Ever want to create really high quality custom name badges? I started researching the possibility when revamping our Greeters Ministry and being unsatisfied with the bland, generic, expensive, and cheap-looking options currently available. My breakthrough moment was realizing credit cards are the perfect size for a name badge and they are so commonly used as ID badges that there must be a way to print these cheaply and one-at-a-time.
The finished product is exactly what I wanted. A high quality plastic name badge with a magnetic attachment that won’t damage clothes printed in-house for less than $1 per piece. When searching for this project I found nothing like what I wanted. It wasn’t until I made the mental jump to printing credit cards that I found the solution. Here is the process in case this will be useful for your ministry (or business for that matter).
You’ll need a printer with a CD/DVD printing tray from Epson or Canon. We happened to have an Epson R220 already. Click the model of your printer to see the tray designed to print ID cards:
Buy a PVC ID card printing tray for Epson R200, R210, R220, R230.
Buy a PVC ID card printing tray for Epson R280, R260, R27, R280, R290, Artisan 50.
Buy a PVC ID card printing tray for Canon ip4980, ip4600, ip4700, ip4810, ip4820, ip4850, ip4840, ip4910, ip4920, ip4950, MP980, MP990, MP630, MP640, MG5220, MG5240, MG5250, MG6120, MG6140, MG6150, MG8120, MG8140, MG8150.
You will also need these premium, inkjet printable PVC ID cards.
And buy some neodymium magnets to attach the name badges to clothing without damage.
Once you have the printer, tray, and cards, its time to design your name badges. You can design your graphics in Word to keep it simple or use Photoshop or other graphics software. I made a template for Photoshop, Word, and a JPEG that can be imported into most design programs. Just make sure when using the JPEG that the graphic template fills the entire page. Some programs will shrink it to fit the printable region but the JPEG is designed to be exactly 8.27” x 11.69”.
Download the Photoshop template.
Download the Word template.
Download the JPEG.
I’m using Photoshop, so here are my graphics using our new church logo:
If you want a bleed edge on your graphics, take them right to the red line so they print beyond the edge of the PVC card. The green line is the safe line to keep important content inside the printable area. Placing your graphics in the top and bottom design folders will automatically trim them with vector masks so you don’t waste ink and print all over your ID card tray.
When printing, make sure you use the CD/DVD option for your printer and choose the A4 size. I recommending selecting the highest quality print settings for better looking name badges.
On our Epson R220, the CD/DVD tray doesn’t pull into the machine at the right time, so I have to listen for the sound of the printer trying to retract the tray and help it in. If your printer is newer or in better shape you may not have that problem.
I love finding really inexpensive ways to make premium products - especially when they can be used for ministry. If you have any tips for making the ministry dollar go farther but keeping a professional look and premium performance, leave a comment below!