A few weeks ago, I spotted a Pinterest pin about a hand-held thermal printer and was really intrigued. And tempted. Would this, as I thought, be useful for my craft selling business, as well as fun?
A couple of days later and my own little PeriPage Pocket Printer arrived, together with some spare thermal paper rolls.
There are quite a few different little thermal printers available right now, but I went for this brand because it seems well-established, had many positive reviews and a proper website etc. Some of the others were generic “non-brands” and I was not so confident about the long-term reliability of those.
I bought my printer from Amazon. There are multiple sellers offering this product and prices can vary quite a bit (and seem to change from one week to the next). Some sellers offer additional thermal paper rolls with the basic printer.
What You Get
The PeriPage Printer comes in a compact little box. It reminds me a bit of Apple products as it has a smart minimalist look to it – despite having a bear on the front.
This is the model called A6.
As well as the printer itself, you get a USB lead for charging it, a multi-language instruction leaflet and one roll of thermal paper. I bought a set where there was extra rolls included. More on the paper later.
The printer can connect to your devices using the USB cable, or by Bluetooth. The USB cable is also used for charging the printer – via your computer or a USB plug.
It is a smart little device, sturdy feeling and aesthetically very pleasing. It measures about 3″ x 3″ (8cm) and is about 1.5″ (4cm) deep. The edges are very rounded, making it a comfortable item to hold in your hand.
The PeriPage Printer is available in different colours – I choose the pastel pink. I have seen white, blue, brown and yellow ones available too.
The front has a bear’s head design embossed into it,with the muzzle area in white. There is no apparent reason for this other than to look cute.
Using the PeriPage Pocket Printer
It is very easy to slide the front of the printer up, which allows it to swing open. You then just drop a roll of thermal paper into place. The one that comes with it had a plastic tube inside, the others I received didn’t – they had smaller central cores, but it doesn’t seem to matter either way. Any thermal paper that is up to58mm wide should fit, though of course if the reel is fatter you may need to unwind and remove some for it to fit.
The roll that was included was plain white, and I also received pink, yellow and blue paper, together with a few rolls of sticky-backed paper. You can buy replacement rolls from many sources and can use those intended for thermal cash registers and tills – which are often a lot cheaper.
Once the paper is in place you switch it on with the single button, which will go green to show it is ready.
After printing you rip the paper off using the serrated edge of the paper slot. This does require a little care, but I found that after a few printouts I was able to tear it off neatly. You can always pull out a little more paper before tearing so as to be sure you don’t damage the printout itself.
Using the App
I have found the easiest way to use the printer is via the app on my mobile phone. The app is called PeriPage and is available for Android and IOS phones. It is available from the Google Play and Apple stores, or on the PeriPage website.
The app is easy to use and comes with a selection of list-making templates. It is easy to choose pictures from your phone’s gallery and edit them for printing. The usual cropping, rotating and basic editing features are included. You can also add text etc.
The app also has a section for adding text to print which is ideal if you want to use this for making labels or to-do lists.
Using the Printer with a Computer
It took me a while to work out how to use the PeriPage with my laptop. PeriPage supplies drivers for the printer on their website. It is “just another printer” to the computer, so connecting it was not an issue.
But setting up a document template for the correct size took me longer than I expected.
After a little trial and error I was able to copy/paste postal addresses into my template and print them from the PeriPage to use on envelopes.
The printer can only print in monochrome. The background is, of course, determined by the colour of the paper. Usually the print will be black, well dark grey, but you can get thermal paper rolls that print in blue or other colours. There are also rolls with pre-printed frames, decorative edges and other fancy effects available.
It is also pretty low resolution.
Photos come out grainy, but recognisable. I personally feel it is a “style” and part of the charm of pictures from this little machine, but if you are looking for real photo-quality, you will need something more expensive (and probably bigger).
Text and line drawings look better and are great for adding to journals and similar projects.
Although the thermal paper has a slight sheen to its surface, I found I could colour on it with water and alcohol based felt pens – just be careful to let them dry before touching.
This makes it very handy for printing out digital stamps.
After a bit of research, it seems that modern thermal papers should remain legible for at around seven years if kept in a darkened place. Having said that, I have some thermal printouts from the late 1980s that look as good as the day I made them (at school!) The unused rolls also should be kept in a dark location such as a box.
The printer therefore may not be suitable for projects where the results will need to spend long periods of time in bright light.
I printed out a label and left it on a window sill in full sunlight when I first got the printer. At the time of writing this that is about 5 weeks ago and it looks just the same. I will update the progress at a later date.
The PeriPrint for Craft Sellers and Small Businesses
If you are a small scale craft seller this could be an ideal way to create both addess labels, and your return address labels. Especially if you are using low-cost cash register reels and sticking them on with glue. Using the sticky-backed rolls may not be cost-effective compared to other methods.
On the PeriPage website there are videos showing example uses for the printer. This includes printing barcodes and product information to go on labels – something that a craft-seller may find useful.
Because the printer is so small and portable, I intend to create some simple “business cards” and store them on my phone so I can print them out if anyone wants one at a craft fair or event. If you want to create event-specific cards, coupons or mini-flyers, this could be a great solution and more economical than pre-printing a pile of business cards that don’t get used.
Uses for the PeriPage Pocket Printer
The printer is also great for various crafting projects. Here are some of the things I have used mine for so far, or intend to do so in the near future:
- Printing to-do lists – either for adding to my journal or for “ticking off” during the day
- Printing procedure lists for complex projects
- Adding little photos to my journals – even though they are monochrome and grainy they are cute and so quick and easy to add from my phone photos
- For adding little maps to journal entries about walks I have taken
- For sharing pictures with friends which out and about (when the Covid lockdowns end!)
- Printing details of appointments to add to my journal – it is easy to include addresses and even simple maps
- Printing digital stamps to colour for various crafting projects – much quicker than turning on my laptop/main computer and printer, plus no wasted paper.
- Creating elements to use on Artist Trading Cards – the small printout is perfect for this!
- Cute little printed memos and motivational messages
- Printing little poems or sentiments for card making
- Printing labels
I have no doubt I will think of many more, I have still only had it a couple of weeks!
Summary of the PeriPage Pocket Printer
All in all I am very pleased with this little printer. It is very enjoyable to use and definitely can be a useful addition to my small business. But yes, it is also great for fun projects too.
With no ink to buy (or spill), rechargeble and small it is economical to use and easy to store.
As long as you are aware of the restrictions of such a small printer of this type (size of print-out, low resolution and monochrome) it can still be a really useful, versatile and fun gadget.
Links to the PeriPage Pocket Printer on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk
Here are links to the PeriPage Pocket Printer A6 on Amazon.com (top) and Amazon.co.uk (bottom). 58mm thermal rolls, both plain paper and sticky backed, are available from many different sellers.
These are affiliate links and if you purchase after clicking on them I may get a small commission from Amazon for sending customers to their site. This is at no cost at all to yourself. Thank you.