Updated: Jul 31
We get asked this question a lot! I know it can be daunting trying to choose. Should I go with cheaper paper for my printables? Or should I choose something high-quality? What about cardstock? And what kind of printer do I need?
We can't really recommend printers or paper. Ultimately, that choice will be yours. But I can tell you what we use and what results we get, and hopefully that will help you decide.
We use an Epson Ecotank printer (ET2720).
What we like about it:
Instead of ink cartridges, it has refillable ink tanks. We can print A LOT of pages before we need to refill the tank. It has saved us a lot of money over our old inkjet printer that used cartridges.
This model (ET2720) loads paper from the back. It makes it easy-peasy to load and also when it comes time to flip the paper over and print on the back.
It takes cardstock. I have no idea if it is supposed to (based on the user specs) but I have used cardstock without issue.
It also takes thin vellum.
It prints true to color. My old printer struggled with bright reds and aqua blues, but with my Ecotank, pretty much what I see on my screen is what I see on the printed paper. We use the "Vivid" Setting.
It prints with thin, even margins, so when we flip something over to print on the back, it's easy to align.
What we don't like (or at least some things that can be a hassle):
We struggled with the wi-fi connection and ended up using the cord. It seemed to print faster that way.
It doesn't print to the edge of an 8.5x11 (letter size) piece of paper. Apparently, it does have some borderless features for other sizes, mainly photograph sizes. But I haven't been able to print letter-size paper borderless. So, I have to cut off the white margins when I print.
I believe other Ecotank models have borderless printing features, but you'll have to do some research.
Here's a look at the print settings we use (below). We do NOT check the save ink/toner box. We also use "Fit" as our Page Size option. However, if you are using A4 paper, you may need to adjust the settings. Under the "Properties" tab, we use the "Standard-Vivid" setting.
Paper & Cardstock
For everyday printing, we use Pen+Gear Brand Premium Bright Inkjet & Laser Paper and Pen+Gear Brand 110 lb. Cardstock. It should be noted that the cardstock says 110 lb., but it seems much lighter to me than other cardstocks of that weight. So, I would say it is comparable to maybe 85 or even 65 lb. in other brands of cardstock. We use paper to print junk journal papers & pages. We use cardstock for ephemera, cards, tags, folios, etc.--anything that you would want to have structure. Of course, you can print things in whatever way works best for you.
We use Pen+Gear products because they are easy to get (Walmart) and we print A LOT as you can imagine. However, if you're wanting to create a handmade keepsake journal, you may wish to explore other paper or cardstock options. Something to consider is if they will stand up over time.... perhaps you want acid-free or other features. It depends on the purpose and use of your journal.
Also, when we want REALLY good prints, we sometimes use Presentation Paper. It's a higher quality paper that usually prints nicely.
Here are some of the other papers we've used and liked. Keep in mind most of these are for INKJET printers (NOT laser toner printers).
Vellum (thin, translucent paper)
Printable Canvas Paper (yes, canvas like a painting)
Transparency Paper (yes, clear paper)
Premium Presentation Paper (matte)
To fill up our journal, we also use things like coffee-dyed papers, envelopes, doilies, etc. Watch our video to learn about things you can include in your junk journal.
We hope this information is helpful as you decide what type of printer & paper to use for your printables!