Thursday, December 6, 2018

How I print my cards and my Ugly Sweater card

In the past few weeks, I have been working on an order that someone on another website placed of around 400 Cincinnati Reds cards. I don't generally get too many people ordering customs from me, or orders that big, but I was happy to take this one on, and it got me to thinking about writing a post on how I print my customs for those who were interested and wanted to do so themselves.

First off, I just want to make the disclaimer that I use MS Paint to make my customs, and that I use an HP Envy 4512 printer (it's probably so old that they don't make them anymore, right?), so if you use a differen printer or photo editing program or a combination of both, that you may not get the same results. With that being said, let's get started.

I usually start making a card from a template I have already made, usually a nice pic of a card from or a similar site, which is the same size as a card (2.5 inches wide by 3.5 inches tall). After I get the card made, I save it (usually as a .png file). The individual files look something like this:
After a number of times messing around, I finally figured out the way to get the most cards to fit on a sheet of paper. I figure there is a way to fit 8-9 on a page, but right now, I can get 6 on a page. I have made an MS Paint file that I use to add 6 cards before printing. You should be able to right click, and save it as a .png file and use it as well.
As you can see, it has the lines already drawn for you, all you have to do is copy your normal sized card, zoom in, paste it into one of the blank areas, and perhaps do a little re-sizing before going on to the next card. After you have got all 6 cards, in, you are ready to print.

I normally just plug my laptop into the printer with a USB cable, and click print on MS Paint, and then my printer does its job. I should note that it prints on the bottom side of the paper. This is helpful if you want to make double-sided cards. I was able at one point to do it by printing on one side of the paper and then turning it over, but I don't know if I messed something up or what, but it no longer works for me and is too much of a headache. I have found, however, that if you buy sticker paper that is the size of a whole sheet of paper, you can print your front on cardstock, or whatever kind of paper, and then print the back on sticker paper, cut each card front and back out, and then attach the back to the front, do a little fine-tuning with the cutting, and then you have a nice front-and-back custom.
Just be aware of what side of the paper your printer prints on when you print on the sticker paper.

Once you have printed the 6-card page, you should get a sheet looking something like this:
Well, something like the sheet, except with better color. This sheet came out just as my color ink ran out, and instead of '98 Topps cards, the last cards on the right look like '98 Topps Opening Day cards with a more silver border.
After you have a 6-card sheet printed, all you need to do is cut them out. I tend to use a scissors, but I think a paper cutter could do wonders. I did read a post by Mark of Battlin' Bucs where he warned against using a cheap paper cutter. The post also is about how he prints his customs, so check that out if you would like another perspective.

Once your cards are cut out, that's about it. You can add them to your collection. I would like to add that the higher quality photo (and template), the better chance that the card will look like it goes along with your other cards. I tend to settle a little, but I have noticed that I will be flipping through my binders and sometimes can't tell a custom that's settled in a page with regular ones.

Recently, Peter from Baseball Every Night held a contest  where he wanted readers to submit their ugliest baseball card. The contest is open until December 15th, all you need to do is make a post with your ugliest card, and add your link to the comments of the post (which is the one I provided). First off, when I heard 'ugly', I knew it had to be a card of a Yankee. They do, after all, have the ugliest and rudest fans. Would it be a card of Jeter, Clemens, A-Roid, Pettite, Torre, Rivera, Posada?  So many to choose from. After I thought about it, it was an easy choice.
Image result for topps archives bob sheppard
Not to make fun of an older person (I will be there soon enough), but I literally have a good reason why I chose this card. 
From around 2004-2011, I was big-time into getting ttm autographs. I had recently pulled Bob Sheppard's card from the Fan Favorite's set (which I wish Topps would bring back instead of what Archives has turned into now). I saw on that Sheppard signed ttm, so I sent the card to Sheppard, and he was nice enough to sign it and return it. Whenever I would go to baseball games to get autographs, I would usually bring a binder full of all of the players I needed signed from the teams I was seeing, and then fill the rest of the remaining area of the binder with recent autographed cards that I received. Well, I was going to the July 4th Lakeland Tigers game one year, and I had just got the Sheppard card signed, and I put it in my 'game binder'. Unlike most games, though, I ran into a few friends from work who were my age, and they ended up sitting with me. One of my friends, Val, noticed the Sheppard card in my binder, and remarked how ugly it was, particularly his bottom teeth. I realize that all of the Yankee fans think he is the greatest stadium PA guy ever, but come on, Topps, couldn't you get a better photo?

So there's my entry into the Ugly Sweater contest. Maybe someone can do a favor and print up a Sheppard customs with a better photo.

Thanks for checking out my latest post.


  1. Thank you for explaining your custom card process. It's not something I've been into though I know a lot of people are; and it's always fascinating to see how this works. And thank you for submitting a card for the contest!!

  2. Wow. Those Reds customs came out nice. You've got one heck of a printer.