At home printers are largely seen at best as a peripheral add on and at worse a grudge purchase, bought out of a sense of necessity. In an office environment printers really come in handy and though the paperless office has long been touted as the future, it has yet to materialise. However, printers also have a number of fun and creative uses outside of paper work and homework.
There are a number of artistic uses for a printer which can be a source of inexpensive entertainment and decoration. Read on for five fun and functional uses for your old printer!
Papercraft, long the staple of primary school art lessons and once a common feature of magazines and newspapers in decades gone by has now become a forgotten art form. However, with the advent of the internet and with inkjet and colour laser printers becoming ever more affordable, paper craft has seen something of a renaissance.
For those with an infinite amount of patience and free time there are some monstrously complex and impressive designs available online, but for those who need a slightly less taxing time killer, a myriad of simple designs are also available.
When it comes to papercraft its best to use slightly thicker paper, or even card; it can be a bit of a fiddly task at the best of times, especially if it’s printed on flimsy paper! Next, you will need a craft knife for scoring and cutting out your designs. Though there might be a few frustrating moments, your patience will be rewarded.
Far from being a cake made of actual photo graphs (though this would be impressive), this is a cake with an edible photo printed on top of it. Previously, if you wanted something unique on a cake then you needed to go to a patisserie or cake shop which had access to the necessary equipment, but not anymore!
Admittedly, purchasing edible inks and paper is not the cheapest option, but for a bespoke custom job for a party it’s worth the investment and effort. So how does it work? Well it’s not much different from printing a normal document; you need to ensure your printer is compatible with the specialist printer cartridges, but the icing comes with a flexible plastic backing, meaning you can simply insert it into your printer, print your design and apply it to your waiting sponge cake!
This will no doubt be a favourite with students as you can print large scale posters using an A4 printer. Block Posters allows you to upload an image, choose how big you want it to be, what size paper, portrait or landscape and the sites unique algorithm will put it all into a pdf document, which you simply print off and assemble. Simple, but effective.
Increase your Wi-Fi Range
No, they haven’t installed a Wi-Fi booster into all new printers; instead some bright spark has designed a printable antenna which can reportedly boost the range of your wireless!
In addition to the downloadable PDF, you will need some glue, scissors, and copious amounts of tin foil and it should only take about half an hour to build. So how does it work? Well the homemade antenna works as a Wi-Fi trough and will focus your signal, rather than beaming it out in all directions. Also, this device actually reduces the amount of signal escaping behind your Wi-Fi source, preventing neighbours and passers-by from stealing it.
Remember when you were young and sweets would sometimes come with a temporary tattoo and your teacher would tell you off for having the wit to have sonic the hedgehog applied to your forehead? Well, now you can do it as an adult and you are old enough to properly appreciate it!
This may involve a trip to a craft or art shop to source the paper required, but it can make for a lot of fun! Simply choose your design, print it, cut it out and apply it to your skin!
So there you have it, some lesser known uses for your home printer. Hopefully these will breathe life into your dusty old device and encourage some fun arts and crafts in your home!