One of my favorite things to do is to make cards for family and friends. It makes me so happy to tuck a finished card into a coordinating envelope, seal it with a piece of pretty washi tape, and send it on its way. And now I’ve discovered a way to add yet another unique touch – custom washi tape, printed with the We R Memory Keepers PrintMaker!
What is the We R Memory Keepers PrintMaker?
The We R Memory Keepers PrintMaker is a handheld inkjet printer built with HP technology. Rather than loading paper into the printer, you slide the printer along the surface of whatever you want to print on – paper, wood, fabric, fun foam, cork, ribbon, and so much more! We R Memory Keepers makes several printable products to go along with the PrintMaker including labels, ribbon, tags, and the washi tape I’m going to show you how to use today.
The free PrintMaker app comes in two versions – one for mobile devices as well as a simplified desktop version. Designs can be created in either the mobile app or the web-based app, but since the PrintMaker only connects via Bluetooth, print jobs must be sent from the mobile app. (I prefer to design in the web-based app or on my iPad so that I have more screen area to work with, then switch over to my iPhone to print.)
What You’ll Need
- We R Memory Keepers PrintMaker handheld inkjet printer
- PrintMaker app (installed on your mobile device)
- Digital Scrapbook Paper, Patterns, or Images
- Printable Washi Tape (I used 15mm)
- PrintMaker Ribbon and Washi Guide or 6-inch Alignment Guide and Magnetic Mat
Step 1: Download an Image or Pattern
Almost any digital image can be used to create custom washi tape, including clipart, fonts, and digital scrapbook paper. Most of the digital papers I use in my cards are printable patterns from the Silhouette Design Store, so that’s what I used to make the custom washi tape too.
To use a Design Store printable pattern with the PrintMaker, it needs to first be downloaded in a file format that the PrintMaker can recognize, usually JPEG or PNG . You can do this at the time of purchase using the Direct Download button:
If you need to download the JPEG/PNG version of a pattern you’ve purchased in the past, locate the pattern in your order history or do a search using the design name/number and then click on the Download button.
Once the file is downloaded, be sure to unzip it before you try to use it!
Step 2: Create the Custom Washi Tape Design
(I designed my custom washi tape using the desktop PrintMaker app, but you could use the mobile app if you prefer.)
- Sign into the PrintMaker desktop app.
- From the Home menu, click on Create.
- (Optional) Click on Canvas. Drag the adjustment handle on the right of the design box to increase the length up to 16 inches. (I kept mine at the default of 2 inches.)
- Click on Tools in the lower left corner of the screen.
- Click on Images.
- Navigate to where you saved the JPEG/PNG on your computer’s hard drive and open the file in the PrintMaker workspace.
- Click on the image thumbnail to display the bounding box.
- Drag the corner handles of the bounding box to resize the pattern to fill the design block. If you want to adjust the placement of the pattern, click within the design block, hold down your mouse, and move the pattern around as desired. Be sure to fill the entire design box to avoid any unwanted white space in your finished project, especially if you are printing a repeating pattern.
- If you need to increase the size of the image even more, change the zoom level of the workspace to see as much of the bounding box as possible.
- Once you’re finished, click on Save and type in the Design Name.
- Click on Done and choose the Collection where you want to store the file.
If you want to create another design, click on File>New and repeat steps 3 – 11.
Once you’ve created your design(s), you’re ready to switch over to the mobile app and print your custom washi tape!
Step 3: Print the Custom Washi Tape
Printing on washi tape is much easier with the help of alignment guides. I’ve printed two different ways – using the Ribbon and Washi Guide and using the 6-inch Alignment Guide and a magnetic mat. (The magnetic mat I have is made by We R Memory Keepers, but is not the one designed specifically for the PrintMaker.)
There are pros and cons to each method of printing. I had slightly better alignment with the Ribbon and Washi Guide but more ink splotches and more wasted material. Using the Alignment Guide and magnetic mat, I had no ink splotches but it was a bit trickier to get perfect alignment.
Ribbon and Washi Guide
The Ribbon and Washi Guide comes as a set that includes three interchangeable sizes to match the three sizes of printable washi tape. Select the correct size guides and snap them onto either side of the main section, then weave the washi tape through the guides from right to left. I also like to place a piece of butcher paper under the guide to protect my work surface from stray ink marks.
The PrintMaker needs a little “lead space” before it prints, so it displays a beam of light to show you exactly where the print job will start. When using the Ribbon and Washi Guide, the PrintMaker will begin printing in the area just to the right of the main section.
Alignment Guide and Magnetic Mat
The Alignment Guide has markings that show where the PrintMaker will begin printing. To avoid wasting materials, I used some traditional washi tape to secure the printable washi tape in place on the magnetic mat. Then I positioned the alignment guide to where the zero mark was close to the beginning of the printable washi tape and the printable tape was centered vertically within the guide.
To keep the printable washi tape flat for printing, I secured it with a small magnet placed to the right of the alignment guide.
Printing from the Mobile App
Once the washi tape is in place, it’s time to print!
- Sign into your account in the PrintMaker mobile app.
- Make sure the printer is connected.
- Press Home.
- Select the design you want to print.
- Press Print.
- Set the number of repeats (if any). I found that 2 repeats gave me the perfect length, but you can make yours as long or as short as you like.
- Press Send to Printer.
For detailed printing instructions, see the PrintMaker User Guide.
When the printer chirps to let you know it’s ready, press the Action button, slide the printer along the washi tape, and watch the magic happen!!!
Like what you see here? Share the image below to Pinterest!
I really love how this custom washi tape turned out and the special touch it adds to my handmade cards and envelopes. I can’t wait to try even more projects using a handheld inkjet printer!
What kind of projects would you make with the PrintMaker? Leave a comment below or come visit me over in the Silhouette Crafters by Design Facebook group and let me know!
Until next time,
Lycia is a lifelong crafter whose goal is to help others find value, confidence, and joy in whatever they create. She geeks out on using technology to supercharge craft projects with Silhouette Studio, Design Space, Glowforge, sublimation, etc.! Lycia teaches these skills and more through online tutorials and videos as well as in-person classes at both the local and national levels.