June 15, 2017

How to print PDF Copyshop files cheaply

Today I’m going to be sharing the secret of inexpensive ways to print PDF sewing patterns using copyshop files!

Cashmerette patterns come in three formats. There are pros and cons to each of the pattern formats, so you can choose yours depending on what you care the most about:

  1. Printed pattern: The big pro is there’s no additional work required to start working on your project – it’s all there! You also get a lovely printed envelope and instruction booklet to refer to. The cons are that you have to wait for it to be sent to you (or buy it from a store), and you’ll have to pay postage if you have it sent.
  2. PDF print at home: The main pro is that you can get your pattern immediately, print it off on your home printer, and get going straight away—and no postage costs. You can also reprint in the future if you want a new size, don’t want to trace, or lose your pieces. The con is that you have to construct it, which involves trimming the pages and taping or gluing them together. Some people love this, some people hate it!
  3. PDF copyshop: The pro to this is that you get beautiful big paper pattern pieces that you can print locally, so no postage fees or waiting for an international package, and no printing at home or taping. Cashmerette copyshop files come in US size (36 x 48″) and A0 size. The con is that sometimes this can be expensive—but that’s what we’re solving in this blog post today! If you don’t find a good local option for you here, I recommend googling “engineering print printing”, “plan printing”, “blueprint printing” or “reprographics printing”.

How to print PDF copyshop files cheaply

Most people assume that you can only have copyshop files printed at large chains like Staples and Fedex (in the US)—but they can be expensive.

However, there are in fact some much cheaper options available. If you know of any additional national companies, let me know and I’ll update the post!

Disclaimer: I have not personally tried all of these services and do not guarantee a positive experience with any of them.

USA copyshop file printing

Canada copyshop file printing

UK copyshop file printing

Denmark copyshop file printing

Germany copyshop file printing

Netherlands copyshop file printing

Norway copyshop file printing

Australia copyshop file printing

New Zealand copyshop file printing

South Africa copyshop file printing

So that’s how to print PDF copyshop files cheaply! I’d love to hear if you have any more options, and I hope you found this helpful.




72 thoughts on “How to print PDF Copyshop files cheaply

  1. Rachel says:

    Thanks for the useful info. I’m in Scotland and have used Plan Printing UK (www.planprintinguk.com) who are based in Edinburgh. They charge 75p per A0 sheet; have a minimum order of £5; and charge flat rate postage of £8 (or you can collect from store for free).

    1. Charlie says:

      Another great UK company is http://www.planprinting24.co.uk... 75p per A0 sheet, minimum order of £5 (so 7 sheets), postage is £5 folded (or £10 rolled), and arrives next working day if ordered before 3pm on a working day.

  2. Hazel says:

    Thank you!

  3. gilliancrafts says:

    Darn, no Canadian options?? (But a great list for people elsewhere!)

    1. Jenny says:

      I couldn’t find any, but if you come across one let me know and I will add!

    2. Cynthia says:

      I’ve been trying to find a local printer near Toronto and pricing for 36″x152″ ranges from $23 all the way up to $304 per page! I have had a nice e-conversation with Mike Barnes of PDF Plotting in Virginia, but they absolutely do not ship out of the country. Their pricing is insanely cheap. He suggested I have mine shipped to a mail forwarding company that would bounce them over the border. He also cited this page, which is why I’m here today. If anyone in the meantime has found a source comparable to PDF Plotting, I would be very glad to hear i t.

    3. Emilie says:

      Found this online, while searching for an option for one of our customers: https://www.sewyyc.ca/pattern-printing
      Decent price and free shipping!

    4. Julie Pelletier says:

      There is a great option in Winnipeg Canada now. Go to http://www.winnipegsews.com.

    5. AliG says:

      Interesting reading this. I just send my files by email to the nearest (to me) printing shop. Anyone who prints for engineering firms locally, should be able to print your pattern. In my case the cost is super reasonable ($3 for typical 36X48 and a bit more for longer sheets). I email the job in the morning and go pick up at noon. I live in Gatineau Quebec, Canada ( near Ottawa).

