a party studio

Printable party supplies, ideas and creativity

Party Decoration Costs and Printing Issues August 24, 2011

So, I was thinking about the cost of a party and how much one should spend on decorations? Everyone has a different budget and some of us have a tighter budget than others. So, the question is… how do you throw a beautiful party on a budget? Is it even possible? And what if you don’t have a fantastic printer at home? It is possible to throw a gorgeous party on a budget!

A full collection of party printables from my Etsy store is $45. This usually includes 8 items… invite, cupcake toppers, banner, welcome sign, water bottle wrappers, buffet/food labels, thank you tags for the party favors and thank you notecards. That boils down to only  $5.60 per item and I’m always willing to work with my clients with regards to their needs. Don’t want cupcake toppers? How about extra large party circles instead? Not doing bottled water? I can resize the labels for soda.

Once you’ve purchased your package, you need to print everything. I recommend sending all the PDF files to a store such as Office Depot or Staples for the printing. They have amazing laserjet color printers which do an incredible job- so much better quality than your standard inkjet. You can even take in your own cardstock and that knocks about 7 cents off the printing cost per sheet. I went to my local Office Depot this morning- armed with a stack of bright white 110 lb card stock- and got an entire collection printed. The cost came to about $12 for 20 sheets.

So, you can get all your decorations made and printed for a total of $57.

Take a look at the difference in printing… This is a photograph of the SAME invite. The one on top (it is upside down) was printed at Office Depot, the other one was printed at home on my Epson inkjet. Big difference. And yes, these were printed on the same card stock paper!

Getting it printed at Office Depot helps stop things like this… can you see the black line running through the yellow part of the shield in this photo below? My printer head obviously needs cleaning or perhaps I am running low on ink.

Of course, you can get invites printed on photo paper from places such as Costco, Target, Walmart, CVS, etc. The charge for a 5×7 inch prints varies from place to place but you can expect to pay approximately $1.40. Ouch!! A 4×6 photograph is usually about 10 cents so a huge difference there (but let’s face it, a 4×6 inch photo is no where near as endearing as the larger, 5×7). But, that’s one way to save on the cost of the invite. Often places will offer 25 free 4×6 inch prints when you set up a new account so in theory, the invites could cost you nothing at all. If you choose to get your invites printed on photo paper, then I highly recommend getting a matte finish. Here’s a nice little summary of the differences between matte and glossy. This will not show fingerprints as easily as a gloss photo and will look less photo-ish. Also, if you have time, then you can back your photo on to contrasting card stock. If you made 4×6 inch prints then cut card stock into 4.25×6.25 inches so you have a nice border.

Another option is to have the invites you purchase from me sent to you as a PDF- please let me know when you check out (otherwise, I will send you a JPEG file). I’ll include two invites on a sheet and then you’ll just have to print it out and crop it to size. The cost of printing a color sheet at Staples or Office Depot is approximately 60 cents so each invite will cost you about 30 cents. Not bad… and a heck of a lot cheaper than 5×7 inch photo paper.

I get a lot of questions about printing… I hope this helps and if you thought that personalized party printables were too expensive, maybe you’ll think again. Photos are from the Knight collection– now available at my Etsy store!


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