Fun and Convenient
(Lots of pictures to show you!)
First off, welcome to the brand new article – All About Printables!
Printables have gained immense popularity in recent years, especially if you spend a lot of time online.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure.
Note: Click on the links in the Table of Contents below to find the topics. But I hope you keep reading, especially if you are new here, as it’s fun to know more about printables.
The article is based on my experience as a user and seller of printables.
Table of Contents
I first heard of printables from other bloggers years ago, such as Abby from Justagirlandherblog.
I am always amazed at how pretty their printables are. But, at the same time, I was wondering, how did they create the printable? What software did they use? How did they draw the piece of art?
That’s why I joined Abby’s mailing list as she taught about creating printables using Word. Honestly, it’s fascinating to see how you can use shapes, boxes, and lines to make a printable. And, I didn’t know that!
I tried to make a few using Word, Powerpoint, Picmonkey, etc. I was kind of disappointed with the designs. So, I either send them to the recycle bin or hide the files somewhere on the computer.
If you are new to the world of printables, you might be wondering…
What is printable?
A printable refers to a digital file or document that is designed to be printed on paper or other printable materials. You can use any graphic design software to create, such as Canva, Photoshop, or even Powerpoint, Word, etc.
Some of the software is only available online; it requires you to have internet access. Some are paid, while some are free.
The printables are also available in various formats, such as PDF, JPEG, or PNG files, which can be easily printed at home, at a print shop, or using online printing services.
When did the printable start? How did it become popular?
Let me admit that I don’t have the exact answer when the printable started. I’m not sure about you, but I haven’t heard of the word “printable” until recent years, especially with the emergence and popularity of blogs and websites.
Before the internet, printed materials were widely used using traditional printing methods, such as letterpress, offset printing, etc. These methods involved the use of physical plates, inks, and presses to transfer text or images onto paper. This can be time-consuming, costly, and limited options.
As I’m writing this, I still remember those days when I had to talk to the designers explaining to them what to put on the brochures, such as moving the check boxes or tweaking the lines, etc.
Honestly, it’s not easy and time-consuming. Plus, I had to check numerous times before printing. Otherwise, it’d be costly and a waste to print hundreds of copies.
However, things have changed so much and quickly, thanks to the internet and digital technology.
As mentioned above, printables refer to digital files that can be downloaded and printed from a computer and printer, especially with the widespread availability of home printers and the increasing use of the internet.
Printables have become increasingly popular and are used in various fields, for example, education, home décor, party planning, arts, crafts, organization, planning, business, and more. The printable is not just plain text or a boring document. It can include adorable and aesthetic images/clip art!
They were widespread even more during the lockdown, which we experienced in the last 2 years. For instance, educational printables were used to homeschool children.
Furthermore, the rise of online platforms, design software, and easy access to printers made it even easier for people to create and make printables that suit their needs. You can design, make changes and print as and when you want, not to mention you can personalize the printable whichever way you want it!
The pros and cons of printables
Let’s start with the pros of using printable.
Unleashing your creativity
If you love designing or have a flair for design, be it professional or amateurish, then use the printable as a blank canvas to design your heart out! From birthday cards, stickers to business planners, the options are endless.
Below is a sample of Christmas gift tags. You can make these yourself or purchase the done-for-you template. Click here to shop.
Easy to use and versatile
If you create the printable, you can personalize it to suit your style and the occasion. You have the flexibility to make changes. In addition, you can save the file and use it for your next project by changing the colors, text, fonts, designs, content etc, and you’ll have a brand-new printable to use or even sell!
You can even combine the printables and physical materials, such as cardstock, glue, washi tape, and more! Here is an example:
Convenient and instant
In the fast-paced world, people would love all things fast, easy, instant, and convenient. If there was a minute late, people would become impatient and perhaps, complain about why it takes so long.
Therefore, the beauty of printable is, with just a few clicks, people can download and print it right away from the comfort of their homes. No more waiting for delivery and shipping. It’s instant and great for any last-minute planning and gift-giving.
As I started my printable journey, I printed many, as you’ll see at the end of this article.
Note: The Halloween Planner is part of an exclusive bundle offer you’ll see after signing up.
Once you get printables, either free or paid, a single-page printable or a whole planner bundle, you will have the option to print what you need. Or, you can even choose to use it digitally.
