Sunday, 25 August 2013

Miniature printing

Finally, I own a printer. I have asked for a printer, for my birthday and christmas for the past few years, and had yet to receive one, so I forked out for one myself.  I bought the HP deskjet 3520 from Currys. It was £50 and includes a scanner and inks. I was a bit worried that being so cheap, the printing wouldn't be that great, but I was desperate, and as it turns out, for the price, it really has surpassed my expectations. I had a look at a few miniature printing techniques, and the advice I followed was as follows.

  • Never print from any image, with a DPI (dots per inch) less than 300. The image will be fuzzy otherwise.
  • Set the printer on highest quality when printing.
  • Use microsoft word to scale your images to the correct size.
  • I used hairspray to seal the ink. When you spray it onto the paper, it looks disastrous but eventually dries, though it does warp the paper, very slightly. It was the cheap way of sealing charcoal drawings when I was in Art college. Best to do a test first though. You can read about the pros and cons of this method online. I didn't have art fixative lying around, or I would have used it instead.

I don't have microsoft word, but I do have the trial version, which is so good and easy to use for miniaturising, I may have to buy it once the trial is up, as I plan on doing a lot of printing in future. 

Finally, I have some things to fill up my little brass box (from A Miniature Marvel). Seed packets!  And for a brief moment the sun came out and created a shadow!

The images of these seed packets are from the website The website owner regularly posts scans of her own vintage stock, she even included the reverse of these seed packets. The Sweet pea packet is from sweetmagnoliasfarm.blogspot.

The reverse of the seed packets, although not very readable, I am very happy with the effect.  I made these up like real sachets, and put some tiny glass beads in, then sealed the packet, so when you lift them up, you can hear "seeds" rolling about inside. 

Little idea I had for the conservatory, originally I was going to use newspaper to block the light out, but decided to make it into a garden inspired feature instead, using public domain illustrated botanical plates. These ones are mostly french, I think. They are from the website After building the conservatory I had an afterthought, that I should have made that end a solid wall, as the only thing you would see beyond it was, well, a wall, a big black wall, to be precise. So this creates a nice backdrop to that end of the conservatory. The other 3 "glass" panels will be filled eventually. Work in progress.

And a giant black cat appeared, out of nowhere, and had to be shooed away. Yes, those windows are dirty, that is why we are covering them up, so we don't have to clean them!  P.s. The cat is from Cats Protection League, not available online, but instore. 

So far my favourite print job. These are miniature versions of my mums drawings. We only have three in our ownership, these ones. There was a lovely donkey one which is now living in Hungary, given to a Hungarian guest that stayed with us years ago. Made quite a few of these prints, to test the quality, and these ones came out best. They were printed from 600 DPI scans and the printer was set with the highest print quality with Greyscale on.  One of the main reasons I wanted a printer, was for food packaging and personal touches like this. At some point I will frame these, but I think they look great as they are too. The photograph isn't showing how lovely these are in real life, I think it might be slightly blurry actually :D

NEARLY FINISHED!! When I say nearly............I mean, nearly in needlepoint time. There are a good few hours to go yet.  But I am getting there :D


  1. Thank you for this post, your tips and trics regarding mini printing are very handy. Good luck with finishing your already gorgeous rug!
    Hugs, Liduina.

    1. Many thanks, Liduina :) Hopefully the rug won't take too much longer :D

  2. It is all so nice and beautiful what you can make.
    Thanks for your nice tips for the printing.

    Kind regards Alexandra.

  3. Hi Sarah! Your mom's drawings are delightful and you have done a wonderful job of reducing them! I know what you mean about the necessity of having a good printer and you can make your life a whole lot easier when you have one so good on you for getting one on your own. Your little seed packets are so nice and it is a bonus that they are also printed on the reverse side, and that you have filled them with teeny tiny 'seeds'. That is taking it to the next level, Sarah, but that is what you do anyway!
    Happy Printing!


    1. I think I am heading to the mad side of miniatures, it will be real seeds next :D And yes, the printer was a difficult choice to make! I was tempted to go for top of the range :D I'll pass your compliments onto my mum, and many thanks :)

  4. Hello Sarah,
    congratulations on the is such a great tool to have. The prints and drawings are just beautiful. I cannot wait to see the gorgeous carpet complete.
    Big hug,

  5. très beaux résultats ! Votre travail est intéressant, pour preuve ... Le chat est venu le l'admirer !
    Le tapis est déjà un bel ouvrage.
    Les imprimantes HP sont de qualité, la mienne a 12 ans.
    Bonne journée ! rosethé

    1. Many thanks Rosethe, I hope my printer lives as long as that. I think the cat was thinking that the miniature conservatory would be perfect for a revenge attack if dinner wasn't served on time :D

  6. felicitacion por tan bellas impresiones y por los consejos
    Los cuadros, de sus dibujos en miniaturas son impresionantes y la alfombra es expectacular

  7. Hello Sarah! Your mother is a great artist, wow, love those beautiful prints :D!
    Congrats on your newest purchase, the coveted printer, it is so good to have one for our hobby :D! Thank you for sharing these links, I'll go and visit them. Instead of the tiny glass beads you maybe can use watercress seeds, they are very tiny!
    Finally, your rug: it is gorgeous, I really hope to see it here, when it is finished.
    Hugs, Ilona

  8. Wooooooooooo, que trabajo tan impresionante, una alfombra maravillosa y los grabados preciosos, gracias por consejos:-)

  9. Your carpet is beautiful, I love the colours.

  10. Hello Sarah, Thank you so much for sharing! Congratulations on your new printer and the tips. Your September give away is gorgeous.

  11. Your printing projects came out fantastic. Thank you for sharing the links, they look very useful.
    A Big Mini Hug

  12. Your mums drawings are fantastic. The printer gives lots of fun with miniaturising. The seeds packets are cute and with lots of details.
    Oh and I didn't forget about the gigant cat. It's so funny.

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