Printers 12x12 or Order prints...???

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Printers 12x12 or Order prints...???

Ok ladies... Now is that time of year I am building my christmas wishlist...!! YAY!! I have for a while now wanted a 12x12 printer (mostly 13x17 but will print my 12x12 pics) and I have not heard much as to whether this is a good thing to get or not. A lot of gals I know that do digi just order from persnikity prints or shutterfly. Which is fine but I am not one who has much patience and I want the flexibility to print and do what I need when I need. What do you think about a personal printer vs ordering prints?


I don't know how much they cost, but I like to be able to print whatever I want whenever I want. So you might compare how many orders from shutterfly or wherever you would need to make to cover the cost of your printer and paper, and see if you can justify it. Or just buy it if you can afford to! smiley

Well, here's my first hand experience. I bought a Epson large format printer (R1800) and I do love the flexibility! With that being said, My two cents on the subject is: It can be very expensive to print your layouts and get them just right on your own printer. If you make a mistake then you've used twice as much ink having to print it again. It also depends on what look you really want from your layouts, too. Because then you have to account for the expense of the paper to print it on and the 12x12 or 13x19 nice printer papers aren't cheap.

I think printing somewhere like Persnickty when they have a 99 cent sale is the best route to go. There are many other sites that print too... some are a tad more, but none really run any less than the 99 cents per 12x12.

Now, you can always save up your layouts, plan up an entire album and print at shutterfly. This is probably what some consider most economical since you can put up to 60 or 80 pages in each album I think. The extras (any page above the 20 included) cost you approximately $1-1.25 each but you don't have to buy the scrapbook album to put the layouts in either. And the shutterfly type book album is going to take up less room than the standard scrapbook album on your shelf, too.

I haven't researched prices in the last 9 months to a year since I've had a couple health challenges... But this was my determination that last time I did. So unless the prices have gone way up... that's some basic info for you.

I tend to lean towards printing them during a 99 cent sale and using all the adorable scrapbook albums. I don't mind the extra $ for the extra personality instead of just the plain black albums. Although I think that you can pay a little extra and customize your album cover even at shutterfly.

Hope this was helpful in your decision making process MelissaKay! smiley

Hi Ladies. I am new to digi Scrapbooking and have a lot to learn. When you print your layouts what kind of finish do you opt for? Glossy or matte? I have done only a few pages and have had them printed out glossy. A friend suggested that maybe matte would be better. Any advice?

Some things to think about is no printing your 12x12 pages on photo paper. Instead you can get nice 12x12 card stock, textured or untextured. This way you can print at a lower resolution and save on paper and ink. Now print the pictures you want in the layout on some nice photo paper. You can either lay the pictures on your layout or cut out where the pictures should go and place the pictures underneath. This way you still get the full layout with nice pictures. It actually looks really nice.

As to glossy or matte paper for photos. It is a personal preference. The matte look has more texture to the paper, where the glossy has a flat smooth finish. For myself I like the glossy look. Print on both and decide which one you like.

I personally prefer the matte finish myself the best for two reasons: 1) They are less likely to end up with fingerprints all over them while I am inserting them into my page protectors; and 2) I still paper scrap a lot and I just simply love the "feel" of the matte finish paper (with the variety of papers you can have them print on) it just seems more like "in real life" scrapbook paper layouts to me.

I know a lot of others like the glossy look because they believe those prints look deeper or more rich in color finishing. So, I think it truly comes down to your personal preference of what appeals to your style most. Maybe you can try a few done in the matte finish prints on a variety of the printer papers that are available out there to see what makes you most happy. Good Luck! smiley

I have a Brother all-in-one printer that prints A3 size. Consumables are expensive. I buy paper when it's on special and never use compatible inks, only Brother inks.
My fav 'paper' is a Fine Art Pure Cotton Canvas but it only comes in A4 size.
I prefer the texture of matte but DH likes the gloss.

Be aware that if you run out of ink while doing the large prints it's a costly mistake and let your prints cure for 24 hours before doing anything with it.

I hardly use my printer for photos or's too expensive here in Denmark for inks. I usually refill them myself. For my layouts, i have them printed at Artscow and put into books by year. I do the same with the calendars for the grandparents. My printer gets used by the kids for homework and occasionally when i do some hybrid crafting.

