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3 steps to print better scrapbook supplies and layouts at home

Print better scrapbook supplies and layouts at home - Sahin Designs

If you’re new to hybrid scrapbooking, you’re probably wondering how to print good quality scrapbook supplies with your own printer at home. Although it’s not exactly rocket science, you might end up with dull or different colors than you see in your monitor when you’re just starting with hybrid scrapbooking.

In this week’s article I’ll be sharing my tips on this topic so that you can start documenting your memories with good quality supplies. Let’s get started!

Print better scrapbook supplies and layouts at home - Sahin Designs

1. Print with the right material

It might be obvious but if you don’t use a photo quality paper, your prints won’t be good either. Every printer has different performance on different type of papers. The paper you’re printing on at a copy center might not create a good result with your home printer.

Buy a branded photo paper, either glossy or matte depending on your preference. My go to photo papers for home printing are HP glossy paper and Epson Matte Presentation paper. But while purchasing paper, you should definitely check what paper weights your printer supports. You can usually find this information in your printer’s user manuals.

Print better scrapbook supplies and layouts at home - Sahin Designs

When it comes to printer, choose a printer that makes use of ink tanks. Cartridges and ink tanks are two different things and they will cost you differently as well. Cartridge printers are usually cheaper but when you out of cartridge, replacing it becomes costly.

On the other hand, printers with ink tanks are a bit pricey but once you fill the ink tanks they usually go about a year or more depending on how often you use it. And refilling ink tanks is a lot cheaper than buying cartridges. The printer I use is Epson L130 (Edit: I replaced this printer with Epson L3070 a few months later after I wrote this article due to printhead damage. That’s the thing with Epson printers. If you don’t use it at least once a week, especially if the weather is hot, ink dries in the printhead and causes damage). It came with four bottle of inks (CMYK – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) and I was able to use those inks for more than a year.

Also consider which paper size you’ll print when you decide to invest on a printer. Do yo want to print 12×12 inch paper or do you want to use heavy papers like a card stock? For example, my printer can only print as big as A4 paper and it can’t print any paper heavier than 200gr. Which is okay for me but if you have different preferences, think about those before you invest.

Print better scrapbook supplies and layouts at home - Sahin Designs
Print better scrapbook supplies and layouts at home - Sahin Designs

3. Print with the right settings

Having good paper + printer is a good start but not enough to have great results. When you hit print button, your printer will print the design with the default settings. And that’s not enough for archive quality supplies.

When you print with default settings you’ll realize that the colors are not as rich as you see them on the monitor or maybe even that’s not the same color at all! Let’s address those issues, shall we?

Print better scrapbook supplies and layouts at home - Sahin Designs

Considering you’re a digital or hybrid scrapbooker, there is a good chance you have access to Photoshop or Illustrator. And printing right from those software is my go to.

If you’re using Photoshop, before hitting the print button go ahead and covert your document to CMYK. To do this go to Image > Mode > CMYK. This will give you accurate colors on the print.

If you’re printing from Illustrator, unless you change the default document settings, your document already in CMYK mode. So there is no need for changing the color mode. To check the color mode in Illustrator, go to File > Document Color Mode

Once you’re on the right color mode, go to File > Print. And before we take a look at Photoshop/Illustrator print settings there is another important thing we should do: choosing printer settings! Go ahead and choose your printer from the “Printer” box. And then click on “Print Settings” button in Photoshop or “Setup” button on Illustrator.

Print better scrapbook supplies and layouts at home - Sahin Designs

In this window we’ll be choosing;

  • the paper size we’re printing,
  • paper type (whether it’s glossy, matte, photocopy paper etc.),
  • and most importantly, the print quality which I set to high. For glossy paper you’ll see there is even higher options. Choose the highest option for your paper type.
Print better scrapbook supplies and layouts at home - Sahin Designs

An important thing about this dialogue box is that for each print document this box will reset to default. So make sure for every page you’re printing make the necessary changes here. Then click okay to continue.

On to software print settings! For Photoshop, I’ll let printer to manage the colors and it’ll be normal printing.

Print better scrapbook supplies and layouts at home - Sahin Designs

When you scroll down in this menu, you’ll see the position and size controls. I’ll choose position setting as “Center”, unchecked the option of “Scale to fit media” and hit print button.

Print better scrapbook supplies and layouts at home - Sahin Designs

In Illustrator, you’ll see that Illustrator have a paper size which you should set to your paper size again. From scaling, choose “Do not scale”. You can access to print settings in Illustrator from the “Setup” button.

Print better scrapbook supplies and layouts at home - Sahin Designs

From the left hand menu go to “Advanced” section and make sure “High resolution” is selected. Before hit print you may save the Illustrator settings as a preset by clicking the icon next to “Print Preset”. But be aware that it won’t save the printer setup. Now hit print.

