Craft Tech Week: Printers (the truth and a giveaway)

Printers. Everyone has their favorites. And on Monday Renee asked me about mine!

Well Renee… I am happy to answer your question.Well, at least about the photo printers. There is a show this season that will walk you through my favorite photo gadgets, organizers, and online printing options. But I wanted to share my favorite printers. (including giving one away!)

I have to start by saying that I am a bit of a printer hoarder. I LOVE printers. I know that sounds odd.. but I do. And the truth is that printer technology has really come a long way. There are endless options for great printers. This list is not meant to be exclusive. But it is what you will find when you come to my studio. And working for years in publishing, I have had the opportunity to test many brands and models of printers over the years. And that hands on experience is what lead me to the printers I chose to spend my money on.Finally… I do have to disclose that I own more printers than the average person. As you will read below… I do think that a serious photog should have at least two printers in their arsenal. But YOU know best what your needs are and you should purchase accordingly.

1. EPSON: Picture Mate Personal Photo Lab

This is a desktop 4×6 printer. This is actually my favorite printer. If I had to give up all but one… believe it or not.. this would be the one I would keep.

The pictures are lab quality if not better. The price per print is great. (especially if you do some shopping around)

And for me, MOST of the pictures I need to print are in the 4×6 size.

I happen to own an older model – have had it for more than 6 years, and it is still printing as good as it did day one.  Just because it is a 4×6 photo printer doesn’t mean that I only print pictures! I often trim down cardstock, transparency sheets, even canvas to 4×6 and run it through. It is the PERFECT size for journaling cards, greeting card sentiments and other small bits of text. Can be used with or without a computer as it includes a card reader. I use this printer to print out digital party invites for most of my kids parties! This is a fun and flexible tool that any photo crafter would love.

2. EPSON: Stylus Photo R1900

This is the BMW of printers as far as I am concerned. It is wide format allowing for borderless prints of up to 13″ x 44″. The print quality is phenomenal. My opinion is that it is better than what you will get from the lab. There are many media choices as well – gallery canvas, glossy photo, matte photo, watercolor paper, and more.  This printer uses a gloss optimizer that adds a glossy coating to the glossy prints that can not be beat. I am also so impressed with the depth of the black in both glossy and matte prints. This is hands down my favorite printer ever for print quality… GORGEOUS prints every time. Color so vivid, skin tones that are rich, and blacks that are truly deep black.

The only “con” for this printer is that the prints are expensive. Ink and media are not cheap for this printer.  (although I have been able to cut costs by shopping around online)  So I don’t use it as an everyday printer. I do use if for anything I am going to display on the walls of my home. I also use this for any “enlargements” that I want to use for my scrapbooks. The convenience of having a “photo lab” in my studio is worth the price. I have also found some great vendors and deals online for ink and media. (I usually just do a google search and shop around for the best deal)

3. Lexmark Pinnacle Pro901

Ok. This is not really a photo printer in my opinion. But I wanted to mention it because it is the newest printer in my family. This is my everyday printer. The reason, the replacement ink carts are only $5!!! And I have to say, over all the print quality is fine. I have used this printer for printing out photos for invitations. This is a great printer to have for everyday printing, cards, printing text, and other crafts that are not meant for long term keeping.

And by the way, I got a SWEET deal on this printer on Amazon!

So that’s it. These are my faves, I love these printers and I use them every day. No matter what printer you choose, I do leave you with this tip. To get the most out of your printer, always use GENUINE INK made for your printer make and model. I also find you get what you pay for when it comes to media. So look for the right paper for the right job and you will have amazing results every time!

Now lets give something away shall we! Let’s do a biggie…Lets giveaway one of my very favorite printers!!!

Leave a comment below for your chance to the Epson Picture Mate Charm shown above. For an additional entry… go visit the Craft Tech Facebook page and like us! And every time you leave a comment here on the blog you will get yet another entry to win. This includes entries for giveaway all week long! So come back and visit again soon for more chances to win. Winner for the printer will be announced Friday August 12.

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About the author

I am a self proclaimed crafty girl with a love for everything from paper to pixels. I can often be somewhere online while I am waiting for the paint to dry on my latest experimentation. I am a social marketing professional whose passion for delicious food and good cooking began as a young girl. A mother of three voracious, food loving daughters (including one vegan). I am a California girl currently living in Happy Valley, UT.

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  1. Elisa M-L (Williamsburg, Virginia)

    Can I be the first to comment?!! Yeah. So excited! Thanks for the chance.

  2. Katrina Hunt

    Totally love my Epson printer Artisan 725 would LOVE the picture mate!!! And thanks for the tips about the journaling cards, cardstock, etc!!!! Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. JessicaVA

    THANK YOU for your honest review. It is nice to finally see someone take a stand and say what they love rather than being PC and loving everyone. And a chance to win is pretty great too. I can tell your show is going to be amazing.

  4. Cynthia B.

    We have two printers – both HP’s – and we are constantly buying ink for the photo printer. Very frustrating. Thanks for the info about these machines – love the fact that the Picture Mate has a card reader.