      1. AliG says:

        Here is my local shop’s website. I suggest you look for something similar where you live. https://copiexpertplus.ca/

  4. sewcanjo says:

    I’m in the UK and have used http://www.netprinter.co.uk and http://www.printingandplotting.co.uk. I’ve had trouble with Net Printer in terms of them either reading PDF’s as having three times the number of pages or only a third of what they do have. You can email them the file, but it seems an extra hassle. I’ve never had a problem with printing and plotting and got free biscuits with my first order.

  5. Liza Friesen says:

    I too was so hoping to see a great and cheap Canadian option…always seem to miss out….boohoo 🙂

    1. Me too! No Canadian options – maybe that’s the story for us 🙂 I’ve paid as much as $21 with taxes at Staples. I’d heard our local printer (Island Blueprint in Victoria) was charging $5 but when I went into the shop to investigate, it had jumped to $12. As word had made its way around the sewing community they were inexpensive, attracting sewists in droves, their prices more than doubled. They remain however the least expensive commercial option here. Based on this experience I would recommend you check out your independent copy shops. That said, I avoid PDF patterns. I think the majority in my generation do to be honest (I’m 62). In my sewing group and classes almost all the women adamantly refuse to do PDF. The only patterns I’ve printed off (and that’s only about 4) have been free ones and Bootstrap which are custom sized patterns and only $5 CDN to purchase. I know for Indie pattern designers this is their only option to get their patterns out there and their target market maybe those under 30 but I’ve honestly wondered how many PDF patterns they actually do sell? Compared with Indie pattern makers who produce print patterns I would imagine those numbers are considerably less.

      1. Cindy says:

        I was just reading this thread. I am 66 and I love the pdf option – I can print just my size and I find tiling and taping on a big window much easier than trying to find my size to trace in amongst multiples size lines on a printed pattern.

  6. Kelley Camp says:

    I just ordered from pdfplotting.com last week! So much cheaper than printing at Office Depot, and they came pretty quickly! I was nervous at how the prints would come out, but they’re perfect! Definitely recommend them!

    1. thegeekgal says:

      I’ve ordered from pdfplotting.com three times now, and each time have printed out three to four patterns, and been in the $20 range including shipping. That amount of printing used to cost me $60 and up at Office Max. PDFPlotting keeps adding different sizes – and now do custom lengths up to 200″ – so if a pattern is longer than 36″ x 48″ you can get it on one page now! The parent company is local to me and well-respected in this area.

      1. Kathy says:

        I have US standard sheets and the A0 size. Can pdfplotting print the A0 size too?

        1. Laurie says:

          YES! I order from PDFPlotting.com all the time. I order a mix of A0 and other formats. I love them and use them religiously, as I get tired of tracing and I like to alter my patterns, sometimes with varying degrees of success 😉

    2. Suzanne says:

      Will PDFPlotting do layers? If I tell them 3 sizes can they do that?

      1. michelleinsea says:

        I haven’t been able to figure out how to do layers with PDF Plotting. Outside of that, I have used them and been very happy with them.

  7. Hedda says:

    Norwegian here, re Allkopi: Their website is a little hard to read on a tablet but it seems that they only do a limited selection of their products online and lagre format printing doesn’t appear to be among them. They have several offices in the southern half of the country, and it might be possible to order by phone but there’s no info about it.

  8. JamieDSC says:

    Look in your local phone book for “blueprints”! If you’re in a decent size city you probably have an independent blueprinter that prints on a plotter for local architects and such. I found out there’s one a few blocks from my work. It costs me ~$2 a page and I don’t have to pay for shipping like these online places. A lot of these places operate on word of mouth (no website, etc…) so you might have to pick up the phone and call someone. Once I figured out the system I just email them my pdf and tell them to print it “actual size, black and white, cheapest paper you have” and pick it up on my way home from work.

  9. Fanny says:

    French peeps you can go to Copysew here https://www.urbanfairy.fr/copysew 3€ per A0 sheet if you take 1-4 sheets, 2€70 if you take 5-9 or 2€40 if you take more than 9 sheets (little more euros if you want them in colour) + postage

  10. Kate says:

    Netptinter uk has a £5 minimum plus £3 shipping so minimum of £8 per pattern

    1. Frau Leo says:

      I use them as well and usually wait until I have several patter to print to get to £5, that way it works out much cheaper per pattern.

