How I print on 3×4 Project Life Cards.

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DSC_0442So the question of how I print onto the Becky Higgins 3×4 project life cards (Like this one on the grid card in week 51)  has come up a few times. You may also know I am not a big fan of my own handwriting so, ths is something I really need to be able to do to make best use of my core kits. Unfortunately for me, these cards are too small for my A3 printer to handle. I know some do, mine does not. A solution had to be found.

**At this point I’d like to preface this with some caution and say that one size does not fit all and this may not work for all printers. (I have no others to test it on. If you do happen to try this please drop  me a line and let me know how you go). UPDATEThe Epson  Picturemate photo printer has proved to be quite popular for at home printing. I have now tested it and if you have a Picturemate you need to use a cut down Silhouette sticky mat and this technique will work in exactly the same way as it does on my printer. yay!DSC_0421

The main feature which will pretty much explain it all is the mat. I have taken an old but new and never opened Cricut die cutting machine sticky mat (I think the Cameo has a similar thing). Honestly I have had a bundle of these mats for years and am still going on the few I have opened.


Next I took one of my old paper trimmers (But scissors would work just as well) and cut the mat to a nice, neat 6×4 size. You’re getting the picture right?




I peel off the plastic sheet  and cut it  in half (the translucent plastic). The best way to check this is just right  is to take one of the Becky 3×4’s and line it up to cut the plastic in exactly the right place. You’ll note some of the new ones are a fraction smaller than 3″ in width. You want to get this right as you don’t want that “stick” on your printer rollers. Replace the plastic cover on one half of the sheet.



Place the card you want to print on, onto the still exposed sticky part like so.





DSC_0443I put a little piece of washi on the side with the plastic cover still on. This is so that I know which side I have been using and which I haven’t. Basically,  I use one side until the stick is gone and then I can swap sides and start again. But it really lasts quite a while.

Now you’re ready to head to your printer!



Insert the cards into your top printer paper feeder tray as with normal 6×4 paper. (Just like with letterhead take I take note in which direction and on which side the printer prints so that you put the card in the right way).

DSC_0436Off to my laptop and I’m ready to print.


I can use any 6×4 canvas with my 3×4 image (text) on the correct side to where I need to print. I use Photoshop Elements for this.

I make sure that when I type my text I take into account any pre printed/stamped element on my paper card. (I could also use the digi version of the card to get it just right and just not print the pre-printed card layer) – Hope that makes sense.

DSC_0440Here it is coming out of my printer ready for inserting into my page sleeve.

** Please also make sure if your printer has a setting for type f paper (i.e. card stock) that you pick the thickest possible but, my printer didn’t really even notice to be honest and I didn’t have to play with settings other than selecting matt vs photo paper.DSC_0441


Finally, here is my finished print. Peel it off, replace the plastic onto the sticky part ready for the next one.

Now, I realise there may be some of you cringing over the cutting of the mat but like I said this is how I do it. And I am so pleased that now I can go crazy printing on the preprinted core kit cards. Yippee. You’re bound to see more of them in my future layouts.


So I thought it is only fair to show you how you can use the Digital Becky Higgins core kit files (Purchased though AC DIGITALS) to perfectly line up your journalling to print onto the 3×4 (or 6×4 really).



Again I start by attaching my 3×4 filler card to my previously made sticky mat.


Screen shot 2013-01-18 at 6.50.30 PM



In Photoshop Elements I create a 6×4 canvas. Open the digital file I will be printing on and drag to the print side of my 6×4 canvas.

Screen shot 2013-01-18 at 6.51.27 PMPut a text layer on and sit it exactly where I want it to print on my card and type up my journalling.

Screen shot 2013-01-18 at 6.51.54 PMNow I just hide the “card” layer. (The little eye icon next to each of your layers) & Print.

photo3And Viola! Here it is printed and ready to go into my page pocket! Aaaah Neat right?

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  1. this is a great idea, I have been using a piece 6×4 photo paper and spraying it with adhesive spray to make it tacky and it seems to stay on and then i can print two cards at once. Never thought to use a sticky mat. I think I may have an old silhouette mat that i could use also. May have to give that a try. Thanks Petra. Clever chicky!!

    • Hi,
      Thanks, I think it works well, is pretty sturdy and easily reausable. I am really pleased with the results.

      Thanks For Dropping In

    • Hi Taryn,

      Don’t know about genius but thank you. 🙂

      Thanks For Dropping In

  2. Kylie Beller

    What a fab idea clever lady! Definitely going to give this a go and save myself a fortune on ink not having to print two copies. Thanks Petra 🙂

    • Hi Kylie,

      Please do let me know how you go Kylie.

      Thanks For Dropping In

    • Hi Angela,
      Glad you enjoyed it. I too love reading other people’s how to’s.

      Thanks For Dropping In

  3. I love it – tried it tonight for the first time… I used a 6×4 piece of cardstock and double sided tape to hold it on – I don’t have an old cutting matt… thank you Petra 🙂

    • Hi Chris,
      That’s excellent. Thanks for letting me know.
      The mats are really easy to come by and usually come in packs of 2 in 6×12, 12×12 & 24×12.
      Even with the 2 pack of 6×12 you would get 4 of these mats out of it so not that bad really 🙂

      Thanks For Dropping In

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  5. Love this idea! And I wish I had read your printing white text post earlier, since I wasted about an hour attempting it to no avail this weekend. 😉

    • HI Sarah, Just noticed this comment. LOL yes some things are learned the the hard way.
      Thanks For Dropping In

  6. Brilliant! I would never have thought of this. The BEST PL tip I have seen! Thanks!

    • Hi Kristan,
      Wow thanks for such an awesome comment. Yes this method works well and I use it regularly! Makes it so easy too.
      Thanks For Dropping In

  7. Thanks Petra! much appreciate the tips, the video tutorials & especially exciting to know this works on a picture mate 🙂

    • Hi Jay,
      Lovely to see you on here. Glad you enjoyed the tips.
      Thanks For Dropping In

    • Hi Stephanie & thanks.
      I haven’t see too much around on this topic so I thought it would eb good to do a an actual video.
      Thanks For Dropping In

  8. Just came across this! Awesome tip, am definitely going to try this now I have started my PL travel album xx

    • Hi Carol,
      So nice to see you here. Thanks and let me know how you go.
      Thanks For Dropping In

  9. Hi Petra! I just came across this post via pinterest. That’s a cool way to print on the cards! The way I have been doing it is on an 8.5 x 11 document I make 3×4 boxes in InDesign (can be done in Illustrator or Photoshop too.) I then do my typing inside of those boxes. I print out on a scratch sheet of paper. Then I use a small bit of adhesive on the back of the actual cards and using a light table, I line up my cards overtop of the printed text. Then I run the sheet back through the printer again and print on the cards. I can get at least 5 of the 3×4 cards onto one sheet of 8.5 x 11 comfortably. I like your idea though and may try this for single cards instead of waiting til I have enough to justify using a whole sheet of 8.5 x 11 scratch paper!

    • Hi, does your A4 printer have guides to use a smaller piece of paper/card to print on? You should just adjust those.

  10. Do you have to change any printer settings for the “thicker” mat so your printer doesn’t get jammed (I’ve noticed that if I change the setting, it doesn’t make all the noise because it know the material will be thicker)….like set to cardstock instead of paper???

  11. Wow, all this time I’ve just created a template in word doc, and used Ditto adhesive to secure the PML cards on regular paper to run through my printer. I never thought of using photoshop!

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