My favorite printing tips

One of my MOST frequently asked questions is “HOW do you print all of this stuff??!”

So I thought I would do a roundup of some of my favorite printing tips and tricks!

First off, I know a LOT of the printables in my shop take up a TON of ink. I try to strike the balance between “it looks really pretty” and “doesn’t use your entire ink cartridge” but honestly, most of the time I error on the “make it look pretty” side.

Which is why my BIGGEST piece of advice is to use a print shop for the heavy ink projects.

When I say print shops, I mean copy shops in stores like Staples, Office Depot/Office Max, FedEx/Kinkos, or my personal favorite, my UPS Store.

If I’m printing on cardstock or “regular” paper — and if I’m doing Prayer Request Cards, Pocket Prayer Cards, or devotionals…. I’m much more likely to send out my order to a print shop so I can use THEIR ink instead of mine.

I know that this can get a bit pricey, especially if you’re printing on cardstock a lot, but I’ve found that my print shops are willing to charge me the base color printing price if I bring in my own cardstock (in the original package, so they can make sure it’s safe for their printers) to print on. This is a HUGE cost saving, since many places charge $0.29-0.50 for base color printing, but as much as $0.75-1.00 for printing on cardstock. This also allows me to bring my favorite cardstock (Staples 110# white cardstock) instead of using what my print shop has on hand (I’m not a fan 😉 ). This also means I can pick up cardstock when it’s on sale and just save it for when I have lots of print jobs to do!

Printing on other “specialty” papers

Sometimes, I like to print on “specialty” papers like clear sticker paper, Shrinky Dink printables, or iron ons for fabric. For these, I like to use my home inkjet printer, since they also typically are not AS ink heavy.

I’m currently using a CANON PIXMA PRO-100 printer. I like that it can do wider format, and the prints are usually great. It’s a little pricey (I got a heck of a deal on it), but it works wonderfully. I’ve also heard great things about the HP Instant Ink program, and I usually like HP Printers.

For printing my Art Starts, I prefer clear sticker paper printed on my Inkjet home printer. My favorite clear sticker papers are these from Online Labels or Avery Clear Sticker Paper.

Another question I get a lot is: “What if things don’t print correctly? I’ve had issues with “black boxes” around some printables!”

This is an issue that several other shop owners and I have been discussing– there’s not really an easy answer, except that some printers aren’t playing nicely withe some of the newer versions of PDF files. There doesn’t really seem to be a rhyme of a reason for why it happens, either! Which makes it harder to troubleshoot. However… The three things I’ve found work the best for this issue are:

  1. If at all possible, print from a computer instead of a tablet or phone. When you print from a tablet or phone, quite often there’s information that gets “scrambled” when all of the devices “talk” and it can confuse printers.
  2. Make sure your printer driver and Adobe Reader are up to date! This is where most issues arise!
  3. If all else fails, print the JPEG file!

I hope this helps! If you have any other printer/printing questions, be sure to leave them in the comments below, and I’ll answer them and update this post!

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