  11. Jessica says:

    Thanks for sharing! I’m a bit confused though – not all the USCopyshop files seem to be 36×48 (the harrison shirtdress is showing as 91×36) so I’m not sure which size to select or that the option for my pattern is sized to selected size is accurate. Does anyone remember what they selected for the various patterns on PDFplotting? Thanks!

    1. Jenny says:

      Hey Jessica – we recently updated all Cashmerette patterns to be 36×48, but there is variation between brands. Luckily pdfplotting.com actually does a variety of dimensions

  12. Linda Hinds says:

    I use netprinter in the UK, no printer set up fees 🙂
    I’ve used them twice and they have been very good

  13. Jessica says:

    Thanks! I found updated links in my e-mail for some but not all of the patterns. Is the only way to access purchased patterns via the e-mailed links?

    1. Email us at hello@cashmerette.com and we can send you any you’re missing

  14. Lizzie says:

    I’m very sorry to say Officeworks in Australia will no longer print PDF patterns on the basis of copyright law. I’m not sure if this interpretation of the law is correct but that’s now their policy. They’re not interested in proof of purchase.
    I tried printing the A4 sheets at Officeworks myself since it was cheaper than printing at home, but the self serve print machines don’t allow you to print at 100% scale.

    1. Margo says:

      Lizzie, it seems to depend on what staff / branch you are at. I printed at officeworks last week, alsways have and never had an issue.

    2. Emma says:

      Officeworks have never brought this up for me – I print A0 there all the time. The biggest issue I have though is staff no understanding how to use their own printers, and telling me it’s not possible. You also have to stand over them and make sure they check the ‘actual size’ not ‘fit to page’ button.

    3. Austragirl says:

      I’ve never had probs at Officeworks. I suggest showing your purchase receipt.

    4. 2paw says:

      Officeworks will now only let your print with their new “improved” self serve, which means waiting a week. In the past I would email my pattern PDF, drive for 5 minutes and they staff would just print it out😩😩😩

  15. Jen B says:

    Thank you so much for this! I really dislike sticking together a4 sheets and have been thinking of getting the copyshop files printed, but was nervous about the cost, now I know exactly where to go.

    1. Jen B says:

      I just placed an order with printing and plotting. I got 8 sheets for £12.72 (including VAT and p+p), which is £1.59 per sheet. The only print shop in town wanted £8.40 per sheet!
      Thank you again!

  16. Bettina says:

    I can only recommend preiswerplotten.de for Germany. It is really cheap and they are super fast

  17. upsew says:

    I paid 5euro in our local copy store but I did state it was black and white line drawing, as I know this can work out cheaper as they do them for planners/engineers all the time so have to price competitively . – I would not do it for all patterns- but so worth occasionally not having to stick a load of pages together……………..

  18. Maureen says:

    This is great. I am hoping someone can suggest some good Canadian options. Thanks

  19. Thanks so much for this. Having finally found a local printer who could handle it, I was dismayed at the cost. For the BHL Anna it was going to be $21 before tax. I ordered 10 patterns earlier today and PDFplotting has already shipped them. I expect them to arrive in less time than it would have taken me to print and tape them. 🙂 Now my husband is trying to figure out how to order maps for his games. 🙂

  20. skirtfixation says:

    Why do you size your large format files to be 36″ x 48″? I thought copy shop paper came on rolls…so the page could be 36″ by any length you needed? I checked out these online sources, and they are using 36″ x 48″ but they have longer sizes too. Could it be they are just making standard dimensions to be able to charge set prices?

    1. The reason is because most stores in the US only print 36 x 48″ (e.g. Staples, Fedex, Kinkos). You need a different type of printer to print continuously, and anecdotally I can tell you that of all the Staples in Boston (I think around 15?), only one has a continuous paper printer for black and white.

      1. skirtfixation says:

        I talked to the girl at my local (small town) Staples. She said large format machines print from rolls of paper, but they charge by the size. So while they could print any file continuously, they would charge me by size. Just an FYI…I think it’s fascinating!

