Tips for Printing Classroom Decor Bundles on a Budget

This image shows a calm colors classroom theme bulletin board and reads "Tips for Printing Classroom Decor Bundles on a Budget"

You purchased a classroom decor bundle!  Hooray! 🎉

Now, you are staring at a file filled with resources, wondering how on earth you are going to print it all for your classroom.

Don’t worry, you are in the right spot! 🙂

Here are my top four tips (in order) on where and how to print classroom decor from TpT on a budget!

Where to Print Classroom Decor

My first tip is all about LOCATION

I am a HUGE fan of keeping costs low as you decorate your classroom. Where you go to print classroom decor plays a big part in how much money you spend. The least expensive option is to use a home printer!

Use a Home Printer 🖨️

I have printed everything I need for my classroom (the majority of a decor bundle) on just 1 cartridge of ink on my HP printer.

 There are also a few other reasons I love using my home printer!

It provides flexibility

I can choose to print resources two or four to a page. This saves money and there are some resources I might want to print at a smaller scale. Printing at home also gives you the option to print a trial run to test sizes of labels or nametags before printing a whole class set. 

I can control the paper

Another reason why I love printing classroom decor from my home is I can control the type of paper I use. I LOVE using cardstock. I like to buy it in bulk from Amazon for 300 sheets for just $16 (at this point in time)! If you pay for cardstock at a larger store like Staples, it gets pricey pretty quickly. 

This image shows a bright theme classroom decor printed out with the alphabet, classroom job cards, and some affirmation station cards.
These are some items included in my Happy Hues Classroom theme that I printed from my home HP printer on cardstock paper.

I always keep my printer on “thick paper” mode, and it prints on cardstock and regular paper perfectly.

Try out a LOCAL Print Shop 🏠

My second choice for printing classroom decor is a local print shop. These businesses will almost always give you a better rate than a large chain like Staples or Office Depot. 

Also, local shops often will offer teacher discounts!

Research your area to find the best deal a local print shop can give you! 

This image shows printed classroom decor in the retro groovy theme.
These printed items are from my Retro Classroom Decor theme.

Check in with Your Local Library 📚

Hear me out on this one! Some local libraries give their cardholders a printing balance each month.

Many libraries will not charge anything for this service. It is simply a perk you receive as a member of the library. 

However, there are a couple of downsides to this option. 

  ⭐ You generally only have so many credits each month. So, you probably won’t be able to print ALL of the resources you want at once. 

  ⭐ Printing in color takes more credits than printing in black and white. This might also add time to getting all your printing done. 

Even so, it is definitely worth checking out to see if this option could work for any of your printing needs! 

My Last Suggestion (Most Expensive)- Find a larger print store 🏢

If none of the other options will work for you, then I would suggest going to a larger printing shop such as Office Depot or Staples. This is typically the most expensive option (unless there is some type of sale or deal happening).

If you do decide to go here, my biggest tip here is to bring a thumb drive into the store. Many of the larger printing stores do not give you the option to print specific pages of documents uploaded online. Bringing a thumb drive into the store gives you the opportunity to specifically request certain pages of each file you want to print. 

No matter where you go, ASK FOR A TEACHER DISCOUNT!

What Paper Should I Use for Printing Classroom Decor?

This is a question I am asked a LOT. 

Personally, I LOVE using cardstock, as I mentioned earlier. I think it increases the quality of the print job. The image below is the exact bulk cardstock paper set I purchased from Amazon. It is the Neenah brand and comes with 300 sheets.

This image shows bright white cardstock paper from Amazon for printing classroom decor.

Although, you certainly don’t have to use cardstock paper. Sometimes I will use premium paper and laminate instead. I’ve shared a little bit more about this below 🙂

I like asking myself one key question to decide what type of paper to use. Where is this resource going? 

   ⭐ On the wall? 

I would print this resource on cardstock and skip the laminating. The thicker paper keeps the item in tip-top shape. Since this won’t be touched often, it does not need to be laminated. 

On an organizational cart or teacher toolbox?

I simply use cardstock paper and do not laminate. Although you could also use regular paper and laminate if you have a school laminator that is free to use to save some money! Either way, you want the labels to be durable so that they last all year. 🙂

Into the hands of students? 

If you want to lower the cost, I would use premium paper or cardstock paper and laminate each object. 

The premium paper provides a good print quality without too high of a cost. Laminating the resources will help them last longer. We all know how chaotic students’ desks can become! 😂

Regular printer paper will likely become wrinkled from the ink being too heavy. This is the premium paper I purchase is the bright white Astrobrights paper from Target as pictured below!

This image shows the white premium paper from the brand astrobrights.

My advice is to always think about how often the item will be in someone’s hands. The more often that happens, the sturdier the resource should be

Printing your classroom decor is only one part of getting your decor theme ready for your classroom.

If you would like more tips for setting up your decor, I talk through my 7 steps for setting up classroom decor in this blog post

If you have yet to find a cohesive classroom theme, my Modern Calm Colors Classroom Decor bundle has everything you need to set up your classroom and transform it into a beautiful space 😍

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