Print your own promotional merchandise

Print your own promotional merchandise

There are many costs involved in running a business and here at INKredible, we are always looking for ways to help you cut costs and save money.

Printing your own promotional merchandise, rather than going through a third party company, could save you a fortune. It will also allow you to have complete creative control over the design of your product.

Whether you're giving out calendars at tradeshows or handing out branded tote bags and t-shirts, promotional products are one of the best ways to get your company's name, logo and slogan out there.

Whilst printing your own mugs and umbrellas is out of the question (although that may not be all too far away, the way 3D printing is advancing), there are several promotional items that you can make yourself.

Printing your own items is a great option for smaller, start-up businesses that may not have the funds to bulk buy several hundred calendars. The ability to print them yourself also means that no money is wasted as you can print on demand, rather than ordering too few or too many items.

When designing any promotional material, it is important to consider what it says about your company. Think carefully about logo placement, the images you want to use and where your contact information will appear on the product.


Print a promo calendar

Firstly, chose a theme. Naturescapes are perfect for a calendar as they appeal to everyone. If your company sells cars, a car-themed calendar is obviously more appropriate, but be creative.

There are loads of free calendar templates online and once you have your images, you're good to go.

Make sure your printer is up to the job. Load up on black and coloured ink and high quality photo paper, as this will make it look more professional than just using thin card.

Before clicking print, ensure you have chosen a front cover, that your company logo appears somewhere on every page and that your contact details can be found somewhere on the product.

Bind the calendar and voila! You now have a printed promotional, personalised product.

Display these in your office for clients to take home with them (make sure you have one on the wall of every room too!) and take them to meetings and tradeshows to give away.

You can even turn calendars into a charity fundraiser – team up with a local charity and have a donation box next to your products in your reception area.


Tote bags

Tote bags are another great promo item and are becoming more and more popular as supermarkets start to charge for carrier bags.

Buy a few blank bags online and stock up on image transfer paper. Choose a design and print it onto the special paper – make sure your colour ink cartridge is full!
Take the tote bag (or t-shirt, as the same technique applies) and iron onto your product.

Promotional products don't have to cost your company a fortune so why not have a go at making your own this autumn?

A4 T-Shirt Transfer Paper

A4
10 Sheets/Pack
High Quality - Iron On
Quick Drying
From £4.20
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Kids Corner

Kids CornerWe are always on the lookout for DIY crafts for the kids.

HP has always got something new and exciting and its Pinterest page is a great place to start.
We picked a couple of our favourites to share with you.

Printable alphabet cards. This one is great for really little ones. Instead of coughing up £10 in the Early Learning Centre for some coloured alphabet cards, just load up your printer with ink and thin card and print your own! The cards have little illustrations on to help your little one learn.

The memory game. You remember this one – pairs of cards with images on the front and matching backs? You can print out a set of these cards from HP's website and, best of all, you can add your own images or photos!

T-shirt iron-ons. HP has a few images which make perfect iron-on transfers. Grab some special transfer paper, print out your image and iron on to a plain t-shirt. Voila, personalised clothing for your child.

 

A4 T-Shirt Transfer Paper

10 Iron-on Sheets (High Quality/Quick Dry) - A4

Available for:

Light/White Fabric
Dark Fabric
Glitter Effect

From £4.00
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Back to school printing ideas

Back to school printing ideas

The summer holiday has flown by and the kids are now back to school.

You've bought the uniforms and the latest 'cool' pencil case and calmed their first day back nerves.

Proving that they really do have something for every occasion, one of our favourite companies, HP, has a number of printing projects to get your little ones back in the mood for school.

Even after just six weeks off school, suddenly their uniforms no longer fit and they seem to have grown about three inches. Why not track their growth spurts with a printable height chart?

There are also a number of printable bookmarks available. Choose a family photo of a picture of their favourite character to brighten their day every time they open their book.

If your child is slightly prone to 'misplacing' their stuff, print out some funky labels with their name and class on to ensure that their possessions always find their way back – all you need is some label paper and a printer loaded with coloured ink!

