People use the computer as a scrapbooking tool, to great effect. A wide format printer-scanner, the other major component, is not something one finds in every home. Before investing in one, weigh the pros and cons and then consider some recommended options.
Large Format Printers
Large format printers appeal to both digital and traditional paper scrapbookers. Digital scrapbookers use these tools to print entire pages for their albums, while paper scrapbookers use them to print photos, journaling, and computer-generated accents for their layouts. Printers that also have scanning abilities are great for preparing memorabilia to add to a layout or for quickly converting a batch of old prints into an easy-to-use digital form.
Using a large format printer for scrapbooking has both advantages and disadvantages. It's important to research carefully to decide if the chosen printer is the right scrapbooking tool.
- The 12x12 size is the most popular option for scrapbook albums, printing entire layouts that simply slip into page protectors. Without a 12x12 printer, most scrapbookers either order prints of their digital pages from a photo processing service or print 8x8 layouts they attach to 12x12 cardstock before using in their albums.
- A large format printer provides greater flexibility when printing photos or making journaling blocks for traditional paper scrapbook layouts.
- Large format printers can be very handy for children who are working on school projects. Everything from science fair displays to art class posters can be printed on a large format printer with results that are comparable to a copy shop.
- A 12x12 printer scanner is significantly more expensive than a standard inkjet printer of comparable quality. Prices for most large format 12x12 printers start at $500, with many printers priced at well over $1,000.
- The photo paper for use in large format printers can be hard to find, especially in a rural area. It may then be necessary to order from an online source, which will require additional shipping and handling costs.
- All the printers are not able to print borderless pages on a 12x12 printer. Depending upon the model, it will be may be necessary to print on a 13x9 sheet and trim the page to size. This can result in a significant waste of paper, unless image editing software is used to print spare photos or 6x6 gift album pages with each 12x12 layout.
Buying a 12x12 Printer Scanner
If buying a 12x12 printer scanner seems a good idea, keep these three simple tips in mind while shopping for the right model.
Read Product Descriptions Carefully
Many companies advertise their printers are perfect for scrapbooking, but that doesn't necessarily mean they can accommodate 12x12 paper. Scrapbooking has become a popular craft, so companies often put this claim on their packages just to attract attention. In many cases, all they are referring to is that the ink prints more vibrantly than comparable models made by other companies.
In the digital scrapbooking community, HP and Epson large format printers are considered to be good high quality choices for crafting. CNET has a large format printer review tool that will quickly let you see the product details for various models.
Only Buy What Is Truly Needed
Unless regular scans of the full size 12x12 layouts are needed, it may be best to simply purchase a large format printer instead of a printer and scanner combination. While it's certainly convenient to have both tools in the same machine, this added feature comes with a significant cost. Save money by following the Scrap Jazz tutorial for how to stitch 12x12 layouts together on an 8x14 scanner.
Consider Ongoing Costs
Obviously, the cost of the printer itself is going to be important. However, the cost of ink and photo paper have also to be taken into consideration. Over the life of the printer, it is possible to end up spending more money on these items than the printer itself.
As a general rule of thumb, it's more economical to choose a printer with separate ink cartridges for each color instead of one black and one color ink cartridge. Then, a whole cartridge that has plenty of use in it does not have to be thrown away.
Some Options To Consider
Two reasonably priced scanner-printers rated as the best are listed below. Both can produce 12x12 borderless prints that scrapbook enthusiasts seek.
Epson Sure Color P400 Wide Format Inkjet Printers
The Epson SC P400 is a 13" wide scanner-printer widely accepted as the best for scrapbooks and art work. Its main features are:
- It is suitable for thick fine-art and roll paper printing up to 129" long for artwork or posters. Prints on different kinds of paper, including matt, glossy and photo sheets.
- It has eight pigment-based ink colors each with its own cartridge for easy replacement making maintenance cheap.
- It offers wired and wireless networking for printing possibilities anywhere at home for the whole family.
All these features are reflected in the cost which is $600 at Amazon.
Canon PIXMA PRO-100 Wireless1 Professional Inkjet
The Canon PRO100 is a cheaper option compared to Epson SC P400 and can be ordered for $500 from Canon directly. It is capable of producing up to 13"x 19"sized prints.
- It has 12 dye-based ink colors, and like the Canon can be replaced individually.
- It offers various connectivity options like Wi-Fi, ethernet, and USB.
- The printer has two trays, one at the rear for photo papers and fine-art, and a front tray for thicker cards and papers.
Large format printers call for a sizable investment. However they can add quality easily to show case cherished memories, or let the children impress the class with gallery quality posters and artwork.