At the start of 2020, I started dabbling more with printing my scrapbooking pprojects at home.
Before that, I wasn’t super impressed with the quality of the photos from my local CVS, which was my only option for 1-hour printing in my small town). I hated the waiting of placing a print order online through Shutterfly or Amazon.
The price of printing at home always held me back, but I realized it was worth it to me with how much it helped my creativity flow.
I feel like where you choose to print your photos is a personal decision that you have to figure out based on your scrapbooking process. I do a lot of digital and hybrid scrapbooking so it’s been a gamechanger to have access to my photos right away and be able to print them at any size I want.
Choosing a new printer for printing at home
While the old HP printer I had was doing an okay job, I decided I wanted to treat myself to a new printer. One of the features I was looking for was individual color ink tanks instead of just one color ink cartridge.
I love purple, so I wanted to able to print with that color as much as I wanted and not worry about the cyan and magenta running out way before the yellow.
I also wanted the option for borderless 8.5 x 11 printing. I don’t do any scrapbooking bigger than that size so I didn’t need to invest in a large format printer. I quickly got overwhelmed by the options, and then during the pandemic the printers kept going out of stock.
Amber runs YayDay Paper Co, which is a digital crafting company. She has a whole page on her website comparing printers. Since her business relies on people printing her products at home, I trusted her opinion.
One issue: the printer kept going out of stock. I signed up for Amber’s emails where she notified people when this magical printer was available.
The major downside of this printer (which Amber even states in her resource list) is that the ink is expensive. I had been using a generic ink from Amazon, but it’s no longer available so I’ll have to look for some other options.
Photo paper for printing at home
During this process, I quickly learned how important good photo paper is.
My absolute favorite is the Canon semi-gloss. It’s in between glossy and matte. Since my printer is also Canon brand, I can set it to the semi-gloss setting when using that paper.
When it comes to affordability, I like the Canon matte paper. I buy it when it’s on sale for $4.99 for 50 sheets.
For printables where I want the colors to really pop, I use Epson Premium Presentation Paper instead of normal cardstock.
I recommend trying out different papers to figure out what you like best.
I use all Apple products so it’s easy for me to get the photos on my phone to my Macbook.
When it comes to resizing my photos and getting them ready to print. I typically use Photoshop to arrange them on a piece of 8.5×11 paper.
A much easier option–and one I find myself using more and more lately–is Canva. It doesn’t require using layers at all.
Here are some of my most common printing templates I use:
- 3x4s: This is sized so that each frame is 2.95 x 4 inches to fit in pocket pages. You can print 6 cards or photos on an 8.5×11 paper
- TN papers: This is sized to print two TN sized papers or photos on one page. I have the TN size at 4.125×25, but you can adjust that size as needed. I also include a 2 inch strip to include another piece of paper just to maximum space. You can delete that if you want.
- 4x6s: Lately I’ve been loving the 4×6 Everydays Explorers minibooks so I started printing out some of my digital papers in the 4×6 size. In this template you can print three 4×6 papers or photos and then a little 2×4 scrap piece (again you can delete this if it doesn’t work for you). The first page is vertical 4×6 orientations and the second page is 6×4 horizontal orientations.
All you need is a free Canva account to use these templates.
Print at home examples
I’m no expert, but the steps I’ve shared are working out well for me!
Here are some projects I’ve printed at home. You can click on the image to enlarge it:
If you’re interested in printing your projects and photos at home, here are some other great resources:
- Yay Day Paper Resources Page – Amber is the queen of at home printing and this research page on the Yay Day Paper website is super helpful. There’s a print comparison chart and all of her favorite papers (including fun specialty ones like holographic sticker paper).
- Traci Reed – Traci creates my absolute favorite digital papers. I typically buy the 12×12 size and then use Canva to print them in TN, 6×8, and 4×6 size. She has a blog posts on Printing Hybrid Printables At Home or via an Office Supply Store and How Your Paper Choice Effects the Quality of Your Printables.
- My [Ali Edwards] Current Printers – Ali Edwards shared on her blog her current printer set up. Just remember that scrapbooking is her job so most people don’t need 5 printers!
- Retro Hip Faves – Andrea sells lots of digitals so check out her favorite supplies page which includes a video of her print at home process and her favorite printing supplies.
I hope you’ve found learning a bit about my process helpful.
If you have any questions, let me know! If you have an tips of your own be sure to sure those too.