To do this activity you will need:
- A laser printer with a bypass feeder
- A sheet of perforated 2x2 flip inserts
- Microsoft Word
- Template File (click here to open the template)
If you use mylar flips, like those from SAFLIP, you probably are using individual blank inserts and writing whatever annotations you want. Not the prettiest method, but effective.
Finally, things are changing and some coin supply retailers are offering sheets of perforated inserts that you can use with a laser printer. It's hard to believe that these haven't been available to everyday consumers years ago. Companies like Avery have made millions of dollars from the home printer market by capitalizing on everything from business cards to invitations and are fantastic products as they usually provide a templates that make it so easy to create what you want.
Unfortunately, as great as Avery products are (with all of their template support) they are not the company offering the flip insert sheets and they do not come with any kind of instructions for creating a template. The companies are generic and leave it up to the consumer to figure out how to create a template. The following instructions are the fruit of my labors that will hopefully save you time & money:
Step 1. - Finding perforated sheets
There are not that many sources yet. I have only found two sources and they are both on the web:
The first is BRENT-KRUEGER, they sell plain white sheets in packs of five sheets (20 inserts per sheet) for about $3
The second is Jake's Marketplace, they also sell packs of 5 but the color is random and the cost is $2 per pack. They do offer a guaranteed color but you have to buy a pack of 50 sheets for $13 with the following for choice of color:
Knowing that no template was provided I went the 50 pack route (ivory) to compensate for any mistakes and let me tell you there were many as my trial and error gobbled up 8 sheets before I got it right!
Note: If you choose BRENT-KRUEGER then please follow steps 2 & 3 very carefully!
Step 2. - Using the template
Open the inserttemplate.doc in MS Word.
Locate the text <Type Your Info Here> and simply over-type that text with whatever you want in each block (note: there should be 20 blocks). If you want, you could also insert an image into each block or add color if you have a color laser.
There is one caveat to the template as it will print text as if you are opening the flip from left to right (see the image at the bottom of this page for an example). If you do not like your text positioned this way then there is an easy fix. Simply select all the text you typed. Got to the menu bar at the top of the window and select "Format" then scroll down and select "Text Direction". A menu box will appear like the one below. Choose the text direction circled in red and then the "OK" button and you are done.
When you have completed editing, choose the "File Save As" function and rename the file but do not exit the program.
Step 3. - Creating a Test Print
Before attempting to use your blank insert sheets you first need to do a test print to understand the orientation of the paper for inserting into your laser printer.
Take a blank piece of paper and position it in portrait. Write the word "Top" at the top of the page and then insert it the bypass feeder on your laser printer (see diagram below). Once your printer is ready then return to the template and choose print.
Take your completed print and overlay it on top of a blank insert sheet. Hold it up to a bright light or against a window. Is the text in the right place for each block? If not rotate the blank insert sheet 180o and it should now be aligned.
Take note of where you wrote "Top" on the test print and which end it aligns to on the blank insert sheet as that is the end that needs to be fed into the printer. Feed the real insert sheet into the bypass feeder of your printer. Return to the template and simply choose the print command.
Note: If during your overlaying neither position properly places the text in all the appropriate boxes then STOP! The template will not work and you will have to create a new template from scratch. You can get instructions from Microsoft Office Online help for creating custom labels.
Step 4. - Finishing what you started
Alright, here's the easy part. Take your newly printed inserts, tear at the perforations, and insert into your favorite brand of flips.
Well, that's it! I hope you found this useful and good luck with your coin collecting!