At montessorinature.com we sell digital files to help you save on shipping costs. There are options available for those who have no access to printers to print resources via online services such as Vistaprint.com, Moo.com or Staples.com.
The best cost-effective option for parents and homeschoolers is to print their cards and printables from home.
To avoid common printing issues, please follow these steps:
Keep in mind that you may have to adjust your printer to make sure it handles cardstock well and your printing size is correct. Do a test run before printing the whole set. When printing PDFs you need to adjust your printer settings.
- Open the PDF file with Adobe Acrobat Reader
- In the “Page Sizing & Handling” section, select “Shrink Oversized Pages.”
- In the “Orientation” sections, select “Auto portrait/landscape” if needed
- Check “Save ink/toner” (optional)
- Click “Advanced Print Setup”, select “Print As Image”.
- Click “Print”
- Print the document
If your PDF isn’t printing properly, it’s probably due to one of two issues:
You’re not using the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the PDF. Download it for free here on Adobe’s site (it’s available for both Mac or PC). Once you download and install Reader, open the PDF again.
You’re using a Mac, and your default PDF viewer isn’t Adobe Acrobat Reader. Macs use an application called Preview by default, which may not work 100% with all PDF files. If your Mac opens the PDF on Preview, follow these steps to open your PDF in Adobe Acrobat Reader instead:
- Make sure you have the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader installed
- Highlight the PDF you want to open
- Go to “File” at the top of your screen
- Choose “Open With”
- Select “Adobe Acrobat Reader”
There are two types of printers available for printing from home:
Inkjet printers and toners
- HP Envy 4520 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer with Mobile Printing, Instant Ink ready with HP 63 Black Tri-color Original Ink Cartridges, 2 Cartridges
- Brother MFC-J870DW Wireless Color Inkjet Printer with Scanner, Copier and Fax with 12 Pack Arthur Imaging New Compatible Ink Cartridge Replacement for Brother LC-103XL
Laser printer and toners
- Brother MFC-L3710CW Compact All-in-One Color LED Wireless Printer (with copier)
- Brother HL-L3210CW Compact Digital Color Printer (without copier)
Inkjet printers will do a great job with photos, however, if you are thinking
Inkjet printers will do a great job with photos, however, if you are thinking printables – your best option is to use a laser printer. Jet ink refills are significantly cheaper. However, you have to change them more often. ( I used to go through one set every month). You may need to change laser printer cartridges once a year. This also goes for quality. Laser printers will deliver much better, high-quality results, and their print is so much faster. Your printables and cards will look vibrant and gorgeous.
These are the printers I recommend. Inkjet printers will cost you less to buy but will be more expansive to run, and you won’t be as pleased with the quality of your finished product.
You may like to use cardstock for printing flashcards and printables. This will allow you to skip having to laminate your materials and allow your printables to last longer. If you are planning to use printables in the classroom, I recommend printing them cardstock and laminate anyway. This way your printables will look new for a very long time. For homeschoolers, it is often sufficient just to use cardstock. You can use regular white ( or color) paper for
- cutting strips
- students booklets coloring in
- coloring in pages
If you choose to print printables and cards of regular paper than laminating is a must.
You can find sustainable laminating pouches here. The Smart Pouches are ECO-Friendly have no harmful materials. They can also be recycled with no adverse effects on the environment.
You may also like to consider to find local services in the area that refill used printer cartridges. It will help to reduce waste and benefit the natural environment.
If you are looking for alternatives to laminating – you may like to check out vinyl pouches you can use to slide cards into. There are many different sizes to try. They are durable and will last a few years. I recommend these pouches for flashcards and these pouches for A4 worksheets and printables.
You can find a corner clipper here. This way little fingers won’t get pricked with sharp corners if you do need to laminate.
The bottom line, if you choose to print your printables with a colour laser printer you will need to invest a little bit more in the beginning, but at the end, you will get better quality materials, it will print with higher speed, and if you choose to use cardstock, you can avoid laminating. It will save you a significant amount of time.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me! Happy Printing!
This post contains affiliate links.