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How to use printer as creative tool?
by: ajay pats

This article briefly summerizes creative use of printer.
What can you print on besides regular paper?

Take a field trip to your local office supply store and check out all the great media made for laser and ink jet printers. You can buy bordered paper, metallic paper, labels in all sizes, several different kinds of photo paper, T-shirt iron-ons, canvas, watercolor and linen finish paper. Want to print on something other than paper? Ive seen window clings (great for making your own holiday decorations) and shrink plastic that will go through the color printer (remember Shrinky Dinks?). Some papers are pretty expensive and youll only want to use it sparingly, but think small. For instance, I made a dozen invitations for a party and printed the text 6-up on some pretty paper. Then I cut them apart and layered them on the cards with other paper. I got a nice effect and only used 2 sheets of the expensive paper. Try office supply stores and discount stores for reasonably priced papers.

Think out of the paper box when it comes to using your printer! Ive had success with non-traditional paper like construction paper, paper bags cut to size (great for treasure hunts if you crumple them up) and road maps. Just be sure that your paper isnt too thick for the printer and test using manual feed first. Also, experiment with putting paper other than 8.5 x 11 size in the printer. The manual has instructions read them!

What can you do with this stuff?

Besides cards or elements for cards, I create my own stickers using special papers and a Xyron sticker maker (http://www.xyron.com). For under $10.00 you can buy a Xyron Create-A-Sticker that will take paper that is one-and-a-half inches wide big enough for labels and small stickers.You can buy Xyron machines that laminate and make stickers that are big enough to take a full sheet of paper that one is a favorite among scrapbookers. The Xyron products are also nice because they work without heat and dont require electricity or batteries.

Glossy photo paper comes in different weights. The lighter weights are great for projects besides photos. Ive used lighter weight paper for brochures, signs, calendars and greeting cards. If you havent printed on glossy paper, try it. You will be amazed at the difference in the color.

At the office supply store you can buy perforated card stock for business cards and postcards. The business cards are great for making games and gift tags. If you can find them, foldover business cards are wonderful to use as placecards. Be sure to check the clearance racks for holiday themes to put away for next year.

Sources and Resources

If youd like to check out some online sources for fun printer paper, your first stop should be http://www.paperdirect.com. This company sells everything from brochure paper to printable pillow-shaped boxes (think wedding favors). Their products are first quality and they have excellent customer service.

For some more unusual printer supplies, surf to http://www.specialty-printer-paper.com. Here you can find printable tattoo paper (what a great birthday party favor), ink jet puzzle paper and magnet paper. How about making photo magnets for the grandparents?

Hewlett-Packards creative website, http://www.printsville.com is loaded with great ideas (no doubt to make sure you run out of ink!) for you to use with any printer. There are always printable invitations and cards, crafts, photo ideas and more and its updated regularly.

About the Author

Ajay Patole is a qualified management professional working as sales manager and runs a site 'Venturemall',a cool hangout to play money games,buy and sell in auctions,date and photochat.It is available at URL http://venturemall.tripod.com and newsletter to rediscover true colors of life at http://www.topica.com/lists/venturemall.Also he runs a community 'Venturecon', for entrepreneurs which is available at URL http://groups.msn.com/venturecon.

 



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