Polypropylene Help!

Hi There. I’m Russell Bishop, I’m 14 and need BIG help.

Right now I’m developing a type of… new Pokemon Card series? It’s nothing to do with Pokemon, but based on it.

Anyway! My plan is to print the front of the cards on Photo-Paper (Glossy), and then the Back of the cards also, stick them together with a thin layer of Super-Glue, and then in groups of 9, package them.

Now I don’t know whether you have ever opened a pack of Pokemon Cards, but they seem to be made of the same stuff as Walker’s Crisps. So, I went in their FAQ, and found they used Polypropylene as their Material.

I would like to know, how can I print on Polypropylene (is it possible with a normal printer?), where to buy it (and the costs), is it worth it, and what form does it come in?

Your kind advice would help me SO much.

Thank you!

Russell Bishop

have you considered just using paper evelopes? or what about tyvek (http://www.tyvek.com/) for a dexule set? Tyvek is made from plastic fibres and it is easy to print on to with normal printers, it also comes in eveolopes nad is water/rip ristant…only issue is its expensive.

Firstly, Thank you for you input!

I would use paper envelopes, but that doesn’t look fancy or professional, and doesn’t appeal to Kids. The shiny look is quite essential.

I checked out “Tyvek”, but I couldn’t find any helpful images, or prices?

It sounds like Tyvek Envelopes could be a runner, if I could print on the front of them and then put the cards inside? And you’re sure I can just put it in my normal printer?

If you want to play with some Tyvek, go to Fedex and pick up a “Fedex Pak” from the supplies table (don’t take a whole stack, just one or two). I’m not sure where you can get Tyvek sheets, but you can buy Tyvek lab coats for about 2 bucks from mcmaster.com. I’m guessing you’re in England though, so you’ll have to find somewhere similar over there.

To answer your original question, no, you can’t print on polypropylene with a regular printer. You could try using transparency film, which is available at any office supply store. It’s a bit thicker, but it’s designed to take inkjet and laser printing. Somehow you’ll have to fold it and glue it, which could be tricky. Also, super glue (cyanoacrylate) is a bad choice- it was actually developed for closing battlefield wounds, so it sticks to skin better than anything else. Pick up some 3M spray mount adhesive, which will work much better on paper. Hope that helps a bit, have fun.

You’re going to have a tough time printing inkjet on plastic–the ink will smudge and the glue (if you find one that works) will make the cards stiff, and cost a fortune in consumables and labor.

Instead, I recommend using one of those ubiquitous “1000 glossy color postcards for $50” vendors. They’ll do the double-siding for you and you’ll get cards that really look like cards. Gang up your various card designs on an oversize card and trim at home.

You cant beat 5 cents per postcard on your home inkjet. Try http://www.vistaprint.com

Ah so I can pick up some Tyvek! Brillaint, I’l see what I can do there.

What did you mean by buying a Tyvek Lab Coat?

Also, your Transparency Film Idea. With that, you mean, use a Polypropylene Envelope of my desired colour, and then print on some Transparency Film my design, and stick that over the top?

The 3M spray mount adhesive idea sounds good, thanks for letting me know about the super glue. Checks 3M spray mount adhesive Prices…

130 ml $4.99 (£2.72)
303 ml $9.99 (£5.44)
200 ml $12.40 (£6.75)
400 ml $22.03 (£11.99)
450 ml $11.30 (£6.15)

Winner: http://www.shoplet.com/MMM6065_Office_Supply_3M_Spray_Mount_Adhesive.html

I do apologise for the double post! I only just spotted cg’s post.

When you say “Tough time printing on Plastic” what plastic were you referring to?

Checks out vistaprint.com

Okay, so you’re saying instead of using my own Glossy Photo Paper, I should use the paper from vistaprint, right?

Could you possibly give me a link to the offer you are talking about? I’m having trouble locating it.

Also, have we reached a conclusion on the best packaging method? Any more fresh ideas, or criticism on current ones?

Also worth checking out is ClubCard

They will do full colour front and back cards as well as a bunch of other stuff like stickers, temporary tattoos, etc…

And they are friendly…

Thank you! My first problem is that I’m not from Canada or America :stuck_out_tongue:

Also, that place seems great, but very expensive in comparance to 5cents a piece.

you can buy tyvek evelopes from most staionary suppliers. You can get some free samples from the link below, if you just want to play around with some stuff


tyvek is used all over the palce from protective clothing (lab coats) to the building industry.

If you want you pages to be clear ahve you thought of using acetate, which you can buy for printing on to, then construct your evelope with folds/slits with no glue to hold the cards? or what about getting some sandwitch bags and a heat sealer…or vac packaging them?

I sent off for some free Tyvek Envelope samples. Not sure what to expect, but hopefully they’ll do the trick.

When you say “If you want your pages clear” did you mean “Do you want clear packaging” ? We cant have clear packaging, because that would show the secret content of the pack, you see.

When these Tyvek envelopes arrive, and say they’re much too big for the cards (which will be 4*6 inches) is it possible to cut up the Tyvek into the size necessary? And then maybe Staple it closed?

Thank you for all your help everyone. Of all the communities I’ve asked for help from, you’re the only ones to even reply! On top of that, you’ve been informative and a SUPER-help, and I’ll be sure to put myself ‘At Your Service’ when I sort out my Packaging problems :slight_smile:

Just to let you know, it turns out I won’t be sent any Tyvek Envelopes after all, and there are no stockists in my area.

Any more ideas? My friend had one;

Take a sheet of laminate. Put some printed paper on it (with the front + back design). Fold until about to stick. Slide cards in. Seal.

Problem with that is, it will look ungly & unprofessional.

Has anyone here ever seen a Pokemon Card Pack? A Yu-Gi-Oh Pack? That’s how I want mine to look, but I have no idea how :frowning:



I would look into Yupo paper


Pretty interesting stuff. I think you can inkjet print onto it…

They send out great free sample packs with a variety of stocks.

Would that be for printing the cards, or the packaging itself? I tried printing on Tyvek recently when I got my free samples, and that was Tacky. I need stuf fthat’s shiny, almost plastic-like? Has anyone here ever seen / opened a pack of Pokemon cards?

While I’ve never seen a Pokemon card, the Yupo paper that was mentioned is pretty neat stuff and might work well for your application.

The sample pack I ordered had some heavy stock with a photo-like gloss that sounds similar to what you are trying to find. While Yupo doesn’t reccommend printing with an inkjet, I’m gonna try it out and see what happens. I’ll let ya know…

BTW, I’ve tried printing on various types of ‘plain’ plastic stock with an inkjet printer and it did not work well at all. Polypropelene included.

Besides the fact that the ink takes a long time to dry, it was impossible to acheive any kind of sharpness on most plastics as the ink bled out into the pores/surface scratches that were all but invisible before I printed.

I’ve gotten better results in a copier and laser printer - on the section of plastic that didn’t melt!

FWIW, the Yupo paper has a traditional paper-like surface texture where plastic sheet stock does not.

I did attempt to send off for a sample of Yupo, but it seems to be un-related to non-USA citizens, which is a bummer. I’m quite surprised you’ve never seen a Pokemon Card or it’s Packaging! :slight_smile:

Either way, any additional help is muchly appreciated! Thx Lotus =D

Why not print the cards on a high gloss card stock, then laminate them with a polypropylene film? There are plenty of heat activated films that can be cut with scissors after you get the card done.

I did a quick (very quick) search and found a few things, I’m sure you can easily find more…

(they have a UK site as well)