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16 of the best printers for card making 2021

What to look for in a craft printer and a round-up of the best printers for printing on card, card making and hot foiling.

Best printer for card making and papercraft

Us crafters use printers for lots of different reasons. Printing photographs and mounting them on a card blank is one of the easiest and quickest ways to make cards. We print out sentiments, digi stamps, printables and colouring pages. We print out artwork for our craft areas and print templates so that we don’t need to figure out how to make the 3D models ourselves. We print invitations, tags for presents, inserts for cards and step-by-step instructions for when we don’t want to look at a screen. We print stencils for lino-cutting, screen-printing and painting, and we print pictures that we transfer onto wood. We print limited edition artwork for our Etsy shops, business cards, stickers and even print out designs that can be used with foiling machines. We print mood boards and inspiration for future art projects.

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Craft printer wall display Photo Credit Jonny Caspari

Many places, including here at Gathered, have lots of free resources for you to print at home and get creative with. It’s incredibly useful having a stash of free digi papers, that you can print out at any time without having to make a fully masked, socially distant visit to the shops.

It’s safe to say that having a good printer is essential for the small business owner, and for crafters, makes things a lot easier. The first thing you need to consider is what you will use your printer for. Perhaps, like me, you’ll use it for a bit of everything, or specifically, perhaps you want to know the best printer for 300 gsm card? Maybe you’re looking for a greeting card printer or a good all-rounder and the best printer for cardstock. Maybe you’re after a small craft printer that can print photographs for your scrapbook pages? Whatever the reason, we’ve got you covered.

Printer in craft room. Photo credit Evelyn Geissler

Can you print on card on a normal printer?

Not always! If your printer tray is underneath where the paper comes out, then the card will need to feed through the rollers, and the card will need to bend almost in half to get through the printer mechanism. This means that the printer rollers will need to grip onto the card firmly so that it doesn’t slip. The excess pressure caused by the thicker weight card means that a lot of printers just can’t do this.

To get around this, some printers have a second feed at the back. This is often just a flap that can be folded down, where you can manually feed the card through, one sheet at a time. Having this second feed at the back of the printer means the card does not need to bend in half to get around the rollers, and therefore can be gripped better by the printer mechanism.

Most printers can handle lightweight card up to around 125gsm, but if you want to print on thicker cardstock then you might want to consider looking at the best printer for cardstock.

Buy white card

White card - 220gsm card, Amazon. Best printer for card making

Buy now: £4.99, Amazon

This A4 card is 220 gsm in weight, which is an ideal weight for going through your printer. It’s sturdy enough to feel luxury, but not too thick that it can’t get around the rollers. There are 50 sheets in the pack, and it’s good value for money. There are over eight thousand reviews for this cardstock on Amazon, most being 4.5 or 5-star – check ’em out!

What to look for in a craft printer

There are a few key factors to consider when you are choosing the printer that is right for you:

Card weight

Do you want to print on card?

Do you want to print on photo paper?

Size

Do you want it to print A4 or A3?

How much space do you have?

Ink

Do you want to use it for hot foiling?

How expensive is the ink?

How much can you print before needing to replace the ink?

Does the machine take off-brand substitutes?

Extra features

Do you need a scanner?

Do you need wireless connectivity?

What to look for in a cardstock printer

A lot of print manufactures will proudly tell you how fast their printer can print. And that’s great if you need to print a lot and are up against the clock. But what is the best printer for cardstock? This is quite often overlooked in product descriptions and it can be frustrating to find that your brand-new printer will only print on 90gsm paper.

Speaking from experience as an artist and designer, I am far less interested in how many pages a printer can spew out in a minute (and let’s face it, they’re all pretty fast these days) than I am the quality of the print, and what type of card it can print on. The last thing I want to be doing is backing all my designs onto card using a Pritt Stick. It may seem obvious, but the main thing you want to look for (aside from budget) is whether or not it can print on cardstock. If you do a lot of hand-drawn art that you want to scan in (and perhaps sell as prints for a side hustle), then you’ll also want one that has a scanner.

Use printers for selling art prints. Photo credit Elena Mozhvilo

Next, you will want to think about the paper size. Are you happy with A4 or would you prefer something that can print 12×12″ for scrapbooking? If it’s the latter, then you will want an A3 printer. Not sure about paper sizes? Take a look at our simple explanation of the basic card sizes.

If you know you have a big project involving a lot of printing (for example, wedding invitations), then you might want to think about tray capacity. How many sheets can the printer hold? It’s not the end of the world if it’s only got a small capacity, you’ll just need to refill it more often.