I also use Artscow. They tend to give you "free" stuff (you still pay shipping). They are located in Hong Kong so it takes a while to get photo books shipped but they are well worth it. I have ordered several from there and one from Shutterfly. They both print beautiful books but I prefer the binding of the books from Artscow. Photo's don't seem to take as long to ship but I think it depends on the size of the package because it has to go through customs. They do offer single prints in several different sizes. Printing full color 12x12 pages can be very expensive when you consider the cost of paper and ink.

I've been thinking about this myselft for a while now and i found that the best solution for me is to do photobooks in 8x8 or 12x12... Haven't desided yet smiley But here in Sweden 12x12 isn't a standard so it's quite expensive.. And printing is really really expensive too so smiley

I use an HP that prints pictures real nice. When I am going to print pages I do so in 8 x 8. Or I create 8 x 11 pages, so I I can print. As to paper I like both, it just depends upon what I am printing.

I order photobooks on shutterfly. They have the best prices that I've seen so far especially if you wait for the 50% off coupons. They let you combine coupons too so if they are doing 50% off photobooks and you have a code for free shipping you get both. I thought about printing my pages individually, but when I did the math for it turns out it was more expensive. I do my books as 8x8 because they aren't as heavy to hold while you are looking at them and they fit on a standard book shelf. Now that shutterfly has the use as spread option for jpg I make my two page spread all in one file in photoshop (16x8). Oh, and shutterfly has a satisfaction guarantee which I've had to use only once in all the things that I've ordered.

@Tiffany: GREAT information for those of us that haven't used them at all or in a while. smiley So... tell us what you think about the quality...
-- Are the pages thick or Do they seem like they would tear easily if you let your children view them?
-- Are they glossy or matte? Do they retain fingerprints easily?
-- Which book binding do you like best that they offer?

Thanks for any extra info on the subject Tiffany!

I get the hardcover books (they do a softcover, but I wanted some substance). I don't have any kids to worry about looking through the books at the moment, but I got up to check and they certainly don't feel flimsy. Shutterfly does a satin finish on the pages, so they are a little shiny but it doesn't leave behind finger prints. They only have two binding types the normal one and then the premium lay flat book. The lay flat is a little pricey and I don't have that kind of money to spend although I would do it for our wedding reception book if I could.

@Tiffany: Thanks for the info!!! It's very helpful... smiley

Thanks everyone for all the great advice. It is so nice to be able to get advice and help! smiley

Thanks all for the information. I feel like Vivie from Denmark and Jessica from Sweden. I never printed my layouts in 12 x 12 before, I still don´t have layouts enough of the same theme (or money to order it :p). Here in Brazil we already have some services that do photo books on this size, and I know at least a couple of people very satisfied with them, although it´s not a deafult size here too.

What I did twice was print two of my layouts in 45x45 cms banners, in a graphic boreau that works only with large size prints. They look really awesome, and, printing a bit bigger shows better the details of photos, papers and elements. Printed like that, they make great home decor.

i want a printer soooo bad... i'm just afraid that the paper and ink will cost more in the long run than just printing at Persnikety Prints... I've heard about the Epson R2000 that it can print 12x12... but wow, $400! smiley i'd have to print like 200 pages just to make up the cost of the printer alone, not including ink and paper...

I have a color laser printer and recently printed autograph pages for our trip to Disneyland. It does tatke a lot of ink and ink is not cheap. I printed on medium cardstock and they printed great but I did have some issues with the printer getting too hot and the ink smearing a bit. I have heard that Cosco has some great prices and the photobooks come out really well. The other recommendation at a digi retreat was Shutterfly. I say a "lay flat" 8x8 book that one of the attendees had done, on heavy cardstock and matte from Shutterfly - it was really nice. I have both laser and color photo all in one printers and I personally would leave the printing up to the professionals. It's nice to get an idea on my printer but ultimately there is nothing better than a professionally printed produce. In the long run I feel that it is worth the cost - although ultimately I don't feel the cost is much different with either choice.

When I worked for the traditional scrapbooking company back in 2004-2005 I had to print layouts and we had a really nice Epson... I forget the model number... but I do recall that ink and paper cost hundreds of dollars in a very short period of time... and the printer would run out of ink in the middle of a page and the printer would stop working for no apparent reason and would take days and a repairman to fix... plus I like the quality of Shutterfly's prints... I've printed photos, scrapbooks, greeting cards, return address labels (got them on special and only had to pay the $2.99 in shipping) and calendars from them and I haven't had any issues on their end (my monitor's color profile is corrupt so the color on this screen and the actual printed color is a little different but that's a problem on my end and has nothing to do with Shutterfly...

