I've been scouring the forums here on and off for weeks. I've found a lot of good guidance and experimented a bit on my own. Sorry if this post is nonetheless redundant, but I'm still hoping I can find a solution.
I'm trying to produce a flashcard game for kids aged toddler through 6ish. The cards are roughly 2.75" square and should be as stiff as practical. The images are simple cartoons on one side and large text on the other, both in color. I want to know what the best combination of stiff material and home printer would be for this purpose.
My experience so far:
I color printed to 8.5x11" labels and stuck them onto sheets of Staples poster board. I liked the stiffness of this output, but am hoping to find a solution that reduces the costs of the labels and the time applying them.
I bought an HP photosmart 5520 and some Staples poster board. The poster board is stiffer than the card stock that I saw there (110lb) but is smoother on one side than the other. The smooth side doesn't hold the ink well. It is prone to bleed/smear in the printing and can be easily smeared hours later. The other side holds the ink fine, unless it gets damp. The poster board (without the additional labels on either side) is not as stiff as I'd like.
That's it for my experience. Again, I'd really appreciate knowing what combinations of home printers and stiff material people would recommend.
Perhaps some of the questions I need to resolve are:
What's the stiffest material that a home printer can handle and what printer are we talking about there? I'd probably appreciate an answer to that, even if that forgets other necessary considerations such as cost, whether material has to be manually fed one sheet at a time, ability to print double sided, quality of print, etc.
What other material might I use with my HP photosmart 5520? Perhaps this printer can work well with a material that holds the ink well on both sides. An ideal material would be stiffer as well.
Enough out of me. Thanks in advance for any responses.
the liberal unsavory type
When I do nice cards, I use 110 pound inkjet stock, then put self-adhesive laminating sheets on both sides, and cut out with a roller cutter.
If I need something thicker, I print on inkjet label stock (usually full-sheet labels) and stick it to heavier material.
How To Make Your Own Playing Cards
From Lybrary.com. It seems to be a centre of knowledge and products for this kind of thing.