DIY Printing With Your Home Printer

It’s amazing the print quality you can achieve from your home printer these days. Technology has really progressed and although there is no replacement for professional, bulk printers out there (love you guys) – it’s extremely convenient to be able to print from home, whenever you need it – instant gratification!

I love designing and using printables (no surprise) but I understand that most complaints center around the usage of ink. Printers might be affordable these days, but their ink cartridges seem to be the most expensive things in the world! I get it and feel your pain. You can imagine that I go through a lot of ink every year. But whatever solution you have at home, I know that it makes sense to make the most out of our ink cartridges and use it to the max.

So here are a few tips about printing from home and using up those ink cartridges to the max. 

Take your time – if you don’t want to waste or misprint, make sure you slow down, take your time and check all the settings and preview. It’s easy to just get trigger happy and press print a zillion times… then you realize the paper setting was wrong or quality was set low – whatever – and you’ve got a huge stack of misprints! It totally pays to double-check before hitting print.

Test print and click cancel – if you are just starting out and not sure on the best papers and settings for your purposes, it’s okay to test a swatch! You can cancel a job and it’ll stop the printing and you save ink! There’s no need to let the whole thing print when you notice something is wrong or if you just wanted a partial print to see the quality!

Greyscale and Fast quality –  I find that it saves color ink to print b/w work with greyscale selected… instead of using colors to mix and create black, it uses the straight black cartridge. I also find that it helps to print some items as Fast quality – especially black and white items that you really don’t need that true black. It really does save ink!

printed with low ink cartridge

Batch printing lower quality prints – My biggest tip is to save things you want to print in a folder, so you can batch print at a later time… namely, when your printer is nearly out of ink. This is for stuff that you maybe don’t need at full quality or wouldn’t mind if it was a bit streaked or light from lack of ink. You know that dreaded warning of low ink and to change the cartridge? Ugh!

The issue is that it’s not totally empty yet and it might only be some colors and not others. So when I get that message, I rock out my “to print” folder and print them all out until there really is no ink left. I printed everything you see in the photo above when my ink was “low.” You can see the last couple prints were streaked and missing some spots of ink, so I knew that I was truly at the end at that point.

However, sometimes it’s only certain colors, so you can still get some other types of printables out before tossing the ink cartridge for good. See above how vintage prints seemed to still work! I think especially if you like shabby chic, vintage looking printables, it’s actually pretty cool to get the ink variations at this point of the ink cartridge life. If you are using your printables for art journaling, all the better as you might not want perfect prints anyway.

So those are my tips for home printing. You can save a lot of ink and money with just these few tips, making your ink stretch to many many printables. I hope you found these tips useful!

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