    I already like you on FB – thanks for the chance to win!

  5. Carmen

    What an awesome giveaway! I have a new baby girl, so we take lots of pictures. But it’s pain to have them processed somewhere else – I’d love to be able to print at home.

  6. Julie L

    Thanks for the info, I have to look into that Lexmark Pinnacle Pro901. $5 ink is right up my alley.


  7. Ashley Lindberg

    I bought the printer I have now so that I could print great quality photos and it STINKS! I would love to finally have a printer that I can print my kids pictures on. I have about 2 years worth of pictures sitting in my computer waiting to be printed!

  8. Melissa Bove

    WOW!! A Printer?!! Are you kidding me?! Amazing giveaway!! You are so very generous! Wow!

    Thank you so much for the chance to win it!!

    Melissa ?

  9. Jenny McGee

    What an awesome giveaway. I love that you are giving printer recommendations. We have gone through about 4 HP printers in a short amount of time. So, HP is not one I will be getting again. I think the next one will be an Epson. Thanks for the recommendations.

  10. Shannon C.

    Omg! I have been salivating over the Picture Mate printer for some time now! Thanks for a chance t a great giveaway!

  11. Joanne C.

    I liked Craft Tech on Facebook. And I’d also love a chance to win the printer! Thank you so much!

  12. Tere

    Ana, thank you so much for this amazing post and fantabulous giveaway!!
    Can´t wait to see what you have for us in the upcoming show.

  13. Christa Allgood

    I never thought to run anything but photo paper thru my printer. I can’t wait to try printing on canvas! Thanks for the tips!!

  14. fran heupel

    Wow Ana thanks so much for the info on these printers. I think it would be super convenient to have a photo printer at home when you need to print pictures and don’t have time to wait. Thank you for you generousity on this wonderful giveaway.

    Fran Heupel

  15. twelve30

    I really like what I’m reading about the picture mate printer. Sounds pretty good! Thanks for a chance to win.

  16. Bonnie Reilly

    I am totally in love with my Epson R1900 also!! You are right though about the cost !! Thanks for the chance to win the Picturemate… I could definitely use a second printer! Thanks for all your great advice!!!!!

  17. Ruth

    Thanks for the terrific review, I’m going to check that out as I have been thinking of replacing my very old inkjet with a 4×6 since that is mostly what i want to print anyway. I might even end up doing something like project life if it were that easy to print my photos lol. Any chance you could do something similar for cameras? I am trying to decide whether to replace or point and shoot with something better or to replace our old SLR with a low end DSLR, any thoughts?

  18. Felicia

    Oh my goodness! I thought I was the only one addicted to printers. I have two inkjets and a traditional laser. But, now that I am exploring crafting, scrapbooking and project life I have been on the hunt for a new printer, well maybe a couple. None of my printers are known for their photo quality and ever since I heard you mentioned your 4×6 Epson on an episode of paperclipping RT I have been researching them, especially because you also do bday invites and on the spot party pic favorss with it. OMG! I would love to win this printer. Thanks for the chance and your recommendations! Next topic: picking the right paper for the job! 🙂

  19. Sav O'G

    OHHH! I could totally use a new printer–ours is very finicky! We have three computers on it for wifi–and sometimes it doesn’t print! OY! So this would be a great win!! THANKS for the chance to win:) sbmmhoover at yahoo dot com

  20. Natalie (QSOgirl)

    I just recently started following your blog– because I just recently started listening to Paperclipping Round Table… I love when you’re on, because I always end up laughing out loud. Hope that doesn’t sound too brown-nosey!

    We have a Canon Pixma and I’ve been pleased with the (few) pictures I’ve printed with it. Most of the time, though, I just order my photos from Shutterfly. It would be nice to have a little 4×6 printer for my craft space, though!

  21. Duckienz

    Ana, I NEED this. I live 45 mins from the nearest photo printing place. I have tried online printers with no success. I have even contemplated ordering my prints from America to get good quality. Seriously I really appreciate the chance to win. I will happily pay for shipping to New Zealand when I do. Allie

  22. Melinda Wilson

    Thanks for the reviews. I am going to have to replace my small printer soon and all the info I can get really helps!

  23. Char-D

    I love my Epson stylus photo R1400, but I need a smaller photo printer to use my supply of 4″ x 6″ photo paper up. They do not work well with my Epson. The R1400 is a wide format printer that also prints on DVDs/CDs. I use this option a lot. I also design papers and print them out on Epson 12″ x 12″ paper that is matt. Beautiful color.

  24. Kristen Ann

    Apprecite the printer suggestions. Have been an Epson fan for many years. First purchase was a Picture Mate 200 (that should be retired, but I’ve been putting off). Was glad to have found your site through My Craft Channel. Thanks!

  25. Sharon from South Shore

    I am a bit of a printer hoard myself. I have the Epson 1400 wide printer, and HP wireless photosmart, and and portable HP 1600 that I can take with me to crops. Can’t have enopugh printers. I wish the ink cartridges were not more expenses then the printers.

