How to Print Quality Classroom Decor

So you’re ready to print classroom decor – tell me if this seems familiar:

So you’ve already picked out your classroom decor, and you’re ready to turn your classroom into the ideal learning environment. You’ve bought your essentials at Hobby Lobby and Target, you have a vision in your head, and you go to print your classroom decor set. You push print and hear the printer fire up as you take a sip of your coffee. You walk excitedly to the printer and find that your printed decor looks off. The good news is that the problem is fixable! Here are 3 steps to print the best quality decor:

*If you have unlimited copies at school, you can skip to step 3. Steps 1 and 2 are ways to save money if you print at home*

1. Get a Good Deal on Ink

When I print I like to buy my ink at bulk at Costco. I hate paying that much up front, but when I don’t have to buy any ink for a long time I always find that it’s worth it. If you don’t have a Costco or Sam’s membership, you should try out Onn. Ink from Wal-Mart. The ink is sold in remanufactured ink cartridges which allows them to sell the ink at a fraction of the HP ink cost.

Full disclosure I have only used  950XL and 951XL ink cartridges but I have been very impressed with the print quality. The first time I put the Onn. Ink into the printer I was in the middle of printing an alphabet line and when the print job finished I couldn’t tell the difference between letters printed with each cartridge.

When I began creating classroom decor I invested in buying the HP 8610 All in One Printer, because it is great at mass producing beautiful color copies. It’s been really helpful when I’ve needed to scan or fax a document as well. The printer has since been discontinued, so it’s outrageously expensive. If you need a reliable at home printer, I’ve heard incredible things about the HP Officejet Pro 8025 (Cheaper option) and the HP Officejet Pro 9025 (More expensive option) which are both variants of the printer that I have loved! At the time of writing this the Officejet 8025 is $50 off, and the Officejet 9025 is $100 off.

I like the HP printers because they offer a program known as instant ink. For the teacher that has limited resources for printing at school, this may be a great program to save money. The program mails you an ink cartridge when your ink is low for a monthly fee. Each plan allows for a certain number of pages to printed per month – but it doesn’t matter whether you are printing black and white or color copies.

Even better is the fact that there’s no contract or cancellation fee and you can change the subscription each month to reflect busy and slow printing times. Below is a breakdown of the monthly cost for HP printing. You can find out more about this program at HP’s website: HP Instant Ink Program

2. Buy Quality Paper

I would highly suggest using card stock for printing classroom decor. I typically buy bright white card stock from Wal-Mart because it’s one of the cheapest options I’ve found and works great. I’ve noticed a difference in color quality when printing on normal printer paper vs. card stock. Plus the card stock helps your decor last for many years! I also love this brand from Amazon. Your future self will thank you!

3. Change Your Printer Settings

Once you have your printer and ink you’re ready to print. Here are my favorite settings to maximize the beauty of printed classroom decor. To change these settings click on print, then select “Properties” as shown in the picture below.

When you click on “properties” you’ll see a screen like the one selected below. First change the “Paper Type” to Cardstock. Next, change the “Printer Quality” to best. Lastly, change the “Borderless” option to On. This allows the picture to take up the entire page meaning you can skip out on a lot of cutting for things like your alphabet and growth mindset posters. Unfortunately, not every printer can do this – but check to make sure!

As always my hope has been to help transform your classroom to be a home away from home. I hope these tips have helped guide you into maximizing the potential of your classroom decor. Let me know if there are any other ways I can help you make your classroom the room of your dreams. Happy printing 🙂

If you haven’t decided on which classroom decor to use for this school year, take a look at my Best Selling Classroom Decor Bundles to find a classroom theme that will transform your room into a home away from home 🙂