Project #183 – Name Tags and Stupid Printer Tricks

I volunteered to organize the 10th Anniversary Metafilter Meetup for Pittsburgh, which might have been a stupid thing to do because I think strangers are scary. The one requirement for meeting lots of new people is to have name tags so there aren’t any awkward moments where you’re talking to someone and you completely forgot their name the second you met them and you end up saying ‘you’ or ‘that guy/lady/person’ a lot because it’s weird to ask someone their name over and over again. Plus, because this is an internet gathering (of nerds) there are also screen names to remember/forget.

I’m cheap, so instead of the big sheets of name tags I just bought four dozen giant sticky labels, the kind that fit right into the envelop feeder of a printer and cost 75% less than the purpose built stuff. I don’t have an envelope feeder, so I’ve learned a few tricks to print things on smaller sheets of paper. This will also work if you want to print something of a non-standard shape or size. The idea is to tape your item to be printed verrry gently to a standard sheet of paper and trick the printer into thinking it’s all one piece.

First, just print your design on a regular sheet of paper so that you know where to tape your label. Next, position the label the way you want it over the printout and tape in place. I like to stick the pieces of tape to whatever t-shirt I’m wearing to get a little fuzz on the sticky part. It will still keep the label in place, but it will be easier to peel off the label without damage.

Run the label and paper through the printer. If you like how it came out, mark the corners so you know right where to put the next one. If not, reposition and repeat.

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