Print better scrapbook supplies and layouts at home - Sahin Designs

Note: Be patient

Because we choose the high quality print, it’ll take a while to print. Be patient untill your printer is done printing. Once it’s done, let the paper sit and let the ink dry for a while.

Don’t start cutting the paper right away. Especially if you’re using a trimmer, you’ll smear the ink before it has a chance to dry completely. This is especially important for matte papers. It’ll take one minute or so for a matte paper to dry.

And if you see some wrinkles on the matte paper, don’t worry. It’ll flatten out once it’s dry.

Print better scrapbook supplies and layouts at home - Sahin Designs
Print better scrapbook supplies and layouts at home - Sahin Designs

3. Maintenance is the key

Like any electronic device, your printer also needs some care now and then. If you didn’t use your printer for a long time, before you print on the good paper, try testing your print on a photocopy paper.

If the print result is bad, do some maintenance work. Run a nozzle check. What this does is that it prints a lined pattern to show you if there is any issue with the printing process.

To access the printer utilities follow this path from Photoshop or Illustrator;

Photoshop File > Print > Print Settings > Utility

Illustrator File > Print > Setup > Choose your device > Preferences > Utility

Print better scrapbook supplies and layouts at home - Sahin Designs
Print better scrapbook supplies and layouts at home - Sahin Designs

Print head is clean
Print better scrapbook supplies and layouts at home - Sahin Designs
Print head needs cleaning

Both the colored and black lines should be complete. If you see empty spaces, broken lines, try cleaning the head and then re-print the nozzle check.

Print better scrapbook supplies and layouts at home - Sahin Designs

After head cleaning you might need to wait for 12-24 hours before you see any improvement in the print quality. Don’t clean the head several times since this will eventually damage the print head and it will fill up the ink pads.

After waiting for 12-24 hours, print another nozzle check. Then repeat head cleaning if necessary.

Once all of your lines are crisp and complete, print the actual designs.

And that’s all for printing good scrapbook supplies at home!

If you want to dive more into printing at home, I recommend you to read “Viewing digital scrapbook files at actual print size in Photoshop & Illustrator” article next so that you see the exact size of what you’re printing. Hence, avoid printing multiple times!

Once you have a chance to read the article, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic in the comments section below.

What’s your printing process look like and what paper/printer combination you use to print digital scrapbook designs.

Print better scrapbook supplies and layouts at home - Sahin Designs

Elif Sahin

Hi there! I’m a graphic designer, memory keeper, and fond of simplicity. I love producing quality supplies that’ll make scrapbooking process easy and fun for you.

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  1. Reply

    Camila

    August 19, 2020

    Thank you for the tips.
    Do you change the color settings? I harp an Epson printer and it gives the option to move the color bar /circle and set it to use more blue or red or yellow . What’s your take in that?
    xoxo

    • Elif Sahin

      August 21, 2020

      Hi Camila! I’ve never explored that option. But knowing that screen of each device shows colors differently, for example your laptop screen might show the colors tinted towards red while your phone screen shows the same color tinted towards blue, I wouldn’t make the judgement by looking at the printed color and comparing it to my screen color. Unless you’ve calibrated your monitor specifically for printing purposes, you won’t be printing the exact color you see on the screen. Then there is also the issue of what your printer can print. I suggest you use the ink that your printer manufacturer suggests. It’s optimized specifically for that printer. And keep in mind that paper makes a difference in the color as well. For example Epson matte papers tent to print deeper/darker colors than glossy papers. I especially experience this with yellow hues in my prints. But I love the velvet touch of the paper so much that I don’t mind if the hue is little off than what it actually needs to be.

      To make sure, I’ve looked at Epson’s support guides. And they are also suggesting that each device produces colors differently and that you should use the color adjustment accordingly. Here’s their guide; https://files.support.epson.com/htmldocs/pro38_/pro38_ug/trble_2.htm

  2. Reply

    Robyn Denton

    March 6, 2019

    Thanks for posting these tips, Elif. Unfortunately, I have neither Photoshop nor Illustrator – I use Photoshop Elements 15, which does not have the CMYK setting, so I am unable to check for gamut issues. Do you have any advice for Elements users? Or perhaps you could point me in the right direction? Thanks anyway!

    • Elif Sahin

      March 7, 2019

      You’re welcome Robyn! There are online color mode converters on the internet. I haven’t used them myself but it might be good to give it a try. If you write “RGB to CMYK converter” you should find at least a few free options to test. I hope it helps!

  3. Reply

    Beatrice

    March 6, 2019

    I so appreciate this post. I have been wanting to dive in to hybrid but I knew printing would be an issue. I think you covered all my questions. Thanks Elif- this is spot on!

    • Elif Sahin

      March 7, 2019

      Oh thank you so much Beatrice! It’s good to hear that it helps 🙂

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