How to Print and Frame Digital Artwork and Prints
Art is one of the easiest ways to decorate your walls and add a little character to your home, but it can get super pricey. Especially if you buy a large, framed or original piece. Luckily, there are so many affordable options these days that will save you some pennies.
Now obviously these prints require a little more work before you can hang them up and enjoy them, but it’s worth it for the price in my opinion.
- At Home // This is of course your easiest option but probably only doable if you’re printing a small print. I recommend getting some standard card stock for your printer and you’ll be good to go. But please take note, some printers are super cheap, but cost blood and tears when you try to get extra ink. This industry is notorious for ripping people off in this way. So avoid printers that are too cheap (especially the $20 printers calling for your wallet at Walmart). I have made those mistakes, so to save you, I did an extensive research on various places to find printers that meet all the mentioned criteria. I found great two printers for less then $100 to recommend.
HP Envy 4500 Series ($80) – This one was named “the best inkjet printer” in many tech blogs and also number one best seller on Amazon. One strength of this printer is HP’s Instant Ink program, which asked you to pay small monthly fee (minimum $3) to have ink cartridges delivered to your home whenever it runs out. If you trust tech guys, go for this one.
Canon MG3620 ($80) – I’ve heard many good things about this printer. It’s been raved about by many Etsy shop owners. The quality of the color is just the best in the market. Another neat feature of this printer is auto-deplex. What is auto-duplex? It refers to those genius printers that can flip your paper and print both sides automatically. If you are lazy (like me), you will love this feature! However, ink cost might not be as good as HP. If you plan to print some stickers as well and you love the vivid colors of Etsy planner stickers, you will pick this one!
- Local Print Shop // Your local print shop should be able to print any size for you at a reasonable price. Tip – if you’re printing more than one print, arrange them in the same document to save some money!
- Staples // Staples is my go to for large black and white prints. You can order “engineering prints” online that are SO cheap. An 18×24 starts at $1.79, a 24×36 starts at $3.59 and a 36×48 starts at $7.29. They will also do color large scale printing but it just costs a little more.
Once you’ve got your print, there’s still a little more work to do. You could always leave it frameless and hang it from an old vintage hanger or another type of DIY frame. But there are some affordable options out there too.
- Framebridge // What I like about them is that you can email them a digital file, or you can mail them a physical print. Either way, you choose your frame and matting options and they do the rest.
- Simply Framed // Similar to Framebridge with options of sending in digital files or an actual print with free shipping both ways. Sizes range from 8×10 to 30×40.
- Craft Stores // I’ve framed a lot of prints on my own by just picking up a frame at Michaels, Hobby Lobby, A.C. Moore or Pat Catans. They also offer custom framing but sometimes it can be pricey. Some stores will just cut a mat for you if want your print to look a little more sophisticated. You can buy it from the store for a couple bucks and they might charge another couple bucks for a cutting fee.