6 ways to get creative with your PIXMA printer

Energise your home, your style and your tech with these family-friendly paper printing and crafting ideas.
Printer fun for everyone

Think your family printer is just for documents and photos? Think again. There's a whole world of creative ideas waiting to be brought to life by your Canon PIXMA printer – from homemade recipe books and cool designs for your tech, right through to personalised clothing and spooky Halloween decorations.

Artist and paper crafter Aimee Graham, who runs paper flower and origami workshops, thinks print has unlimited possibilities. "Paper-based products are something that I've been working with for years, and offer me a creative platform to make something from nothing," she says. "Because it's so versatile, you can use it in a two-dimensional and three-dimensional way – the sky's the limit. For people who aren't necessarily as creative, it can be overwhelming to create something from nothing. The printing side of things allows you to have a platform to jump in from, so it's not so vast."

Aimee also believes print and crafting helps us unleash the creativity we all have within – making it a fantastic way to bring families together. "We've all got a creative streak in us because everyone is creative when they are a child," she says. "It gets lost because of all the life admin and adult stuff that we have to do, so being creative brings back some fun and balance. For families, I think it's really important because it's connecting them all together. It connects parents to their children, but also connects adults to their inner child, which is amazing."

Here we share our top picks of creative things you can do with your PIXMA printer to celebrate International Print Day on 20 October 2021.

1. Delicate papercrafting

A small wooden frame containing three colourful 3D butterflies made out of paper sits on a wooden stand next to a Canon PIXMA printer.

"It doesn't matter what you make, as long as you're making," says Aimee Graham, the artist behind this beautiful butterfly box frame. Aimee started papercrafting while she lived in Japan, and now uses the art form as a way to aid her mental health, alongside meditation and yoga.

Aimee, who runs origami tutorials on her Instagram, made 3D butterfly-themed art with the Canon PIXMA TS5350a Series printer, and believes printing your own home decorations can be therapeutic. "I think papercraft is another way of creating a healthy routine for ourselves," she says. "Some people meditate, some people do yoga. I do both of those things, but I now also use my creativity as part of my mental health routine."

Aimee downloaded and printed 3D wall stickers from Canon Creative Park as part of her design of butterfly art displayed in a bell jar. The free-to-use website also has lots of other cute insects to choose from, including ladybirds, beetles and dragonflies, which you can then print, cut, fold, glue and assemble into 3D toys and ornaments.

For her elegant butterfly box frame, Aimee printed outline templates that she sourced herself online, then painted the wings with watercolours and pens – using the Creative Park stickers as inspiration. The colour part, she says, is where these projects really come to life.

"You can use any sort of colouring-in utensils – watercolours, sharpies, pencils – it doesn't really matter, as you can use them together or in different ways. Adding colour is where all the fun happens."

2. Let the games begin

Two girls showing off their football papercraft creations.

Discover papercraft family games that are fun both to make and to play - the sense of achievement once you've finished your papercraft creation is second only to the fun you'll have playing with it.

Handcrafted games that you can both construct and play together are a brilliant source of fun, and with Canon Creative Park the process is simple and affordable.

Blogger Fariba Soetan and her family transformed their home into a world of sport. "We settled on the basketball and football games, partly because they looked really fun and also because I thought the level of difficulty was good for a first attempt – to get our heads around how you put them together."

Using the Creative Park App or downloading from the Creative Park website straight to your computer, you can select your favourite designs and print them directly from your home printer for assembly before the big kick-off.

All you need for your team of crafters is some scissors, glue, a ruler to create the folds, an old ballpoint pen and your game instructions. Then just follow the scissor lines, folds and glue spots to get started.

3. Home décor

A man hanging a handmade 3D dinosaur mobile from the ceiling of a nursery.

"I want to create fun, individual and sustainable pieces that people can use to accessorise themselves or their homes. I'd also like to help people access their creativity," says Aimee.

Give your home a fresh new look by crafting your own interior decorations with your PIXMA printer. Browse the Creative Park website for budget-friendly accessories to lift your living spaces and children's bedrooms.

"The way I use my papercrafting is for decorative purposes, whether that's in the home or on the body, to make jewellery or wall or table decorations," says Aimee.

Just select the 'Home and Living' section of the Creative Park website or app to choose, download and print your template. From hanging mobiles for a nursery to 3D wall stickers, birthday bunting, wall sculptures and tile decals, your home could take on a brand new lease of life.

4. Print your own recipe book

A man and boy sit around a kitchen table which holds a printer and large homemade recipe book, surrounded by printed pictures of food.

Unleash your inner celebrity chef by printing out your own recipes and creating a recipe book. You'll never forget how to make your favourite comfort food again, and will also have a bank of incredible dishes to pass onto your friends and family.

Do you have a family recipe collection that is asking to be crafted into a beautiful book? Pass down your favourite meal ideas in a home-printed recipe book – complete with your own images if you also enjoy food photography.

London-based food and drink photographer Natasha Alipour-Faridani shares her top tips for compiling your recipe photo book with the Canon PIXMA TS3350 Series and the Canon Easy-PhotoPrint Editor app, which has creative options for recipe book layouts.

"I wanted recipes that were bright in colour," says Natasha. "And if the food looks flat, a bird's-eye view from above is a good option. I always make sure I've got something that extends beyond the edge of the frame – it could just be the edge of the plate, but it reinforces the idea that it's an ongoing scene."

Whether as a family heirloom, gift for a foodie or a scrapbook-style diary of food enjoyed on your travels, create a book that is truly unique.

5. Festive fun

A 'Happy Halloween' signs hangs above a table festooned with Halloween decorations.

"There's so many people to follow on Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok – it's literally everywhere," says Aimee. "There are so many places to be inspired to make things now."

"The seasonal papercrafting ideas for me are vast, and they all have feelings of nostalgia," says Aimee on fun crafting ideas for events like birthdays, weddings, Easter, Halloween and Christmas. "People always respond to nostalgic things, and celebratory times of the year are really important, especially after the couple of years that we've been through. They bring people together."

Print your own spooky banner, paper pumpkin lantern, Halloween cards and witch masks from the Creative Park app or website. In this printable crafts for Halloween tutorial, we even share how to make your own Halloween nail art with our printable Nail Stickers, complete with ghostly designs. You could also try making your own paper table centrepieces or Halloween wreaths to really get into the ghoulish spirit of the holiday.

For more papercraft ideas, follow us on Pinterest and share your creations on social media using the #MadeWithPIXMA hashtag.

Written by Lorna Dockerill

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