All Things Thrifty: at-home photo printing from a basic printer

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Happy Saturday!  This is my second All Things Thrifty post.  (Check out the first post here, where I talk about my favorite photo-editing programs and apps).  I thought Saturday would be a fun day to start a new blog series!  This is a  series I have been dreaming up for a while.  I would consider myself a very 'thrifty' person: I design for Practical Scrappers, which is all about being thrifty, regularly frequent thrift stores, and am always googling a "how to" so I can learn how to do something on my own.  I'm always dreaming of ways to "use what I got."  So I wanted to share this series with you in hopes you will think thrifty!
For this week's All Things Thrifty post, I wanted to share with you a tutorial on how to print photos at home using a basic printer.  (The above photo is a photo I printed using this process).  For this tutorial, I am using my Toshiba laptop and an HP Deskjet D1520 printer.  It's a tiny little printer that we purchased at Big Lots for $20!  The printer came with black and color cartridges.  We intended only to use this printer for printing here and there, but when I found out I could print photos on it, I used that baby like crazy!  I will say this almost every single All Things Thrifty post I write, but when you are on a budget and have little money to spend on fancy advanced machines, you will make do with what you have.  My purpose today is to show you that you don't need an expensive photo printer to print photos in the comfort of your own home.

Step 1: Pull out your printer, hook it up to your computer, and load your paper.  I used HP Advanced Photo Paper in glossy (purchased from a garage sale.  Thanks sis!).

**On the computer**
(Please note that these directions will differ depending on what operating system you are using.  However, for the most part, they should be roughly the same).

Step Two: Go to your Control Panel.  Under 'Hardware and Sound,' click on 'View Devices and Printers.'

Step Three: Make sure your printer is set as the default printer.  You will know if it is set as your 'default printer,' by seeing a checkmark next to its icon.  (It should automatically be set as the 'default,' but if you need to set it, right click on the icon and click 'set as default.'  See the photo below for this).

Step Four:  Right click on the printer icon and select 'Printer properties.'  A box will pop up.

Step Five: Click on 'Advanced' then click on 'Printing Defaults...'  Another box will pop up.

Step Six: Click on 'Photo Printing Borderless' (or you can also choose 'Photo Printing with white borders' if you would like a white border around your photo.

Step Seven: **These options will differ depending on your preferences.  You can select different options for different qualities.  I will only go through the settings I use to print photos.**
In the 'Paper sizes' tab, select 'Borderless 4x6in. (tab).  In the 'Paper type' tab, select HP Premium Plus Photo Papers.  In the 'Print quality' tab, select 'Best.'  (This will give you the 'best' quality photo).  In the 'Print in grayscale' tab, make sure it says 'off.'  In the 'Orientation' tab, select 'landscape' or 'portrait' depending on the direction of your photo.  Finally, in the 'Photo fix' tab, select 'Basic' RLT photo fix.'  (You can also select 'off' or 'advanced' for this option.  Click on 'Apply' then 'OK' until you are out of all windows.  Close the Control Panel window.

**In Picasa**
(I used Picasa for my photo-editing program, but you can use the program that is already installed in your computer or another program.  Picasa is free to download and use).

Step Eight: Have the photo on the screen that you want to print.  Click on 'File' then 'Print...'  A window will pop up.

Step Nine: Everything should already be set from before, but in this window, you can select 'Shrink to Fit' or 'Crop to Fit,' add Border and Text Options, and the number of copies that you want.  For my photo, I switched it to 'Shrink to Fit' so the photo would not be cropped.

Step Ten: Click on 'Review' (if you'd like.  You don't have to review before printing).  Then click 'OK' and 'Print.'  Then your photo will print!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!  It may seem like a lot of steps at first, but it is so truly worth it if you want to print a few newer photos here and there to scrapbook.  Please remember that the quality may not be as good as printing your photos from a photo processing department or if you had a more advanced photo printer.  If you do use this tutorial, let me know what you think!

Kelster Jean

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  1. I need a new printer. Mine wouldn't hook to my computer anymore so I can only use the very basic photo sizes.


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