  26. Cyndy R

    I found you on PRT and now I am on your blog and looking forward to seeing your new show in the fall. I am currently looking for a photo printer only because you raved about it so much on PRT. Thanks for the info, I’ll be checking out the different websites.

  27. Lisa M. Zepponi

    LOL!! I just had to take my laptop in to have a virus taken off and I asked them about printers and what did they recommend! I have heard a LOT about the EPSON printers for pictures/scrapbooks! Do you print out digital LO on the EPSON: Stylus Photo R1900? I love the idea of the . EPSON: Picture Mate Personal Photo Lab to print 4×6 photos anywhere/anytime! Thanks for the so timely info! Headed to facebook!

  28. Terri Torrez

    I really want a 4×6 printer but couldn’t justify the cost. Got this cute little Polaroid POgo for vacation instead. But stii want the 4×6. You can never have too many printers.

  29. Sylvia

    Thank you for the printer tips and information. I am shopping for an Epson photo printer myself and I appreciate hearing the pros and cons from someone who owns these printers. Thank you for the chance to win.

  30. Cassie K

    I have been looking for a smaller photo printer as I have the “BMW” printer and it is expenivse so I wouldl like to save it for when I prints larger than 4×6.

  31. Jenny Johns

    Thanks for the info on the printers…I think if I had an Epson Printer mate, I might print out my pictures…you know how it is…you leave the pic’s on your thumbdrive and then upload them to your computer…and that’s it! I need to look into this printer…gotta get organized! Thanks for the chance on this Epson! Can’t wait for the it here yet? *smile*

  32. Melissa Kaye

    It looks like I need to get a picture mate. I print 95% of my pictures 4×6 and am getting annoyed with my current printer. Thanks for the review and giveaway!

  33. Pingback: Scrapbooking Contests, Calls & Events

  34. rosey rodriguez

    Very nice printer andits so appreciated all the different suggestions thanks for the chance of winning it.

  35. Pam

    awesome printer, never print at home, think it take to much ink, this looks like a great one…thanks for the fun….

  36. Harriwr Konrad

    I volunteer at a childrens hospital where we take photos for families that have babies in thr NICU. We print 4 photos, scrapbook a card, and burn a CD with all photos we took. We are needing to replace some of our printers and would appreciate advice.

  37. Claudia F

    What great info about printers. I’ve only used HP, which works nicely but at some point I’ll need a new printer and this little Epson sounds like a gem.

  38. Debbie Linton

    I always wanted a photo printer but never got around to buying one. Thanks for the chance to win one.

  39. Michelle

    I am still searching for the perfect printer I’ve been through a few. The contest ends on my birthday what a coincidence.

  40. Christine

    I have to agree that is it sometimes tought to find just the right printer for the job and I have had my share of printers. Being a school teacher, and a paper crafter/scrapbook the right printer (especially photo printer) comes high on my list of priorites. Thanks for all the tips. Let me ever give you a bigger thank you for the chance to win. You are not only a crafty chica, but a cool one at that!

  41. Rae

    What a lovely giveaway–I would love to get my hands on a reliable, great printer for my pictures! Thanks for the most generous chance!

  42. JillT

    I don’t print much at home, but after the last batch of lab photos I’m ready to start printing everything at home.

  43. Tina Mayo

    I would love to be able to print my pics at home..especially when I am doing a layout..and havent had a chance to actually go get them printed..thanks for all the info about them too!!

  44. Celina

    What an awesome giveaway. I think your idea of cutting down cardstock and running it through must work wonderfully for printed sentiments and the like. I really need to try doing more of that.

  45. Patti Swartz

    I have to admit that I am a printer junkie, too. I have 4 right now and almost bought another over the weekend on a home shopping channel. But I don’t have this one so I would be thrilled to win it and add it to my stash. Thanks for the chance to win!

  46. carol in seattle :)

    Ana, thanks to the Paperclipping Roundtable I found your blog. I love your laugh! Thanks for a chance to be a winner!

  47. Jen Rasmussen

    pick me pick me! I have been a fan (stalker) since Scrapbook Answers. I am so excited for this show. I listed to you on PRT and I literally laugh out loud.

  48. Meghan

    I am a FB follower!! I love printers, and I’ve been looking for a new one to use in my crafting room! Thanks so much for the chance to win!

  49. Beth Williams

    I found you on Scrapscene.I love learning new crafty tech stuff-I’ve signed up for the newsletter and I like you on FB.

  50. Christy

    Since my printer is out of date and NOT WORKING AT ALL I would love to have a chance to win a new one. I can’t wait to try some stuff from your blog and print it 🙂

  51. Gail E.

    Great post! I liked the craft tech page and cant wait for the shows to start up! I would love to win the photo printer! Thanks Ana for all your hard work.

  52. Kim G

    I think I am too late for the giveaway…but I wanted to know if you can print photos from your iphone/instagram on the Epson? I am really looking for a printer to print phone photos. Please let me know!

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