  21. You’re wonderful for putting this together! Whenever I’m in the midst of assembling pdfs I think about how much money I would pay someone in that moment for the job to be done for me (I usually settle on $15). I just ordered several patterns I’ve had burning a hole in my laptop for like $10 total from pdf plotting. So relieved!

  22. Katherine Sands says:

    You at Cashmerette HQ are going to love having your own plotter.It makes altering and comparing patterns so much faster and easier.

  23. Kellie Rose says:

    Great resource! I can recommend http://www.plotgiant.co.uk/ in the UK. Great next day service, 70p per A0 sheet, dropping to 60p per sheet and delivery is £2.50 folded or £7.95 rolled. Min printing order is £5

  24. Audrey EVANS says:

    Thank you so much Jenny for the printing links for UK. Everywhere in UK I have tried want £16 for 2 AO pages. I am going to use one of your UK printing links and I will feed back to you on the service etc. Many thanks Audrey

  25. Megan says:

    I have found places in Canada by googling reprographcs printing, although it varies city to city. Prices seem to be in the $5 a print range, going up or down depending on the number printed. I would recommend calling first – places seem happy to give an estimate.

    1. Cynthia says:

      Megan, can you share your location? Where did you find printing for $5 a page? I’m in Burlington, just outside of Toronto.

  26. Litapita says:

    Hello from another Norwegian. I agree that Allkopi has a website that is a bit difficult to decipher, but I’ve used them for printing PDF patterns a couple of times and it worked fine. I just sent them an email and they did it quickly. Mind you, I have a local store nearby, so could pick it up myself. Don’t remember the cost, but it was not outrageous. In the order of 60 NOK per copy, perhaps? That would be 8 USD or similar in euros, I think?

  27. JKH says:

    I always order printed patterns when available, and I never order PDFs unless they are available in copyshop size, so I really appreciate this information.

    I am in the U.S., so I’ve dealt with FedEx the last couple of times, and it’s been an absolute nightmare. You can’t order large format stuff online, and it takes forever for the underpaid, overworked clerks to figure out how to proceed since they don’t receive adequate training or support. Not their fault, but it’s a very frustrating experience all around to sit there for half an hour and leave empty handed. My particular FedEx place can only do 24X36 as well.

    I went with Staples this time. It was $14 for two 36″X48″ pages, and may even be ready by the same day. It’s expensive, but it’s worth it to me to be able to order online and then pickup when the files are ready with no postage costs. I can walk there, which is nice.

    Both PDFPlotting and BlueprintsPrinting had minimum page orders, so I think pricewise it’s a wash.

    What I need to do is find a local family-owned shop to support!

  28. Jess says:

    Anyone know a copy shop in Sweden? copy shops in England takes £15 to £20 for shipping ONLY!

    1. Karen says:

      I’m looking for somewhere in Sweden too! I have just emailed the Norwegian and Danish shops listed here and asked how much they charge for postage. My local print shop in Sweden (which is part of a chain) just quoted me 1190 SEK for 4 pages!! Mind blown. Looks like I’ll be taping up A4 pages… 🙁

      1. Karen says:

        Hi again! No further ideas for Sweden unfortunately, and the Norwegian printers were equally expensive. But just wanted to say that I decided to go with Schnittherzchen from Germany instead. Their site is really easy to use, and they post to Sweden – for me the postage was only 4,35 EUR. 🙂
        This has definitely put me off pdf patterns for the future though, my pattern already cost more than the usual big brands, and the printing is a significant hidden cost!

  29. Lally Duran says:

    Thank you thank you for this post!

  30. Lorrie Graham says:

    Jenny, Thank you!!! I sent 10 sheets off to PDFPlotting.com and got them in less than a week. Even with shipping, it was less expensive than the local Staples or any other copy shop, and the quality of the printing is fabulous. Can’t tell you how happy this blog makes me!!! Lorrie

  31. Deb Thompson says:

    Hello! I just wanted to let you know that there is a Canadian option now! SewYYC prints A0 and US Copyshop files for $5/sheet and shipping is FREE!! We have been operational since October 2018 and have become the printer of choice for so many Canadians. We even got a great mention on the Love To Sew podcast and Helen’s Closet blog. We are also listed as the only Canadian printer on the Closet Case & Sew Liberated websites 🙂 I am a sewist myself (for 30+ years) and decided to start the business after being frustrated at the lack of Canadian Options! YAY!! You can also check us out on IG – @sewyyc.

