Taking advantage of sales on scrapbook paper is a great way to save money. However, if you can’t use the bulk stock as effectively as possible, then your purchase may be worthless. This is especially true if your computer printer places certain limitations on the type of scrapbook paper you can use.
If you own a standard ink jet printer, you really need to pay close attention to the type of scrapbook paper you buy. When selecting paper consider the weight. For example, a heavy-weight cardstock may not be compatible with your printer. Also, examine the paper’s texture. If the surface of the paper is too smooth, you may not get the desired printing results. Size is another big factor to consider. Some printers have a size limit you must adhere to in order for printing to take place, though there are ways to get around the size factor. For instance, if you are using cardstock, you may find it easier to feed the heavier scrapbook paper into a printer that loads from the top, rather than one which feeds paper through the machine from a bottom tray. If you are planning to use cardstock for a scrapbook cover or frame, you are better off getting a lighter weight version, especially if you don’t have a commercial grade printer. Heavy-weight cardstock usually impairs basic printers, as they can’t accommodate the thickness of the paper. To find out the maximum cardstock weight you can use in your particular printer, consult your owner’s manual. Most manuals feature paper weight guidelines and detail what could happen should you exceed the recommendations.
While you are experimenting with weight issues, you might also want to test different textured scrapbook paper in your printer. While textured paper can add beauty and visual interest to your layouts, it can also wreck havoc on your ink jet printer if you are not careful. Paper that is too rough or too smooth may yield disastrous results. For example, I once tried to print on vellum and my text and image smeared off as soon as I touched it. Deeply textured paper is also difficult to work with as text may print on raised areas, while the shallow areas remain blank.