Cons of printables
The kind of printer
Printables require a printer and printing supplies, such as ink, paper, cardstock, photo paper, laminator, binding machine, etc which may add to the overall cost and maintenance of using printables.
Have you ever experienced this? Choose the black and white option to print it instead of color, even if the printable is colorful. Even if you choose the color options, you’ll keep looking at the cartridge and wondering about the ink usage, hoping it won’t run out.
Alright, this may seem a little extreme, but you can also print at a printing shop. Some of the printables you see in the article here were printed using a home printer, while some of them were printed at a local stationery shop.
Honestly, the quality may vary depending on the printer and ink. The colors you see on the screen can be different from what you see on the printout. The colors on the screen are brighter, but the colors on the paper are a bit dull. This could be due to the ink being low.
Just take note of this if you do mind the color difference.
Let me show an example below:
Too convenient and easy
Even though people love its convenience, sometimes the “too easy” part can also cause some drawbacks. Once the printable is available for download, it’s hard to track how the users use it.
As content creators, we do our part to create things in the right way and state the terms clearly, be it for personal use or commercial use. I think this was one of the reasons that delayed my printable creations because I am not very sure if it’s okay to include the clip art. Or, do I play around using the boxes and lines only to create printable?
Before ending the first part of this long article, if the digital printables are this good,
Will they substitute printed materials?
Note: The printed materials here refer to physical copies, such as books, notebooks, planners, diaries, calendars, papers, cards, etc.
In short answer, I don’t think so, in my opinion. Digital printables are valuable and convenient alternatives to printed materials. I’d say digital printables supplement rather than completely replace the actual printed materials, at least, in the foreseeable future.
It’s like holding cash or cards. Having more cash than cards in the wallet would be a preferred choice, right?
There are certain situations where printed materials are still preferred or required, for example, official records, legal documents, and certain types of publications or books. Some individuals and organizations may still prefer printed materials, such as invoices, delivery notes, etc. Plus, if you are old school type like me, holding a physical copy of the book/paper feels real.
Other than printing the printables you see further down the article; I also printed many different types of PDFs. I once joined an online course and came with 50 pages of a colored workbook. I’d have chosen to print them in black and white as it’d be much cheaper.
However, I printed the workbook in colors and spent about MYR50 (about USD12). If the course provider got the workbook printed in physical copies in bulk quantities, perhaps the cost would be lower.
Besides, if I could get physical copies of some music scores and ebooks, they’d definitely be wonderful. However, I have been training myself to read them online or on mobile phone, tablet and computer. If this helps save on printing costs and download the materials instantly, then no complaints.
All in all, both digital and printed materials have their own unique advantages and limitations. Digital materials are more environmentally friendly, while printed materials serve as physical reminders or keepsakes.
So, people will continue to use both according to their specific needs and preferences.
What about you? What do you think?
In conclusion, the evolution of printables from traditional printing methods to modern digital printing has transformed the way we access, create, and use printed materials. Digital printing has brought so many options as mentioned above.
I love exploring different stationery, especially writing letter paper and bookmarks. Sometimes, I imagine making some stationery, despite the amateurish design.
I did this a while back. Found a designer and liked her watercolor style. And, she came up with the design as shown below.
I then went to a professional printing shop and got it printed as a physical product – a postcard. The shop has the option to print a few copies instead of bulk quantities.
I’m still pleased with the outcome to this day, holding an actual printable, from digital download to something physical. I found myself smiling as I typed this article, despite the scorching heat.
I believe this is the joy of using printables.
If you are not into making printables yourself, there are tons of them available online. Plus, you can find free printables and paid ones here on my blog and shop.
Click here to know more about Free Resources Library
If you are excited about making your own printables, then give it a try! With a plethora of printable materials available, the possibilities are huge! Just a heads up, you may be not sure of which cute graphics to choose from as there are far too many!
Alright, I hope you enjoyed the first part of the article so far.
The second part of the article is to share some of the printables I’ve made. Some are freebies that you can sign up for here to get into the library, some are exclusive to VIP email subscribers, and some are available for purchase in the printables shop.
Note: The paper I used is A4 size paper. The white borders on all 4 sides of the paper are visible.
Let me know your thoughts and favorites! 😊
The colored bookmarks are one of the first printables I made. I even laminated some of them. Honestly, when you look close enough, the pictures are not as crisp as they should be. I may be biased, but, they are still lovely. 😊
Creating something from scratch and turning it into something tangible, I believe, is the biggest joy.
