Saturday, June 14, 2014

Printing Classroom Decor at an Office Supply Store

I had my first Office Max printing experience this week and I thought I'd share some thoughts. The closest office supply store is 45 minutes away from me, so I was very new to this whole printing thing and I had questions. I couldn't really find the answers to my questions, so I found out for myself and wanted to share them in case someone else was wondering the same thing. 

I love the classroom decor sets that are sold on TPT. They are original and created by classroom teachers, so you know they are going to include what you really NEED for your room set up. 

I only had one problem - how would I print it all and get it to look as beautiful as it does on my computer screen? I decided professional printing would be the best way to get the results I was looking for. I was just a little unsure about the cost and how I would like the finished product compared to materials bought at the teachers supply store. 

I had 81 color pages printed on 80# card stock. 

It was a total of $53.46 for the color printing. I had a coupon for $15 off a $50 purchase, so that really helped to lower the cost. 

The first thing I noticed when I picked up my order was how vibrant the colors are! They are much brighter than what I was able to reproduce at home and they are an exact match to the colors on my computer screen.

Here is a little color comparison for you. The big card on the left was printed at Office Max and the little card was printed at home, both of them on card stock. You can see the color on the left is a lot more vibrant. 

The card stock quality is also much better than what I had at home to print on. This card stock had more of a glossy finish. 

What did $38.46 buy me? 

alphabet line cards 
number line cards
calendar set 

Was it worth the cost? I absolutely think so! I now have unique classroom decor and the exact pieces I need, not a lot of extras from a kit that I won't use. I did some comparison shopping and determined that this was actually cheaper than purchasing the same items at a teacher supply store. 

I also tried out the 11x17 poster prints while I was at it. 

The 8 posters I got were for VBS and they turned out great! I just had the images printed on a white background so they would stand out, but this would be perfect for printing classroom posters. They were at steal at $1.18 each. 

My tips for printing at an office supply store: 

  • Call first and talk to someone at the print desk. I found it much easier to get prices for products and services over the phone than online. 

  • Email your order. When you call be sure to get an email address. I first tried uploading my order online and the system said it wouldn't be ready until next Monday, but the lady I talked to at the store said an order that size order would be ready in 10 minutes! 

  • When I emailed I was able to give instructions on which pages I wanted printed from each file. That meant I saved a lot of money because I didn't have to print cover sheets or credit pages. With the online upload there is a way to do page exceptions, but I found the whole process to be very slow. 

  • Look for coupons. I chose which store I printed at based on who had a coupon this week. When I paid for my order I got another coupon for $10 off a $40 order that starts on Sunday. That's a good thing because I'm hooked on this! I don't want to print anything at home now!! 

Do you have any tips to share with me? 


  1. I don't really have any tips to share- other than always print things at an office supply store.I made posters in the 11x17 size last summer and was amazed at the color and details. It does add to the cost, but as you said, it's worth it! I even suggest doing this in my product descriptions at TpT!
    Teachers Are Terrific!

  2. Thanks for sharing, these are great tips. I always wondered about being able to specify exactly which pages you want printed. I am going to look in to this. I wonder if they ever puit printing prices on sale.

  3. This was a great post! I have been wanting to print of bunch of products that I have purchased in color but was afraid of what the cost would be! Thanks for sharing!


  4. Our closest office supply store is also 45 minutes away, so a couple of summers ago I used our local printing place. Printing on paper or card and regular or large size was the same price, so I did almost everything on 11x17 card. I agree, the quality was fantastic and it was way cheaper than buying ink cartridges!

  5. I've also taken my thumb drive in to have pages printed. They pulled my file right off of there. :)
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  6. I never thought about having my stuff professionally printed. I go through color ink like water.

    Teaching Powered by Caffeine

  7. This is great information. My district orders our supplies from Office Depot at a greatly reduced price so I always include 3 reams of white cardstock to my order. It is worth it for me to forgo something else (we only get $200 for the year). It is much better quality than what you can get at Walmart or Target. I can save at Staples when I take my own cardstock in too.

  8. Hi Courtney, I came over from your post at my blog. :) I am thinking I need to try some office store printing. I am spending so much on ink here at home! I am almost certain with coupons like you have, I could spend less and have someone else do most of the work (that is work something too!) We have an office depot and office max in town (about half an hour away), so I'll have to watch for those coupons! Thanks for sharing these good tips!


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