We love finding gorgeous designs from indie artists, but sometimes what you really need is a way to make your very own custom design–preferably without hiring an artist or earning a degree in graphic design. The new Makr app for iOS helps you do exactly that, and it’s fast, easy, and a lot of fun, even if you’re not artistically inclined.

Interestingly, the same free Makr app is different whether you’re using iPad or iPhone, including how it looks and what you can do with it. I’ll cover both here, but keep that quirk in mind when you download it. (Because you will want to download it.)

On iPad, start by selecting a category, like baby, holiday, parties, or business. Then pick from different items, such as invitations, note cards, address labels, stickers, and book plates. Choose one of the available designs and use it as-is or customize the layout, patterns, colors, text and font if you’ve got something special in mind, which surely you do.

So here’s an example of a book plate design available on Makr for iPad.

Book plate design on Makr app | review on Cool Mom Picks

Adorable right? But here’s how I modified it to make it my own.

Personalized book plate design on Makr app | review on Cool Mom Picks

Pretty cool, and super easy. And believe me, I’m no graphic designer.

Once you’ve finished your design, you can email yourself a PDF proof, order a high-res PDF to print paper-based items at home, or place an order through Makr.

Beyond paper goods, using Makr for iPhone you can customize your own tote bags, t-shirts, and temporary tattoos, but the design and customization options are very similar. Here’s another example of a Makr design and how I modified it. Do I want a Hotel Austin tote? No. Do I want to support my fellow Coloradans? Hell yes.

Tote bag designs on Makr app for iPhone | review on Cool Mom Picks

Plus, as you can see, with Makr for iPhone you can not only purchase items, you can sell them too–great idea for small business owners or for any parent trying to raise money for their school, sports team, or community organization through sales of cool stuff. Think of it as similar to Zazzle, which we also adore, but I especially love Makr’s clean, simple, intuitive interface.

One complaint: I do think it’s somewhat strange–and limiting–for Makr to differ so dramatically between platforms. Not everyone has both an iPhone and an iPad at home, and many families have neither. It would be super smart if Makr included all of their offerings on a web platform or at least combined the app functionality somehow.

Even so, I’m having a blast playing with all the design elements, and of course I’m totally smitten with the temporary tattoos. In fact, when I uploaded the Cool Mom Picks logo and sent Kristen and Liz a proof of our very own CMP tattoo, we were all officially hooked on Makr.

Download the free Makr app for iOS on the App Store. Remember that the app looks different and offers different features on iPhone and iPad.

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