Printing Tips & Instructions

Hello! Thank you for downloading one of my digital printable files! These printing tips and instructions will hopefully help make printing fun and easy.

I allow all of my digital files to be professionally printed for your own individual use. You can download a print release here if your copy shop requires one.

I deliberately design all of my printable products to be as minimal as possible so you can customize them in a way that best meets your needs.

This post will cover supplies, materials, and tips for printing to help make the printing & cutting process as easy as possible for you to DIY at home.

For your convenience, I link to recommended tools and products for easy printing and cutting for different digital files. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. All earnings are directly reinvested into the creation of products, tutorials, and resources for you. Thank you for your support!

Supplies & Materials for DIY Printing

Printing at home is easy to do if you have a high quality printer that is fit for the job. You don’t need a state-of-the art printer, but for best quality results you will need full ink levels and enough paper to print on.

Choosing the Type of Paper for Printing

There are thousands of choices for paper, which means unlimited possibilities! Of course, unlimited possibilities can also be very confusing.

All of my writing prompt cards are formatted for a standard business card file size of 2 inches x 3.5 inches. This size is compatible with most standard office supply products for business card printing at home. This type of paper has perforations that make it easy to cut and separate each individual card.

If you don’t want to use business card paper, you can of course choose to print print the prompt cards on any type of colored or patterned paper you like and then cut them using a paper cutter.

This Westcott paper cutter is one of my best friends in my art room for cutting all sorts of things.

If you do a lot of paper cutting, you’ll also want to pick up a set of replacement blades to have as a backup just in case the blades would become dull in the middle of a project after extended use.

All of my digital files are formatted to be printed on a standard U.S. letter size piece of paper measuring 8.5 inches x 11 inches.

If you are a creative and artistic person, of course you can also print onto plain paper and decorate any printable item any way you like. I totally support drawing, doodling, painting, or collaging with any item you download!

Another option to explore is to print out the cards onto sticker paper, cut out from stickers and then affix them to larger and sturdier cards. This set of business card label sticker sheets are perfect for this!

Protecting Printed Items for Group Use

If you are printing on standard copy paper, laminating the sheets is an inexpensive option that will protect the cards from extended use by groups.

Amazon offers this inexpensive thermal laminator along with laminating pouches that can be a worthwhile investment if you frequently print items out for your personal or professional use.

If laminating, I recommend printing a test page first and laminating before cutting. If the cards are not thick enough for your liking, you can laminate the cards twice before cutting for extra strength or print onto a heavier cardstock weight paper.

Always be sure to follow the manufacturer instructions and safety precautions for any type of lamination machine you may use.

Another option to explore as an alternative to laminating prompt cards are individual business card protector sleeves such as these ones.

If you’re super thrifty and don’t want to run out to the store to get specific supplies for printing or laminating, you could also just use clear packing tape.

{Tape and I don’t get along very well, but I’m throwing it out as an option also in case you are way more coordinated and patient than me!}

Storage & Containers

There are plenty of great ways to store and organize your printable items. Here are some fun ideas for storing business card sized cards:

Rolodex Business Card Holder: This would be a super cute and easy way to always keep your prompt cards on display and within reach. Most rolodex systems come with sleeve protectors, so this can also be a good alternative to laminating cards.

MaxGear Wood Business Card Box: This beautiful and sturdy wood box would make an excellent home for your prompt cards.

Book Binder Rings: If you want to keep all of the cards together while easily flipping through them, book binder rings are another great choice for storage and portability.

You can of course also reuse and recycle any materials you might have around your house, such as storage tins, baskets, and containers you already have.

Another fun idea if you like to sew, crochet, or weave is to make a pouch or zipper bag to hold all of the cards.

For more supplies & other options for printing, cutting and storage, visit my Amazon storefront idea lists for my favorite supplies and materials!

Always Print a Test Page First!

I recommend printing a test page first before printing out multiple pages at once. Some printers may need calibrated before printing to make sure the lines and text are properly aligned with the paper.

Printer models and software can vary quite a bit between different manufacturers and computer operating systems. I recommend contacting the manufacturer of your printer with any specific questions when troubleshooting print errors.

Customizing the Design Files

Many of my products contain a plain text file or design source files you can use to customize for your own designs and needs.

For example, let’s say you download 300 Writing Prompts for Kids but you want to print them onto a circle shaped card instead of a rectangle shaped card.

The design files make this possible for you to do easily! Here are some of the type of file formats you may find in your download, depending on what product you purchase.

.txt files: Plain .txt files contain only the words, with no HTML or formatting embedded into the document. These are ideal for copy and pasting into any word processing or design software you like. All computers can open these files.

.pdf files: PDF files can be copy and pasted from, but may cause extra work for formatting. If you use any type of Adobe design software, such as Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop, or Adobe Acrobat DC you will be able to edit and change these files as you wish.

.jpg and .png files: These are image graphics that can be opened, used and edited with any type of photo software. Most .png files have a transparent background that you can use for creating your own digital designs.

.csv files: These are files that are most often used in spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, and Apple Numbers. This type of file allows you to easily do a data merge in Microsoft Office or Adobe InDesign so you don’t have to necessarily cut/paste/format every single item – just the first one!

.psd files: PSD files are layered templates which require Adobe Photoshop to open and use. Most templates should also be compatible with Adobe Photoshop Elements.

.indd files: These files can typically only be opened and easily edited in Adobe InDesign software program, which is part of the Creative Cloud suite of products. These files can be useful to have if you want to tweak individual cards or want to have items professionally printed at your local print shop.

Anytime you design something for printing, it is VERY important that you design for print resolution and not web resolution.

If editing in Photoshop or other Adobe products, be sure the resolution for any files you edit or design and save are set for a minimum print resolution of 300 PPI. This will help ensure a high quality print!

I hope these printing tips are helpful for you, and of course if you have any questions about printing or storage solutions I am happy to answer them.

You can reach me anytime via my contact form here.

I will continue to update this page with more ideas and tutorials as I think of them!