Technology has advanced a lot since the turn of the millennium, and printers are no different. Most now offer wireless connectivity and automatic software updates as well as computer-free printing via smartphone and USB connectivity. If you have a new mac without the USB ports or are planning to use it with a tablet or smartphone, then a wireless printer is the way to go (or you’ll need to get a USB adaptor).

All the best home offices need an office manager - best printer for card making
All the best home offices need an office manager

Print quality and ink is a big one. 300dpi (dots per inch) at 2480 x 3508 pixels is the recommended print resolution for printing on A4, so you will want a printer that can handle this. If you’re looking at A3 printers, then at 300dpi again (remember, its dots per inch so you do not need to double this to 600dpi when printing at A3) you’ll want a printer that can handle 3508 x 4961 pixels.

Ink, of course, is a consumable, so you’ll likely get through many ink cartridges in the printers lifetime. Some printers are only compatible with their own brand of ink, which makes replacing ink expensive (and let’s face it – annoying), while others are compatible with cheaper off-brand substitutes that are just as good.

Canon TS9521C Wireless Craft Printer

What type of printer do you need for foiling? If you’re looking at using your printer for use with hot foiling systems, then you’ll want a different printer altogether – a monochrome laserjet. As you’re foiling your designs, you’ll be covering up the ink with foil. So, although you can get colour laserjet printers, I do not recommend them for hot foiling. It’s much more economical to go for a good monochrome (black and white) laserjet printer that prints onto card.

You can not use inkjet printers for foiling, as the ink on your printed page needs to react to the heat of passing through your foiling machine. The ink in inkjet printers is not heat-reactive, so you’ll need one that uses laser printer ink for the foil to stick to. This is why the paper from laserjet printers feels nice and warm when it comes out of the machine!

Best printer for card making 

  • Canon TS9550 Wireless Crafting Printer
  • Epson EcoTank ET-2750 A4 Printer
  • Epson Workforce WF-7840 Printer
  • Canon PIXMA Pro 200 Printer
  • HP Envy 6032 All-In-One Wireless Printer
  • Brother MFC-J1300DW A4 Printer
  • Canon PIXMA iX6850 Printer

Best printer for hot foiling

  • Brother HL-L2300D Monochrome Laser Printer
  • Xerox B325 Laser Printer
  • HP LaserJet Pro M404dn Printer

Something a little different

  • Phomemo M02 Mini Thermal Printer
  • Canon Selphy Square QX10 Printer
  • Brother VC-500W Wireless Design n’ Craft Printer
  • LaserPecker1 Engraver
  • KiiPix Smartphone Printer
  • Selpic P1 Handheld Printer

Best printer for card making

1

Canon PIXMA TS9550 Wireless Crafting Printer

Canon TS9521C Wireless Crafting printer

Due back in stock soon, keep an eye on Amazon here

The Canon PIXMA TS9550 printer series is often hailed as ‘the crafting printer’, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a borderless printer, printing up to A3 in size,  and it’s also a scanner and copier. But what I really love about this printer is its compatibility with 12″ x 12″ papers, which makes it hands down, the best printer for scrapbookers. It’s WiFi-enabled, but you can also print directly from memory cards (there’s a slot in the front for memory cards) or from your smartphone and tablet. It takes cardstock and photo paper up to 300gsm easily and even has built-in patterns for you to create your own patterned paper straight from the machine (you can see this in the image above), and can print double-sided. Although this is an A3 printer, it only has the footprint of an A4 machine, so it’s not going to overwhelm small spaces. This does however mean that the scanner is only A4 size, so keep that in mind if you want to scan artwork larger than A4 size. It takes five ink cartridges, two of which are black (this is welcome as I get through black much quicker than any other colour ink) and it costs around £20 for a replacement pack of all five inks – which is not bad at all. Overall – this is a great choice of printer and my number one printer choice for printing on cardstock.

There are stock shortages on this printer (perhaps because it’s fabulous, perhaps because of COVID), but as I write this (November 2021) it is not discontinued and Amazon are expecting it back in stock.

