Printing Paper Wallets
What kind of printer and paper should I use?
Do you have a laser printer? Wallets printed using a laser printer are much more durable than ink-jet prints because laser printouts are essentially waterproof. Laser toner isn't ink! It's plastic that has been melted onto the page using heat. You can make your laser-printed wallets even more durable by sealing them in bags, laminating them (see below), or by printing on a synthetic waterproof paper paper such as Revlar.
Ink-jet prints can be extremely delicate. The ink will fade over time, especially when subjected to bright light. Even minuscule amounts of water can cause ink to bleed so much that the printout is destroyed altogether. Your wallets will be much more durable if you seal them in zip-sealing bags, use waterproof ink-jet paper such as Teslin, and/or spray them with a fixative such as Krylon Preserve It.
Whether you're using an ink-jet or laser printer, read about printer security to make sure your keys are not compromised.
Can I print two wallets per page?
If you need to print many wallets at once, or if you're concerned about wasting paper, you can print two wallets per page by manually rotating the paper between printing steps. For example, here's how to print out 100 wallets "2-up" on 50 sheets of paper:
- Print out 50 wallet fronts, clicking the 'Random-generate new keys' button between each printout.
- Rotate the paper and insert them back into your printer. Print out 50 more wallet fronts.
You should now have 50 sheets which are blank on one side with 2-up wallets fronts on the other side.
- Flip the paper and print out 50 wallet backs.
- Rotate the paper and print out the final 50 wallet backs.
You should now have 100 wallets on 50 sheets like this:
Can I laminate my paper wallets?
Yes. This makes it almost impossible for someone to tamper with your wallet since the laminate must be cut off in order to reveal the private key. However: It's preferable to laminate ink-jet prints than laser-prints, because the heat from the laminating machine can cause the laser toner printed on opposing sides of the folded paper to fuse to itself! If you laminate a laser-printed wallet, first cut out a square of blank paper and insert it into the folding private key area before folding it up. Laminate and cut open some sample wallets to make sure you can recover the private keys.
Less than 1cc of water destroyed this ink-jet print.
- For ink-jet printers, use Teslin. This thick, durable, tear-resistant ink-jet paper makes your wallets more water-resistant. Consider purchasing zip-sealing bags as well.
- For laser printers, try Revlar. Durable, tear-resistant, won't disintegrate if it gets soaked. Used by the US Navy to print submarine manuals.