The mandala bookmarks shown in the picture are small calendar, which you can purchase here. Since it’s a 2023 calendar, it’ll be retired in 2-3 months’ time.
Sign up here and grab the free bookmarks in the Free Resources Library.
Mother’s Day Card & Father’s Day Card Printables
I had kept the folded white cardstock for a long time, not knowing what to do with it. I then attached the Mother’s Day printable on top of the white cardstock, and voila, a new greeting card was done! Easy peasy 😊
The hardest part could be finding and designing the graphics. However, why not consider it a fun process, too? Don’t you think it’s easier than solving some difficult math questions?
As for the Father’s Day card, I made it a little complicated. First, I made the individual elements, such as the necktie, hearts, text, etc, cut them out, and attached them to the white cardstock.
As mentioned in the article above, you can combine printable and cardmaking/stationery supplies that you have, and turn them into greeting cards. Or, combine them in your journal or notebook.
Both of the cards are available for free without signing up!
Read more about Mother’s Day Card printable.
Printable letters/writing paper/snail mail
Oh, I love these letter writing papers! Not only are they easy to create, but they are also versatile. You can use them to write letters to yourself, family, friends, and loved ones. Or, use them to journal, doodle, plan, organize, jot down notes and thoughts, and more.
It’s easy to create because you can use your favorite images or graphics. The blue letter paper you see in the picture was actually a picture I took on the beach. The butterflies letter paper was an exclusive printable available to email subscribers in the email only.
The Tea Time Printable Stationery Paper Set of 3 (line, unlined and grid paper), as shown below, are the latest freebies!
Halloween banner printable
Even though we don’t celebrate Halloween, I always want to make some printables related to this. The only thing that I want to include is those adorable graphics, not spooky ones 😊
So, the first ever printable was a Halloween banner. Please click here to read the blog post and step-by-step tutorial. Use washi tape to hang the banner on the wall, cupboard, etc.
The Halloween-themed coloring banner, greeting card, gift tags (and planner, letters, digital washi tape) are an exclusive bundle offer at a pocket-friendly price. You’ll see this offer after you sign up here or click on the images below to sign up.
Printable Christmas Gift tags
I was surprised to see the colors on these gift tags were bright and vibrant. I got them printed on standard A4 size printing paper. It should look even better if you print them on sturdy cardstock.
You can see some pictures in the shop of how these gift tags look when attaching them to real gift bags. Click here to shop now!
Printable Easter Day card
Aren’t the rabbits adorable? These are coloring greeting cards, but you can also use them as coloring pages.
However, in this section, I’d like to show you the printing side of the printable.
Before printing, there are a few options for the setting. Always choose Actual Size in the Page Sizing & Handling section.
The Easter card I made in this example is 4×6”. Since it’s a folded card, the total length should be 8”. However, as you see the rulers in the picture, the sizes are slightly smaller. It is because the printing is set to “Fit” instead of “Actual Size”.
Though the size is smaller, it doesn’t affect the overall design, in my opinion. I can still color the greeting card, cut it out, and attach it to cardstock.
But, if you were to sell the printables, it’s best to show the differences.
What about printing the printable in “Actual Size”?
Below is the last printable sample of the long article…
Please click on the images to enlarge.
The actual printouts reflect the actual sizes of the cards, such as 4×6” greeting card, 4×6” postcard, and 5×7” greeting card, when the printing section was set to “Actual Size”.
I’ve been testing and printing many times (also with the help of other experts out there) and finally got these figured out. There were days I felt like giving up, and forgetting about creating greeting cards. Now, you don’t have to.
These pictures show you what they look like after printing them out.
(Please click on the images to enlarge.)
I attached the printout and the white cardstock and used the line as a guide to cut. The line is still visible to show you. Of course, you can omit the black line if you don’t want it to appear on the greeting card.
It’s exciting to see these printables come to fruition!
Plus, you can print as many as you want. What about printing some extra and using them as wall art decorations or putting the picture in a frame?
Phew! I certainly didn’t expect such a long-winded article. I hope you found the article “All About Printables” useful, practical, and entertaining. Thank you for reading!
Do you have any views about printables you would like to share? What do you think of printable? Will it substitute real printed copies?
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