2

Epson EcoTank ET-2750 A4

Epson EcoTank ET-2750 A4 Printer - best printer for card making

Buy now: £259.99 NOW 239.99, Amazon

Want to do your bit in helping to save the planet? The EcoTank from Epson does exactly what you might expect it to from the name. It uses ultra-high-capacity ink tanks to completely remove the need for cartridges – and you can go up to three years (three years!) without buying more ink. This printer has an extremely low cost-per-page and produces 14,000 pages in black and 5,200 in colour with the included ink. The ink comes in bottles, and thanks to the front ink level display, you can physically see when it’s finally due for a refill. The pigment black and dye colour inks produce prints with crisp, clear text and vivid colours, so it’s a really good option for crafters with a side hustle. And yes – it prints on card, too – up to 300 g/m2.

3

Epson Workforce WF-7840 Printer

Epson Workforce WF-7840 printer - best printer for card making

Buy now: £259.99 NOW £239.40, Amazon

The Epson Workforce WF-7840 is another all-in-one printer and is able to scan, copy, print and fax. It prints slightly larger than A3 if needed, which is brilliant for scrapbookers – and the 10.9cm colour touchscreen is a nice feature that makes it more user friendly. It offers double-sided (duplex) printing, scanning and faxing all up to A3+, and its automatic document feeder can process up to 50 double-sided A3+ pages. This printer is also compatible with individual inks which are 50% more efficient compared to tri-colour cartridges, and importantly, helps to keep costs down. It has three paper trays to accommodate a range of speciality papers, including photo paper and cardstock up to 255g/m2. You can connect via wired ethernet cable, but it also offers a wireless connection and is compatible with smartphones and tablets. It takes Epson’s quick-drying Durabrite Ultra Ink, which is water, smudge and highlighter resistant, making it a good choice for using with digi-stamps or printable colouring pages.

4

Canon PIXMA Pro 200 Printer

Canon Pixma Pro-200 - best printer for card making

Buy now: £449, Wex Photo & Video

Another in the Canon PIXMA range, the PIXMA Pro 200 is a great choice for photo enthusiasts, as it prints at professional photo lab quality. Printing up to borderless A3 in size, it’s the best printer for anyone wanting to sell art prints or batch-made greetings cards. It also has fine art and panorama options so you can focus on finding the perfect shot. It stores up to 150 sheets in the tray, but also has a manual feeder for cardstock up to an impressive 380g/m2 (0.6mm) making this a great choice for artists as well as crafters. It even has a third feed option – a multipurpose tray that can be used for printing directly onto discs, or even nail stickers!

Connectivity-wise, it has all the usual options of connecting via wired or wireless methods, as well as with smartphones and tablets. It takes 8 ink cartridges (black, grey, light grey, cyan, photo cyan, magenta, photo magenta and yellow), making this a pricier option, but in terms of photo printing, this printer is top-of-the-range and worth the investment, especially if you’re selling your work.

5

HP Envy 6032 All-In-One Wireless Printer

HP ENVY 6032 WiFi Double Sided printer - best printer for card making

Buy now: £76.12, Amazon

If you’re looking for something cheap and cheerful, then the HP Envy 6032 is a good place to start. It comes with 5 months instant ink, which although may take a little longer than usual to be delivered given the current situation, is time-saving and gives us one less thing to worry about. Just make sure you take up the offer straight away once you get your machine as the offer has quite a short window (around 7 days from purchase).

Instant Ink is HP’s ink delivery service – once you sign up, your machine will automatically reorder when you’re running low and it will be delivered to your door. It should be noted, however, that this machine does not take ink substitutes, it will only work with cartridges that have the original HP electronic circuitry. That said, however – the HP cartridges are not expensive; it takes one colour and one black cartridge at around £10 each and HP also offer a recycling service.

The lower price point of the machine means that it doesn’t have an LCD control panel like some of the others, but it still offers an all-in-one machine that prints, scans and copies at A4. Wireless or wired, it is compatible with smartphones and tablets via the HP app, and it can print on cardstock up to 200 g/m2 and photo paper up to 300 g/m2.

6

Brother MFC-J1300DW A4 wireless printer

Brother MFC-J1300DW A4 Wireless printer - best printer for card making

Buy now: £314.99, Amazon

The Brother MFC-J1300DW Printer is a (relatively) compact A4 printer, scanner, copier and fax machine all rolled into one. It takes up to 150 sheets of paper in the main tray, but also has a manual feed for speciality papers and cardstock as well as a 20 sheet automatic document feeder. You can also print directly from USBs, which is a brilliant feature for crafters (I’m thinking of all those Create & Craft USBs stuffed full of digi papers). This printer prints on cardstock up to 220g/m2 (grams per metre squared, which is another way to write GSM), as well as glossy paper and photo paper.

