It’s finally time to get your beautiful invitations or stationery printed and ready to send to your guest list. You found the perfect invitation, edited the wording to meet your needs and made the design your own. You are ready to download the template and get it printed so what do you do?
We’ve given you the complete rundown of all the downloading options but how you plan to print your template does impact the type of file you download. Today, we’ll walk you through ways that you can print your templates. There are actually a number of ways you can print your templates; from a local print shop, your local chain copy shop like Kinkos or Staples, many a number of online printers or you could choose to print your invitations at home.
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Print your Templett Templates at a Local Print Shop
Of all the DIY options out there, your local print shop will most likely give you the best quality, the most professional service and advice, and in turn will likely be the most expensive option. These places are specialized in printing and often their team consists of professional graphic designers and print pros.
They know the best ways to print different designs and they will be able to help you pick the best papers and printing options to get the best results. In many cases, in addition to the cost of printing, there may also be set up fees.
Print shops also often have more than one printing option from digital to offset, thermography and even letterpress and foil stamping. And some print shops also have the ability to die-cut which means your invitations could be cut into more custom shapes for an additional cost.
If QUALITY and OPTIONS are your priority, this is the way to go but as I said above, print shops will likely cost more than some of the other printing options listed below.
A copy shop like Staples is quick and easy, but you typically have fewer options when it comes to paper, sizes and other options. I have also found that using their online services is often as much or more expensive than my local print shops so it’s not always the budget option one would assume.
The upside to this option is that turn-around times are often quite fast especially when you use the in-store services but you don’t always have control over when things will be done if you are in a big hurry.
The other thing to consider with copy shops is that the staff is not typically as skilled or knowledgeable as those that work at a print shop. That means if you have issues with your file or questions about paper or other, more technical topics, they may be less able to help you.
Online printers are a popular choice for so many customers doing their own invitations and stationery. Their pricing is often quite a bit less than the other options and because everything can be ordered online, you can do it in just a few minutes.
There are a few things to consider when ordering stationery online, especially if you are doing it for the first time. The first thing is to consider giving yourself enough time or order a sample pack so you can see all the paper and printing options before placing your final order. Large online printers offer these sample packs for free and they usually mail them out pretty quickly. Usually they include an assortment of their available products so you can see sizes, paper options, finishing options like die cuts, folds, etc. in person.
The second thing to consider is the dimensions of your templates. Most online printers have set sizes that they sell. By offering only set, standard sizes, they are able to keep their costs low because they aren’t doing custom cuts that can take more time. Some online printers allow you to pick any custom size but you sometimes pay a little more for this.
Make sure the online printer of your choice offers the size of your template before ordering. As an example, our Save the Date Bookmarks are 2.5 x 7 inches when finished. This is not a standard size so not all online printers will work. Most printers offer standard sizes like 5 x 7 but you always want to double check when your template is an odd size.
Printing at Home
Unless you are used to printing things at home, this isn’t necessarily going to be the easiest option. In fact, this can be the least desirable option for many if you aren’t prepared.
This option would only be recommended for those that are familiar with using a home printer, how to pick settings in the print window and have the proper hardware and software.
If you are comfortable with using a home printer, connecting it to your computer, etc. then below are some tried and true recommendations and tips from our creative team.
Home printers come in many shapes and sizes and you can actually get some nicely printed invitations at home with the right tools. Many home printers have limitations on paper weights and sizes so it’s really important to know the options and limitations of your printer before buying paper for your diy templates.
Many home printers have a minimum paper size of 4 x 6 and a maximum weight of around 80lb (this is essentially the thickness of the paper). 80lb cardstock is not what we would recommend for use as invitations because it’s thin but if you are looking for an inexpensive option, go for it. Just make sure when buying your papers and envelopes that they are compatible with your printer first.
If using an inkjet printer, be sure to have extra ink cartridges on hand. Invitations with large areas of color and text will use a lot of ink especially when printing several copies.
A personal favorite is this older model Canon. I have purchased about five of these over the years for use at home and can say that it prints large and small envelopes and up to 105lb cover stock without problems. The ink is pricey but I have never had a complaint about this basic printer. Shop printer now.
For trimming down your invitations once they are printed, I suggest a rotary trimmer. We actually have two sizes of the heavy duty Carl Trimmers in the shop that we use for certain projects and I swear by them.
The 12 inch version would work for most at home diyers, you can find it here: Shop 12″ Cutter. We use the 15 inch and the 18 inch in the shop.
These all have a lock that holds the guide down for you as you trim which is great for cutting more than one sheet at a time.
When it comes to envelopes for your invitations, the options are endless. For a good quality but affordable standard white envelope, we really love the ones from Desktop Publishing. You can find them here. They also come in a lovely light cream color. You can find them here.
If you are looking for an affordable kraft paper envelope, these are a good option and they are self sealing! Check them out here.
Just make sure when buying your papers and envelopes that they are compatible with your printer first.
Regardless of how you plan to print your templates, the most important thing is to do your homework before deciding on a template, the papers and print method. Making sure everything is compatible beforehand will save you time, money and stress which are the reasons why you decided to diy your invitations in the first place, right?