1) Do I have to pay extra to bring my own paper? I went to a few places and generally they said it’s less if you bring your own paper but you have to make sure your paper works in their machines. I first bought 80lb feltweave cardstock and I couldn’t get it printed anywhere. It kept jamming in the machines. I think there are better digital press machines but you have to find a place that uses them.
2) Did anyone find it was cheaper to get the fancy paper from the printer? You can specify the type of paper you want (weight, finish, color, etc.) and the printer can get large sheets. The place I contacted said they would print what I needed on 40″x 26″ sheets. I went to a paper store and I bought the same paper but could only find that letter and legal size sheets. The printer was able to get larger sheets and print several to a sheet.
Most regular office supply stores carry a very limited stock of cardstock. For special orders they too have to run the paper store. I took a day off and went down to Xpedx. I ended up buying Neehah Sundance Felt., Stardream, and basis, cardstock. My copier/printer rep provided me with an approved media list and generally Mohawk, Neenah, Domtar, International Paper, Hammermill…are the normal brands recommended. I know several people have had issues printing on Stardream, Curious Metallic, and a few other cardstocks that they purchased online.
3) How much did you pay to have them printed? This is what I was quoted for 170 of each:
(170 total on felt coverstock 80lb)
I ended up printing my own on a Canon color laser printer 7660cdn. That said, not all color laser printers print the same quality. I read reviews and this one was rated highly for crisp text and graphics. I needed it to be able to print very fine lines since I used a fancy font and I chose each glyph in Adobe InDesign. (I have a color laser printer (about the same price and class) at work and it’s fine for printing Word documents and other color charts but it does not do nearly as well as my Canon at home.)
I had to test out a few different papers. The beautiful feltweave paper did not work. I ended up using a 80lb text metallic paper from Wausau papers for the invites and the response cards (both were adhered to Stardream metallic cardstock) and I used a 67lb bristol vellum finished cardstock from International Paper for my three inserts.
Another thing to keep in mind when printing your own is the cutting of the cards after they are printed. I printed them 2-up on letter sized paper. I have two fancy paper cutters a Carl and a $229 Dahle and the task was too daunting for me. I also tried doing the rotary blade and craft (xacto) knife with metal ruler and self-healing cutting mat. In the end I took it to an OfficeMax copy center where I knew they had special paper cutters. I was told that not all of your office supply store copy centers have the same type of paper cutters. This OfficeMax had one that they can program using exact measurements of your documents. It was $1.09 per cut (stacked).
The square used on the belly band is a sticker I designed in InDesign and uploaded to an online printing service (smartppress, printrunner, or psprint) and had them make 2×2 stickers. (Probably the best decision I made for this entire invitation process.)