Printing at Home: Supplies, Benefits, and Tips
Updated: Sep 16, 2020
Printing is something that I get asked about a lot so I wanted to create a roundup of my favorite supplies for printing at home along with some tips that I hope will be helpful for anyone getting started!
Printing through services such as Vistaprint or Avery are a great option, but sometimes you might need just a few of a certain resource or you need it quickly. Printing at home offers flexibility. You can print any quantity anytime. This also allows for you to frequently change up your happy mail, mix and match resources, and easily adjust sizes. I also like having the option to ship from home as well.
Choosing a Printer
If you don’t already have a home printer, you can find find them at a variety of price points on Amazon, Walmart, etc. One thing to factor into your total cost is the price of replacement ink. Although most printer manufacturers don’t recommend third party ink, I personally think it’s a great option if you want to live on the wild side. I print a lot so I personally use this printer and this ink. It’s been a great setup for me! Again, there are lots of price points for printers and Canon gets great reviews for cheaper ones as well.
Paper and Labels
I’m always trying out new paper label options. Lately I’ve been using this cardstock. It is an affordable medium weight cardstock, but you could always go thicker depending on your project. For printing labels, this full sheet sticker paper has been great. It is affordable and has held up great for daily use. I really like the versatility of full sheet sticker paper for printing multiple size images. For already cut labels, I like using Crinklee or Avery. For instructions on how to print, see the PDF that came with your purchase from us. We go into lots detail and have pictures included.
For cutting things I print, I like to use a rotary cutter and mat. Amazon also sells these as a combos. You can also find them at craft stores, Target and Walmart for lower prices. You’ll also need a ruler or straight edge as a guide for your rotary cutter. A clear one like this is what I use. I also like the rotary cutter because it allows for cutting a variety of thicknesses as well as a variety of papers, fabric, etc. Blades are relatively cheap to replace. You can also use paper trimmers which are more affordable and require less space.
Shipping from home
Now for the fun part! Being able to ship from home is seriously the best thing ever! You can save a lot of time and money, as well as avoid long lines at the post office. Below, I have detailed some tips for shipping. It really depends on what your project is, but I this is how I personally ship each of the following:
Postcards: When shipping just postcards, as long as it’s the size and weight specified on the USPS website, you can use a postcard stamp and you’re good to go. Just make sure your card stock is thick / sturdy enough to withstand shipment.
Envelopes: I personally like to use a self sealing cellophane envelope to protect the postcard. And then you can add in a sticker, or glitter to the package too. With this option, you’ll need a regular stamp. Even I’ve I’m using a regular envelope, I still like to put multiple things in a cellophane bag. It’s just fun to add some glitter or confetti that way, but optional of course. Just be sure to check the weight on this if you are adding multiple things.
Shipping in a bubble mailers / packages: for this option, you’ll either need to drop off at the post office or print at home. So let’s dig into at home shipping aka the greatest time saver ever! There are lots of shipping services available such as Pirate Ship, Ship Station, and Stamps.com. I personally use stamps.com and have been for the past several years. It comes with a free mail scale when you create an account with the promo code C-FHYY-DD7. I print on these shipping labels. New shipping companies come out all the time so just research and see what is right for you!
Image via @lacemueller
Fun Additions to Happy Mail
If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you know that I’m all about fun yarn and ribbon. I love Yarn Bee brand from Hobby Lobby. They make really good chunky yarn and have a good variety of colors. I also love that they often have it on sale! You can also find unique yarn from Etsy! I also like cutting 1 inch wide (or smaller) strips of fabric to use as ribbon. This can add fun texture and pattern. I cut fabric strips with a rotary cutter as mentioned above. I’ve found great yarn and ribbon at Joann Fabric, Michaels and Walmart. You can also add in crinkle paper, glitter, confetti and Washi tape to make it your own!
I hope this was helpful for anyone getting started with printing at home. It sounds like a lot, but don’t be intimated. Once you have the supplies you need, you will have endless possibilities for happy mail! For videos, check out the “printing tips” highlight I have saved on Instagram. If you have any other questions or you want to share print at home products that you love, please leave them in the comments!
Be sure to check out our bundles! We packed these with lotssss of printables for all the seasonal happy mail.