  32. Jess says:

    In New Zealand, there’s ChCh sews, http://chchsews.com/
    Niche Print, https://nicheprint.co.nz/
    Studio of Sewing, https://studioofsewing.co.nz/

  33. YukaT says:

    As an FYI to whoever is planning to order from PDF Plotting, I live in Los Angeles and they charge a whopping $10.99 shipping fee for black and white A0 printing. I was expecting $6.99, so it was a shock, but they were nice about it when I asked over email.
    Apparently, the charges change depending on shipping location. I may still order from them, but I’m trying to get as many patterns as I can because the shipping is the same whether I order 1 page or 50 pages, and they send it as a roll and not folded, which I like.

  34. Carole says:

    Hello! For anyone in Australia, I can recommend MDM Copy in Carlton (VIC). Adrian is lovely and very helpful. $2 a A0 sheet and very quick turnaround.

    1. Kristin DeV says:

      MDM in Carlton has closed down. They have a website for Collingwood but the provided telephone number is “not connected”. I suspect Covid may have affected them badly.

      I have been using Fibresmith in Newport (but you order online). They will print a single layer or a few selected layers in AO.

  35. Pernille says:

    Great list!

    We recently started a printing service in Denmark – we ship to Sweden also.

    Prices from DKK 25,- per sheet.

    We have ordinary white paper (90 gsm); a thinner, super nice pattern paper (29 gsm); and a luxurious and sturdy vellum/cotton paper (75 gsm).

    Continuous roll printing available.

    Smaller orders ships folded in padded envelope, larger orders in cardboard tubes.
    Shipping in Denmark from DKK 42,- to DKK 72,-
    Shipping to Sweden from DKK 95,- to DKK 130,-

    We are at https://gladprint.dk/ — and would be grateful to be added to your list!

  36. Kerry says:

    Another great canadian option – Put Down the Tape Pattern Printing. You can find them on facebook. Edmonton based, will ship for a reasonable price. I’ve had great success!

  37. Lynn says:

    Please include https://patternprinters.com in your US list – they have a fixed rate of $1.99 per A0 sheet either in B+W or color. Their printer paper is 16lb, so lighter than others and come folded by default. Shipping is free for orders over $50. They are west-coast based so may be slightly quicker for folks on that side of the country. Right now they are my go to for PDF printing 🙂

  38. Maggie says:

    One to add to the UK list is The Foldline. You can upload any PDF pattern to them (not just patterns purchased from The Foldline) and they will print and post it to you. They also include a reusable envelope for pattern storage. £4 for one sheet; £5 for two, etc. https://thefoldline.com/product/copy-shop-printing-upload-any-pattern/

  39. Meredith says:

    Is this the most updated list? It’s the only one I found, but I didn’t see a “last updated” date.

    1. Ayelet says:

      Hi Meredith, we update this list on occasion so the prices may be different from what you see on the different shops’ websites. But yes, this is our most current list.

      -Ayelet at Cashmerette

  40. Gail Amir says:

    Hi. I’m interested in the Auburn blazer. Can I use the A0 file with my overhead projector instead of sending it out? Is it one page only? And is it layered?

    1. Ayelet says:

      Hi Gail,

      You can use our A0 files with projectors, but you would have to turn the fabric and flip it for mirrored pieces because the pieces are not all oriented the same way. There are 6 pages in the Auburn A0 file.

  41. Cindy says:

    I like the flexibility of printing at home and reprinting where necessary. An easy way to tile and tape sheets is to tape them to a large window … no trimming required as the light shines through to easily see the markings to match up. Just start at upper left and match/tape left to right and then start on the next row, etc. Fix up markings that are covered by paper edges while up on window. Pull the sheet down and trim out the pieces. Then I just pay myself, preferably in fabric!!

  42. Siv says:

    You had an link to a norwegian company that can print in A0-format, but they are not cheap
    We have a very nice shop for sewing and knitting that will print in A0 for only approx. 2 USD per sheet:

Let me know what you think!