Tutorial | Getting Your Cannon Selphy to Behave

The Dilema

Most times, when I print out my Project Life cards, I will print then out as one sheet and then cut them up.  8 out of 10 times- this is fine- I use Matte Presentation Paper in my desktop 8.5 x 11 printer and all is well in the world.  But– recently, I wanted to play around with printing my cards on photo paper from the little photo printer in my craft room. I thought it would be cool to have a glossy effect on the cards- and sometimes- I did not want a whole sheet- just 2 or 3 cards.  But- I kept running into a problem when printing them on my Cannon Selphy. The Selphy dose not print true 4×6 photos. They are just a bit smaller- which is not an issue 97% of the the time- but when I try and combine 2 3×4 cards on a 4×6 template for printing- things keep getting cut off a bit.

credit: MIX TAPE Journal Cards | by ForeverJoy | @ The Lilypad

I found a work around I’d like to share with you today- but before I get ahead of myself, lets start at square one.

The Backstory

I have the Canon Selphy 910.  Earlier, I wrote about how this baby really changed the game in my Project Life scrapping- you can read that post here.  I love this little machine- I think the quality of photos is fine for my everyday spreads- especially once I went into setting and checked off “auto correct”. It takes up very little room- and the cost of paper and ink comes out to a little more that 30 cents a 4×6. That means I can get 2 3x4s for about 15 cents each.  A pretty fair price for on demand printing.

Now- the thing to keep in mind about the Selphy is that it prints photos a little smaller than 4×6. Not so small that they slosh around in my pocket pages- but enough of a difference that sometimes images very close to the photos border will get cropped when I print. So, when I try to print a photo with two 3x4s- the images can get cut off in places that make me get grumpy.

At this point , a few of you may be saying- “how do you even get your digital Project Life cards to the point that they will print out on your printer like that?” Drop box my friends.  Dropbox is the answer for so many of our scrappy questions. I have Dropbox installed on my computer and phone ( I have an I phone 6) I have a folder in my Dropbox I created called “Project Life Cards”. I upload my set of individual .png card files to my Dropbox from my computer.
Then, when I am in my craft room, putting together a spread- I open my Dropbox on my phone and can access the cards I have saved there.

To get two 3×4 cards printed out- I use a collage app to put them side by side on a 2:3 ratio template. (2:3 because the photo I am printing is 4×6.) ‘

What Didn’t Work:

I love my Project Life App– but lots of times I will get things cut off when I try and print on my Selphy. If a card or a photo has details close to the edge- this is not a good choice for me.

I tried re-sizing my image to fit the dimensions of the Selphy’s printable area. I tested tons of these apps- and the best one I found allowed me to work in inches, as opposed to pixels- and was free (yay!) it was the Image Size app in the itunes store. Android peeps: I don’t know if this is available for you- heck, I’m just learning my way around this world of  smartphones- but I believe the principals around what I’m sayings here are universal. I created a 2:3 collage of my 2 3×4 journal cards side by side in the Project Life App and also in Pic Frame. Then saved the collage to my photos. I opened the Image Size and adjusted the output image from 6×4 to 5.2 x 3.46.  This is not what the printable area of the Selphy is- but this ratio yielded the best possible results. It was passable- but not great- so I kept testing…

The Best Work Around:

In those cases where I didn’t want any cropping- I found the best thing to do was create a collage with an app that allowed by to adjust the size of the borders around each image to a thicker width. I tried about 25 different apps- some only allowed square templates- some had a crazy amount of pop up ads- but the two best ones I found were PicFrame app (free) and A Beautiful Mess app (.99) The most important thing is that the app can work with a 2:3 ratio- and that you can adjust the borders. I also liked rounding the corners for a fun look and the cards-
Here’s a closer look at my process and the finished cards-

This is the Pic frame app- with a 2:3 ratio chosen
There are a few ads because its free- but nothing obnoxious. 
Choose the “Style” option and begin making your borders wider.
Once you pull up the bottom of the image- you are safe- you may need to go into the image box and pinch a bit to readjust how the image to fit the now smaller space.
I really liked rounding the corners- but you can choose to leave them alone.
Just cut down the center and you are good to go!

*You should know that I have not been compensated by any of the products described in this post- but some do have affiliate links. That means  if you do decide to click thru and purchase using the affiliate link I provided, I may get a credit from them, at no expense to you. My use of affiliate links does not influence my opinion or review of products however- it just helps fund my printer ink stash! 

what joy will you create today?

Comments

  1. Renne,

    Great blogpost! I print from my Selphy for a year or 2 I think. I did not have the cut off problems. I either use the software that came with the Selphy or use indeed a collage. Just checking, did you turn off the cropping on the Selphy? You do not mention it so I'm just wondering about it. If you didn't here is the support instructions that tell you how. If you did then this is obvious not useful but maybe others find it helpful.

  2. Renne,

    Great blogpost! I print from my Selphy for a year or 2 I think. I did not have the cut off problems. I either use the software that came with the Selphy or use indeed a collage. Just checking, did you turn off the cropping on the Selphy? You do not mention it so I'm just wondering about it. If you didn't here is the support instructions that tell you how. If you did then this is obvious not useful but maybe others find it helpful.

  3. Another workaround I found was to print to the selphy through my macbook pro. That way I don't even have to make a collage first. I just tell it to print two pictures to one page using iphoto.

  4. Another workaround I found was to print to the selphy through my macbook pro. That way I don't even have to make a collage first. I just tell it to print two pictures to one page using iphoto.

  5. Thanks Tink! but even when I turned off the cropping- I couldn't get the 2 3×4 cards to be cropped the way I wanted- I think its because of the paper sizing- 🙁

  6. Thanks Tink! but even when I turned off the cropping- I couldn't get the 2 3×4 cards to be cropped the way I wanted- I think its because of the paper sizing- 🙁

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