Summer is almost here and if you’re already worrying about what to do with the kids, then stop worrying and start reading. If you’re planning the odd at-home day and you have a printer – laser or inkjet – you can keep yourself and the children occupied and do something useful! Head over to Cartridge People for toner cartridge and inkjet supplies and get creative!


Make your own printed labels

These labels are great for jam and chutney jars, as well as window stickers and – well, anything with an even surface! You’ll need a LASER printed label of your own design, sharp scissors, box sealing tape (the wide, pressure-sensitive type) and a bowl of warm water.

  • Print a label no wider than the width of your tape,
  • Place a strip of tape over the paper and burnish with your fingernail, then trim away any excess,
  • Place the label/tape combo in a bowl of warm water for five minutes,
  • Remove the label/tape combo from the water and peel away the paper, hopefully leaving the printed text on the tape, then
  • Place labels on your jar, mirror, drawer, whatever and push out all air bubbles, starting from the middle.

Inky Shrinky Dinks

The stuff of childhood, Shrinky Dinks (SDs) have acquired a new dimension with home printers and graphics packages. You can buy SD paper for around £5.00 for six sheets, and you’ll need sharp craft scissors or scalpels as well.

  • Use a graphics package to design and print your images onto the paper.
  • Cut out the shapes before baking. Use a hole punch to create a threading hole if you’re using your designs for jewellery,
  • Pre-heat your oven to 160C and place your SDs on a baking paper-lined tray; cover them with more baking paper to prevent them from curling as they cook, and
  • Remove your creations after three to five minutes. If any have curled, use a spatula (over the paper) to flatten them before they cool.

Make greetings cards from paint swatches

Who doesn’t love paint sample swatches? They’re bright, they’re cheerful and they’re the ideal size to laser print a message onto.

Compose a message with a graphics package and pass the swatches through the printer – they could be for a card or board game, sleepover or party invitations, motivational hand-outs or behaviour reward cards… it’s up to you. You can even glue plain card to the back and send them as unique and eye-catching postcards.

Make clip-art “3D” butterflies

Using vellum and an inkjet printer you can make gorgeous moths and butterflies that you can fix to windows or lampshades. Select your clip-art butterflies and print two copies onto vellum, using a mirror image setting if possible.

Cut the butterflies out roughly and stick the two sheets of vellum together, aligning the images as perfectly as you can, before using sharp craft scissors to cut round the “butterfly” in detail.

Bend the wings up and use a glue dot on the body to fix your butterflies wherever and however you choose to create a stunning display.