Today I wanted to talk about the final step in the digi-scrap process. PRINTING. It’s something I have to admit I’ve only dabbled in. I have been sort of saving up my LOs in order to make a great big book on Shutterfly. But, the more I think about doing this the more I start to weigh the pros and cons in my head.
-A slim professionally bound book. It won’t take up tons of room on a shelf like a binder would. Plus it just looks cool.
-A customizable cover. Now that is nifty!!
-While it seems expensive, if you add up the cost per page, its really not!
-I’ve heard wonderful things about the quality at Shutterfly and I know my pages would look gorgeous.
-The pages are only paper. If someone (even me) was looking through it and turned a page funny and one ripped, I think I’d have a stroke. The pages are unprotected, which is fine for me now, we don’t have kids yet. But when I want to let my kids look at it, that could be a big problem.
-While I’m finishing pages and completing a full time period that I would want to bind together, I’m not getting any of my pages out of the computer and into real life.
-The cost is all at once, where if I was printing page by page I wouldn’t have to spend all the money right at the same time.
So, I still can’t decide. I’m so torn. I emailed some scrappers who I know have printed to see how they did it and why. I learned a lots of little tips and tricks as well as some good information about printing. I thought I’d share how some other team members here at SM print!
Our chief here at ScrapMatters, Andrea, is a home printer. She resizes her 12×12 LOs to 8×8 then prints them on an Epson CX4200 and/or a CX4800 with matte heavyweight paper and/or cardstock. For brag book pages or 4x6s she uses her small Kodak printer with Kodak glossy paper. She uses the Epson for things she prints for hybrid scrapping because the ink is waterproof and can handle the Modge Podge without bleeding.
Shari says she hasn’t printed much, but has printed a few things (like those cute candy bar wrappers we saw on the blog last week) on her good old HP Deskjet printer. She said its not even a photo printer, but she was pleased with how well they printed out. The ink isn’t waterproof, but for disposables (like the wrappers) or pages that go into protectors, she’s not concerned with that.
Happy Scrap Girl had LOTS of really great info on printing! Here’s what she said:
“I have a crummy printer, so I always send mine out. However, I do print in black and white on my printer first, just to make sure everything is readable, and that I didn’t make goofy mistakes.” (What a GREAT idea! Duh! Why didn’t I think of that?!)
“I’ve tried several online printers, most of which are no longer in business – for good reasons! When I look for services, I look at price per page, shipping costs, page sizes available, paper maker (ie Kodak, Fuji, etc). I also check to see if they brag about any new printing equipment and if they offer a sample of their work.
My favorite place is Scrapbookpictures.com. They use Kodak paper – it’s thick & sturdy. The pages always come out wonderful. I’ve also emailed with the owner a few times, and their customer service if wonderful. They have many sizes from a 2×2 to a 16×16. They have a flat rate international shipping fee of $2.00 per order, and their square pages are all on sale now (12×12′s are on sale for $2.49 each).
I have also ordered Shutterfly Books – I love the quality, and how easy they are to customize. I use these for gift albums because I don’t trust my DD’s little hands on those unprotected pages They use Fuji paper. They also now do square sizes, but are on the pricey side.
I have personally seen pages from adoramapix.com. They use Kodak paper, the prints are good. They occasionally have sales.
Once I printed a LO from my local LSS, but they had their own large format printer (don’t remember brand name), and only had cardstock to print on – the images bleed a bit, so I won’t use that again!
One thing I have learned from all of the places I’ve tried out, is to only send a small order the first time to be sure you are satisfied with the quality. Also, shipping adds up, so be sure to figure that into the equation.”
Thanks so much Happy for all this info!! VERY useful!!!!!
I asked Teresa about what she does to print and here’s what she said:
“I print at lot of layouts through Costco . . . $2.99 for a 12×12.” (That’s what I’ve done too, and 8x8s are only 1.50. I also heard someone say that since 12x18s are the same price as 12×12 that they add a couple little things in that extra 6 inches and just order 12x18s. Then they cut off little extra things, which I thought was a very good idea!! Ok – back to Teresa)
“I have used Shutterfly for one book. The first one was awful because they color corrected the files so some of the red pages were the red they were supposed to be and others were neon red. I called and they reprinted and set my account to DO NOT COLOR CORRECT since I set the color in Photoshop myself. They said most customers are loading pics straight out of the camera and need the color correcting. So that would be a tip to give any digi scrappers printing books.”
Thanks so much for that tip Teresa!
And finally, I asked my sister-in-law Marci about printing because I LOVE looking at all her digi-pages when I go over there. She prints her LOs all the time and puts them into page protectors and binders. It’s because I saw her pages printed out that I started to have doubts about my own Shutterfly plan. Seeing the pages in real life, not long after she scrapped them was so much fun!! Here’s what Marci said:
“I just print my all my 12×12 LOs at Costco. I have printed little brag books at Shutterfly and it was very easy and straight forward. I’ve printed holiday cards at Shutterfly that I scrapped. You just have to get their template. It’s very step by step!
“I have been printing my LOs from the very beginning of when I started scrapping! I always print them at Costco because they have great prices and they do a really great job! When I print my LOs I print them in 12X12 because I love a big scrapbook. When I printed my first batch of LOs I found some fun surprises . . . In one of my pages I had used staples all over and didn’t realize how big they actually were until I printed the page!! They were HUGE!!! It made the page look so funny! So, always make sure you realize that the supplies you’re using and everything will be so much bigger when you print! Just a little heads up! I really like printing my pages because it gives me a sense of accomplishment . . . I can actually go and look at my pages. I can see what I love and things I think I need to change about my scrapping.”
So, I wanna know . . . how and why do YOU print your LOs? Have you done any printing yet? I suggest you print some of your LOs now. Like Marci said, there are things you’ll learn about your scrapping that you can only learn from printing those pages. Like size for example. 12×12 is bigger than you might think. Bigger than your monitor in some people’s cases (especially if you scrap on a little lap top). So when you’re putting big flowers and things like that on our page, your jaw might just drop when you get that page back and actually SEE how big it is on the page. Use those rulers and really think about what size things are!
Anyway – let’s have a chat about printing. I would love to hear more about your experiences with printing sites and Shutterfly. Join in the discussion here in the forum!!