The box includes up to 1 year of inks, and what’s particularly nice about these inks, is that they have been made with re-engineered ink tanks, making this one of the most economical printers in its class (at the moment). And just to prove it – this printer has the green Climate Pledge Friendly badge on Amazon.

7

Canon PIXMA iX6850 Printer

Canon PIXMA iX6850 printer - best printer for card making

Buy now: £284.88 NOW £265.88, Amazon

Print up to A3 at an impressive 9600 x 2400 DPI print resolution with the Canon PIXMA iC6850. Like all the printers in this list, you can choose between wired ethernet connectivity or wireless printing from your computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet. It has a 150-sheet tray capacity and can support photo paper up to 300g/m2. I should note that this printer does not have an SD card or USB slot, so if you’re printing craft papers or templates from USBs, you’ll need to interface with a computer or laptop first. Also – if you want double-sided, or duplex printing you’ll need to do it manually as the machine doesn’t support automatic duplex printing. That said, the print quality is excellent, and given it’s an A3 printer, it takes up a remarkably small footprint.

Best printer for hot foiling

8

Brother HL-L2300D Monochrome Laser Printer

Brother HL-L2300D Monochrome Laser Printer - Best Printer for Hot Foiling

RRP £142.80 NOW £129.99, Amazon

The Brother HL-L2300D is a compact A4 monochrome (black and white) laser printer with wireless connectivity. It prints quietly so is ideal for the home office of 2022, but crucially for those of us who want the best printer for hot foil – it prints on cardstock of up to 230g/m2. This means that you’ll be able to make high-quality hot foil prints that are not going to crumple as easily, preserving your artwork and giving a much more professional finish. It takes one standard toner cartridge, black ink, that costs around £30 with a page yield of 1200 pages. But it’s important to remember you get a lot more printing from your laser printers than you do inkjets – so one cartridge goes a long way.

9

Xerox B325 Monochrome laser printer

The best printers for printing on card - the Xerox B235 printer, Amazon

Buy now: £197.84, Amazon

Like we often say, to hoover something – when we really mean vacuum, it’s not unusual to hear someone say they’re going to xerox something when we really mean to photocopy. Founded in 1906, Xerox has had well over a century to establish itself in our language. And so, included in the line-up for best printers for hot foiling, is the Xerox B325 multifunction printer. If you want to do away with computers altogether (I definitely feel like that some days!) and want to create hand-drawn hot foil projects, then all you need do is photocopy your creation with a laser copier like this one, and the copy will be ready to be foiled.

This black and white machine prints onto a variety of different media types, including plain paper, cardstock, transparency, envelopes, thick envelopes and more, so you can foil away without worry. And of course, it hooks up to your computer too, via ethernet or wireless if you do want to print out digital designs to use with your hot foil machine. It also scans and faxes as well as all the usual functions you would come to expect from an established brand like Xerox (although it does not offer automatic double-sided scanning). It comes with a pre-installed starter cartridge with a yield of 1200 pages.

The Xerox B325 is the latest model of the discontinued B215 (which is also recommended if you can get your hands on it).

10

HP LaserJet Pro M404dn Monochrome Printer

HP LaserJet Pro M404dn Printer - Best printer for Hot Foiling

Buy now: £293.99 NOW £234.99, Amazon

The HP LaserJet Pro series has long been the go-to printer for use with hot foil machines. The M404dn is a monochrome (black and white) printer that takes cardstock of up to 200g/m2 in Tray 1, so it’s a good option for using with hot foil systems. Like the inkjet HP printer featured above, this HP LaserJet Pro will only function with genuine HP toner cartridges. But unlike the inkjet, toner for this model is expensive – you’ll need the HP 59A Black Original LaserJet Toner Cartridge, which comes in with an RRP of a cool £112.99 (or £89.47 on Amazon). That said – you do get a page yield of 3000 pages, so – swings and roundabouts?

Something a little different

11

Phomemo M02 Mini Thermal Printer

Phomemo Mini Thermal Printer, Amazon - best printer for card making

Buy now: £41.99, Amazon

This is a nice little black and white printer, and it comes in at a brilliant price point. It’s the ideal Christmas or birthday gift for your crafty friends and fits neatly in the palm of your hand. Weighing just 190g, it’s brilliant for taking to scrapbooking meet-ups, and requires only three steps to print. It operates via the Phomemo app, where you can easily insert texts or upload images to the app with a user-friendly interface. There are also various templates available, as well as different types of paper to print on.