I agree with Tiffany that it pays to wait till there is a sale and she is correct that you can "stack" coupons... I just bought two calendars, got them at 40% off and then got free shipping and I got 10 free christmas cards that I had previously designed... (used three different coupons on the same order) and because I ordered the free cards in an order over $30 I got free shipping on the whole thing so I didn't have to pay a single penny for the cards... Without the deals the cards can get pretty pricey if you're buying a lot of them, like buying slightly cheaper personalized hallmark cards... as opposed to buying the bargain box of fifty cards in walmart... but they're personalized and you can put stuff (ie words or pictures) on front, back and both sides of the inside... I get the matte finish on the cards... I've never tried a glossy card through Shutterfly so I can't compare but I have no complaints about the matte finish...

And there calendars are fantastic... I got a regular wall calendar and I got their desk calendar... The desk calendar is pretty sturdy and I think once you bend it back a bit it stays put... also the two "canvas" sizes are fairly compatible... I only had to move a few words that got cut off by the top binding and slightly crop the resized regular calendar topper for the desk calendar...

I've only ever gotten 8x8 books from them before but I'm currently designing a 12x12 book so I'll let you know how much heavier and bulkier the 12x12 is compared to the 8x8 when I get it in the mail.

Also for Steph who said she likes to be able to do what she needs to do when she wants to do it... my shipment didn't take long... I ordered on Black Friday and got them the following Tuesday. Also the calendars came in sealed resealable ziplock bags so if the package got wet the material inside would be protected which was a nice added comfort.

My family has had issues with our personal home printer not working or the ink never setting or the ink running out (never mind the cost of paper and ink) so I've decided it's more ecumenical for me personally to use Shutterfly and it generally comes with far less of a headache than trying to do it myself..

I'm glad I read this post! I'd been thinking about getting a larger printer for a while, but it looks like I'll stick to ordering my prints.

wow thanks for all the advice, I've been wondering this for a long while now. my "princess" side wanted to spend spend spend & buy a large format printer & whilst the printers are really cheap it's hard to find the price for replacing the ink which is where printer companies make their money. I love the flexibility of printing my own stuff but I've decided I like the professional prints best, nothing beats what their printers can do. Plus I'm suspicious of the "longevity" of the inks on home printers. Wonder what they'll look like in 50 years. hmmm. I've only printed on the office photocopier/colour printer & quality & paper is ok for the printing i was doing. For my stuff I'm going to try an Australian printing firm called Scrapbooking Printing. Their prices are $1.50 for over 20 prints plus postage. One of the ladies from Pickleberry Pop apparently has used them so I figure I'll give them a go. Now to go & make those 20 pages & stop getting distracted here.............

I just print 8x8 pictures and build around them or just mat them.

First I want to say thank you for posting and sharing your experiences. I have wanted a large format printer forever, now I'm glad I didn't invest in one. Thank you! Thank you!

Great post, it gives me a lot to think about. I mostly print my photos, than add to layouts. I have thought of printing 12X12 layouts, but did not like the cost.

Glad I read this before even looking into a printer! I think I'll stick to PP and Shutterfly.

I use an Epson Workforce (149.99 with free shipping). It prints sheets up to 13" x 19". I use easily refillable, resettable cartridges and archival ink that I buy on eBay. I've been using the same cartridges for 2 years and am still on my first stock of ink bottles (100 ml each) that cost $17.00 with free shipping. I print all of my own scrapbook paper and pages on either regular white card stock or tagboard that I find at Hobby Lobby and use my 40% off coupon. I also print my own photos using either Office Depot glossy photo paper (I've experimented a lot and find it's texture and color matching is closest) or Epson Matte paper. I can't imagine having photos printed by anyone else, but it's just because I've done it myself for so long. I love the freedom of being able to see a draft of what is going to print before I do the real thing too. Hope this hasn't muddied the waters for you. smiley

I never took the plunge- and I'm glad I didn't only because I then switched to 8x8 squares for scrapping, so I just print at Costco for a whopping 1.49 per page!

Very helpful, thank you!

Very helpful info - especially the 16x8 2 page thing. Thanks!