also didn’t want Zoey to feel left out so I had her help me choose two open-ended preschool images online and went through the same process to print hers. We chose an alphabet practice sheet from awarofloves and a free caterpillar counting page from Teachers Pay Teachers.

Once you print these out you can either have your kids fill them out directly and print the PDF whenever you want a new one or you could find someway to make them reusable. Ada’s school whiteboard is just a protective binder sheet which could easily be used for this. A couple years ago; however, I bought a laminator and a pack of thermal laminating pouches so I took this a step further and laminated the sheets. This way I don’t have to worry about a protective binder sheet ripping and the kids can use the sheets again and again with either chalk markers or dry erase markers. We’re still using the laminated plain sheet of paper from last year as Ada’s second whiteboard for school and it only has a bit of color staining from heavy chalk marker use.

Overview photo shows a laminator warming up, a red package of laminating pouches, and three printouts already encased in the pouch.
The papers were put into the laminating pouches once the laminator was plugged in and warming up.
Image shows the two grade one laminated worksheets on the table. In the background Zoey uses a blue chalk marker to trace a letter, on the right side, while the laminating pouches, more markers, and the Zoey page sits on the left side.
While we closed the laminating pouches with the thermal laminator I pulled out the Zoey name page we created from Create Printables last year and Zoey started using it before switching over to tracing out the ABCs when it was cooled enough to touch.
Overview of a laminated alphabet practice chart sitting on the table. Most letters are light blue while a couple are green and one is red. Off to the side are some other chalk markers.
Zoey had a blast tracing the letters and was excited to show us when she was done.

The process to create a PDF from images ended up being a much simpler process than I had expected yet was still more complicated than manually printing each image on a single sheet of paper. I wanted to share how I did it with you though in case you were also looking at generating your own PDF from simple images for your kids. I’d love to hear if you have any tricks or tips with your printables. Feel free to share them in the comments below if you do as I’d love to hear about them. I hope you’re having a great day.

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