This craft printer uses ink-free thermal printing, generating patterns on the thermal paper by heating, requiring no ink or any other consumables apart from the paper itself. This mini printer offers printing quality in 203 dpi for black & white texts and images (it does not print in colour), and is great for scrapbooking or journaling as you can also use it to make stickers! It’s rechargeable, and will work continuously for 8 hours – but also while charging, so no need to worry if you get caught out with a flat battery. There are a huge range of different papers available in different colours, even gold, transparent and semi-transparent – brilliant if you want to create your own black and white washi stickers at home.

12

Canon Selphy Square QX10 Printer

Canon Selphy Square QX10 printer - best printer for card making

Buy now: £149, Amazon

Polaroid-style photos have been popular for years, and this trend shows no sign of slowing down. Great for scrapbooking, handmade cards or even decorating uni accommodation, the Canon Selphy Square QX10 Printer also makes a lovely gift in itself. Available in mint (pictured), pink, black or white, this palm-sized gadget connects wirelessly to your smartphone to print square 2.7″ x 2.7″ prints (68mm x 68mm), which last up to 100 years (although this hasn’t been tested!). It charges via USB and uses the Selphy Photo Layout App where you can also add stamps, filters, borders, text and overlays to your photos. It’s worth checking the price of the different colours of this craft printer – as you can often make big savings by choosing a different colour.

13

Brother VC-500W Wireless Design n’ Craft Printer

Brother Design n' Craft printer - best printer for card making

Buy now: £187.19, The Barcode Warehouse

Take your craft projects to the next level with this super-portable Design ‘n’ Craft colour label printer. The printer works with a free app where you can create and print your own unique designs all in full colour on glossy adhesive paper. Choose from hundreds of icons, frames, filters, fonts and brilliant backgrounds in the free app, or print photos directly from your camera roll. With five different roll widths available, this little gadget is a really versatile product, ideal for card making, journaling, scrapbooking, home decor and, of course, organising all your crafty storage. There’s no ink required as it uses Zero Ink (or ZINK) technology, where the ink is included within the rolls, so you can avoid having to buy and change ink cartridges. The Brother Design ‘n’ Craft Printer is a fun addition to your craft room and makes printing pocket-sized photos a piece of cake.

14

LaserPecker 1

Best printers for craft - LaserPecker 1 - best printer for card making

Buy now: £269, Amazon

Okay, okay, okay. So I know this isn’t technically a printer – but look how cool it is! This tiny gadget is the LaserPecker 1 – essentially a mini engraver. It’s operated via an app where you can upload a picture, type text, or a G-code file and engrave your design with a blue laser. Due to the small work area, it can only work with sizes up to 3.9’’x 3.9’’, but this makes it ideal for craft projects and making decorations on items like wallets, notebooks, and phone cases. And if you’re worried about safety, it comes with various safety features including goggles, a password lock, motion detection, laser indicator and overheat shut down. It has a 0.01mm accuracy – so you can get super fine details, and it will engrave onto paper, card, leather, bamboo, wood, cork, plastic, cloth, felt, acrylic – even fruit peel!

15

KiiPix Smartphone Printer

KiiPix smartphone printer - best printer for card making

Buy now: £40.00, Urban Outfitters

The KiiPix Smartphone Printer is unique in that it doesn’t need battery or mains power to work. You simply choose which photo you would like to print, load it up on your phone so that it fills the screen, turn your screen brightness up all the way, pop your phone face down on the top of the KiiPix, push the button and turn the crank. The photo slides out the side and will develop in a few seconds. The film is sold separately, but with such a low price point for the device itself makes this a great little printer for brightening up your papercraft. And as a bonus, you can often pick this up from high street stores.

16

Selpic P1 Handheld Printer

Selpic P1 handheld printer

Buy now: $199, Selpic.com

The Selpic P1 is the worlds smallest handheld printer. This nifty little gadget will print on almost any smooth surface, including card, leather, plastic, glass, canvas and even wood! The printer is controlled via an app, and it works using inkjet technology but operates like a pen. As you sweep the Selpic P1 over your surface, the printer will transfer your text, barcode, QR codes, logos, line art, even monochrome photos. There are 8 different colours of ink to choose from, and as it only prints in one colour I recommend going for the black ink. Useful for adding sentiments to cards!


Introductory photos by Jonny Caspari, Evelyn Geissler, Elana Mozhvilo


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We hope you’ve enjoyed our round-up of the best printers for cardmaking. If you’re after more tech gadgets to help you out in your crafting, check out the best drawing apps for iPad, the best drawing tablets for beginners or the best daylight lamps for those long winter nights.