I have a confession. I design printables for a living (here and at The Appreciation Shop) and I hate printers. They give me rage, and I want to smash them like the guys from Office Space. I'm not kidding. RAGE.Ask my poor sweet husband.
The thing is, I still want all of my essential oil projects to look pretty. I can't bring myself to use plain white labels and a sharpie. It hurts my heart. I found an easy and affordable solution that solved all my problems, but before we jump into the "How To" guide, let me answer the most frequently asked questions.
Below are three different printing methods to choose from, but there are two keys to success, regardless of which method you use.
1. The material makes all the difference.
Dull paper makes for dull labels. Don't use plain copy paper. You want to use a high quality bright white paper for printing your labels, tags, etc.
Glossy/Satin sticker paper produces much more vibrant labels. Using matte sticker paper will result in muted colors.
2. Full-sheet stickers are your friend.
All of the Essentially Crafty printables are formatted to be printed on Avery labels. Avery labels are a huge time saver and a great quality but you need different sizes for different projects. To save myself money (and space), I buy full-sheet stickers and then cut out my labels. It takes a bit more time, but I don't have to keep multiple sizes on hand and if the printer slightly misfeeds it won't ruin the entire sheet of labels.
The exception to that rule is circle labels. Unfortunately, large circle punches will not punch through sticker paper cleanly. Punches result in jagged edges that my OCD self cannot deal with. I have yet to find a method of cutting out circles that I love.
Here is a list of some of my favorite full-sheet stickers:
Small professional printers will always do a phenomenal job, but they are crazy expensive. When I ordered test prints from my Holiday Crafts Essential Oil Class last year, a local print shop charged me TEN DOLLARS for one page.
Those are not the local printers I am talking about. I mean Staples or Office Max. They are my go-to for label printing. When you bring in your own sticker paper (links above) they will charge you $.95/sheet to print your labels. That is my printing secret. For $.95/sheet I will never own a printer again. They deal with toner cartridges and color calibration, and I live my best non rage-filled life. Put your downloaded printables on a USB drive, grab your sticker paper, and away you go!
Every single label I have ever ordered from Avery.com has been absolutely gorgeous. Their colors are rich and true. They look professional and fabulous. I cannot say enough good things about them. That being said, there are two "drawbacks" if you will.
One, you really need to have your act together and plan in advance to accomodate for production and shipping time. I am usually not organized enough to take advantage of their services.
Two, they are a bit more pricey. It is not outrageous, but certainly not $.95/sheet. You get a discount the more your order, so if you order from them, go big!
PRO TIP: They usually have a coupon code, so be sure to do a quick search before finalizing your order.
The video below walks you through placing an order with Avery. The really cool thing about Avery is that you do not have to order sheets of the same label. You can mix and match labels on one sheet! The video walks you through the entire process.
I've already mentioned how much I love printing at home, yes? If you are a magical wizard that can make printers behave, I bow down to you. Before I discovered the gloriousness of printing at Staples and Office Max I would print at home (uphill, in the snow).
Here are some printing tips I picked up over the years to reduce my rage:
1. If you don't print often, make sure your printer is calibrated before you start. Every printer is different so, alas, I cannot walk you through this. If you print often, this shouldn't be an issue.
2. Feed your sticker paper through one sheet at a time, do not put it in the tray. In the tray, the pages will get stuck together and the printer will misfeed.
3. As mentioned above, use bright white paper or glossy/satin sticker paper for vibrant colors.
4. Use full sheets of sticker paper instead of pre-cut Avery labels (unless you are printing circle labels) just in case the printer does misfeed.
Essentially Crafty printables come formatted as one ready-to-print page andindividual labels.
This video tutorial walks you though creating a full sheet of labels with different designs, then downloading a PDF to print at home or at a local print shop.
You are probably asking yourself why you would want to do that? Let's say you bought some roller bottle labels that came in three colors, and you only wanted to print two of the colors? You can do that! Or maybe you are making gifts and you want to print labels for multiple different projects. You can do that too!
This is where it gets fun! Essentially Crafty offers printables in two formats: Instant Downloads (which are ready-to-print and not editable) and Customizable. This section will show you how to customize your labels and download the finished product for printing.