How To Print Your Own Stationery

Photo by Terry Robinson

Thinking about printing your stationery yourself? Here's a guide on how to do it easily and affordably.

1. Choose Your Printing Method

There are many ways to print your stationery—at home, at a copy shop, with an online printer, a professional printer, or some even with letterpress. Hint: Off the bat I can tell you that often the most affordable way is not at home, but at a copy shop! Why, you may ask? INK. Ink cartridges are not only expensive, they can be terribly annoying to keep consistent, which to me equals emotional costliness. But for those with a kick-ass printer and skills with it, go for it. Just make sure to test out everything first. For details on all printing methods and downloadable samples go here).

2. Choose Your Paper

Paper might be your most important choice, but it will depend on your printing method. Copy shops and home printers can only handle paper up to about 100lb, and to get a feel for that you should definitely go to a paper store (even if you end up ordering your paper online). Paper Source is an easy place to go get your hands on real paper. Hint: linen finish paper is stiffer and can make your stationery feel higher quality. 

Envelopes are the next most important thing. There is a huge variety at affordable prices at Paper And More. And you don't have to go with plain white! But if you choose a dark envelope remember that you will either need to use labels for the addresses or a light gel pen, such as the Uniball White Gel Pen

3. Print Your Stationery

This will again depend on your printing method. To print at a copy shop just bring in the PDF files we provide on a USB key drive or CD, as well as your paper, and let 'er rip. Hint: For home printers make sure your settings are for HIGHEST QUALITY, your appropriate paper (like matte etc), same size and NOT set to "Scale to fit". This will make your stationery too small. 

4. Cut Your Stationery

If you are crafty and have good cutting supplies, then it's easiest to do it yourself. (Hint: Very often copy shops have a paper cutter, or will even cut for you. But make sure to test it all out since some are more accurate than others!)

With an Exacto knife: 

-It's best to have a cutting mat. They are a great investment anyway!

-Cut within the edges of your paper rather than slicing off the sides. This way you will keep your cropmarks.

-Make sure to keep using new sharp blades. 

With a paper cutter:

-Line up the top cropmarks along the edge and cut (3/4")

-Flip around and cut off the bottom cropmarks. 

-From top and bottom cut at 5".

-From sides cut 3/8" 

That's it!

And you thought it was going to be so hard. We have plenty more details and info on the various printing methods here.



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