All of these projects can be found online in the HP Creative Studio catalogue.


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Rainy day projects for kids

Rainy day projects for kids

For a while it looked like summer may actually have arrived. And then it started raining again.

If you too are sick of our soggy summer and countless weekends spent indoors working your way down the endless list of TV channels, trying to entertain the kids, why not try something a little different the next time your big plans get rained off?

We used to love treasure hunts when we were kids (who are we kidding, we still love them), so we thought that we would help you make one for your little ones, quickly, easily and most importantly, cheaply.

There are two main ways you can make a treasure hunt:


1.       Multiple clues that lead to a prize

2.       A treasure map

Option one is certainly the easier option but thanks to modern technology, option two can be done pretty simply.

If you are planning on making clues, simply type them up (make sure you number them!) and print them out.

The clues don't need to be complex if you have younger kids - 'Cold things are kept here', 'Where smelly socks go' and 'Books live here' will be explanatory enough to help your child move from one to clue to the next.

Leaving a mini prize with the next clue is a fun, by not necessary, option, but make sure there is something at the end of the treasure hunt to reward all their hard work.

If you fancy making a treasure map, instead of hand drawing a dodgy version of your garden or house, why not make one on your computer and print it out? Just load up your printer with paper and plenty of colour ink!

Go around the house and take photos of different locations were you could hide clues and then upload them, build a visual map of the treasure hunt.

Instead of specific clues, leave slightly more general ones as they will already be aware of the general location. If you wanted to make it really tricky, you could just take a photo of the door of the room accompanied by a clue.

Keep the kids (and yourself) occupied for an hour or so during the next rainy weekend and turn your house into a treasure island!

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Olympic challenge

Olympic Challenge

Unless you have been living in a cave for the last six months, you will be aware that London is currently hosting the biggest sporting event in the world.

If you were one of the lucky few to get a ticket, well done to you.

 

If you, like the rest of us, will be watching the games from the comfort of your living room/ sneaking peaks via iPlayer at work, there are ways you can be more involved in the Games.

The Olympic challenge is simple. Simple and fun and free. The best kind of fun is always free.You can take part in this at home with your kids, in uni halls with your mates or in the office.

There are 205 countries taking part in the Olympics this summer and over 17,000 athletes will be competing for Gold. 

Firstly, see who wants to be involved and decide if there is going to be any form of prize.

Secondly, chose countries for everyone to represent. Print of the names of the countries you would like to play with, so to speak. There is no need to print off all 205 as that would be a bit excessive, so find out which countries have the most athletes competing in the most sports.

Put all these countries into a hat/ bucket/ any form of container and get people to draw for the country they will be supporting.

Next, design and print out a table. This can be as simple or as complicated as you choose.

Organise the table by sporting events and countries.

As not every country will have an athlete in every competition, put ten or 15 sports on the chart but only allow competitors to pick five categories that their country is competing in. This will ensure that everyone stands a fair chance of winning.

For an additional fun element, print out Olympic themed stickers to stick on the chart for when someone wins a point. This is your chance to get creative!

Now you just need to watch the Games and make sure you record who gets a medal.

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Fun for all the family

Fun for all the family

According to the National Network of Child Care (NNCC) creativity is crucial to a child's development. Here at INKredible, we have come up with a number of easy craft projects that are fun for all the family and free!

Photo collages are a great way to get your kids involved in a craft project. Choose a variety of photos and print them out onto glossy photo paper. You could buy a picture frame for your collage, but you can always stick the photos right onto a large sheet of paper or card. Using the photos you have just printed, together with some scissors and glue, you will be able to create a unique and eye-catching collage. Why not make one for your latest holiday or a recent birthday?

Companies online sell personal calendars for around £15 but you can make your own for substantially less. Choose 12 photos to use and download a basic calendar from the internet. You can even edit the calendar to include family birthdays and special occasions. After printing, just hang on the wall and enjoy a different family photo every month!

