?The ability to create temporary badges can be useful in many different situations. Some companies don't yet have an ID printer on site. Instead, they order employee badges from a custom printing company. It makes sense to wait for enough new people to be hired so that a large batch can be ordered at once. In the meantime, these workers still need some form of ID. Or, perhaps you are sending a group of people to a convention or trade show. You want to make your IDs stand out by including a special message or logo. Don't reach for the "Hello, my name is:" stickers; There are other options that will look much more professional. Choosing the right materials and display accessories makes all the difference. One nice thing about using paper card stock is that you can easily create oversized badges. They will be easy to spot from a distance. Another useful application is on-the-spot printing of identification cards for visitors and contractors. These badges are likely to be single use since they are issued to someone who may never come back again. It makes sense to reduce costs in cases like this. However, you still need to make the IDs sturdy enough to stand up to a little wear and tear. What You Will Need If you are not yet ready to invest in your own ID card printer, you can make your own temporary badges on a budget using a desktop LaserJet or Inkjet printer. Here are some supplies you should consider keeping on hand: -Heavy card stock. You should buy the thickest kind you can find (as long as it is compatible with your existing printer). You will probably need to use the manual feed tray with these sheets. Don't use plain copy paper. Even with a badge holder, such flimsy IDs are difficult to handle. They tend to crease or wrinkle before you can protect them. -A stand alone lamination unit. These are inexpensive and prove useful for many different projects. Choose lamination pouches that are 5 mil or thicker to make your badges durable. -ID holders. These come in a lot of different styles. The simplest ones are just clear, folded plastic with a pin or clasp on the back. They are cheap, but you run the risk of poking your finger when you try to fasten them. Spring for something a little more high-end if you want to make the best impression. Credential holders are versatile and can easily be used to showcase paper IDs as well as plastic ones. -Accessories like lanyards offer visitors and employees an easy and comfortable way to display their badges. Round braided lanyards are very affordable and can be purchased in bulk. They come in many different colors to suit any occasion. -For a professional looking result, you can use a digital camera and badging software to design your photo IDs. Almost all digital cameras on the market today are compatible with badge creation programs. If you find "free" ID software online, always check with your IT department to make sure it is safe to download. Check out ID Superstore for low prices on visitor management solutions. Also save on various id supplies such as badge lanyards and blank plastic cards.