Finally, try making a personal activity book for car journeys or rainy days. Blank colouring pictures, word searches and crosswords are easily found on the internet. If you are taking a trip to the seaside, personalise a crossword with words like 'beach', 'icecream', 'sandcastle' or even their name! Your child will find these much more engaging than shop-bought activities as they are personal and specific to their day out.

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Have an INKredible wedding

Have an INKredible wedding

With the average spend on a British wedding coming in at a staggering £18,500 (according to a few dodgy sites we came across on the web!), finding ways to make your money go further is a key concern for most brides. Printing your own wedding invitations could save you hundreds of pounds as the average spend on wedding stationery alone is an exorbitant £465. 

There are a number of benefits to printing your own invitations. Along with saving yourself a lot of money, you are guaranteed to be sending completely original and unique invitations. Investing in high quality paper, card or photo paper will give your wedding invitations a professional and high quality finish. The beauty of making your own invitations also means that you will be able to match your colour scheme perfectly and won’t have a last minute panic attack when the invitations arrive looking considerably more royal blue than navy. 

Homemade invites also give you completely free reign over the font you choose to use- many online invitation businesses only offer around ten different fonts. If you are having a themed wedding, you may well be able to find a font that typifies that theme (excuse the pun!). Using your own printer also allows you to print in colour or add photos or images, something that most companies will charge you extra for. 

Making your own wedding stationery gives you the option of adding additional material into the envelope before it is sent off so why not include any directions to venues, dietary concerns or even a photo of yourself and your future spouse.
 

Think it sounds like too much to do for one person? Enlist your bridal party to help you one evening - crack open a couple of bottles of wine and turn this project into a fun activity. 

After having saved yourself a small fortune so far, why stop there? By printing your own order of service, table numbers and place cards, you can ensure that all your wedding stationery is consistent without breaking the bank. After the wedding you can even use the same style of stationery to send out thank you letters without having to fork out even more money after your big day.

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How a printer can help you celebrate birthdays

How a printer can help you celebrate birthdays

Every time a friend or family member has a birthday you have to dash out to your local card store and buy something quirky from the likes of Hallmark etc right? Well not exactly.

While such firms undoubtedly make cards which are good quality and have funny messages which will make the birthday boy/girl blush like a bashful teenager, in this day and age the need to go out and buy cards really isn’t necessary.

Indeed, you can get all the cards you need for celebrations without ever having to leave the house. We’re not talking about those online services where the cards are posted to you here, nor are we advocating agoraphobia.

No what we are talking about is making your own cards using your laptop and PC and printing them yourself.

Now you might think that you won’t be able to do the project justice but there are printers out there which can handle the job with ease and leave you with fancy cards that the unsuspecting eye would think had been bought in a shop.

There are wide range of websites out there which enable you to design cards which can then be printed. Just type “printable birthday cards” into Google and you’ll soon find yourself spoilt for choice.

But you don’t just have to use the net to put your cards together. Some people will find that they have access to card designs as part of the software that came bundled with your computer. Microsoft Word 2010, for example, has some basic card designs which can be edited in seconds and sent straight to your printer.

If you want to get really creative though, programs like Adobe’s Photoshop will enable you to edit and design pictures and logos which can really bring your cards to life. Photoshop is an expensive piece of kit but if you’ve already got access to it because you’re a budding photographer then there is no reason why you shouldn’t utilise its capabilities.

One of the key things, though, is ensuring that your printer is up to the job. Most printers these days have options for printing colour documents but the quality differs greatly and when you’re giving the finished product to a loved one the last thing you want is for the colours to be faint or washed out.

It’s also a good idea to use a printer which facilitates double-sided printing. Yes you can print on one side and then put it back in upside down to print on the other, but trust us, that can often lead to mistakes being made and time being wasted.

It’s not just birthday cards you can make using a good quality printer. You can also print out items such as invitations if you are planning a party and if needed set up your printer so that it can print on banner paper, meaning that an eight foot banner saying “Happy 50th Margaret” can be knocked up in seconds.

Unfortunately you can’t print birthday cakes, well not yet anyway!

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